My Leftist Ideology (A Quick Thought)

You know, I’m pretty far left, but I despise the perverse machinations of the state. Most leftists I know feel the same, this idea that the state should only have so much power, if any, and the rest should be held by the people. Traditional Libertarianism gets some of it right in how people should be able to live their lives free from the tyranny of an oppressive state.

A key difference is that my flavor of freedom, anarcho-communism, also believes that hierarchies cause suffering because they build caste systems, where if you’re born rich, you’ll likely stay rich as long as you don’t decide to do something incredibly ruinous (and even then there are safeties in place to return some of your money to you). Conversely, if you’re poor you’re likely to stay poor unless outside forces allow “advancement” up the ladder, and no amount of work will open up a higher level of access. Where Libertarianism is founded upon the principle that a free market gives greater freedom to people, Anarcho-communists (or anarchists, really) believe that capitalism is inherently unequal, and that the end result is a concentration of wealth to the few, and poverty for the many.

Contrary to popular belief, anarchists aren’t all about wild abandon and a society of mob rule. The idea behind anarchy is that every person has a vote, has a voice. There is no hierarchy, but there is a lateral form of governance, where people form councils and co-ops, and everyone is involved on some level, so that no one is given short shrift. It’s supposed to be a utopian society, because it requires humans to look out for the interests of not only themselves but others. The problem with utopian societies is that all it takes is a few truly determined assholes to gum up the works. It can also be influenced from the outside, especially right now. Several anarchist societies have tried to form, with Revolutionary Catalonia in the 1930s being the best example, and for a few years it worked, but the problem with being a society of equity surrounded by unequal societies that wish to consolidate power is that you better have the offensive and defensive capability to back it up, and they didn’t, and so after a short 3 years, Revolutionary Catalonia was no more (George Orwell lamented its loss as he was an avid believer in its goals).

So while I am an optimist, and a believer that some day humanity will be able to have a society free of poverty and inequality, I also know that today isn’t that day, nor will it likely happen in my lifetime, but I can still hope for it and work towards it. In the meantime, there are nice big steps we can take to alleviate the most glaring forms of poverty and inequality now. This idea that leftists want an oppressive nanny state, though, it’s just scaremongering. Socialism isn’t evil, and while it’s not the end goal I’d like to see for human society, it is a big step in the right direction, where humans stop focusing on capital centered markets, and focus on human centered needs. As it stands now, money is more important than people, and that needs to stop, because what I mentioned earlier, most of the wealth being concentrated into the hands of a few while the rest live in poverty, that’s where we are now, and that sure as shit isn’t a leftist policy making that happen.

I’m a member of the DSA and the IWW, and I’m tired of poor people getting fucked over, their meager wealth being funneled upwards into the hands of people who simply take the fruits of that labor and squander it on themselves, making sure policy always works in their favor, always works out to leave them alone in whatever it does, and they’re just shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, making it seem as if progress is being made while the engineers drown as they keep the lights on. I want that to end. THAT is my leftist ideology.

Early To Rise

I can’t sleep. It’s 8 AM now, about an hour before I usually get up and get everything ready for the day, but I’ve been up and back to bed several times now over the course of this night. Just a lot of things weighing on my mind.

I love people, but there are many times where I don’t understand them. I think about war, and poverty, mostly. If we’re not starving one another we’re killing one another, and all so a few people at the top make a profit. That’s what it’s all really about: you and I, along with the people we love, getting shuffled about like pieces on a game board so that a few already well-to-dos can pocket a little more cash.

Our lives mean little to them, these supposed masters of our fate, but so many people accept the slave mentality they sell to us. We’re not human beings, we’re human resources. We’re the grist for the mill, and we also turn the levers. We are the power, but we’re rendered powerless because they get into our heads and convince us that without them and their machinery, we’d be nothing.

That’s not all that’s keeping me awake today. I think I’m just tired. Sounds kind of odd for some, but I know there are those of you who know exactly what I’m saying. It’s the kind of tired that sleep doesn’t fix. It’s a tiredness of the soul, regardless of whether you believe the soul is real or not, it’s the mental and emotional exhaustion of being in this system. It’s demoralizing, and frustrating.

