New Horizons

We here at Sewer Socialists have been a bit lax about posting over the last entirety of our existence. If we had to guess why, we’d probably start at not initially knowing what exactly this blog would be about, and having to pay bills with money we get at jobs. It’s a bit of a shame. A lot has happened since we began this project, in our own outlooks as well as in the wider world. One of the things that’s changed is that I, Frank, have finished my stint as an itinerant campaign worker and taken up work at a craft brewery.

It’s been an interesting experience so far. For one, the work itself is very different. I have begun moving into a traveling sales role, but for several months, I did mostly manual labor; my first task was taking the kegging and bottling machines out of their shipping containers. It is not bad work, but is radically different from working on a campaign, where your work takes place mainly on a computer or a telephone. But the difference in the work is nothing compared to the culture shock. In my previous life, the paradigm was Politics: Politics was what we thought, where we came from, how we saw our world. It could hardly be more different here. I am not quite sure yet what the paradigm here is. I have a strong hunch that it is Business, but whatever it is, it is certainly not Politics.

My thoughts on all this are still fermenting. I am still becoming familiar with a community which does not define itself, its world, its hopes, and its struggles in political terms. It gets me thinking about the challenges of organizing in conservative communities, white communities, communities which do not think of their life’s struggles as systemic problems which organizing can solve. I have begun reading George Orwell’s The Road To Wigan Pier, which feels appropriate. The second half of the book is Orwell’s thoughts on why the coal miners he lived with were not socialists. I have only just begun this part, and the American South in 2014 is a much different place than the English North in 1937, but I hope to do something similar here over the coming weeks and months. I have felt for some time now that we have a problem with the disconnect between the progressive intelligentsia and communities on the ground. Maybe now I’ll be able to put my finger on that problem more exactly.

As Ta-Nehisi Coates says, more to come.

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