Iraq for sure. Then the Great Recession and fall out from that solidified it. // La migra + 1994 (first read Autobiography of Malcolm X, alongside the emergence of the Zapatistas and Prop 187 in Cali) // also can’t underestimate growing up on punk/DIY/zines & poetry // Iraq ‘03 made me a progressive/social democrat. 2008-09 made me a Marxist. // moving to DC // A lecture on Marxism in 8th grade history. // 2009 Crash/ Graduating in 2009 // Iraq. Trying to survive on my own and seeing how hard it was, even for someone who came from relative privilege. The ‘08 crisis, Obama disillusionment, Occupy Wall St. Dating a commie professor who helped me put all the pieces together and explained the confusing parts of Marx. //
On April 2, 2020; University of Washington Historian and Jacobin Contributing Editor Daniel Bessner asked a simple question on Twitter: "What radicalized you?" We stumbled across a repost of it on facebook with hundreds of responses and, after reading all of them, we followed up on Twitter and read all of those. Then we sat and down and copied and pasted almost all of them (it's easy to lose one or two here or there when copying and pasting hundreds of individual responses). We think it's great. We've started adding links to help people who stumble across this list who are looking to add to their radicalization.
born on reservation. // Going to Oxford and seeing what the rich people were actually like and how dramatic their privileges were lol // Yeah for me too going to Columbia and realizing meritocracy was a lie was big // Seeing liberalism fail utterly from its pinnacle of success, Obama’s awful cabinet & vp, too small stimulus, selling out the public option, then years of trying to hit a grand bargain culminating in Trump. They had it all and blew it. // I decided to support Bernie in 2019 and witnessing the msm propaganda against his campaign put me over the edge, // Falling precipitously from a comfortable middle class upbringing and experiencing how brutal and unforgiving this society is // Iraq was bad but honestly Libya radicalized me more because it was a war conducted by so called "progressives," including a President who ran as an anti-war candidate. // The realization that elites can act with total impunity no matter how egregious and grotesque the offense while the rest of us have to work relentlessly to avoid being ground up by the machine and must avoid even the slightest mistake or be thrust into abject poverty. // Grad School. Specifically joining the union. // poverty + Marxism // In 2008, you could look at the establishment in power, say "They screwed up, what else do we have?" then look at the left establishment and see people whose policies enabled the crisis. Then Obama appointed Geithner and Summers. // Being a disaffected and delinquent juvenile in the late 90s and re-channeling my anti-adult rebellion into the anti-globalization left // Reading Z magazine and Chomsky in the 1990s, both my dad’s, plus learning about Zapatistas // For me, it was discovering the writings of Emma Goldman at the local library when I was in high school. I have always been a leftist. // A few things, but the green-lit CNN shock and awe night-bombing of Baghdad in 1991. (I don’t like using ‘Iraq’ as short-hand for 2003 war, there were lots of ‘Iraqs.’) // 2016, though I was already on the spectrum, as it were. But 2016 was the breaking point. // Witnessing domestic abuse at a young age, growing up in poverty supported by a single mother, reading X-men at a young age, listening to 80’s and 90’s east coast political hip-hop plus punk/ska, accumulating a mountain of student loan debt while watching fascism rise after 9/11. // Watching my parents work like slaves for fifty years and when it was time to retire: the cost of living was so high they needed help to pay their bills and medical costs. They earned their comfortable retirement and end of life care but were stolen from by capitalist ideology. // I was a kid in high school. When my older brother would come home during summers, he’d always throw a few books on my bed and tell me to read them. So, I’ve been a progressive all my life. My readings helped me see though the lies and innuendo very early. // Reading Noam Chomsky in a Rolling Stone interview in the Spring of 1992. Literally felt like the skies opened up and light shone down upon the page. // Exact same for me except it was Hegemony or Survival (c. 2004-2005). Right after I finished it I emailed him asking some stupid question about Israel-Palestine and he actually responded (didn’t keep it though Crying face)! But yeah, Afghanistan/Iraq was definitely the catalyzing period. // 1991 LA uprising was a start; solidified with 1994 welfare "reform" aka attacks on poor women/WOC // Recession undid my family. My mom was unemployed or underemployed for a decade. First full time job I had in New York, which didn’t pay much, paid more than what my dad made. // I honestly think once a week about Cornel West