Fetishized Absurdism and Auto-Marginalized Oblivion

By Seven Raspberries
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Carrying on from “Sun Tzu and the Bar Fight”…The left has fallen victim to a fetishized absurdism that is running itself into auto-marginalized oblivion.

The Left and particularly the anarchist Left in the US is losing incredible momentum following the presidential elections. We should focus on what Sanders’ resounding popularity meant, mass support for a new direction in US politics, a mass movement rejecting corporate rule, rejecting a corrupt government by and for a ruling elite. Whether this is what Sanders would have delivered is no matter, it is what his mass of followers believed in and supported. No one trusts the government, no one trusts corporations.

With the Sanders loss, the Left can take advantage of this vast disenfranchisement, the marginalization that has been hurled upon his supporters. We can use this as a rallying cry to seek vast change outside of the electoral system. We can point to the corruption and electoral rigging as a tool to further a mass movement. We can organize and facilitate the same sentiments which lead to Sanders’ popularity.

Some anarchists are falling into a trap. We are alienating Sanders supporters instead of finding allies where we have tens of millions. We have hurled ourselves into a fetishized conception of radicalism, not a conception of revolution, of winnable revolution, but a fetishized version of radicalism. As if the goal was to posture appearances of where we stand to our “radical” friends, instead of galvanizing and organizing a real substantive revolution. There are examples of this going on, of substantive resistance, communities organizing to protect immigrants, coming together into non-hierarchical decision making bodies, but we need more.
It is still not too late, but we will need to break from the mindless herd, a herd mentality that is frighteningly close to what one might imagine counter-revolutionary forces would hope for.