We’re only a week into the new year, and people are being murdered, vengeance between countries is being declared, continents are burning, and the part of my heart that fights to maintain hope takes a breath and tries to hold on a little longer.

I try to have a little faith in myself. I know who I am, and I know what I believe. I am consistent in so many ways, and I don’t think some people understand that. They see where new information is processed and assume I cannot hold a position, or that I don’t know what I’m talking about, despite my efforts to always hold accuracy and veracity above intention and bias. I’m biased, but I will always be biased for the right reasons.

I don’t like negative spaces, because it’s easy to be less charitable to people in negative spaces. Two people make the same statement, one is seen as intelligent and reasonable, the other as a fool who happens to parrot things they don’t understand. So I don’t quite understand people at times because of how charitable they are or aren’t with people, regardless of what those people are saying.

In other words, even if you’re right, they might still think you a fool, because they expect it of you. It is more comfortable they assume you to be a fool than to consider what you have to say might hold merit, or maybe they just don’t like you. Who knows?

When I’m not working, I’m observing people. I listen to their words, I watch their actions, like how their eyes move, how their hands fidget, the restlessness in their body language. That’s more difficult with paragraphs and text on a screen, but it can still be done, and so there are many times I think I make people uncomfortable, either because of what I say, or because of what I represent, and the latter is something I cannot fathom deeper than my suspicions, because it’s very easy to lie about one’s self and one’s motives on the internet.

It’s closing in on 9 AM now, so I need to get dressed and ready to start the events of the day. I wish you the peace and rest I can’t seem to find today.

Amaris

Am I Communicating Effectively?

I ask this question of myself a lot. There are many times, mostly on message boards, where I will state something in as clear and plain a language as I can, and I inadvertently make someone upset. I ask them what I did, and they get even more upset. I clarify my statement, and it only seems to confuse and anger them more, and then they start drawing conclusions about my intent that I do not have. Then the insults start flying, and before I know it, the entire discussion is burned to the ground, and everyone is angry.

I cannot figure out what is going on. I assume it’s myself, that somewhere I am missing a link in my method of communication. I have had a long history of people not understanding what I’m trying to say, even if to me it’s as clear as crystal. I will often repeat back what they say to me, and they tell me I completely missed it, and then again the insults start, I get called dumb and lacking in understanding, and yet I am doing my best to grasp what they’re trying to convey.

I think in pictures. I link pictures with concepts, and convert it into my primary spoken and written language, which for me is English. I think that’s how most people do it, isn’t it? I see big pictures by following trends, and to grasp smaller concepts I draw on personal experience and share it outward. Then I take the feedback and add it to my own experience, and use it to modify my understanding. That’s how we learn, isn’t it?

When I plead for someone to listen, when I share a belief or idea with passion, I am told I am up on a high horse, or that I’m just pretending to care. It’s as if the idea of my genuinely caring for an issue (I care for a great many issues, I am cursed with much empathy) isn’t genuine. I already suffer from Imposter Syndrome, so believe me when I say that I triple check whether or not I truly am invested in something before I ever tell anyone else.

So where is the missing link? Let me give you an example of what I’m trying to understand:

A friend of mine and I were discussing medication exports from Canada to the United States. I expressed a desire for Canada to allow that export until we could fix the problem of representation (as in, our President is a jackass who needs ousted on Election Day), because there are people who buy from Canada because medication is too expensive in the U.S., and they can’t afford it otherwise.

My friend responded that Canada should block exports because some medications are in low supply and they need them for Canadians first. I replied that blockading only punishes innocent people. He disagreed, and told me that he has to think of Canada first, and that the U.S. could fuck off.

I got snippy and said that I understood he just wanted Canada First and U.S. citizens could “fuck off and die.” Yeah, it was much more bellicose coming from me, but the sentiment was the same. I told him what he told me, just in more coarse language.

That made him mad, as if I misrepresented him, but I didn’t. I took what he said in several paragraphs, and condensed it into a single sentiment. I told him I would prefer if the U.S. and Canada shared medications. We have lots of medicine of which they carry in short supply, and they have medicines made cheaper and easier for us to access. It would be a system of mutual aid.

He replied that it was a fantasy, and mocked me for even thinking it was possible. I explained that the U.S. and Canada had been trading partners economically and cultural for a very long time, that we were very close, and that it’s something that could be done. He repeated with a “fuck the U.S.” (his words) and doubled down on his statement.

