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What I SHOULD have said!

tired of having it forced upon me and rammed down my throat | 22.10.2004 00:28 | European Social Forum | Analysis | London

Familiar to all of us, you know the situation...

Sorry but there's no way you're going to convince me to join your party - certainly not by standing here talking to me in the street for 10 minutes.

Maybe a few years back, when I still quite new to all this I might have thought yeah ok I see the need for revolution, I'll join you. But certainly not now.

Marxism is a VERY BIG VERY COMPLICATED school of thought. There's an enormous range of things you're supposed to agree with if you're officially going to call yourself a Marxist. If you're going to recruit someone to your organisation - someone who isn't yet a Marxist - just by talking to them (or at them!) for ten minutes in the street, the only way they're possibly going to be convinced is if they take a whole MASSIVE bunch of things on trust. Including a whole range of things without even knowing what those things are.

And maybe once they've joined and got involved, they'll start absorbing those things as they rub off on them from other party activists and as they read little snippets of theory here and their in the paper or the magazine.

...Absorbing stuff like that perhaps without ever really questioning it properly.

I'm a very complicated person with very complicated opinions about *everything* and certainly at this stage in my intellectual development and with my current level of political consciousness...

Perhaps when I didn't know so much and hadn't developed my opinions as much I could have gone along with all this kind of thing and signed up, but I've got broad perspectives on a whole bunch of issues and I was always the kind of person who'd be highly sceptical about ANYTHING and have a whole long list of questions that need to be satisfied before I can commit to adopting a world view that's so radical and simultaneously so specific and in many ways so counterintuitive and that goes against so many things that I think are important.

So you can't just expect me to say yeah ok count me in. That's not going to happen. If you want to have a SERIOUS discussion about all this then we can meet for a (fair trade) coffee some time but I'm WARNING you, I'd be more trouble than I'm worth for your party. I'd be causing all kinds of grief at any possible opportunity. I'd rock the boat. I'm a loose cannon, a liability. I'd insist on the HIGHEST standards of democracy. And I honestly don't if I'd manage to end up leaving before I would get KICKED OUT.

tired of having it forced upon me and rammed down my throat