Left Coast Media

Left Coast Bookworms - 001 Podcast in the Dark

February 17, 2018 Left Coast Media
Left Coast Media
Left Coast Bookworms - 001 Podcast in the Dark
Show Notes Transcript
The first of our book club series! This episode discusses Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark and is hosted by comrades Communal Sauce (twitter.com/communalsauce) Outer Siberia (twitter.com/OuterSiberia) and Rosa

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Speaker 1:

The left coast. Bookworms is a production of the left coast media collective. Connect with us on Twitter at left-pad and email via left coast podcast@gmail.com with the subject bookworm and join our discord server. Please rate and review us on iTunes and soundcloud and if you're able, please consider supporting us financially@patrion.com slash left coast media. Thank you to all of our comrade level patrons and a special shout out to our collaborators at Communist dog, the Kudzu commune comrades, Casey and a KGB operative on with the show.

Speaker 2:

Gosh, I'm saying a lot in type areas. It's going to have to cut all of these out. I apologize. I type areas,

Speaker 3:

friends, stalls. Nothing's changed. Stole. We told him he did a warrant for this, so the whole world sleep to this day I approve this message because this from George still policy seen cop shot and one drop while the cop to flocker to shit on top caught booked or the time would dry so I'm a pop and lock the door play nice in the sandbox,

Speaker 2:

right. Welcome. Calm rights to a source run episode of Left Coast Podcast, Northbay, whatever it is we're calling this, I think it's some sort of book group, podcast type thing. Today we're going to be discussing hope in the dark by Rebecca Solnit and with me are outer Siberia and Rosa. And if you would like to go ahead and introduce yourselves. Rosie, you can go ahead first.

Speaker 4:

Alright, I'm, hi, I'm Rosa at empress underscore trick. Zana glad to be back on at Outer Xavier urea on Twitter. Also, glad to be here, although it's a little early.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um, usually either asleep or doing things like this hour for reference. We are recording this at about 20 minutes past 10 on a Saturday morning. So that is, that is quite early for those of you who are, you know, perhaps in college or perhaps on anarchist hours if you have pets who are fed early in the morning. This is, this is not early, but not all of us have that natural alarm clock. Before we were recording, I checked in with you scipy and you said you had some problems with uh, with hoping the dog that you were kind of critical of it and that Rosa was also a little bit critical. So who wants to start out taking this? I guess taking this to pieces?

Speaker 5:

Rosa eat, go ahead.

Speaker 4:

Uh, okay. So I have no problem with the main thesis in any way, shape or form. Like that's not the problematic part. The problematic part is the art is like the meat of the argument, which seems to go all over the place and trying to justify itself and oftentimes sites things that I don't think we um, the left should be celebrating as good things considering the underbelly of those problems I get. It also has a bit about harping on certain things while the information it provides contradicts what the author is trying to say previously. Like this happens more than once and like all in all, it just cause it just combines itself to like sort of muddling its own arguments sort of just it doesn't, when it ends it doesn't really end with the right conclusion. I think the offer was hoping to aim for.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I found that the theory of change was pretty hard to grab onto as opposed to like the, she pauses this alternate model was sheep disagrees with and she, but she, I don't think she presents her own in a let's flesh. That always I would like, I think that like when I read like Marx and his theory of change, it's very, it's very clear. It's very, he's saying a very specific thing. He's saying this is what happened, this is what the causes of it. This is the effects or is this theory of change. I thought it was a little harder just to understand how it worked.

Speaker 2:

So what would you say? Um, now, okay, I'll prefix this with the fact that I, I liked hope in the dark in the sense of somebody coming to it who's not reading it as a theory book because I apparently don't do that. But somebody who is reading it, looking for something inspiring and maybe something that will resonate with some of the stuff that, that I'm already kind of thinking and feeling. So if I were to say, what do you think is solid, it's theory of change and you said that it was kind of difficult for you to tease out what that was. Would you be able to take a stab at it?

Speaker 5:

Well, I'm not exactly sure. It just seems like things like change for unclear reasons and they might change one way or they might change another and there's no real way to suggest how to predict or understand how it will change even what you didn't necessarily do in order to change it in a particular direction because it seems like she talks about literally anything you do could possibly lead to change, but it's all clear but not, but not necessarily. And then I'm not clear what you're supposed to do either.

Speaker 2:

Rosa, any insights?

Speaker 4:

Um, there are parts where she says like, you don't need like a plan or like some big theory behind you to do things through like I actually accomplish change but at the same time does it really like it seems like it's going for like she or spontaneity, which even I don't necessarily go for like there's any sort of like, Yay, it's just happening. Things are happening now and that doesn't necessarily play out and for especially for more longterm things really play out as well as she thinks it would.

