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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Guilt the Socialists

I met three socialists selling "radical" literature in front of Starbucks, proselytizing to passersby. I didn't intend to get in a conversation with them, but I was perusing their books on a stand and before I knew it I was being interrogated by them about what I think is wrong with the world. It really cuts to the heart of the matter when you ask them what they have done for the exploited recently. The answer is almost always nothing. If you walk the walk, challenge them to act on their beliefs and dare to create the society they want from the bottom up, rather than futilely lobby for dictatorial top-down solutions. Federalism and local, concrete charity/mutualist-centered are their best chance to effectively change society in fundamental ways. They seemed to take this sourly, but it's good medicine. They can either be hypocrites and profit (socially or otherwise) from their ideological street fairs or get their hands dirty, maybe make a more efficient factory or create mutual insurance societies. There's not much they can usually say about walking the walk.

Not that socialists are that serious in and of themselves - churches and women's clubs tend to do much more and with more coherent, family-centered values; but socialists are in an important sense the base of modern leftist movement in their radical vision for society and especially in their vivid perception of certain very real problems. I suggest that the goal might be a sort of Paul/Kucinich sort of ticket. Socialist federalism. Or that's what we tell the leftists on the brochure anyway.

1 comment:

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