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Thread: "You'll grow out of it"

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    Default "You'll grow out of it"

    I've been wanting to ask this ever since I joined, but I never did for some reason.

    If you're a young leftist, you've probably heard this before -- that we don't understand the "real world," and that when we grow up and get out into this real world, we'll realize that radical leftism doesn't work, or something like that.

    And it's true, to some extent -- a lot of young leftists do later on turn away from that, and become "normal." But I contend that it isn't because they "realize" anything. But I've been trying to make sense of just what it is that does this.

    So, what is it that turns a freewheeling, marriage-rejecting, window-smashing, anti-capitalist anarchist eighteen year old into a suit-wearing, children-having, newspaper-reading thirty year old? I contend that it has to do with peer pressure and socialization -- for example, people who say they'll never have kids still have family and are interested in relationships, and people who subscribe to anti-capitalist ideas may be discouraged to express them if they get some sort of "real" job, or something.

    Any ideas?

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    Interesting , the media maybe ? If your surrounded by people who think Communism is "evil"?
    I am young left my self , but im determined not to change my beliefs

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    Well, your definition of the "window-smashing" anarchist tend to be not really convicted to the ideas of the left but instead say they are apart of the left to be "cool".
    "The exploited are not carriers of any positive project, be it even the classless society (which all too closely resembles the productive set up). Capital is their only community. They can only escape by destroying everything that makes them exploited...Capitalism has not created the conditions of its overcoming in communism-the famous bourgeoisie forging the arms of its own extinction-but of a world of horrors." -At Daggers Drawn

    "Our strategy is therefore the following: to establish and maintain a series of centers of desertion, or poles of secession, of rallying points. For runaways. For those who leave. A series of places where we can escape from the influence of a civilization that is headed for the abyss." -Tiqqun, Call

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    Adaptation to disagreeable enviornment.

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    Alot of anarchists tend to be anarchists for ethical/lifestyle reasons. It's just unpractical once you're past a certain age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X5N View Post
    So, what is it that turns a freewheeling, marriage-rejecting, window-smashing, anti-capitalist anarchist eighteen year old into a suit-wearing, children-having, newspaper-reading thirty year old?
    Natural develpment of things and a bourgeois backround.

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    A combination of all of these things. Capitalistic society is quite good at nailing you down and making you believe there's no alternative.
    The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession of victories of consciousness over blind forces — in nature, in society, in man himself.
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    Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.
    Leon Trotsky

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    Workers of the world, unite!
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    It's perhaps pertinent that most famous communists are usually pictured with white beards.

    As far as turning from socialism, I'm sure that there are lots of possible reasons, especially in a time like the 20th Century where socialism appeared to 'fail', there were World Wars and such to breed pessimistic 'realism', and the capitalist economy seemed in perfectly good condition until the late 60s. Peer pressure probably comes into it, but only because there were conditions which rendered the proponents of socialism seemingly unable to respond when challenged.

    In addition, these workers as much as any other would have probably ended up competing with others for good jobs, etc., which needless to say encourages capitalist 'realism' over notions of proletarian unity; this would have been a significant factor during the fairly long post-war boom, while it's less tempting in times of high unemployment like the present. Further, you also have to take into account the fact that many of these people would have learnt about leftism through popular distortions just as much as any conservative, so they may not have been entirely clear what they were putting forward and quite liable to change.

    Incidentally, has anyone else heard a teenager using the 'if you're under 19 and not a leftist, then you have no heart...' line to scold another teenager for their 'unrealistic' leftism? It's great.
    "Now I cannot accept authority and yet study it - that is impossible. To study the whole psychological structure of authority within oneself there must be freedom. And when we are studying, looking in that way, we are negating the whole structure; that very negation is the light of the mind that is free from authority."

    - Jiddu Krishnamurti.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti-Capitalist View Post
    Well, your definition of the "window-smashing" anarchist tend to be not really convicted to the ideas of the left but instead say they are apart of the left to be "cool".
    I was just using a bit of...flare? I wasn't being quite serious.