Speaker 2:

So my uh, my take on, on the, I suppose the, the overarching argument or overarching point of open the doc is right there in the subtitle of wild possibilities and the chapter, I think Viagra for Caribou or something, something like that where she talks about coil, Ot and the fact that Koi tea as a tricks today t is probably what we should be looking at as you know, a metaphysical or divine kind of inspiration if we think that way, if we think in terms of the divine for movements and what happens that humans and society and social movements tend not to be a leads to B leads to c because there are so many other factors in the mix and all we can do is try and effect change. And while we're doing that to really practice prefigurative politics and maybe that is the only change that we can effect by just building our own utopia just within a group rather than affecting change for the whole world, which I found that somewhat inspiring but perhaps not in the right way. I found that inspiring in the sense of, well, you might not be able to bring about global revolution, so just try and do what you can locally, which is also kind of not inspiring alternative. It just, it it dispiriting that idea that you might not be able to affect change just a little bit.

Speaker 5:

Right. Especially when a lot of the sort of, if your changes excessively local, then eventually, because we look at history, then eventually the, the rest of the globe that has not changed catches up to it. Yeah, and that's happened to lots of revolutions. Like especially if we look at like the Russian revolution after having been isolated from no revolution happening anywhere else. Struggled mightily if because of that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

What do you, what do you think of what Solnit calls the angel of ultimate history to angel? That that says, well, it could have been worse that while we're, we're making history, there's also stuff that doesn't happen and we can't see what didn't happen because of our actions. But we, it would be helpful to keep that in mind because it gives us grounds to act. Do you have thoughts on that?

Speaker 5:

Well, I think that like, I dunno, I'm not, I guess I'm not that interested in that question. Like the question that she's positing there about like is our action like inherently good because if we didn't do it things might have been worse because what, what I, what I want is to kind of know which, which tactics we should use and what's, what's good to do rather than that doing anything is good. I mean I understand that the sort of implicitly I guess, I mean obviously we have to do something and I think that's already the given me the class to act cause it's like we have to do something and there's, it's not really relevant if it, whether historically things worked or not because I just want to know what should I do now. Yeah. That's the lesson I want to take her history.

Speaker 4:

I mean thinking about what could have not happened had say this person did not protest this thing and things do not go this way. I don't know if that's should be inspiring like hope or anything for people like, you know, like you know, at least we did something that's good. You could do more at the same time that things could have been a lot worse. Things could have been a lot better that certain things could have happened that actually propelled us forward instead of failing to bullets sent by your own comrades, for example.

Speaker 5:

Right. And I think that's sort of borne out in her example, right? Cause it, she talks with the Iraq war a lot and in hurt because I mean she's writing this in 2004 I believe in her telling of the history, it was better because even though the anti Iraq war, it didn't stop the Iraq war, it meaningfully had an effect on war in general. But at least that's part of the reason why part of the effective hat. But the problem is that when after history continued, after she'd written this, in fact, now the Middle East is now even worse in terms of how involved the U s isn't it than it was when the Iraq war began. Yeah. So that sort of historical analysis, it starts to like look worse as time has gone on.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Uh Huh. And like this happens with a lot of other things with her praising the Eastern European color revolutions,

Speaker 2:

a lot of things that at the time may have seemed like very good examples. Like at one point she mentions Aun, San Suu Kyi, and you're reading that right now and you're like, Ooh, yeah, mm, no. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

Right. And that, that happens. That happens a lot of times because she talks about the weird, like where did you go with what to me when the weird juxtaposition was what she was talking about how like South African or South American movements had like successfully resisted IMF reforms in the early two thousands which by the way, all of those governments have been pretty much swept out by various us methods since then. And then she goes into talking about the protests in Ukraine, which put in a president who implemented IMF reforms. So I'm like, wait, hold on, hold on a minute. Are we against IMF for Forbes or we for IMF reforms.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. And this also kind of falls into like how, how she's also praising the, like the fall of the Warsaw Pact states as well, their transformation to democracy because even then I don't get me wrong, I'm not going to say like they were perfect or anything, that they were like these shining you copious, but after their fall, like economic conditions could kind of like go so far south. So many problems kept arising and there's also an, especially what we would know now, there's a whole time Nazis that's just like endless season Nazis now, so it's not so far the fall of the Soviet Union has not been the greatest thing and that's not even mentioning like the authoritarian natures of the governments over there now. Especially like, you know pooting and shit.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I was on earlier podcasts about the fall of the Soviet Union flogging are good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just a little plug for that one. You can find it in all of

Speaker 5:

plugging the other podcast.

Speaker 2:

