Re: 'Coming out' as a lefty

21st March 2015, 15:12

Originally Posted by Publiusaurus View Post
I'd be interested in reading other accounts of this kind of 'discrimination' happening (or not happening) from other lefties, as well as different methods of deflecting/dealing with this.
The last thing we need is to turn being a lefitst into a category of identity politics. My god, this is ridiculous! Those who push identity politics are now discriminated against too, but to recognize this "discrimination" requires one to have already been a "leftist". It's entirely paradoxical. Embrace the "discrimination". If you're not able to defend your views publicly, then keep them to yourself. There's nothing that entitles you to not be "discriminated" against for your views, people don't have a right to conceit. The underlying point is that being a Leftist isn't some kind of innate identity which we demand others tolerate. We shouldn't want to be leftists (as this entails a specific political identity confined by definite conditions), we should want to change the world.

The more flak you get, the better. What the hell would it mean to be a Communist if it didn't scare people? If, in any meaningful sense, Communists weren't discriminated against by the existing order, it would suggest that they aren't really threats to the existing order.
Originally Posted by Lily Briscoe View Post
Communism isn't a threat in the west in 2015, it's a joke, and communists aren't perceived as dangerous subversives but as nutty weirdos.
Something which doesn't presently exist (in the form of a mass movement) can't be a threat to anything, that is obvious. None the less the fact that it does threaten people, it does strike at certain political sensitivities beyond pretenses to "victimization" (A family of Russian emigres) means something. The fact that people are aversed to the idea of Communism, to the bone doesn't mean Communism is powerful, but that it could be - or in other words, that it strikes at the very edifice of the foundations of the existing order.

What are the problems people generally have with Nazis today? There is a growing trend, a pathology which posits that there would be nothing wrong with Hitler had the holocaust and the extermination of Slavs not occurred. Nazism, and racism only strikes at the core at the sentimental heart of the liberal because it makes them feel insecure, and uneasy about their own projected universe. It is a violent realization that the foundations of so-called anti-racism which is of course formally a pre-condition to be taken politically seriously, are very vulnerable. But the idea of violent social revolution, of destroying the existing order, the foundations of private property - this is more horrific to the Liberal for what it is than all of the Nazi atrocities combined. It's a problem of legitimacy - it's what differentiates looking at the barbarism and horror of Leopold II as a consequence of of the turbulent forces of life, and looking at Stalin's terror as the most grotesque, sickening intrusion upon the natural order of things - evil at its finest. Many bourgeois historians have a tendency even to look at the old Bolsheviks and the Red terror in an even more negative light than Stalinism, because it was more politically violent, more grotesque in that it represented the apocalyptic change rather than a protracted defense of that change.

The real joke is thinking that the aesthetic of Communism, that the creative re-organization of ruling ideology through the medium of Communist rhetoric, constitutes "Communism in 2015". Communism isn't a threat because it doesn't exist. At the same time, this very possibility of coming into existence is a threat, and remains one. The ghosts of our past heroes still haunt the world today, and you're a damned idiot if you don't see it.
Originally Posted by Emancipated Spirit View Post
Exactly. I feel like communists are way overestimating ourselves - no one's scared of us anymore. And as scary as it can feel to tell your family and people you know that your belief system is vastly different from theirs.
Okay, but what can Communism be if not the, as Marx put it, ruthless criticism of society today? What is Communism if not taking a side on precisely issues which are sensitive to the belief systems of others? Communism challenges the "belief" systems of others at every corner and at every which way. You can be gay and spare your parents the sacred right to property, loyalty to the nation, even of power in general. What is a mere flame to hell itself?

If you're not scaring people, you're not presenting them Communism for what it is. Of course, all vague pretenses to oppression are nonsense. We are Communists because we want to fight oppression, we aren't communists because we're already oppressed by merit of being Communists. If the root of oppression was being a Communist, the solution then follows that one renounce Communism.
Originally Posted by Lily Briscoe View Post
I'm sure you're absolutely terrifying to people everywhere, Rafiq.
Yes, well the difference is that I don't go about broadcasting my views to everyone, and in the rare event that I do - no, absolutely not I'm not going to be presenting Communism for what it is. How could you? You draw idiotic conclusions from my post, and then you have the audacity to arrogantly put yourself in a position to talk down to me? Like who the fuck are you to be embarrassed, Briscoe?
Originally Posted by Kill all the fetuses! View Post
Either this or I just don't get your point.
No, the point isn't that this is how it should be presented, but that's how it would irrevocably be presented if you were giving them the whole story. Being a Communist doesn't mean scaring people, but in an epoch devoid of a mass movement, people would be horrified at the idea of Communism for what it really is. So it follows that if you're not scaring people, you're not presenting Communism for what it really is. That doesn't mean that scaring people requires particular effort, but that as a consequence of presenting Communism for what it is, it would scare people. It isn't particularly useful to do this at all, and as far as I'm concerned, presenting people the ideas of Communism at the get-go is nonsense. It is important to speak a language which ordinary people can understand. Communism, holistically as a historic force is unfathomable to a person not already invested into it.