Instead of recruitment, try clandestine companionship — some anarchist probably
Boys only want love if it’s torture — Taylor Swift
I just need a girl who gon’ really understand — The Weeknd
Expanding upon Saturgnosis
Have you ever flirted with someone, or even dated them, not mainly because you wanted them, but because you knew being involved with them would be noticed and attract people more interesting to you? To make someone else jealous? Or be of some other use to you? Someone specific in mind? Or just people in general?
You know – stuff atrocious people do? You usually only become this way after having a mentor. And by mentor, I mean, tor-mentor, ie. someone who does it to you.
Is there a common thread between the manipulative callousness people show each other in romance, inter-Left competition, and inter-imperial rivalry? Is life just a chessboard? Are we using our emotions as the pieces, are they the thing we’re ultimately playing for, or both? Shouldn’t all these things at some point be abolished?
Capitalism continuously exploits our emotions and relationships as instruments. We ourselves have to put our emotions and relationships on the line, as part of our political work, in order to fight for a world where we will no longer have to, neither because we will have abolished the system that exploits our social being, and because we will have finished the struggle against that system.
Is this even really avoidable? We’re all sort of stuck in a John Mearsheimer offensive realism romantic-geopolitical situation where we have to be willing to do dirty things to get what we need, or we’ll never get what we need (though Lenin described this first in Imperialism). And once you admit this train of thought has even crossed your mind, how can anyone possibly trust you?
Or did you start flirting that way, and then shit, it turn into something completely else? Your feelings get involved? Ha, sucks for you. Or did you start with someone, and it was totally apolitical, and then somehow your political dramas seeped their way into what was your previously harmonious little love life?
Have you ever heard people complain that people flirt too much in political scenes? What if the entire perception is backwards? What if everyone’s getting played, and actually it’s all just networking with ulterior political motives? What if the small talk actually isn’t to pad you being hit on, but actually you being recruited? This is pretty standard practice for a lot of left sects. Just goes to show you how cultish the Left can be, in that it demands you invest your emotions and personality into your activism, even into attracting other people to the group, like asking a cashier to smile — and how artificial or genuine it is really depends on the validity of the politics.
Have you ever even inhabited this headspace – of seeing people as links in a connected chain of relationships, to be tactically worked through until you get to whoever you need to get to? Or a conversation with someone as something to hack, almost like trying to choose the best dialogue options that will get you where you want to be in a video game? It’s what the dark side of love and the dark side of power have in common: game.
Ultimately this wisdom is not sociopathic. To use it successfully requires a level of emotional engagement on your part which ultimately converts you into its own victim: it turns you into a romantic, and whatever goals you had become lost in the game.
(Unless you actually are one of those scary rare people who doesn’t feel what other people feel, and those do exist, in which case we should quarantine you in a facility to protect the rest of humanity.)
Before people get too hard on me, remember that seduction is not about getting people to do anything against their will, it’s about having an interaction with them that shows them who you are and thereby possibly transforms them and possibly their will, so you meet on middle ground.
Does having an image of being a careless flirt broadcast an aura of attraction? We want someone who cares about us, but find careless people hot. Maybe we’re all looking for a balance, someone who’s got a bit of both.
Are you creating that swarm of flirtation around you to get to a specific person you care about? Or because you really are an unattached heartless fuccboi/flirt? Or underneath all that armor are you actually just, in truth, vulnerable, and looking for love, with someone, not sure who, but hopefully at some point finding the right person? Or have you just fallen in love with the game itself? Or the moment you become conscious of that, is it too horrifically nihilistic and alienating? Isn’t the most romantic thing in the world, to thine own self be true? But don’t we, at some point, need to connect?
How much self-awareness do you put into the pacing of electronic communication?
Now things are getting meta. Now we’ll have to go out of our way to seem un-self-aware. Or maybe just self-aware enough that we’re not trying too hard to look like natural.
A new area of study has arisen called “social network theory,” indicated by the graphic above. By “social network” we don’t mean social media websites, but literally, any network of people. The rise of social media sites did, however, make researchers much more thoughtful and aware of social networks, and study them as detailed maps of specific one-to-one relationships, instead of as a vague concept of a vague community.
Most socialist groups believe it’s one of two things that are all-important in defining their identity:
- Their party line, ie their set of stances, usually thought of as somehow better than other groups’ stances
- Their specific type of movement work, usually thought of as somehow better than other groups’ movement work
Actually neither of these things may be the defining factor in their ability to recruit or retain members.