I feel like the, the angel of ultimate history is something that you would refer to when you're already dispirited and it'll be that, well, you know, it could have been worse rather than something that you refer to when you, when you already have some hope because when you already have some hope that's you're going to be looking at that. But the angel of ultimate history kind of feels like a, like a, a very last ditch kind of. Well, you know, mustn't grumble, could have been worst. Very, um, something that's very familiar to me, which I suppose is kind of the Anglo British mood and upbringing. I have the message that I'm, that I'm looking to carry out both for myself and for others is, is mostly within chapter 15, which is called getting the hell out of paradise. And in that chapter, Psalm that says basically for fuck's sake, leftists, fully automated luxury queer space. Communism is a lofty goal, but you can't dismiss everything that isn't that. There's also from that a lot about making the, the journey to our utopia. Also kind of a utopia in itself that, uh, what's the quote that I keep using, um, from Eduardo Galliano Utopia is on the horizon. When I walked two steps, it takes two steps back. I walk 10 steps and it is 10 steps further away. What is Utopia for? It is for this, for walking that it's the progress towards our perfect utopia. That in itself is part of the movement that we should be honoring. Like if your in the essay for all of the struggle and um, yeah, that is happening in part because we do want a better organization. We want one that better matches our politics that better matches what we believe is, is socialism or what we better believe, better matches what we believe is not perfection, but the best we could get. Things like transparency, things like bottom up decision making that during the struggle to get that to happen, we learn and grow doing that. That it's not just, Oh, we made a perfect the essay, but it's while he will learning and making a perfect DSA, we learned all about lots of shit that will be useful. We learned that cops will try her best to stay in power as long as they can.[inaudible] and so we, we learned to put something in place to prevent that or we should, we should learn that. Yeah. And I can, I can tell you that this, there's discussion going on about how best to do that. I do have another example that's about conflict resolution and harassment and grievance and that kind of stuff. But I can, I will pause and let, let you to do some more talking cause I've kind of monopolized it for this bit.

Speaker 4:

It's fine. I was just going to say like, yeah, this parts mostly. Okay. Tell us father, her trap of like convincing terrible people to be less terrible is not necessarily of code. When I, it it does help somewhat but like celebrating that uh, fucking Illinois George Ryan did not execute higher 67 people into, in January, 2003 like Yay for not be FDA for a showing like 5% more humanity than normal. But like, yeah, other than like we're quibbles like that. Yeah, I could definitely, because like we can't just like there is no perfect, you know, set in plan to achieve that global revolution. It's or whatever you're trying to go for it be it like some milk toasty reform or you know, global communism is, there's no set plan to these sorts of things. There's like cause thing like even if you did have a plan, things are going to go everywhere else and everything's going to fall apart. It's best to just go for whatever. What, what victories you can, if they are in reach that push you forward towards whatever high and lofty goal that you have set.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I think so that one of the dangers that I find that the thought in this chapter emerges like one teacher that I'm thinking about all I'm reading it, it's something that's sort of emerges at the very end when she talks about uh, some British movement, I'm not aware of it, but she talks about the reclaim the streets. She says that the premise seems to be that if they're purchasing in the, if what they were producing, this was isolation preposition alienation, then a free for all party out in public was not just a protest. Uh, but uh, solution. Uh, and then she mentioned is this on their Aquin Bay and she says Bacon[inaudible] these moments of liberation was revolutions proper, which lead to the expected growth of the consensus group trajectory, revolution reaction for trail in the founding of a stronger and even more oppressive state. So my problem with this sort of reasoning here is that it emerges that like there's, it's excessively focused on very small scale things and it's almost against, becomes out against like large scale change because it could turn out bad. Like, because if we change all society, like some worst bureaucracy might take its place to flee if we don't construct it properly, which is a concern that we should have but not one that, uh,

Speaker 4:

not one that should be preventing us from, you know, actually

Speaker 5:

pushing for that goal anyway. Right. It doesn't make it better to not change six on a large scale. Because if we do change these on a large scale, sometimes it hasn't turned out as well as we'd hoped. Also citing Hakim Bay to begin with. Yeah. He's kind of problematic, but the problem, heck yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. The reclaim the streets seems more theatrical. Yeah. More of a, something that, you know, you refer to in a book or you refer to you in the documentary, then something that creates real lasting change where it happened. It's something that perhaps you use as an inspiration or you know, look at four tactics rather than something that from itself has lasting liberation. Because I, I, I was in the UK in the late 1990s. I do not remember reclaim the streets. Um, I do, I remember a guy named swampy who took up residence in a tree to stop that, the building of the road and lived there. But in the end, the tree ended up being cut down. And what, what tactic is that? I mean, mostly we don't have it happening in other places to stop trees from being cut down. Um, it felt more like a scripted or not exactly propaganda, but similar to that that it was, it was all about the perception of the act rather than the results of the act.

Speaker 5:

Right, exactly. That's sort of what I think I start taking away from the sort of theory of change is that because it's so hard to grasp, it just becomes like, okay well anything that you can do is inherently a good thing to do when in fact you want to evaluate what things you should do. But there's no, I don't think this evaluation is sort of missing from here. And that's why like any kind of movement that does anything is inherently a positive. The thing.

Speaker 2:

So Sibi what you will, what you'd be better with would be some kind of metrics for how our socialism is working. Some kind of datadriven socialism. Huh. Cause um, cause I think the Medicap for the m four eight a movement has just what you're looking for. There are tricks.

Speaker 5:

Oh, I need to, yeah. We need socialists consulting.

Speaker 2:

Uh, and we have been joined by a fourth comrade, um, colors. Would you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Speaker 5:

So I'm Carlos. I am from Puerto Rico. I have my own little group. We are Apttus 30 members so far, so we're not technically socialists for just generally left and I'm trying to implement everything stabled activism to feminism to making the university more safe. Um, and right now we're doing trance

Speaker 4:

right thing that's basically going to allow trans people to use the bathroom. They feel more attached to and it's going to be big. Just no other university in Puerto Rico has done it before. But that's pretty much what I'm doing. Awesome.

