On the politics of flashlights. BLF rule #3.

BLF Rule #3: Please avoid controversial or divisive subjects such as religion and politics.

The no politics rule on BLF is a necessary one because without it this place would quickly degenerate into one where no one wants to visit.

But if you think about the politics of flashlights, many things related to flashlights are or could be considered political in nature.

First to define the term: what is political?
1.) Of, relating to, or dealing with the structure or affairs of government, politics, or the state.
2.) Relating to, involving, or characteristic of political parties or politicians.

What aspects of manufacturing, operating a flashlight company, buying, or selling a flashlight are or could be considered political?

  • Corporations and licensed businesses are creatures of the state.
  • The buying and selling of goods within the domain of commerce, operating in accordance to commercial code which is the purview of the state.
  • Sales tax, import duties, and other taxes and fees.
  • The regulation of imports and exports. Everything related to customs. Everything related to trade between countries.
  • The currency used to purchase or sell a flashlight, and money and banking in general.
  • State sanctioned holidays and corresponding sales events.
  • Subsidies.
  • Subjects related to the planning and viability of flashlight meetups: governmental or non-governmental policies related to public health, travel restrictions, carbon credits, social credit, permits, the prices of gas, energy, food, lodging, etc.
  • Shortages or disruptions to any part of the supply chain as a result of state interventions, or those caused by war, sabotage, or manipulation otherwise political in nature.
  • Market traded securities or debt instruments of companies involved in the supply chain. The management and operations of such companies.
  • The mining of bauxite ore, lithium, and other materials which make a flashlight, the related environmental impacts, the ownership and operation of these companies, etc.
  • The labor conditions of people who work in the mining industry or any factory in the flashlight related supply chain, and relevant regulations.
  • Things related to the shipping and distribution of flashlights and related goods. Current events, disruptions, regulations, etc.
  • Energy sources in general, especially those used to manufacture and distribute flashlights and recharge their batteries.
  • The refuse generated by manufacturing processes and packaging and distribution of flashlights and related goods, and what happens to end of life waste.
  • Regulations related to flashlights themselves, batteries, etc.
  • Any and all regulations, acts, mandates, laws, statutes, etc.

I’m sure there are more, but the point is that flashlights are more political than one might at first surmise. To completely avoid any and all politics would mean that you are limited mainly to a discussion of the hypothetical or actual characteristics of the objects themselves, avoiding a great many factors otherwise related to their existence.

The purpose of this thread is not to argue the necessity of the rule, but to point out that many aspects of flashlights are or could be considered political in nature. The rule itself is somewhat untenable, in other words, but because it is not strictly enforced and serves more as a guideline for proper conduct and an emergency valve for when things get too hot, it serves its purpose without completely curtailing discussions of the above mentioned subject matters, though it may significantly limit their scope and frequency.

Now be a good consumer and go buy some more flashlights. Try not to think too much. Support all the things. Obey. That is all.

Hi there! Thanks for the thoughtful question. I agree it’s a fine line.

I think it’s important to note that the second part of rule #3 is an extension of the general principle in the first part of it:
3. Please avoid controversial or divisive subjects such as religion and politics.

So it’s not really a question about whether some aspect of flashlights is technically political or not, but rather: Is a given topic likely to start and argument? As I always say, if an angry debate breaks out about whether 2+2 really equals 4, then the subject of arithmetic would be considered divisive and should be avoided. Keeping the peace is more important than imposing or defending a factual statement.

How to apply this in practice, such as when the topics that Hoop mentions inevitably come up? It’s still possible to mention necessary context without giving it a controversial twist. For example, instead of:

Simply remove the adjectives and inflammatory verbiage and state the necessary facts:

It used to be hyperboles weren’t really to be taken seriously, just a lot of noise. These days it passes for commentary, such extreme language leads to polarization, which limits debate.
It would be nice to read just the facts, and keeping it civil here is great.

I didn't vote for President Shmoe.

Thank you for clarifying the rule sb56637.

The controversial twist is morality, and also causality, the combination of the two being known as consequentialism, or “morality” for short.

To avoid breaking the rule:

Do not make declarative statements about any particular thing being right or wrong, ethical or unethical, moral or immoral, or state the causal factors pertaining to geopolitical or other circumstances.

Better to avoid adjectives entirely. (pronouns still ok)

This will ensure that BLF is and will continue to be a safe space, now and into agenda 2030.

It’s amazing how political statements get under people’s skin. It’s as if the person making them is punching someone in the face. It’s quite childish.

We can make arguments for making things political which is designed to get what those posters want, a political argument.
And since this forum is meant to be about flashlights i agree with SB, we can choose to keep politics out of it and thats the rule here.
Other forums are available for those who insist on arguing politics.

But many did vote for president Skroob :laughing:
On the plus side we all know the combination to his luggage :smiley:

Maybe the best way to avoid politics is not to actually post stuff about politics, instead of long posts about not to post about politics.

The rule isn’t a rule when it’s the same person over and over for years.


So no “Make Acebeam Great Again” hats nor “Black Lights Matter” shirts in the commercial section? :clown_face:

I am chagrined.

I am voting for the guy that thinks there are 54 states. He’s cool. He can most certainly get us out of this flashlight recession we are in. Free lights for everyone.