Right wing experience: Walk past a right wing protest literally by coincidence, spoke to the demonstrators just for giggles. They wanted to give me a sign to hold, wanted to network. So I networked with them. They invited me to another few protests which I didn’t go to. I had some time and went to 1 of their protests. Afterwards they invited me to a house party and I went to that lol.

Leftwing experience #1: finally found a leftwing group, Which was rather difficult because my city is right wing. Extremely eager to go out and do praxis. My contact there got in touch with me via email. She didn’t want to progress from email to call or anything in person. When I asked about irl Praxis she said they didn’t need anybody right now (???). The back and forth emails felt like mostly a waste of time. She’d throw in the occasional low-key insults. Eventually revealed that singular they wanted to spend God knows how long “vetting” me before anything further would happen. This was happening at around the same time I met those right wing activists above.

That leftwing above wouldn’t allow me to network with anyone else in their org, extremely strong gate keeping. Judging from a few things she said, I’d only speak to someone in the same manner as her if I thought they were a murderer on the run.

Eventually i just gave up.

Leftwing experience #2: Different City. Networked with my local iww. Gave me the union training over zoom. I didn’t have money to pay for their dues, but told the organizer to invite me to protests they go to. Long story short, organizer said they wouldn’t invite me for any protests unless I put cash on the table.

In the 20 years I lived in that City, I never saw or heard anything about that iww. Pretty sure they never did anything besides closed door zoom meetings.

Tldr: the left wingers I met or either incompetent or douchebags.

It’s literally easier and faster to approach women for dating/sex stuff, at least in my experience, than get lefties to do something. in my country. I’m not a Chad or anything either.

My suggestions: Drop the gatekeeping bs, actually do shot that isn’t zoom meetings or reading books, drop the financial requirements. If the right wing icons didn’t spend so much time bashing minorities, I might have believed capitalism works.

Biggest problem with leftists is that they’re more busy fighting each other than they are getting anything done. And I say this as a 30-year leftist. The right-wingers are dangerous because they’re UNITED. The left could stand to learn a few things from them. Just one guy’s opinion, of course, and your mileage may vary…but that has been my overall experience.

krolden
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Its easy to unite around hate

Hate is motivating unfortunately

krolden
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Indeed

So you don’t hate capitalism?

krolden
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Yes but that hate isn’t for the sake of hate, it’s more to do with sympathy for all living things on this planet.

@BlackLotus
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Hatred of capitalism by itself doesn’t get you anywhere, though. Without a careful study of history and materialism, it’s not obvious that communism is the counter-force to overcome bourgeois democracy. And without overcoming bourgeois democracy, you get tepid ineffective social democracy or “democratic socialism” which isn’t real in that it doesn’t exist outside of a communist-led dictatorship of the proletariat.

Hatred of immigrants, minorities, etc. just encourages you to reinforce the status quo, which can be done by:

A) doing nothing

B) actively supporting Western police and military

C) Jan 6 style insurrections to bring about even more repressive regimes

Ultimately none of these change the underlying system other than to tweak the dial of violence.

Yes, yes, I’ve heard all of this many times before. It still does not change the fact that leftists in this country are a divided and disillusioned lot. We can’t get out of our own way long enough to get any real work done. At least that’s what I’ve seen for the most part over the last 30 years. There’s no real unity, which was my original point. And until there is, we’re all just spinning our wheels. Careful study and research is great, but is far too often a cowardly excuse for inaction.

@BlackLotus
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Yeah, I don’t really disagree with your overall point. I was just nitpicking at the idea that we could get a bunch of people together to unite under a shared hatred of capitalism. IMO unity will come and go, and we need to just keep spending our time organizing locally according to the material conditions surrounding us.

@chobeat
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Any organization that is incapable of including you in an online or offline social space in 5 minutes and give you something meaningful to do in 30 minutes is a dead organization.

Unfortunately it’s not enough to drop the gatekeeping because that gatekeeping is a result of years and years of cumulated trauma, bad praxis, dysfuncational organization, lack of self-awareness, performativism and/or sectarianism.

The American Right (I assume you’re American from how you write) doesn’t have all this weight: they are not afraid to go to jail because they completely remove it could happen to them. They are not afraid of infiltration. They are not afraid of having their organization devolve into something too similar to an adjacent ideological space (i.e. a heresy). They are free to experiment, to be flexible, to create new organizational forms and let information and people flow way more freely than on the left.