Speaker 2:

So to, to recap, CB and Rosa had some serious issues with hope in the dark. I liked hope in the dark but agree that there are some issues with it. Um, one of the main points that I'm hearing from, from Outer Siberia is that hope in the dark because it's so heavy on trying to make people who are reading it feel like just attempting to build something better is, is enough, is risky perhaps because it could lead to people thinking well you know, just by being kind to people that is, that is all I need to do for activism or just by going to this one action, that's all I need to do for activism. Is that kind of an accurate summation of what you were thinking Sibi Yep.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I think that the greater danger sort of emerges when she starts talking about specific movements and it sort of emergency, like any movement is described as positive when in fact a lot of like when she talks about like Vaclav Havel or someone like that who was leader to the president of the Czech Republic who was like, you know, big NATO supporter that he's in the leadership of the victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. So when you start, the problem is that when you go to this sort of very vague idea than anything that does anything is good even if it's not aiming for anything good.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. There's an talking about the victims of communism. The Twitter account. Yes. And the foundation. The foundation. There's a phone. There is unfortunately a foundation called, it was like how long is that man? It's a, it's a real riot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. There is an entire chapter that I basically skimmed because I knew that reading it would make me too mad and that's um, I think it's chapter 16 where I'm on. It says we need to reach out to people on the right wing. We need to reach out to people who are not leftists.

Speaker 4:

Hi complaint. I actually had forgotten about Liz went, oh my God, I think this is a round where I just gave up on the bike. Oh, okay. I powered through to the end put like I was just, you know, we deal with this so many times like we, like there's always somebody who suggest that they all will left wing cooperate with the right on specific issues. Because we're somewhat similar and, no, no, that's not how, no.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I, I get that we need everybody. We need to a broad base and what she says about we need a style that speaks to people. We need to, when we talk about issues, we need to be in our, our language needs to be such that other people who are not already in the left can understand it, but saying that the right and left binary is outdated and that we should be doing what we have to do to appeal to everybody. That's, no, that is how you end up with the Democrats. Obviously we should,

Speaker 4:

yeah. Or a strasse wrists. Okay.

Speaker 5:

I think that emerge that there, that comes down to the fact that like it's your theory of change is like the classic Marxist theory of change that you organize. You have to organize the working class, you wage class struggle and then you win. And that's your theory of how change happens. Then obviously like flashy, petty bourgeois militias, uh, don't, don't belong because they're, they don't have the interest of abolishing capitalism so we don't recognize them cause that that doesn't create change. But is your theory of change is just that talking to people as good and trying to get them to do something as good then why not? Right. So that that's again like I think that sort of that problem.

Speaker 2:

I feel like there's a, there's a middle line there which is slightly leaning slightly further towards the Marxist theory of change side, which is that raising class consciousness in any way that you can to other people is, is a positive movement. Knowing where to stop, knowing when the person that you're interacting with is just a TP USA person attempting to befuddle you and and have you so your, your seeds on barren soil. That is an important, I feel unimportant part of making the best use of your resources. Trying to have a coalition with everybody is how you end up with, for our meetings in which nothing gets done

Speaker 4:

or with muddled things like what occupy pretty much turning to has. Like there was more than just the anarchist, the key elements of occupy that was the right, you know, the bloody and cap Senge year. Pretty much crypto fascists who were there protesting the same things that people like. The actual not shit parts of occupy we're protesting while they were protesting because of the harm they were doing to people around the world. These, you know, far right dip shits were protesting because you know

Speaker 5:

my nationalism or some shit. Right. And then, yeah, she does. She says, what if we could have made our position neither right nor left. I'm like, hmm. Yes. A third position.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's was a bit of that.

Speaker 5:

Perhaps a third way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. The, the one thing that I think I would take away from this chapter, if you know, I'm trying to, I'm trying to get good out of out of this is from Baldemar Velasquez, the founder of the farm labor organizing committee who says, I don't consider anyone opposition. I just consider anyone either misinformed or miseducated or downright wrong thinking. So taking that thinking, perhaps we can phrase our message in such a way that people who are misinformed or miseducated can at least begin to, to overcome false consciousness.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. That, that part was fine. It's just that it just, that that part is the part of that probably should have been focused on more than working with malicious because reasons.

Speaker 2:

Yes. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I think it's important to start to sort of, you have to think about it from both perspectives. On the one hand that is there is a problem and which she identifies correctly that like, you know, demonizing working class white southerners is a thing that liberalism has done. Is it part of like, you know, reinforcing capitalism and so we don't, so if people are genuinely experiencing false consciousness, then we don't want to say to the opposition. By the other hand, it's also very healthy for your political movement to construct your actual opposition, which is to say that, you know, the state, the capitalists, Bayzos Cetera, those, that's, that's, those are the enemy. Those are the people we're trying to defeat. Yeah. And that's helpful to the movement actually. Cause it, it gives it an identity. It's like this is what the movement is. It's like this is what it's about. Right. And that prevents it from just becoming sort of a morphis and a ideological,

Speaker 2:

yeah. And I see like it's just as well that you stopped reading at that chapter because the following chapter is when

Speaker 5:

thanks ones where he stopped reading. So,

Speaker 2:

okay, well, um, having ideology is bad.

