As the saying goes “A roaring lion kills no game”. What a true statement that is.
I could sit here and paraphrase the views of more intelligent and prominent thinkers. But by now anyone who knows me knows I’m not going to do that. What good would that do anyway?
It baffles me that so many people demand change of the world, but are unwilling to change their own lives and living situations. I’m talking about some of my fellow leftists here. Are we all not part of the world? How can the world then change so drastically if we don’t drastically change our day to day activities? I do believe that socialism starts in the mind but I don’t think it should end there.
Ideas of cooperative living and working are seen as ‘crazy’ or ‘unrealistic’ to many of the leftists I’ve met. The main criticism I’ve heard for both communes and work co-ops is that: you can’t have a pocket of socialism in a world of capitalism. Technically this is true of course, but not only that, it’s also quite convenient. So if I have it right, no changes matter until the entire world changes. It’s all or nothing, so let’s do nothing until everyone on the planet agrees with us- What a useless philosophy.
That’s not to say that cooperative situations don’t have their share of problems. From what I’ve heard power struggles can arise or certain people within the group may try to take over. So it turns out communes aren’t little utopias; who’d have thought? Another issue with communes and Co-ops is that they don’t directly fight social or economic injustice, by virtue of their existence alone. This is curious because mainstream living is, in some ways, counterproductive to leftist’s social justice and liberation goals. So if mainstream living doesn’t get in the way of activism or resistance, then why would cooperative living?
Needless to say I don’t think some people want the world they advocate for, or at least some are afraid of taking that step away from the familiar world they currently live in. I understand that fear, I share that fear. What I fear more is being old and poor, or sick and poor. It would be foolish to jump into a situation without thinking it through. Unfortunately this common sense is often used as an excuse for people to remain where they are.
It’s said that we need a culture of resistance; well then Why not resist the current culture. As it is now, we still have the freedom to cooperate financially. We are allowed to share resources. We can resist capitalist culture by living as socialistically as we can with what we can. No, it won’t be complete, and it won’t be global, but it will be a start. I personally think it would be a far better start than chanting empty slogans.
It’s time to try and build something, even if it isn’t perfect at first. Even if yuppies or hipsters don’t find it trendy it’s about time someone got their hands dirty.
It’s time for me to get up and do something, how about you?