These days I’ve been getting into this idea that many of the existing socialist groups have a method of operation which is inherently hostile to the human organism. It’s just too much for anyone to handle. I’ve come to view building a socialist group as something more like gardening, where yes you try to increase the number of plants in your garden and get them to grow, but you also take very good care of them. I call this the human infrastructure of the movement, or when I feel like being less brief, the “bio-psychological-physical-economic infrastructure of a movement.” Because humans do have all those different needs specifically, to function at the optimal level which helps them build socialist organization.
Of course it’s true that when people’s needs are denied, it’s often capitalism’s fault and not something we can immediately do much about. But the thing we can do is respect how much pressure people are already under, respect their boundaries, not overtax them any further, and actually even make organizing friendly and fun (which kind of requires putting aside the constant bickering over party line).
I started this blog because I realized my life had taken a turn way too far toward the analytical side of life and too far away from the impulsive, emotional side. I’ve come to view my unconscious, intuitive self as extremely intelligent, in fact probably much more intelligent than my analytic brain. So these days I trust my gut more and more than ever. It’s sort of being like a mystic, and actually I think this kind of instinctual attention to truth and meaning is the basis of what most religions are attempting (and failing).
So the real reason I hate party lines?
It’s just too much mental energy to remember all that shit. An excerpt from a recent email exchange where someone just asked me to join one of the party line tendencies:
not trying to start an argument but these days I’m just not very interested in joining any tendency. It takes too much mental effort to remember all the positions I’m supposed to support. Remembering all that stuff requires so much focus that I end up forgetting to focus on important things like figuring out my life.
It sounds like a total slacker argument, but are most people any different? Or am I just giving defined articulation to what most socialists already instinctually feel? Let alone the fully-developed socialists who have already scarred their minds with an opinion on everything — how about the many new socialists who are just coming to that identity? I think having so many damned obligations to hold certain opinions just seems repulsive to them at a gut level.
Recently I was in a conversation where a socialist group was talking about how it was opening up its decision-making meetings to be more democratic and open. Someone in the car said “Do I have to show up in person? Can I just tele-conference in?”
At first his idea was met with scoffing. It seems a bit hard to handle technically for a group with little resources, as most socialist groups are. But you know, the world is changing. Maybe soon that kind of thing will be practical.
And with all the shit capitalism puts you through, maybe it makes sense not to force people to physically slog out to a meeting, and to just let people stay in bed with their laptop.