Learn How To Speak
There is a technique to using words in the office, I used to be an advocate of 'say it as it is after all you are right'... nah, that doesn't pay you, as a matter of fact it could take pay outta your pocket. Choose who you confide in very carefully, and do not make comments about other work colleagues, about your company, about your BOSS except the person you are talking to has a lot more to lose if it gets to the wrong ears. Don't you know that the only way some people can rise is by pulling others down? Don't let your loose lips sink you. Keep your words few
You Can't Change The System
Oh dear, you really can't. Except you knock it down, and rebuild it which I must say isn't why you were hired. By all means add value to where ever you find yourself , give the best you can to influence your work circle positively...but you must shake off that idea that you can change the system, one person cannot change the system, it is not possible and it is not necessary. What you can do is leave the system when it begins to tamper with your values and self esteem.
This is the part where you need to exercise patience...when you've played the game thus far, and played it well, take a sit and watch things unfold. You can't be seen to be too eager, desperation is suspicious. Exercise patience and control yourself, just wait. Its a virtue
I'm not saying quit your job, all i'm saying is that there is an exit door. The beauty about this whole thing is knowing that there are other places to work. Lesser places, better places, either ways you can always leave. When you begin to compromise your values (corporately) for a paycheck, very soon you will lose your voice. Before it gets there, always know that you can walk out.
But what if you don't want to play? What if you just want to do your job well, keep your head above water and just stay away from the shenanigans? Well like I said in the first part, that kind of behaviour will only make you a victim of war.
Office politics are inevitable, learn to adapt and manipulate