Living Red

Wake up to the smell of class struggle...I wanted to speak a bit on my choice of communism, and on what communism means to me, eventually winding back into how choosing to pursue the life of a revolutionary Marxist effects my day to day life.

I like to joke that I’ve been red all my life. I started off, as most young boys, following right in my father’s footsteps. My father is a gun-touting, misogynist, Social-Darwinist Republican. For much of the first half of my life, I chose to go with my father.  I think I was probably one of the most brainwashed misinformed little robots running around the playground, but the worst part was that I was being encouraged to think for myself. Essentially, I was told to think for myself, while being misinformed about all other view points. So it was like “believe how you like, as long as you believe what I believe.” I’ll always remember walking around the mall with my father and step-brother, and eventually stumbling onto the subject of politics, where I proclaimed to everyone the common cop out that, “sure communism sounds great in theory, but when it gets to practice, it just doesn’t work.” My step-brother agreed with me, but my father was shocked and appalled! “It doesn’t even make sense in theory? You have us [essentially the blue collar white people] workin’ hard and contributin’ as much to society as possible, then those lazy liberals, runnin’ off welfare [“lazy” brown people, who were also all here illegally and taking all our jobs, goddammit!] benefitin’ from all our [again, the white people] hard work!” Well of course, that makes perfect sense! My young brain certainly didn’t think that questioning authority might be virtuous, or doing my own personal research might have some kind of benefit. He’s an adult, he knows what he’s talking about, right?

I continued on this young republican path for a good chunk of time, but eventually I began to have questions that my father couldn’t answer, or I was just too terrified to answer myself. This was right about that time when we got a computer and I learned all about the wonders of the internet and, especially, Wikipedia. I devoured everything that they had on any sort of political theory, I read about Ancient Chinese political systems and small poorly developed economic theories that had never made their way into a textbook, and certainly not into the world at large, nothing could sate my voracious appetite. It went on like this for, literally, years, until I started finding things that were a bit further to the left of the typical politics I was used to, and this is where I simmered for some time. I began to describe myself as a Democrat, and I aligned myself based on American politics and American political issues. Pro-choice. Pro-gay marriage. Pro-welfare and social security.

I stayed in this kind of in between stage for quite some time as well. As I read more and acquainted myself with more and more political theory, I found myself drifting further and further to the left, even to the point where I found my “fellow” Democrats too conservative for me. This is also the point where I really began to develop my love of foreign languages, and, naturally, to learn a language, one must acquaint oneself with the culture at hand. This introduced me to European politics and, ultimately, socialism. Socialism, of course! This kind of statist, Euro-socialism finally met my full needs as the happy little leftist teenager I was. Along with this I was introduced to a world where environmentalism wasn’t just those hippies chaining themselves to trees, but to a place where it actually had a huge and, at some points, very powerful voice in the government.

It really took me a while to actually find Karl Marx. For European politics, it seems that socialism was represented by faces like Lionel Jospin and countries such as Denmark, while communism was associated with Karl Marx and the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, following the workings of the Socialist Party, especially in France, taught me a lot about their modern ideology, but actually very little about their roots. It actually took me until my sophomore year of high school (last year, if I have to remind anyone!) to be introduced to communism and Marx, by a friend of mine. I instantly felt my appetite settled, my hunger for an ideological home settled. The more I read from him, the more I felt that he was speaking to me. Although I may not agree with Marx on every single ideological point, I will always have a very very special place in my heart for him, for bringing me home. I began to familiarize myself with other modern communist and anarchist writers, such as my dear Emma Goldman, Lenin, Trotsky, Kropotkin (who I hear from a little birdy did the nasty with Emma Goldman. All I can say is YES, you go girl! Sexual revolution all the way!) and Proudhon among many many others.

Alright, I’m going to cut myself off right now. I think that there’s a lot more that I can say, but I’m going to just talk about my journey to where I am right now. I’ll add more later, but I think that monstrous long blog posts make readers sad and scared. 😛

Wake up and smell the class struggle

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Robbie McMorris on July 26, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    Ugh, I finally got around to posting on one of your blog entries. I don’t know why I’m so lazy, but eh, who cares. On to the point.
    Forever the agnostic I am, but I tend to find merit in all sorts of political and economic systems. Both Socialism and Capitalism have their merits and downfalls, as does Democracy, Communism, Theocracy, Monarchy, and whatever else you can think of. I don’t think you honestly have a clear winner in any sense. However, I have to add that it rather annoys me that people think that socialism and fascist dictatorships are forever intertwined(which they aren’t anyways, as not even the Soviet Union was truly socialist in it’s economic dealings, nor were they even true Communists, as they forced their “worker’s revolution” and kept the power in the hands of the intellectual few). In fact, the only way Socialism would really work is under a true democracy, under which everyone person gets a say. This, however, merits problems that all true democracies have in plagues, demagogues, intellectual misunderstandings, education barriers, etc. But, this is all highly irrelevant, as I just wanted to put my two-cents worth in at 2AM. Cheers anyways though.

    Reply

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