Speaker 5:

This is this, this is heretical to me.

Speaker 2:

I could see that as a way too overblown way of saying that diversity of tactics and diversity of ideologies is awesome, is good. But what it ended up saying is throw away all of your ideologies, throw away the idea that you can set up a different kind of society.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. Like if it was like throw away dogma,

Speaker 4:

that'd be one thing. Because we, there is, I'm not sure how much in the real world, but like, especially when we're conversing amongst ourselves, there is a bit of a dogmatic problem. Like we, like a lot of people do kind of a fall into just say just spouting whatever, uh, whatever Lennon wrote in this random pamphlet he sent to this random guy over in Switzerland or what Mao or roads or what you look when you said Lennon, that's fine. But you know, like it's like there is a bit of a worry, some focused on dogma over action and actually applying ideological position. But that's, that's where, that's where I thought you have to be able to, if you have an ideological stance, you should be able to apply that. Sandy should not be throwing that ideological position away. You should like the whole point of having these, all these different theories and systems of belief is to be able to put them into action through your, you know, for your own personal practice and the practice of your group to just toss it away and hope to just wing it. It's, that doesn't really work that way. Does he? Getting ready to fall into the same sort of things that occupy foot fell into, wears just a muddled mess standing in front of buildings, protesting them. And we're fascists infiltrating and shit, then you don't, you don't accomplish anything. You like, you just, you, you, you might get some people to start thinking, hmm, you know, some things aren't great, but then they don't know what they're doing because you don't know what you're doing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Do you feel like this chapter would be maybe either completely different or completely excised if, um, if sonnet had written this completely post occupy?

Speaker 4:

I mean, I would think so. Especially if she saw like the results of occupy, which we're not necessarily bountiful. Um, like I think the most you've seen is like she would probably, I would think she'd like ultra to two. What is the more, in my opinion, correct. Sending yo no dogma but saying no ideology. Even if she were like, if you were the seat, no ideology after occupied, it would be completely bonkers. Like I think she would,

Speaker 5:

bearing in mind that at this point it's on, it has, from what I've gathered, gone hard into the Russia conspiracy. So it makes a lot of sense. I think. I think she wanted to shoot the occupy. I was like, good thing. I mean that's it. That's it. That's what I mean. I think that would damage this. This world view.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I do appreciate what when she says near the end that the goal is not so much to go on and create the world as to live in that time of creation to shift the emphasis from institutional power to the power of consciousness towards a revolution that opens up the freedom for each to participate in an inventing the world, some kind of permanent revolution. Trotsky and never stop happening. That sounds good.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. This idea does exist and like from in multiple EHRs like with mark with Marxist thought with obviously bit more commonly anarchist thought like the sort of like the situation has kind of got onto a bit of like this sort of participating outside of the institutions. The part like you know sort of playing with society to change it like the tournaments and situations themselves like just changing society. Not through like going through organizational structures and whatnot but by the kind of like we're doing this, this is happening. We are altering the situation we are making. It different sort of thing.

Speaker 5:

I think there's, there's a danger in like both directions. So like what shade identifying here, is that a concern that does exist? So there is a danger in terms of like being too dogmatic being too like embroiled in these sort of like, like, like, like what was I said basically like could the documents of like people, you know handing out newspapers or whatever all the time cause London said that newspapers were good in 1917 and that's sort of a, it's a danger but other than the one hand that's, that's, that's much smaller. I think like the number of people who are doing that and we're actually like doing that sort of like dogma. Does it mean to the point where it doesn't make any sense? It's much shallower is there's this danger of having no purpose, just doing things on a very, very small, an individual level is massive and has like severely damaged the left for the last like well for the history of neoliberalism, right? Like in terms of like the things the movements is swept out the Soviet block, like we talked about. So many people who were participating in those felt so betrayed after because the movement's didn't really go anywhere because they didn't cause that themselves with an explicit purpose. And that happens so many times, like not just occupy but like so many cases across the world where just the fact that like purpose isn't clear enough cause you to become co opted or absorb where people use your protest for their, for their own political gain.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. I see what you mean about this being kind of a scattered book that kind of jumps from thing to thing and then contradicts itself. Yeah. I think one of the benefits of the way that I read it, which was taking one chapter at a time, was that by the time it came for me to read the next chapter, I'd, I'd forgotten quite a bit of the previous chapters. I wasn't able to notice the, uh, the contradictions until I did a second read through. It is,

Speaker 4:

yeah. Like that's Sylvia and I kinda just blew, right. Like we went through it, you know, chapter three chapter like kind of like at the same time and we pretty much just kept Lucy harsh shit at everything

Speaker 2:

weird that she kept putting in

Speaker 5:

like that was, that was a fun time

Speaker 4:

or like put different from what w what part we actually are on at the moment is it's like she get mentions like nonviolent movements and then obviously sites, things that did have violence. Like it's like the biggest contradiction would be saying not violence is the goal. And then citing the Zapatistas who literally had an armed uprising and nonviolent insert.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. It feels like that piece about you don't have an ideology, just go with the flow. Just do what feels right. Also may apply to, but don't listen to what I say about nonviolence because I'm just going with the flow and writing what feels right about this app. A testis or

Speaker 4:

you know, Seattle protests of the World Trade Organization, which like even she even calls it the battle. That kind of implies something involving things being a little physical. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah.