A study performed on the Freedom Riders showed that the determining factor in whether they stayed on the campaign or quit was not their level of political knowledgeability, but how many other people in the movement they knew. Making sure political knowledgeability is spread throughout the entire movement is important for other reasons (strategy/membership empowerment/movement democracy), but for the sole sake of keeping people in, it doesn’t seem to be the main thing.
The most vibrant, largest organizations of the German Socialist Party of the 2nd International were actually its cultural organizations — basically social clubs that did what seemed to be entirely apolitical activities. People connected. It was political. As any counter-insurgency manual would tell you, this is critical to building our own American insurgency.
Another way of expressing this, less focused on the map of relationships and more on the dynamic itself, is called relationship-centric organizing.
How much are your connections just chess pieces for your goals and your strategies? How much are you just truly in love with what you do, so much that you fall hopelessly in love with people who share it with you?
Is it even possible to distinguish Leftist political networking from flirting at all? Because flirting is such a vague, gray-area activity, virtually any interaction can be mistaken for it, and vice versa it’s possible to mistake literally any Platonic activity for flirting. This is especially the case in a scene where so many people are bisexual and have unconventional morals. My contention is that they actually are often the same activity, and also that flirting and dating are political, especially when you bring the relationship anarchy concept into the mix that everyone’s connection exists on a spectrum from acquaintance to relationship rather than a binary.
Flirting or no, the chemistry of human bonding is still present — but so is the map of relationships, and each side’s political agenda in the interaction, and whoever they might be using the person they’re talking to as a stepping-stone to get to.
Perhaps the most difficult, excruciating thing is to exist in the dead-center: to embrace the tension, to maintain your goals and stay true to sincere love or connection at the same time, knowing that this is real life, your relationships will be hopelessly caught up in political conflicts, and will be a constant source of strife.
Some people might be horrified by this. But for people who understand how incredibly important politics is, we’re in love with the game enough to be on the same page. We don’t feel played. We feel like teammates. And these conflicts aren’t a surprise. These are the struggles natural to our own existence, that we welcome as a fundamental part of our being. The game is our life too.
Like I said, I just need a girl who gon’ really understand.
And here’s the ultimate move in my own “game” — aren’t we all kind of tired of keeping score? Wouldn’t we all rather just connect? Wouldn’t we rather just be ourselves?
Living in the game gets to be too much. When you immerse your life in politics, all your personal relationships are on the Left, you’re surrounded by the conflicts. You begin to feel unnatural, exhausted, like you’d rather do something just for the sake of doing it, instead of for how it would advance your political goals.
Even here the meta is out of control. Isn’t such a “call for peace,” a request for a universal letting down of everyone’s guard, itself just the ultimate move in the game? Anyone who says “we should all stop being manipulative and just honestly work together and unite and get along” paradoxically just looks like they’re building their own political capital.
When all your personal, Platonic, romantic, careerist, and political ulterior agendas and interactions are wired together, can anyone trust a single move anyone makes? At some point we have to start acting naturally not because we actually trust anyone but because we’re literally just choked in so much deception that we might as well accept it’s become our virtual reality.
At this point it’s hard to even distinguish, we’re so lost in the blur between a spy who’s acting like they’re in love and a spy who accidentally actually falls in love. It’s sort of at the point where we’re both rolling the dice, forgetting about it, and hoping we remember who we were in the morning. Or maybe not caring anymore.
Asking everyone to get along is so pathetic, it might almost be a smarter move not to do it. It might actually let everyone’s guards down more to say Fuck World Peace, trust no one, keep your guards up, everyone is out to break your heart, left unity will never work, etc. etc. That would make people more comfortable. That would be more what people are used to. I know this kind of analysis of the Left reveals its full manipulative and competitive realities and invites deserved cynicism.
But we’re talking about really fundamental things here. Politics vs. Love is basically Power vs. Humanity, Profits vs. People, Conflict vs. Unity, Hierarchies vs. Relationships, except it is the particular part of the tension and contradiction we are forced to experience and manage as people actually trying to change the world instead of rulers trying to govern it. So the question is, do you think anything is worth trying at all, and I guess I’m enough of a fuccboi to look all that shit in the face and still shrug and say yes.