saying that every life has "value--the EXACT SAME value," and how that in fact commits him (everyone) to a radical politics. It’s mundane, but it’s his emphasis that gets me; it offers moral clarity on an indefensible society // Reading Zinn/Chomsky in high school and then Iraq // Working at a school in a low income neighborhood and studying Criminology. // I was lucky to discover Chomsky in high school in 1989. So I wasn’t fooled by Israeli Hasbra, Gulf War, 9/11, or anything else but still got pooh-poohed everyone around me. // The behavior of establishment Dems in the 2016 election. // Freshly 18, it was my first election and I would’ve been happy to vote blue no matter who, but after witnessing the contempt they had for Bernie, the working class and the left in general I won’t make that mistake again. // The Rodney King riots. That and my old detention teacher/librarian used to pull me outta class and read me Malcolm's autobiography (I went to Malcolm X Elementary) // WOT + Palestine + Grocery store job // The Iraq War and graduating college broke as a joke during the financial crisis // It was being poor on a scholarship from my government, being threatened with eviction in winter and being sent invoices for outstanding fees. Then being threatened with my scholarship being rescinded after all of this. This ordeal brought a lot to light. // I worked at a video store that had Noam Chomsky on VHS // Having gay friends and growing up in the church. // What radicalized me (20F)? Um definitely not Chapo Trap House. It would be embarrassing, unsophisticated and definitely not true if what brought me to the left from being a Clinton-supporting lib was a satirical podcast (It was Chapo, but then reading New Left Review & also Tom Scocca’s essay On Smarm, and trying to imagine a left politics w broad appeal rather than self righteous virtue signaling...still haven’t figured it out) // Bush administration, terrible response by Obama on a whole suite of issues, little to no action on climate change, being an incredibly poor graduate student. // Initially it was post Iraq invasion when I started to doubt and become generally left on some things. It really wasn’t until the end of the Obama admin and the start of the Trump admin that I had the views I do now // I assume you mainly have external events in mind but I’ve got a different one for external and internal. For internal event, it was my own divorce. For external, it was the leadup to the Iraq War. // Working for The Economist // steinbeck & zinn // Communist memes in New Urbanism meme groups on Facebook. Also, minimum wage jobs. // Iraq + Reading Zinn’s memoirs in the ticket booth of the San Diego County Fair, the worst job I have ever had to date. // listening to Democracy Now when I was an undergrad. // Weirdly, it was watching financial hardship help to tear apart my parents’ marriage. I thought taxes and mortgages were evil, then I got into punk anarchism, read Marx when I was 15, didn’t understand it but called myself a communist // I was first radicalized after learning about the exploitation in the fast fashion industry, and became further radicalized after learning about US involvements in regime change and supporting fascist dictators. // 9/11, losing my parents to Fox News, the Tea Party, and AOC getting elected. I’d never really felt like anyone in Congress shared my values until AOC was elected. I joined the DSA the same day they endorsed her. Also, this is gonna sound WEIRD but Twitter also is a really important part of this. I owe so much to all the amazing women of color on here sharing their experiences. When I vote or consider my politics, I always go back to their perspectives as guidance. // My mother bursting a blood vessel in her eye while screaming at the TV bc Thatcher won the GE in 1979. She explained class war, injustice & inequality in the world thru a socialist lens & why to never trust Capitalism. My awakening was at 9yrs old. I am forever thankful for it. // Becoming a history major // I grew up in a left family and have remained so (I’m 51) so never had a turning point like these but I have read incredible books and keep learning. When I was 13 or so I read Johnny Got His Gun- a huge influence in my anti war views. // The 1999 Battle in Seattle. // Bernie Sanders // Going to an expensive business school as a person from a working class family + graduating in 2008 + experiencing the indignados movement in Spain + grad school // Being deployed to Afghanistan and realizing that my brothers and sisters, American and Afghani, were dying to maximize the profits of the rich. // Iraq + great recession // Occupy Wallstreet. Watching police officers straight up abuse the protestors on livestream and nobody being held accountable. // Serving in USN -> reading Joseph Campbell / Robt A Wilson / CG Jung -> reading Chomsky & Zinn -> election of 2000 -> deep-dives in history as part of MA -> all of which eroded the sand foundations of the brainwashing I received