My first posting, a response to Michael Albert's blog on sustaining involvement in the left
By Lucas Hall at Mar 30, 2008
My name's Lucas, I'm from Australia and I've just joined Zcommuni(ty)cations. I've been a reader of Zmag for a couple of years, always having to pick it up at the local Borders, which I always found delightfully ironic, this paragon of the corporate state being the only place I could find that stocked a journal dedicated to it's dismemberment.
This is the first blog here I have read, and it uncannily is dealing with perhaps the main concern of mine in regards to the progressive movements in Australia. I am not a veteran activist from the '60s, I am 23, but I have been a member of enough organisations to have come to the conclusion that the revolutionary left wing groups here are close minded, ideologically driven, often anti-democratic -however much they may espouse the opposite-, and embroiled in their own petty power struggles.
This was very disheartening to me, and I spent some time pursuing a very individualistic activism, culture jamming, etc., as I felt that perhaps I was alone in these sentiments. Yet, it was during this time that I made friends and contacts with people who had very progressive, extremely diverse ideas, who felt much the same way as I - that the established groups contained a homogeneity of thought, debate that consisted of merely rehashing accepted ideas, and, if I may speak bluntly, people who appeared far more concerned with appearing as if they had all the answers than with keeping an open mind and constantly searching for new ideas and new possibilities.
A small group of friends and I have decided to start our own org, one built on the ideas of radical, participatory democracy, where all progressive ideas are welcome, where informed views are openly debated and dissent demanded of those who disagree with the groups decision's. More than that though, we mean to establish a new model of left-wing political activist org's, one that not only appeals to individuals desires to build a better world for tomorrow, but one that also aspires to create a better life for members today, a life where support, community, and, indeed, love are embodied in everything we do.
The forces of reaction and violence are today so strong, I believe stronger than they have ever been before. They are proud of who they are and declare loudly there commitment to the Right. We need to build a Left where the pride and joy that comes from "fighting the good fight" is not consumed and destroyed, but one where it is shared, rejoiced, and reinvigorated.
Yours sincerely, Lucas Hall