Good causes

Few years ago, I subscribed to the leftist magazine published in the US. I wanted to learn more about socialism and politics in the US. I joined the reading group for that magazine in San Francisco.

I attended a few meetings but very soon realized that it was not for me. You see, I always thought that left politics are more humane. Maybe that is the case somewhere in Northern Europe, but it wasn’t my experience here in San Francisco.

During the last meeting I attended, I observed a lot of hate. It was hate directed towards ultra-right people. But also such words as “liberal” were used as curses. Surprisingly, the angriest person in the group was 45+ years old professor. He projected anger.

After the event, we all went to the dinner, and he started talking bad things about his colleague at one of the local leftist organizations. The colleague wasn’t there to defend himself, and lots of people (including me) didn’t know who he was. One of the people asked the professor to stop ranting because it made him uncomfortable to hear things about his colleague. This man couldn’t stop. It took him minutes to wind down.

He was full of anger, and it was all about his emotions. He couldn’t attune himself to the feelings of other people in the room.

I didn’t like it. I have nothing against anger. But I do not like an organization that is setup with hate at the core. It seems like creating an enemy and hating other people was the motivation, at least for some people in that group. For me it was the last event there. I explained my thoughts and feelings in the email, left the group and unsubscribed from the magazine.

The biggest paradox here for me was the contrast between goals and means to achieve the goals. Equal pay, diversity, equality, liberation - those are all good causes. But the means were the opposite.

I do believe that the emotions behind the cause and values should match emotions of actions. Or at least to be close enough.

Here is another situation. I happen to experience how small group of people that belonged to Christian religion (with crosses, going to the church on Sundays) handled one complicated interpersonal situation. They went mad, started swearing, drinking, scandaling when things didn’t work their way.

I didn’t like that at all. I do not believe in virtue signaling by belonging to some group or by proclaiming some values. I covered this topic also here. I stand by the statement that actions (and primarily actions in critical situations) tell me more about who you are than all the conversations in the world.