growing up in the 1980s. // Reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X in HS // The Republicans shutting down the government, and breadtube- notably Thought Slime, Humanist Report, and Secular Talk. "Listen, Liberal" and "Talking to my daughter about the economy" as well. // Biggest was probably landing in Germany to start my junior year abroad the day before 9/11. One aspect was not experiencing the year-long collective processing of the trauma in the US. A second was getting a sense of how other nation’s viewed US imperial ambitions. // Trump Winning, Half the people I know not having insurance, The recession, the bad guy constantly winning in politics // In 2008, I totally drank the Kool-Aid with Obama. Over the next few years, my complex PTSD got so bad that I started learning more about myself. As I became more aware of my emotions and the need for self-compassion, it made me more aware of others’ suffering // As I emerged from numbing/addiction to greater emotional awareness, realized how much genuine rage and powerlessness I felt when I saw what poor people had to go through. That’s what separates the Left from Liberals: genuinely seeing +caring abt others’ pain // Starting uni in a recession, exposure to ideas beyond my upbringing, movement for LGBT equality rights, the election of racist neocon deficit hawks a la Newt Gingrich in my home province, who immediately gutted healthcare, social services & education leading to general strikes. // Being old enough (21 or so) to look around me and see what neoliberal capitalism was doing to the world. Oh, and reading: Malcolm X --> Howard Zinn --> Noam Chomsky --> Karl Marx. Also, to be honest, Ralph Nader’s presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. He made radicalism sound so sensible (and he isn’t even that radical but compared to the other two political parties at the time he might as well have been a Leninist). // taking on 35k in debt to go to a state school in the middle of a recession where my parents lost their house was p dope. // I grew up in poverty & predation. (Not yet.) Then I married a Black man & saw how our experiences with oppression sprang from like horrible roots. (Not yet.)Then my mom died without treatment she couldn’t afford. (Not yet.) IT: Bernie 2016+. DNC BS helped me bring it together. // Working in education in the US. // Ronald Reagan and state terror in Central America // The Rodney King riots. That and my old detention teacher/librarian used to pull me outta class and read me Malcolm’s autobiography (I went to Malcolm X Elementary) // It was more realizing that Dems. Left People: Started paying more attention after S&L Scandal in 1980s. Iraq & reading 911 Commission Report while no one being held accountable plus a nephew responding to me that the President lies and he doesn’t get in trouble. 2007-2008 and // I recall after graduating from college I had a temporary job at a Temp Agency sending temp labor jobs to temp day jobs. And that was in the Reagan years // Iraq + great recession // Occupy Wallstreet. Watching police officers straight up abuse the protestors on livestream and nobody being held accountable. // Reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X in HS // Crying outside of CVS unable to afford list price on my lifesaving insulin. // Listen, Liberal and "Talking to my daughter about the economy" as well. // Diggin your Eugene Debs Icon brother. // Biggest was probably landing in Germany to start my junior year abroad the day before 9/11 That’s must have been something. What was your experience like and how / why did it radicalize you? // Trump Winning, Half the people I know not having insurance, The recession, the bad guy constantly winning in politics // Something similar, when Bernie was conspired against in 2016 I lost faith in the party and our own democracy // In 2008, I totally drank the Kool-Aid with Obama. Over the next few years, my complex PTSD got so bad that I started learning more about myself. As I became more aware of my emotions and the need for self-compassion, it made me more aware of others’ suffering // As I emerged from numbing/addiction to greater emotional awareness, realized how much genuine rage and powerlessness I felt when I saw what poor people had to go through. That’s what separates the Left from Liberals: genuinely seeing +caring abt others’ pain // Starting uni in a recession, exposure to ideas beyond my upbringing, movement for LGBT equality rights, the election of racist neocon deficit hawks a la Newt Gingrich in my home province, who immediately gutted healthcare, social services & education leading to general strikes. // In college, that was the last drop : learning about the great fcken enlightenment years. // I was like this is pure BS, HOW CAN YOU BE ENLIGHTENED WHILE RUNNING FCKN SLAVE SHIPS? // 2008,9 and reading a people’s history, and professor wolff // I was 13 and watched Bowie in Brechts play "Baal" and Basil Davidsons "Africa" on TV. Read some