Valid Leftist™

Oh. You weren’t radicalized by reading theory? You mean to tell me that experiencing dire working class conditions such a looming threat of homelessness or medical bankruptcy is how you became “radicalized”?

I hereby declare you INVALID. You are no longer considered a “real leftist” by me, the authority on who is and isn’t a real leftist.

What the fuck? Do people actually say shit like this?

My first reaction reading this tweet was: HELL YEAH, YOU TELL ‘EM. PREACH SISTER. All righteous and shit.

The second was like, well, yeah that’s a super elitist thing to say, and like, a fundamental part of “being a leftist” is the general belief in egalitarianism, which is the exact opposite of elitism. So, something’s not adding up here. My last, and final reaction to this tweet, was

I mean, how can you call yourself a “leftist” and say shit like this? If you consider yourself a leftist, how can you take someone saying something like this to you to heart? Wouldn’t you just laugh at them? It would be like someone saying “oh you didn’t get your doctorate in leftist studies? Then you are not a VALID leftist! ˮ That shit is LAUGHABLY inept. It’s claiming to be an expert at something while simultaneously not understanding what that thing is. It’s friggin hilarious when you think about it.

A few people caught my drift…

But then someone replied to my tweet and said this:

Which at first I was like:

Spoiler alert: that’s competitive consumer behavior, not leftism! And fwiw, I have not read any Marxist theory either, comrade. Solidarity forever!

Maybe my comrade just needed a little empathy and encouragement.

But then the notifications began to flood in. This comment was getting liked over and over and over again.

What the… ?! What??? Is this person serious. Maybe it’s hyperbole. I mean it has to be, right? This person has been shamed on multiple occasions about not reading Marxist theory? And people are liking this because, i guess either they find it relatable, or maybe they just believe this is a realistic thing that has happened to this person?

I mean, if this is true… then what the fuck is going on? Are there really droves of people out there who are calling themselves “leftists” while behaving haughty and elitist towards WORKING CLASS PEOPLE?? Is this the world we live in now? Or did this person just tweet this because it feels good to have one of those juicy self-righteous indignation tweets? I mean, people love that kinda shit. They eat it up with a spoon.

So this could be one of two things, it’s either:

Self righteous indignation, someone who’s kinda writing something salacious, casting themselves as this victim of injustice, which, let’s be clear, brings in the engagement baby!

Or it’s true, and this person is getting hammered by people who call themselves leftists, for not having read Marxist theory because they are… busy working… because they are… working class.

I mean, I dunno about you, but just based on this small slice of behavior, this person doesn’t sound like a “leftist” to me. But, like, let’s talk about what that even means. What does that even mean to “be a leftist”. I’ll tell ya what, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a consumer identity.

We’re all just people. And people can have political views, and those views can be described as “leftist” or left-leaning. But that doesn’t make them “a leftist”. That’s just a shorter way of saying the more accurate description. The problem is that our culture incentivizes us to categorize every minute detail about ourselves, placing us into identity groups. We do this automatically. You don’t just play video games, you’re a “gamer”. You don’t just eat an exclusively plant-based diet, you’re a “vegan”. You don’t just fuck men, you’re a “fa****”.

You have a consumer-based identity, in fact you have many consumer based identities, you unique little snowflake! And by buying, watching, wearing, playing, listening to and yes, even READING the commodities associated with your consumer identity, you are reaffirming your place within that identity group! If you don’t continue to consume commodities based on your consumer identity, then the other group members may shame you, or even worse, eject you from the group.

This is liberalism. This is the justifying ideology of capitalism.

If someone is shaming you for not reading Marxist theory, then I’m not so sure they’ve actually read Marxist theory themselves. It sounds like they are just being dicks.

And you know what, there are a lot of dicks in the world. And they suck. But folks, we, the “leftists,” are the underdogs. And we can’t let these liberals… liberalism, bully us. Because we’ll never win. And we need to win.

If someone tries to revoke your leftist card, just remember how stupid that is. It’s liberalism. It’s the ideology that tells us we have to consume in order to be.

I mean, you do kinda have to consume to live. But basing your identity around that action so dang limiting. You are what you think, not what you buy, or play or listen to or read or eat. You are in here [points to brain]. And if you believe that every human being deserves the fruits of the labor of collective society, that everyone has basic human rights, like having a house or access to modern technology, then you’re leftist. No reading required.

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