Speaker 5:

No ideology means you don't have to read this book.

Speaker 2:

No ideology means you only have to read that one chapter about out getting the hell out of paradise. I would recommend that chapter to anyone who feels dispirited because they, they feel like, well, I know where we should be going and we're never going to have a revolution and there's no point that that chapter I would recommend as a, as a counterpoint to that, and I've used it as a counterpoint to that, let in

Speaker 5:

probably the one you usable chapter the rest, just like Nora as if it was never existed in history. I'll just offer that in terms of being dispirited, I mean for me personally, it's not really a question of there can't be a revolution because I read Marx and he said that there can be, and I'm pretty good still pretty convinced by his arguments. Even though I know that even lots of Marxists are not really convinced by his argument anymore. I still, I still think how capitalism just can't go on forever because of how capitalism works. The thing is that nobody seems to know how to what to do and and I don't either. And that's what I want sort of some work or someone to tell me when they're presenting it as like I want to be like, I want them to be like, no, no, no, it's fine. Here's this, here's this plant. Well I mean obviously it's not going to be like a step by step process, but I just mean like a general idea of here's what, at least what we're going to do to get to the next step and then we'll reevaluate from there. Now I know that we can do something. I want them to tell me, I don't want them to like ordered me to do it. I just want them to like have, what did I get? I can at least consult and evaluate that. That's, that's sort of the thing that would make me feel less the spirited cause the thing I feel dispirited about is that like we don't know what we're doing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I hear you on that and I am mostly poking with the authoritarian authoritarian thing. It's fine. It's fine. Accepting that while there are a lot of things that have some answers, there's not a, there's not a guidebook to how to attain socialism. There's not a guidebook for the ref revolution that is going to be foolproof and is going to apply perfectly to where we are right now opens up the possibility that we get to write it. And that's both terrifying and also kind of inspiring. So when I feel like what I'm doing isn't helping in any way, one thing that I do that that helps is to, to consider what impact what I've done has had, and some of that is the politics of perforation figuration stuff. The fact that I am, I'm working towards being able to live according to my beliefs and embodied what I aspire to. And then the other thing is thinking, well, how can I do more of that if you use it just to console yourself and be like, yeah, I'm good. I everything's fine. I've done everything that I can now I can just sit back and rest on my laurels. I mean, that's fucking wrong because whenever

Speaker 4:

well done, don't do that. Never do that. Fuck you.

Speaker 2:

If you're doing that, maybe consider why you're doing that. We're never going to be done with pushing for more, with pushing for a better world. And if you feel like you've already done everything and you've already got that, you consider why you're thinking that. Is it perhaps because the environment that you're currently in is fine for you? Is it, is it some sort of like privilege or something like that that's making you think, well, everything's fine. We are a little bit short of an hour here, so I'm going to open it up to all three of you. Two, like any particular parts of this that you want to talk about and you want to Holler about that we haven't already hollered about.

Speaker 4:

Americans should probably stop talking about Eastern Europe.

Speaker 5:

Please stop talking about Eastern Europe on this crusade, on Twitter and please, please. Okay. I, I've seen a lot of issues with an American leftism and, uh, as, as being part of the u s colony, I know what us imperialism is and I know how horrible it is, but apparently America begins and this is said everywhere and it's horrendous that American s leftist don't realize this. You need to stop talking about the countries and doing something about your mom.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. We really do need to do this.

Speaker 2:

Listened to marginalized people,

Speaker 4:

listen to the marginalized and s stop just shut up about everyone else. Like their, they have their own problem. They have their own movements. We, uh, of neat to build one here.

Speaker 2:

That would be nice. I mean, we can, we can build solidarity with absolutely the movements in, in other countries, but going in and saying, oh, this is what you need. Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's just another form of imperialism. Just that kind of Palo Frere um, talks about of the, of the people, the people who are the oppressors, trying to free the oppressed people that that is never going to work.

Speaker 5:

It's fine that the Ukrainian and Ukrainian fascist don't need your solidarity. They'll be fine. Oh, don't they'll survive. I'm sure that the pro Ukrainian oligarchs, we'll be fine. Then there are conflicts. The Pro European, all of the rest, we'll be fine in their conflict with the pro Russian oligarchs still both be fine. It's okay.

Speaker 2:

But by all means, show up to protests about us imperialism in places overseas and by all means, critique us. Involvement in places that don't wait into, tell marginalized people or tell people in countries that we have oppressed how they should be freeing themselves. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. There's another, there was the part about nine 11 was quite, that was a real interesting, let's say.