of Davidsons books and learned about apartheid and imperialism. Read Orwells, "1984", "Animal Farm" and "Homage to Catalonia". "Anarchy’s Brief Summer" by Enzensberger. The Clash. // Gulf War 1991 // The 60s assassinations, finding out we didn’t grant "Indians" the right to vote till the year I was born, Viet Nam, The Civil Rights Movement, Kent State, LSD. // Ralph Nader’s 2008 campaign. He name dropped Eugene Debs a lot, so I bought a biography, which then lead to The Class Struggle by Kautsky. Next thing I knew, I was a socialist. // I was already hanging out with communists and trotskyists in high school, but the supreme court’s decision on Bush v. Gore and subsequent executive overreach after 9/11 were two major influences on my radicalization. // It was more realizing that Dems. Left People: Started paying more attention after S&L Scandal in 1980s. Iraq & reading 911 Commission Report while no one being held accountable plus a nephew responding to me that the President lies and he doesn’t get in trouble. 2007-2008 and // History will not be kind and will portray Our Congress for the last 25 years as a giant slush fund and the Supreme Court with a few exceptions as a weak & Corp. puppet. // I recall after graduating from college I had a temporary job at a Temp Agency sending temp labor jobs to temp day jobs. And that was in the Reagan years // Always leaned that way, but didn’t know there was a name or movement or history of it until I started doing my own research. Had to overcome lots of anticommunist propaganda and beliefs. Estonian family. Bernie 2016 was a gateway drug, and I thought, "why not more?" // State and Revolution by Lenin // Serving in the Marine Corps infantry from 2006-2010. // moving from an Obama->Trump rural area to a large state university started it (went Hitchens->Chomsky). But, what really did it was having a medical emergency that put life on pause for half a year, went from pre-med to studying political economy // Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Engels // The build up to the Iraq war broke me from my parents’ centrism, brought further leftward by a period of Homelessness the last two years of high school, cemented by the rollercoaster that was wage work from ‘08-‘14 or so // Sort of the same thing for me. Watching the mindlessly jingoistic response to 9/11 was so disgusting that I started paying close attention to politics. Then what I quickly learned is how corporations and the wealthy reverse-Robin Hood the entire populace... That did it. // My first job and Chapo. I know the Chapo bit is about as kinda embarrassing. // Walking around San Francisco delivering food to rich people while listening to Chapo // The beginning for me was the 2000 election, where I couldn’t believe that no let, alone the Democrats themselves, seemed to care all that much that an election had not only been stolen, but so blatantly. // My Grandad was a labor organizer...tool and die...1930s...Irish...the force was strong in me. // Ralph Nader in 1999 // I graduated high school in 2009 and was lucky to be able to go to college. My conservative and apathetic college de-radicalized me in many ways but 2016 brought me back and I started reading a lot more theory // One year in Iraq with the Army National Guard (2004). // Pretty much the same as yours, plus a healthy dose of labor history and my research on the far-right as the propellant of modern conservatism. // Ireland - Thatcher - Falklands War - 1984-5 Miners Strike // First Naomi Klein, then finding Noam Chomsky on Democracy now. // The passage of the Patriot Act is what sent me down the rabbit hole // I’m from Iraq. Immigrated to USA when I was 8. Americans re-electing Bush. Reading "the jungle" by upton Sinclair on my own when I was 15. // deployment and homelessness. others // It also would’ve been around 2009ish. I had been engaging in debates online and I was really sympathetic with tgr couple of anarchists I found but I just still was a child that was told if things got too bad it was the cops and government that would help me. I was 15 and my stepdad pushed me to the ground and choked me while screaming in my face for a very trivial reason. He’d already broken my collar bone years earlier and scared me into covering it up. but I finally called the cops who promptly threatened me, said parents can "discipline" however they want and if I ease their time again they’d lock me up. A couple years of acab and being told how cops really don’t help the vulnerable years finally clicked and I couldn’t ignore the inherent violence and corruption of the state or it’s violent enforcement gang // Witnessing the Clinton administration, while working in a parking garage. // The 1st Iraq War made me a Chomsky-style anarcho-leftist; the 2nd (in conjunction with reading a lot of Marx) made me a Marxist. // I think for me it was looking into mental health services. My depression was making it very hard to work a job, but not having a job made it near impossible