That said, there are plenty of spaces that have been rejecting this mentality for a while. Usually this goes along with rejecting any kind of leftist symbolism and identity in public, mostly to avoid cannibalism from the people you described but also to attract people that haven’t lived through decades of this shit and with the impulse to repeat those patterns. Keep your eyes open, because they are around you.

As a suggested read on this topic: Neither Vertical Nor Horizontal from Rodrigo Nunes.

@sascuach
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Any organization that is incapable of including you in an online or offline social space in 5 minutes and give you something meaningful to do in 30 minutes is a dead organization.

This is definitely going to be useful filtering criteria in the future! Thanks!

Cross posting to c/best of lemmy

Whenever I think about the DC January 6th House Party, I try to think of a single 'murikkkan leftist leader who could motivate people to invade the Congressional building and I always come up with bupkis. Say what you will about Trump, he can motivate a crowd to frenzy. Where is the American Chavez?

@sascuach
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I think the best we’ve had for some time was the black Panthers

My experience with the IWW has been similarly disappointing/underwhelming. Felt like a good ol’ boys club but for white leftist men who seemed to see the writing on the wall and basically just adapted in order to seem like they’re progressive when they really aren’t. I don’t have anything against white leftist men but when they clearly use their privilege to turn things like the IWW into a little club, it’s just so disappointing.

I also hate how a lot of these types of “activists” are so risk-averse when it’s so clear that this risk-aversion comes from living that good privileged life where they pretend to be down for real shit but when push comes to shove, they’re out here really saying shit like "woah hang on, we could get arrested for that" over the most low-risk activism that is so far from anything remotely extreme. Whenever I hear stuff like that, all I can think is “these people have no clue the risks BIPOC have to deal with just for living our lives”.

@sascuach
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Haha good point, everybody in that iww were caucasian. Gender ratio was all right

@MerchantsOfMisery
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That’s the thing, I think their idea of diversity involves including white women but not women of color and that in itself is another issue. It’s like when a company says they’re going to implement a diversity initiative because there’s too many white men at the top… and then they hire some blonde, blue-eyed white woman who just happens to be friends with the owners and call it

d i v e r s i t y

and we’re all meant to applaud that nonsense

@sascuach
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This is a great point you bring up. My right wing contacts seem much more likely to vote and weigh in to the world financially and sometimes politically (ex bringing up anti abortion shiza in public)

My African-American contacts often don’t vote. They usually more concerned basic survival needs compared to the right wingers (ex job loss = homeless but for my right winger contacts, job loss = have to delay vacation plans)

How does somebody recruit ethnic minorities that are 5th gen plus into a left-wing thing? (Ex African Americans. But not say Chinese immigrants - the 1st gen immigrants I know don’t vote, they usually focus on being, imo, bloody wealthy)

Lol, I didn’t even get that far. Got either ignored or into an argument as to whether China and the CPC is or isn’t communist just because I filled in that living in China and learning about Socialism with Chinese Characteristics was what introduced me to socialism. (not in the USA; applied to three)

Vetting isn’t the issue, but they’re supposed to provide you with the materials and the roadmap to joining. Not being a member of the party should preclude you from joining their open events and volunteering your time towards socialist causes.

Ironically enough I feel like intolerance is the left’s biggest problem.

You mean, like gatekeeping?

More left wing house parties. I just assumed I wasn’t getting invited :P

Not sure where you live but when I was was a conservative and living in the US south I tried to join a local right-wing militia. We had one meeting in the parking lot of a Walmart (lol) and then barely heard a peep after that for the rest of my time there. Then again, this was right before Trump galvanized the right in the US, so they may be more organized now.

@sascuach
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We had one meeting in the parking lot of a Walmart (lol)

also this has to be the most rightwing american militia thing i’ve ever heard in my life lol

@sascuach
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i live in a center-rightwing haven atm, but the in the past i was in a leftwing-leaning city

I respect the dedication you have to trial this for so long. The only significant left wing activism I experienced was back during the Hong Kong debacle in 2019 - Massive groups of Chinese going around campus, it was quite something to see

@sascuach
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I respect the dedication you have to trial this for so long

Hey thanks for that! I’m currently taking time off from trying to do left things and gonna just armchair Left it for a while. Gonna do the American thing and just focus on myself/a small social group.

Do you know whatever happened to that Chinese movement? Like they didn’t later decide to try to do something like lower international student fee tuition or whatnot? Since they were already a group, I would think that it would be easier for them to organize other beneficial things. Rather than if someone tries to establish a movement now, they don’t have a central body to pull participants from.

Not sure what happened to the Chinese group, think they’re still around but didn’t expand. The Hong Kong group dismantled after the National Security Law was passed

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