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Leaving Socialism

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fire Fly blogs about organizing and leaving the socialist movement:

…it’s always white men who lead these demonstrations, who are given the opportunity to speak, and who set the agendas.

These means of engaging can be really alienating for lots of people. Speaking at demonstrations involves loud, angry invective — talking at people, not to or with them. Inevitably they engage in every other conversation this way as well. Speaking to them is very one-sided (and that’s a criticism I’ve heard from people both within and outside the activist community), which makes it difficult to work with them or to get one’s priorities represented at organising meetings where the real decisions get made.

The reason they behave like this is because they get a sense of entitlement from their ideology. One of my interlocutors compared it to evangelical Christianity: aside from the need to evangelise (recruit), there’s also a single book/prophet (Marx, who has canonical interpreters), a teleological view of human history that will end in a single protracted moment where everything will be set right (in Christianity it’s the Second Coming, in socialism, it’s Revolution), inability to acknowledge any problems other than the ones they prescribe (e.g. patriarchy), and an inability to analyse with any other perspective (e.g. environmentalism).

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