Speaker 2:

Um, so that was,

Speaker 5:

this was chapter nine I think.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah. The Millennium will arrive September 11

Speaker 5:

also, all the chapters are called the millennium arrives, which I didn't just started to annoy me after awhile, but that's,

Speaker 2:

that's fine. Yeah. So for those of you who haven't read hope in the dark, this chapter ends with, I wish nine 11 had not happened, but I wish the reaction, not of it all, a brink of being born had please

Speaker 5:

just never, right. I wish nine 11 had not happened,

Speaker 2:

but that very badly. It's sad. It's disaster socialism that she's writing about and I suppose that's inspiring, but to say that a disaster was a positive thing is

Speaker 5:

nine 11 is just not a great example of it either. But as far as disasters go, there's a lot better examples in nine 11 is just not a good one. And like the, the thing she's tried to salvage from it was so much smaller than the dominant narratives about like being racist and going to war with people. Not The mentioned. She cites cops as good things in here. Yup. That does happen. Yeah. There were spectacular here. An assessor, the firefighters, police and medical and sanitation workers.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. You could exercise the cops from this. When we had the wildfires up here, there was a lot of, afterwards, there were a lot of posters and stuff saying thank you first responders and thank you firefighters. And then there were some posters that were actually saying, thank you police. Thank you sheriff. I'm like, thank you for what? Thank you for protecting the areas from quote unquote Lucas. Thank you for terrifying people who are trying to go to shelters because that because you're working with ice, like what is there to thank cops about? How is that heroic

Speaker 5:

and come on and then she goes out, like in call on using citizenship like this in the context of the United States is like really bad. The last sentence of that paragraph and it's mildest form that hero was was simply citizenship, a sense of connection, commit to the community. And for a few months after nine 11 we had a strange dessert surge of citizenship in this country and I understand that she's not using citizenship in that way, but to use it in an American context like that, especially in the context of nine 11

Speaker 2:

it, it's just a bad look at best. It's very wobbly.

Speaker 4:

Like if she's like, if she was, if she had just said something like the sense of community and helping, she should've just added a few more words, but nope. Citizenship, which imply a bit too, especially considering what citizenship

Speaker 2:

ended up really meaning afterwards. I don't know. So what, could you elaborate on why citizenship is not a good thing?

Speaker 5:

It's not really about it in itself because citizenship is, because obviously she's defining as a sense of connection to commit to the community. But in the context of nine 11, how citizenship has an independent American politics, the way certain instruments played out is about excluding people and about saying that like, you know, immigrants aren't real citizens or after nine 11, you know, Muslim people aren't real citizens or something like that. So I think it's just in that context was problematic to use that specific

Speaker 2:

yeah, it's just the submission. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It's one of those words that has multiple meanings and using it in any context where somebody could take it for the negative meaning is, is not a wise choice. It is not in any way. When you talk about, um, uh, for a few months after nine 11, we had a strange surge of citizenship in this country. Um, so you could take that to mean we had a surge of people feeling connected with each other of feeling like part of a larger community of, um, taking care of one another, of being more interdependent. And that is kind of a positive meaning,

Speaker 4:

or you can take it with the say started your citizenship as, you know,

Speaker 2:

uh, Yay. Let's go. People became Americans death to his law. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. That's, I just think it's not a great choice. They're pretty unnecessary also. I mean there's just as an add, anything really. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It was kind of a whiplash from, from previous talking about heroism as people wanting to extend their own privilege and security to those who lack them and then immediately get to go and be like, heroism is also citizenship. Okay. I'm thinking that you probably don't mean that in terms of holding an American passport. Right. This is it. This is tiny, tiny things to hop on. But, um,

Speaker 4:

the heart bond both are our forte and also kind of necessary because people can really misconstruing argument just based upon a semantics issue

Speaker 2:

and a certain amount of dogma,

Speaker 4:

Dogma, the dog to me.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. Yeah. There's some parts here I thought that like sort of the whole analogy to what was Spanish for Caribou, problematic thing to say in general. But I mean native Americans have different, like they're not one thing that have the same cultural practices. So the thing is a native American is,

Speaker 4:

yeah, it'd be cleared. It it like you can get a bit more general than just native American. I assure you

Speaker 2:

all be even more generic and talk about just a trickster deity rather than the, it's, it's not strictly, and in my opinion, it's not cultural appropriation. Like it's not quite, but it's opening, opening a door for people to to say, no, look, I'm coyote is my day at[inaudible]. Even though I was born in Schenectady and I'm a hundred percent Anglo Saxon, like

Speaker 4:

I am the most, I am more Anglo Saxon an Alfred the great, and now I have adopted this. I haven't adopted coyote is my God. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

Speaking of that guy had came bay, I looked at him and woke up. He, when I was, when I was reading, this is Peter Lam Board, Wilson pseudo name Hakeem Bay that I was like, oh I see is an American anarchist author and then he'd traveled to India with the, I mean is this is, this is a whole thing. I mean this is sort of a tangent cause it's some random person mentioned in the book, but it's sort of protected. Don't, don't do that.

