To sum it up, me getting kicked out of Philly Socialists is pretty much just the in-person socialist group version of the Sounds Liberal But OK original facebook group drama. As in, it’s people stretching and flipping out over technicalities and having personal beefs to the point of it completely destroying the ability of politics to operate.
In the 2017 Left it’s pretty easy to take ordinary interactions and twist them into any type of condemnation you want.
There was a small group of people near the core whose conception of radical politics was to hunt for the most infinitesimal behavioral infractions which are so small as to not actually be infractions and describe them in the most overexaggerated, vague horrific language as to make them sound like atrocities, and who exert strong group confirmation bias on each other to detach themselves from any reality checks that they might be being ridiculous.
Against the backdrop of me giving people a real political reason to find fault with me, they were able to generate a million perceived problems with my behavior.
When a closed group of friends at the top of an organization has created a collective belief that you are a Problem Person, even if they do it over infractions so small as to not actually be infractions, it will be a belief that’s impossible to unseat among those people – because no one wants to socially risk being the one to say they made a mistake in mislabeling the Problem Person, and be excluded, and then the collective belief of this closed group at the top seems very convincing to the rest of the people at the bottom of the group.
The problem that people have to realize is that when things can get this vague, any infractions can be generated from nowhere, any authoritarian sect or tendency can dispose of anyone they don’t like for any reason, combing repression and co-optation to the more pliable elements to sell an image of reasonableness. And we can’t be naive enough to think that the world isn’t full of bad people and they won’t do this, or that people won’t just do it without even realizing they’re doing it.
Their cognitive dissonance over getting rid of me, and the weakness of the justifications for doing so, are so over the top, that the way they talk about me, it seems like they have doubled down and instilled in themselves a belief in that if I am even in the same protest space as them there is some serious danger that I am going to randomly assault them. Believing this certainly makes condemning me easier, but if they were honest with themselves, they’d realize it’s their need to believe it driving their belief, and not an actual cause for belief. I think this idea that I would touch them is a total misunderstanding of how I feel about them. The way they have treated me makes me completely sick. I don’t want physical contact with them. I don’t want to be near physically near them. If I’m near them it’s either in random passing, at a safe distance for brief morbid-curious-if-masochistic observation of their public political activities, or by random chance. It makes me queasy to even look at them, let alone getting them on me.
Like what if I told you that this literally had nothing to do with sexual harassment, and these people just don’t like me and don’t want me around, and need some way to interpret this to themselves? And especially in one person’ case, that she’s just a really immature person who hates me, and wants to start shit with me wherever she can, enjoys torturing me, and wants to twist every weapon and technicality in her arsenal against me? Are there really not people in the world who would stretch any opportunity to pounce on someone?
This is sadly within the boundaries of believability given the absurdities we see on the online Left, and now it is leaking into in person. We see the ridiculous lengths to which identity politics technicalities, constantly eating themselves, go all the time. The Sounds Liberal But OK fb group implosion is the biggest example. What’s going on in Philly Socialists is literally just the in-person socialist group version of that.
The substance of the conflicts I had/grievances probably made against me (I can’t really know, they never told me the specifics, they never asked me my side during the internal arbiter proceedings, they just expelled me) include explicitly expressed political conflicts with male leaders, and also political conflicts with women leaders who instead often expressed their objections to my arguments in gendered terms. One was an argument about trying to get access to the member contact list to campaign for chair. Another was texting a West Philly branch leader inviting her to a feminist zine launch party to try to recruit women to fix the branch’s gender balance. One time I offered to buy someone a drink, this was a political meeting literally at a bar, after the meeting. Another time I tried to get a woman to drink some liquor with me that she herself had egged me on to buy/bring to the party in the first place. She didn’t; that’s life.
All of these I will cover in more detail in the full version, and a little of the drama with one ex-comrade got a little deeper which I definitely feel no need to shrink from covering in more depth in the full version. In fact I have all of that already written in full, I’m completely comfortable addressing everything in detail and to be honest it will be the other side and not me who comes out looking completely horrendous when I spell out the full stories. I’ve already given people a lot to chew on here, so I’m just going to let people process the political context first, which is honestly the truth of the matter anyway, and release all this in stages.
The individual in question has a history of making extreme accusations of being badly victimized while in reality committing abusive behavior herself and being completely unaware or incapable of seeing it, or not caring and exploiting the system of accusations. If she is asking me to remove myself from politics she must be consistent and remove herself permanently and instead channel her energies into not being a source of damage to other people.
But for the most part it’s all this type of trifling stuff. Against all this the Left could use a healthy dose of the Roman legal precept De minimis non curat lex: the law does not care for trifles.