to get any help. If you’re having a hard time in America, you’re kinda just stuck down there. // // Falling for Obama and then he governed like Romney. His campaigning got me excited and then the letdown was what started me on my radicalization. I started my career in 2006 and there’s been nothing but setbacks. // 9/11 for me. I bought The Corporation video // I was a kid when 9/11 happened. In 8th grade (around 2002) one of my teachers had a soldier come in and speak to us. He was part of the first wave in Afghanistan. He bragged and laughed about calling in air strikes on mosques and had no regard for human life. Anti war to my core // 1990s hip hop from public enemy to bdp to native tongue to nwa to mobb deep and on and on. And growing up downwardly mobile in a poor rural place. // When my mom joked about a health condition on Mother’s Day 2009 & I was shocked & said "Mom, that’s serious, u need to see a doctor" & she said "I can’t afford to." That was my last Mother’s Day with her. // the dead kennedys // But reading "A People’s History of the United States" was a huge influence. Zinn lead me to Chomsky, who lead me to Bacevich // Working by day at the Drop Inn Center Homeless Shelter and by night cleaning tables at the Hyde Park Country Club. 2000-2002 // Environmentalism, early-1900s; Punk rock, mid-1990s; military service, 1998-02; Zinn, 2001-ish. // Addendum: anti-globalization movement, 1999-02. // It became impossible for me to justify the "nothing good is possible" idea that guides main stream Democrats after I saw Trump get elected. If Trump can get elected we really have no idea what is possible. // 2000 election when media and Democratic Party allowed the GOP to steal the election and install GW Bush (disaster upon disaster followed). // 9/11 omissions & distortions >>> Lies about WMDs >>> Learning of lies used to instigate prior wars >>> False narratives regarding assassinations of the 60s >>> Operation Paperclip >>> False hope of Obama >>> Full realization of CIA/Corporate-Conglomerate ownership of US policies // Ferguson, which sort of reawakened a lot of older stuff and put a lot of pieces together for me. // Iraq, post crash bailouts, and experiencing Marxist theory by working in an exploitative industry for a decade. // Iraq + taking a history of imperialism course in the same semester as development economics and seeing how much continuity there was between civilizing mission rhetoric and contemporary development econ + financial crisis 08-09 // Claus Offe’s "Some Contradictions of the Welfare State" was a critical intellectual gateway for me - I had egalitarian norms and an interest in systematic/radical critique but also bought (to some degree still do) the basic neoliberal incentives-based economic argument // 2003 reading both Naomi Klien’s The Shock Doctrine and Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent. // First psychiatric hospitalization. 1969, when I was 12. // Iraq War, watching all my working-class friends drop out of college after their funding was cut, reading Harvey // I can’t recall a single key moment. For me it’s been a series of slow, incremental changes. 15 years ago I was a moderate. 10 years ago I was a (US) liberal. 5 years ago I called myself "social-ish". Now I’m a DSA member but consider myself left of their base. // Probably the 2000 election. My very first time to vote and it was a farce. // Marx, Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin in early uni // The Waco massacre started my journey. Kurt Vonnegut introduced me to the working class struggle. Reading theory gave me the critical thinking tools to understand the structures that exploit the working class. // In the middle (2014-2015ish?) of working at a public higher ed. institution and realizing that some ppl *got* to be there and some ppl *fought* to be there // Bush presidency, Iraq: not yet. 2008 meltdown and bailout: not yet. Downward spiral, even during Obama years: closer. Global concurrent rise of authoritarianism: almost... Reading bell hooks A Will to Change: ahhhh, so that’s the crushing cognitive dissonance I’ve felt my whole life. // Vaguely Occupy and then actively BLM. // Rage Against the Machine // Reading about the war in Vietnam in high school and starting to work in fast food in the same year - anti-imperialism meets exploited worker. // hearing about Jesus/St. Francis when I was like 5 // Gulf War 1990-1 // I ran away from home as a teenager in Chicago and stayed at a homeless shelter with people who were homeless for decades. Being there as someone who was voluntarily homeless and seeing people trapped in an endless cycle of abuse, depression, and hopelessness did it for me. // Growing up on welfare in the Canadian equivalent of the Hamptons. // Trump getting elected, community service and volunteering, and reading marxist theory. // Just a combo of life experiences. Knew I was liberal from like early teens. I’d say second term of Obama pushed me over the edge // Volunteering