I was incredibly overjoyed at the truth in your article on lifestyle politics, ideology, good intentions, and radical activism [Lifestyle politics, good intentions and the road to hell, Vol. 31, No. 5]. Thank you so very, very much!
I have, as a queer woman of color, experienced firsthand the way in which many white people use their lifestyle to assuage their racism, classism, sexism, and gender- and homophobia. This is a very disturbing trend and, thus far, I have not found people in Portland who want to engage about the interlocking forces of racism, classism, sexism, and gender-, trans-, and homophobia under imperialism and capitalism.
So many white people use their lifestyle as a way to hide how they participate in racism, classism, etc.
It is of extreme importance to bring this to the forefront of our discussions about oppression in the 21st century, lest white people think, as so many of them do, that by being green and vegan and raising their children on gluten-free food, they will change what imperialist wars are doing both in the U.S. and abroad.
R. Burgess, Portland, Ore.
Feminism and socialism combined
I loved the article on lifestyle politics and completely agree with it. I almost joined the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). My major falling out with them was on their nasty critique of feminism, which I found oversimplified and too generalized.
I was wondering about your organization. Why do you call yourselves feminists, if feminism is considered part of identity politics? I don’t think feminism and socialism have to be separate, but I couldn’t convince the SEP of that.
Nicole Troxell, Tennessee
FROM THE DISSIDENT VOICE BLOG
Nationalize energy industry
Don’t leave our lives and future in the hands of the frackers [What the Frack?
, Vol. 31, No. 5]!
Demand nationalization of the entire energy industry under workers’ and community control. Push for development and widespread use of renewable energy with national planning and international collaboration.
Form a second party
Once people are addicted to a sybaritic way of life, augmenting or maintaining it comes ahead of any other consideration.
Unfortunately, such people have all the econo-military-governmental powers. These powers can be wrested from them only one way: form a second political party!
Must change energy consumption
Although I too am alarmed by the environmentally destructive practices of the energy giants, I am not convinced that they are entirely to blame. They are reprehensibly driven by profit at any cost, but aren’t they simply responding to an apathetic public that adamantly refuses to alter its energy consumption practices?
The deployment of alternative energy strategies should begin at the level of the individual. Go solar, geothermal, wind-powered — whatever works in your area.
We cannot take the high road against the energy giants until we can tell them to get lost. We have structured our lives to make these corrupt corporations indispensable. Telling them that they’re corrupt and naughty and should be playing nice won’t work until we have the upper hand. And as long as we’re consuming fossil fuels wastefully, we’ll never have the upper hand.
Good history lesson
I sent away to Red Letter Press for Gay Resistance: the Hidden History and I’ve just read it. It’s a very good history lesson and I learned a lot. Not only because of the content, but also from the way you structured it, which made for easy reading.
It doesn’t matter how well you know the facts about the history of the struggle, it never ceases to amaze and disgust the way society in general has behaved in the past. Thanks for the service of making this material available.
Ross Johnson, Vancouver, BC Canada
’Tis another winter of our discontent: war, recession, a rampant right-wing, dark and cold. However, and not withstanding, ’tis the season to be jolly as well.
So as we move toward longer days let more light be allegorical for the place we find ourselves. Accordingly, celebrate! A party of struggle that makes it a struggle to party is not our party!
The future holds promise! May yours, individually and collectively, manifest throughout the year.
Bill Dunne #10916-086, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock, LA 71467
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