From there it broke down. There was a third party, and he egged on the idea that I was full of it, and being sanctimonious, as if I genuinely didn’t care about the people in need. He said I was masquerading selfishness as altruism, which again is not true, and I said as much. I was told by my friend that I was wrong, and this third party was right.

Now, if any of you know me, you know I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. As an INFP, it is critical that I share information openly and honestly. It’s a part of every fiber in my being that information which could be used to help someone, and save lives, is to be freely given in as urgent and straightforward a manner as possible.

So when someone tells me I’m lying, or that I’m putting on airs, it strikes that chord which runs through my Imposter Syndrome, and I get upset. So the insults start flying again, and the whole discussion goes to hell.

This happens far more often than I like, and every time I ask questions, when I ask for clarification, I only seem to make people angrier, like I should be grasping something that they can see but I can’t. It is frustrating, and no matter what I do, I get this reputation for being out of touch, in a fantasy world, that I don’t know how things work, and it makes me feel like these people aren’t my friends, that they really seek only to hurt me for their enjoyment. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but there was a time when I could speak and people would listen. Now I speak and they scoff, but my passion, my desire for kindness, empathy, love and compassion hasn’t changed.

Maybe I’ve been there too long, because the last time people listened to me and agreed wholeheartedly was easily a decade ago. Most of the people I know there have moved on, and what’s left are people who seem far more cynical and moderate. By moderate I mean any direction which moves outside of “balance” is seen as disruptive and extremist.

I understand that as an anarcho-communist (which always gets a roll of the eyes from many of them when I mention it as they ask me just what I would do) there is a stigma or either riotous chaos, or gulags in Siberia, and neither is true, but when I explain myself I’m dismissed as if I’m a child, incapable of understanding the suffering I’ve experienced. I’m not in any danger, they say, I’m being over dramatic. I’m being silly. I’m being slow witted and stupid. I’m naive.

For all of the times I’ve apologized for mistakes (and I have done so many times), people seem to think I’m egotistical, on some kind of high horse where I look down on others when the truth is I see myself as lesser than they are and have said as much.

When I beg them to look at the suffering others are facing right now and that we need to change, they tell me I’m being reactionary. When I offer ideas to how we might find ways to improve people’s lives, I’m told I live in a fantasy world, or mocked and given titles like “Saint Jon Jon” when I don’t believe I’m any kind of saint. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND where they get these ideas that I think of myself as some kind of saint or that I’m perfect. I’m suicidal for crying out loud, I’m not damned saint.

I worry because I rely on history to act as context for what I’m discussing. If people forget history, then they lose the reference point of what I’m saying. I have a long history of admitting when I’m wrong, of apologizing if I made a mistake, but I’m the one with the ego? The one who thinks they’re always right? How has that come to pass when I often admit incomplete knowledge and ask for illumination? I say this because those get dismissed, too!

Is there a filter I’m not seeing? What is going on? What am I missing? I don’t understand it. I am honest, straightforward, earnest, and I believe everything I’m saying. It’s never for points, it’s to encourage people to do the same. What has happened? I swear I feel like Cassandra, doomed to walk the earth speaking truths and prophecies, and no one will believe me.

If anyone out there has any idea, I am all ears.

This Is How It All Begins

The New Colossus
BY EMMA LAZARUS

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

#ThisIsVirtue

We have concentration camps in the United States. We fill them with children, and we let them go hungry. We let them get sick. We let them die.

Then, to satisfy a lying fool who sits in the White House, we fund them, with few oversights, and say we did what we could.

We are moral failures.

The hashtag you see above, #ThisIsVirtue, is a social media movement started to make people aware of what is happening right now under their very noses. You ever wonder how Germans allowed Jews, Romani, homosexuals, the disabled, and so many more innocents to be slaughtered behind closed doors in a ghastly and efficient manner? This is how it started. This is how it all began.

You have a chance to do something about it. Write your congressman and tell them they have failed. Tell them that until they demand those children are removed from the concentration camps in which they have been placed, until they have been given clean, safe shelter, food, water, and medical care until their families are found, then we are all moral failures. We have all sinned against humanity.

-Amaris