Speaker 4:

Kids like if you're going to like there's a difference between, I guess, I guess if you're being extremely genuine, but even then the name thing kind of

Speaker 5:

yeah. That it's like that. What was that guy that was like the startup with the, with the water, right. That startup with the water that would kill you. That that's a start

Speaker 2:

water that was done by the,

Speaker 5:

yeah, that the poisonous water. Yeah. It wasn't that guy. Like it was extremely white guy who changed his name to something that he thought was exotic or something.

Speaker 2:

Um, he was the same guy who did the Internet connected, um, drms juice, the Juicero juices or service, right?

Speaker 4:

Did, no, he did the Juicero Shit.

Speaker 2:

I love to fail upwards. I think if you're going to do this prefigurative politics stuff that Rebecca Solnit talks about of embodying what you aspire to and living your life as, if, you know, as a part of that better world, part of that is don't culturally appropriate and don't do some of the things that the people that you use as examples in other places do. And Ah, here's, here's the one, one bit that I called out on Twitter that she says in false hope and easy despair, which is an early chapter, there are those, you see despair, a solidarity with the oppressed. Though the oppressed may not particularly designed that version of themselves since they may have had a life before being victims and might hope to have one after. And that's all she says. She doesn't, for example, maybe use the words of somebody who is oppressed or let them, let's marginalize people and impress people speak for themselves rather than just saying that. Yeah, that annoyed me. Yeah,

Speaker 5:

that was another classic Americanism.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was one of the other couple of things that I highlighted in a different color because they made me mad

Speaker 5:

and as a lifestyle list and I think that that might apply to this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 5:

I haven't read bookshelf so I don't actually know what his speaking was. Stars.

Speaker 2:

I haven't dug into how I feel about lifestyle ism yet because um, I need to, I feel like I need to read and absorb and consider how I feel about that lifestyle ism versus prefigurative politics, whether there's a, an overlap or something between those things and how to, how to thread that needle. But that would be another episode, so it will, Rosa, were there any sections you wanted to pull out? Not really. We kind of went over most of my issues with this. I can't really think of anything specific to focus on. If we had to take away one at least somewhat positive message from hope in the doc. If in my mind it would be that it would be that chapter of getting the hell out of paradise. If you had to, to boil down hope in the doc to one to one thing and have it be a positive message, what, what would you boil it down to? Or would it even be possible for you to do that first a lie,

Speaker 4:

I guess don't be so lost in worrying about all of the, like all of the specifics. Sometimes just having us having a revolutionary sense of hope and just going out to something can be, oh right. Sometimes,

Speaker 5:

yeah. I would show what I would take away from. It would be that. Um, so the, the thing is that there's the, we need to fix our ideologies. This what it means because there's, people are starting to think in this way then and they're applying a lot of things that are legitimate concerns as she says, overarching revolutionary philosophies. And that means that we need to, we need to like read this, understand that, why people think this way and make sure that we adapted to the, to those circumstances and make sure that our philosophies are perhaps more adaptable than, I mean she would, she says that left us in the past were more dogmatic about it, but I think it's more left as now are more dogmatic about it because I think that like people who actually successfully applied these philosophies like Lennon in our mouth, they were not actually as dogmatic about it. And that was the thing that allowed them to succeed. So we're, but now people sort of look at them and just try to do the replicate the exact same thing they did, which is not what they were doing. They weren't just like looking at Mark's and doing exactly what he said because he was writing about 19th century western Europe and they weren't very different conditions. So I think that's sort of what I would take away from it is too. But we have to adapt our, our revolutionary philosophies.

Speaker 2:

Hmm. I feel like in 2004 they were significantly less dogmatism and infighting amongst the left, but that's because the left was maybe like two people and eight FBI agents.

Speaker 5:

That's being generous to assume that those two people aren't like fucking NSA, but they were inside the, the two people were in fighting though. They both had that. They both had a different position.

Speaker 2:

The strange thing is that they were both Marxist Leninist but still they would not stop fighting

Speaker 5:

the two. The two people split over whether the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was good enough, unfortunately.

Speaker 2:

All right, well thank you very much for joining me and also for the reading through this book with with gritted teeth for, for some of you, I think that it's probably something that I'm going to return to. I highlighted it enough that it would be a bit of a waste not to return to it, but yeah, it's, it's definitely not perfect. There's some stuff in there that can be really useful and really inspiring, but there's also some chapters that are just trash. Sorry. Solnit

Speaker 4:

oh, sorry. I am. If she literally is one of the fucking

Speaker 5:

Russia gay people.

Speaker 2:

Well, prefigurative politics. I'm trying not to trash anybody. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

Prefigurative politics. I want to build a world where we're all suspicious of the, of the FSP. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It of is, uh, getting mad at Russia and nothing else.

Speaker 2:

That's right. All right, so you heard it here with the message from hope and the doc is socialism is getting mad at Russia and nothing else. Thank you. Trump just Trump is the problem. Not everything else out the system, the wholesome, just Trump and Clinton. And Trump is of course, a human manifestation of the FSB. So we can, we can, thanks to leans in your clone. All right. And on that note, thank you for joining us. And, uh, what is it that type of, it says here,

Speaker 3:

go in peace and be in solidarity. This message, because this room change

Speaker 2:

has to be more than a slogan.