    But yes, some of the most radical young leftists aren't truly leftist at heart -- they still value the same things as any bourgeois member of society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X5N View Post
    So, what is it that turns a freewheeling, marriage-rejecting, window-smashing, anti-capitalist anarchist eighteen year old into a suit-wearing, children-having, newspaper-reading thirty year old?
    well part of the problem may be pro-revolutionaries viewing your two descriptions here as mutually exclusive. why can't a suit-wearing, children-having, newspaper-reading (like this is seriously a bad thing??) also be a marriage-rejecting window smashing anti capitalist anarchist?

    and anyway i think there are plenty of older pro-revs they just don't necessarily associate with the younger folks for a variety of reasons. i mean if nothing else i would feel like a creep getting loaded with a bunch of 18 year olds. i thiink as you get older you also tend to develop more nuance or cynicism in your ideas which isn't as appealing to the 'get it now!' younger crowd. but the more i am 'in the real world' the more i am firm in my convictions.
    'heavens above, how awful it is to live outside the law - one is always expecting what one rightly deserves.'
    petronius, the satyricon


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    Quote Originally Posted by bcbm View Post
    well part of the problem may be pro-revolutionaries viewing your two descriptions here as mutually exclusive. why can't a suit-wearing, children-having, newspaper-reading (like this is seriously a bad thing??) also be a marriage-rejecting window smashing anti capitalist anarchist?
    I wasn't being literal (which is what I should've said in my last post). I meant "what turns someone from a radical anticapitalist into a moderate bourgeois?"

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    i got that i am just saying i think a lot of people kind of hold that view. like if i showed up at an anarchist meeting in a sharp suit with some loafers and a briefcase i doubt the reception would be the same as if i was wearing all black american apparrel gear that was covered in dirt or whatever
    'heavens above, how awful it is to live outside the law - one is always expecting what one rightly deserves.'
    petronius, the satyricon

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcbm View Post
    i got that i am just saying i think a lot of people kind of hold that view. like if i showed up at an anarchist meeting in a sharp suit with some loafers and a briefcase i doubt the reception would be the same as if i was wearing all black american apparrel gear that was covered in dirt or whatever
    I do tend to be the sort of person who believes in challenging all elements of the ancien regime, but I've got nothing against those who behave in a way most would call normal. We'll never get anywhere if we only accept dregs like me.

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    yeah i think lots of pro-revs are like afraid of the idea that our ideas will have to be mainstream if we want to win or whatever. like joe six pack and his wife and kids and dog are gonna have to be down for the barricades too
    'heavens above, how awful it is to live outside the law - one is always expecting what one rightly deserves.'
    petronius, the satyricon

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    Keep the will strong

    Radical leftism can work

    Don't grow out of it - GROW IT COMRADE
    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare.

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    I wonder when they ll grow out of it.

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    People will use all sorts of excuses to not engage with the truth. The one you mentioned is a popular one.

    Actually "you'll grow out of it" is a popular debate-killer for anyone who is young, no matter what the topic. Its a particularly annoying one if you are young, but part of being young is having to deal with stuff like that.

    If its any consolation I was a leftist when I was a teen and Im a leftist now as an adult, I never wavered. If your grasp of the truth is strong, neither will you.
    Wir haben gelernt, dass Reden ohne Handeln unrecht ist. Und so was will Revolution machen!

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    In my experience, being active in the real world; that is, working, raising children, making "ends meet" etc. does a lot more to consolidate and foster communist convictions than living your life in a radical activist millieu, doing activism all the time.
    "Give me a place to stand, and I will sit on your face."
    - Trotsky in the opening speech to the third congress of the Fourth International.

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    Not many actual leftists ever grow out of it and that goes for all tendencies. Those who do usually are just confused teenagers looking for a place to fit in before eventually deciding it was all just teenage angst fueling their hatred of "the system". I would say many members here who actualy devote their time to leftism through organizing protests, learning about theory and practice, educating others, attempting to improve conditions for fellow workers in real life, ect. will not one day say "this was stupid" On the other hand those sitting in their bedrooms arguing with conservatives on YouTube and never actualy contributing to anything but their over-blown ego probably will.
    Last edited by Comrade Samuel; 14th April 2012 at 19:32.
    Comrade Samuel: The defender of truth, justice and the un-American way.

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    You'll grow out of it if you don't have a strong scientific base for your views. You will either dump Leftism, or (for better) mature into a Leftism much more realistic and possibly just as radical.

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