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Being a Leftist October 19, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a question, or actually, here’s a raft of questions. How do leftists manage in a capitalist world? Are there ways we can live, interact, organise that allow us to remain true to ourselves as well as progressing the projects we support?

Perhaps the flip side of this is to ask what is not being a leftist in this world?

And it seems to me there are many areas – perhaps all areas of life where this has a pertinence. In our social interactions, in economics and how we engage with the market and so on, in our activism.

Let’s put it a different way. What in our lives is similar to the way non-leftists live them. What is different? Are there areas where we can be more leftist?

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1. GW - October 19, 2017

It’s a matter of treading a fine line between permanent debilitating melancholia and rushing into every form of activism for the sake of it, however ineffective it may be.

One also needs as rich a life outside of explicit politics as possible.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 19, 2017

Very very true re life outside explicit politics.

Liked by 1 person

2. Tomboktu - October 19, 2017

Areas where we can be more leftist:
Join a union.
Shop in union houses.
Fly union airlines.
Use a union telephone, broadband or cable supplier.
Use a Fairphone.
Buy Fairtrade (until something better comes along).
Stay in a union hotel.
At the residents’ or work meeting, check yourself speaking: do you interrupt? If so, who?

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WorldbyStorm - October 19, 2017

Great, this is something I think is very handy.

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Michael Carley - October 19, 2017

Yes, bar the Fairphone. They’re badly designed and badly built and the ethical stance doesn’t extend as far as sorting out problems when they arise.

A month now and counting …

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2017

I’ve got to admit I’m not very happy with FP either, poor sound, lousy battery life, two batteries in and even with minimal usage I’m having to recharge far too often. That’s disappojntibg re support too.

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Michael Carley - October 20, 2017

I don’t mind taking a bit of a hit for being an early adopter, but if you’re going to call yourself “ethical”, that has to extend beyond saying pious things about your supply chain.

Also, part of the ethical position is that the phone is supposed to be built to last to reduce use of resources.

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2017

That last is what is driving me to distraction. I’m by any measure a minimal user, few calls a day, a small bit of browsing the internet some texts etc and really it should be much better energy wise. And if it us not that defeats the purpose of the exercise. I want to love it,particularly since I stepped outside the Apple ecosphere, but I can’t. We should set up a frustrated FP leftist users group!

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3. Aengus Millen - October 19, 2017

I try to occasionally bring it up with my friends especially when they casually say things about politics or capital and finance that betray conformist right-wing thinking. I get laughed off or ignored a fair amount of the time but I think it is our job as leftists to try to offer a perspective that is usually suppressed or outside the mainstream. as for daily life I do a fair amount of volunteering which ironically puts you with right-winger as often as not. I also tend not to be quite as obsessed as my friends with the latest video game or things like that still besides that I think that our lives are fairly similar to everyone else.

Liked by 1 person

4. fergal - October 19, 2017

second all of tomboktu’s stuff and add
– get an allotment
– get involved in your residents’ association
– avoid big business whenever possible-small shops-
– eat as little meat(or none) as possible
– get a fruit and veg coop/community supported farming going
– go to markets- fruit and veg, clothes etc- see two above
– cycle, use public transport as much as possible—-walk!!
– “bank” with the credit union
– be a decent human being- no point in having loads of principles but being a cnut as Roddy puts it!
-stand up for the underdog- in words and deeds- call out the bigots, racists etc
If capitalism restricts us in our choices and it does- the onus is on us to find, create alternative ways of doing and being- which are there but not always so visible

Liked by 1 person

5. alanmyler - October 20, 2017

Join a political party and contribute to the collective struggle as well as taking individual actions such as those listed already.

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2017

+1 or at a minimum get involved in political campaigns.

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - October 20, 2017

Or organise a website that runs for over 10 years which provided a shared space for political discussion in an era where it was very much needed. Or a website that catalogues political material from across the spectrum over the decades.

Liked by 6 people

WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2017

Cheers that is very good of you

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makedoanmend - October 20, 2017

Can’t do the “like” thingy: so +1 alanmyer.

Take a bow WBS (and, by the way, I always thought the WBS somehow seems so Irish – possibly free associating with Bernard Shaw or something.)

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GW - October 20, 2017

Or become part of a party-sceptical movement, or active in a trades union.

Think about the future and pop the possibility that it may / could be post-capitalist into discussion.

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EWI - October 20, 2017

The issue with ‘join a political party’ is that there’s none I like or find unproblematic, a problem which I think many people here share. And while I’m quite active in my union (IMPACT) at the local level, nationally they’re a horror story of takeover by middle-class liberal Labour types who hate socialism in any form other than dead socialists (and even Connolly and Larkin don’t get past that barrier most days).

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6. Michael Carley - October 20, 2017

Passed on by a friend who has seen this thread.

Equally, there is an element of lifestyle politics among some lefties – of wishing that everyone could be more like themselves. My big problem with “nudge” politics is that it assumes that rulers are rational and that the people are not – an assumption which is very questionable.

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2017/10/why-im-not-a-lefty.html

Liked by 1 person

7. Pasionario - October 20, 2017

“Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.” Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia

Liked by 2 people

sonofstan - October 20, 2017

‘People are, even now, better than their culture’ Ibid.

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8. Dermot O Connor - October 21, 2017

Orwell’s most depressing book isn’t 1984, it’s ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying’. Don’t read it in January. BUT, it does point at the problem mercilessly. The late Mike Ruppert paraphrased the passage below (or reinvented from first principle, I’m not sure) as “Until you change the way money works, you change nothing”.

“The mistake you make, don’t you see, is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money? You’re trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can’t. One’s got to change the system, or one changes nothing. One can’t put things right in a hole-and-corner way, if you take my meaning.”
― George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying

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9. sonofstan - October 23, 2017

As a leftist, I shun IKEA and furnish the white -hot ovens of my socialist kitchen with the following:

https://thecharnelhouse.org/2017/10/15/revolutionary-ceramics-and-textiles-ussr-1919-1931/

Liked by 1 person

Michael Carley - October 24, 2017

And shopping here, I trust:
http://www.workhouse-england.co.uk/

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