for a Noam Chomsky event as an undergrad in the wake of Jack Layton’s NDP campaign for Canadian Prime Minister // Iraq 2003 for me, drifted further away and further left from the two parties even since. I’m off the spectrum now. I’m black and white, I am everything and I am nothing. // Same, though being a slow learner it wasn’t until Libya and Ferguson that I went full-on Red. // Began having serious doubts after the first Gulf war but NATO war of aggression against Jugoslavija pushed me over the edge. Never looked back. // My Gen X punk father. // Watching how #MSM turns beneficial things like #M4A #GND BernieSanders AOC etc into "bad things" & subverts the will of the ppl. Never been more disgusted to see how possible it is to have the world we need get propagandize out of existence in real time. // afghanistan invasion, PATRIOT ACT, iraq invasion 1-2-3 // Reagan’s support for fascist death squads in Central America in the early 1980’s. The failure of the Iraq War becoming apparent in 2006 and the housing/economic crisis of 2006-2008. I started reading Noam Chomsky around that time and became aware of a certain Bernie Sanders. // Studying the Iraq War in college, private health insurance failing my family multiple times, my dad losing his job in 2008, learning the truth about campaign finance // Kent State. And ‘nam in general (I’m old). // It’s a continuum, but the LA Riots/Rebellion (I was at UCLA) and Mike Davis’s CITY OF QUARTZ are up there. Also working for a Dutch-owned global corporation for 13 years, being laid off in February 2009 and out of work for almost two years, and also every adjunct and freelancer I’ve ever known // Growing up in the 60’s // First job for sure. Wasn’t necessarily the fact that the workers had to work so much harder than the bosses, it was that the workers had to work harder AND got paid less than half. // seeing a bunch of hippies dancing around gleefully at a folk festival in the summer of 1974 when it was announced that Nixon had resigned. I was 10 // Learning about Marx and Engels in sociology in sixth form. I was already pretty disenfranchised, luckily I had their theory to explain the world to me, rather than some insidious right wing group, because I was very vulnerable. // But it was mostly hip hop music when I was a kid that alerted me to many social issues and started my trajectory // Sitting around the dinner table with my father telling us stories about what the English did to the Irish under colonialism and about the miner’s struggle in Butte, MT. // Iran-Contra and all those who never were held accountable. Groundhog Day since then. // Leftist high school English teacher, Bush 2000, invasions of Afghanistan/Iraq, Guantanamo, meeting Guatemalan genocide survivors and human rights advocates in 2005 // Debating the impact of the IMF on the Global South in a high school economics class with a guy who was about to go off the the Air Force Academy. // Never understood from an early age how there could be so much wealth and yet poverty existed. The system always seemed incredibly dumb. Like if you were to design how things should be, there would be some obvious simple changes. People didn’t need to suffer. // 2012-16 Obama admin + studying British imperial history // Waco // The 1980 campaign pushed me in my current direction. // Tory austerity in Britain this past decade. // my mom going from battered housewife to English major undergrad when I was 7 // GFC + finding out about MMT, from there getting links to jacobin, and finally listening to the dig // Bernie’s campaign. Watching the collapse of the neoliberal order. Left youtube. Listening to lectures on theory. Memes // going to Syria and Iraq in 2012 + the Gezi uprising + Marxist philosophy // pretty much the same thing for me. Iraq was a wake up call and 2008 opened the door to reading more about how the system works against us. I think Bernies 2016 run was the start of me engaging with theory. // All else being equal, late middle age... // learning to skateboard // Realizing I was naive enough as a youth to think it was cool getting a photo with marco rubio when he was FL Speaker of the House. Bernie Sanders got me back into politics. But it was the wonderful community of Twitter leftists that pushed me further left. // The republican response to 9/11. // Recession, having to breath asbestos and never getting a weekend. Also as a kid when I found out what a bank is. // the 2000 election recount happening at exactly the age when i first started being sort of aware of politics. // Leaving my parents’ house and actually having a diverse group of friends. // History. // A patient friend who helped me see. // Realizing that my political imagination had been severely limited (probably intentional part of society, right?) when Bernie Sanders ran the first time got the ball rolling for me. It didn’t take long for me to run into some a @PhilosophyTube after that. :) // Same, but tack on the 2016 primary followed by a 2016 Dem