from liberal to radicalized in roughshod steps: pt. 1

06/13/2011

Tired of the career-track, I quit my job mid-2008 to try to find some way out of capitalism. I travelled the West Coast, dumpster-dove, toiled in the garden, made all sorts of things from scratch, continued organizing with a grassroots advocacy group I had helped start, and was surprised to fall into my approximate dream job as a campaign organizer during the 2008 general elections with a statewide lobbying/advocacy NPO.

Did I say dream job? I meant nightmare. All my worst fears about electoral politics were realized: the game really is about money, power, and thinly veiled threats, chess played by rich powerful white men of a certain age. Don’t get me wrong, my boss was incredibly impassioned about our goals, but the means by which we were forced to achieve them (or attempt to achieve them) were GROSS, and the compromises we made were grievous and many. Nowhere was this more striking when we were forced to endorse the local fatcat mayoral incumbent over his squeaky wheel challenger because the incumbent had more $$, and was therefore considered ‘more electable.’ Greased pockets and constant contact aside, the squeaky wheel challenger made it through by popular vote.

I made it through the election season by a similarly narrow margin. Electoral politics disgusted me, and I burned out and faded away from liberal organizing. The work I had been doing with the NPO really only stood to benefit an upper privileged crust of the population, anyways. Everyone else might receive some fringe benefit, but I doubted (and still doubt) that such an intensely capitalist system stood to benefit anyone else in a particularly meaningful way.

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One Response to “from liberal to radicalized in roughshod steps: pt. 1”

  1. […] come from an island of liberal politicks and white privilege, it sure is interesting to be ‘waking up’. Some days I feel late to the party, others […]

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