16 April 2007

On being Socialist

I didn't think for very long when I decided more overtly as socialist when I moved to this blog, a decision which I regretted shortly thereafter, but after some more consideration I've decided I'm going to stick with it. I realize this isn't a decision that ought to be taken lightly, and I may well not have all the knowledge necessary to make it, but I feel like all the diverse influences I've inhaled in the past few years have pointed me in that direction, and that, fundamentally, my politics are in the socialist tradition.

I didn't want to hide behind the euphemism "progressive," though there's nothing wrong with that per se, but it isn't very specific, and the word has been co-opted by some on the center-to-center-left as a way to escape the word "liberal," which has been turned into an effective political epithet by the right-wing noise machine.* Defiance of that also influenced my decision; I'm not going to hide behind a euphemism even if means marginalization and quick dismissal because I'm identified by a certain word that carries a strong reactionary stigma.

I know all the cool Left kids are going to the Green Party these days, and there's nothing wrong with that, either, but, hey, I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way.

*Several months ago I heard a story on NPR on the distinction between "progressive" and "liberal," which ended with a useful quote: "The difference between a progressive and a liberal is that progressives know there is a difference."