loss in the GE. // Living in a lie since ‘75 is what did it for me. // Iraq and Chomsky. // The 2008 financial crisis and the following bank bailout led me to Occupy and a new understanding of how capitalism is at odds with democracy and human rights. Since then each subsequent crisis, including our present one, has reinforced this understanding. // It came in stages. First it was 9/11 and the murky story of how that all happened. Then it was reading some leftist theory in high school but I finally realized that Communism is the only rational choice when I became homeless for a time. // Being undocumented since I was 2 years old (currently DACA now), ‘08 housing crisis was a direct blow to our family - dad had been a residential construction framer for 10+ years- and Bernie’s 2016 election. Pomona college tied it all in some -Chomsky, Democracy Now, Intercept // Not having running water in my community in Puerto Rico when I was 6, because a US NAVY base took it from us. // Coming of age during Occupy Wall Street, and being involved in my city’s local offshoot. // Going through puberty, realizing I was gay, and then watching every bit of pablum I’d been fed growing up in conservative, right wing, bible-belt about family, love, protecting the weak etc turn out to be grade AAA bullshit, and then seeing the left actually do those things // For me it was 2016 and reading about the Mexican Revolution + Marx + Gramsci. I was a normie lib before that and at some point even a teenage libertarian. // Online debating in 2004 realizing that my libertarian arguments were shitty // Working for the federal healthcare system. Understanding where the money goes, how it’s used, and who is getting paid with our tax dollars. // 2009 was my baptism in how broken everything is. // Learning about US intervention in Latin America and the destruction of the US labour movement over the decades // Being a daily show lib and rooting for Obama then watching him fail miserably in all the things he was supposed to stand for // 2016, Marxism, MMT // For me it was the landlords’ social media posts during this crisis right here // Foreign intervention and the facade of prosperity amongst the masses. // 2016, Left-Tube and Chapo, Marx and Gramsci // Went from a New Deal style democrat and took sociology courses so I read initially Marx, Weber, and Bourideu and that put me over the top. With the lens from sociology I was able to analyze every event that happened in my lifetime. Also found a particular religion that made sense for me and discovered a significant socialist and leftist movement in it. // Getting a quality education in US history and economics. Specifically, reading anarchist theory for modern Euro history class in 2015 // Growing up listening to Dead Kennedys, Atari Teenage Riot, & Ec8oR // Growing up as a white poor person in america in the 80’s and 90’s. // Seattle 99 // That was huge for me too. Adbusters felt like a secret transmission from the resistance back then // Bush years + punk rock + biology class I failed in community college. If it weren’t for that I would have continued watching Carlos mencia as a normie lib with my stoner friends and probably become some libertarian conspiracy theorist // moving to south bend, indiana // A good friends father/professor and Noam Chomsky... // Communist shitposters, Sense8, LSD // Late 1980’s // Deep down, Im pretty sure it was my childhood admiration for bart simpson. // I used to drink with an old African American catholic priest in New Orleans. He told me stories of burning draft cards and running from the feds. He started my journey. // Occupy movement, 2016 election, reading theory. // Bush Jrs 1st "election" // working in a factory, seeing my boss getting to play solitaire in the office all day and get paid more than all of us // Honestly my parents were already pretty lefty and I hated police since I was a kid but then I guess it was my friend in high school showing me commie memes and then 2016 was maybe The Moment but it was a long time coming // Gramsci was a martyr. FUCK MUSSOLINI // George W. Bush got me into politics with his utter shittiness, and the Trump era has pushed me as far left as humanly possible // For me, it was learning about Indian freedom fighters like. Bhagat Singh, Nehru, and Gandhi. I’m thankful for that early appreciation of left wing views but I didn’t understand the American political landscape until 2011, when I saw Bernie on Bill Maher. // 2016 + Joining the union + Cornel West + Chapo (inb4 makes me a bad leftist) + actually reading Marx // September 11th // The start of the Iraq War when I was in high school is definitely when I started getting into politics ... and angry // discovered r/aboringdystopia and started learning more about the USSR. This election cycle has just solidified everything // getting into climate activism, fighting the obama white house and clinton state department over the keystone xl pipeline and spending 3 days in jail with some super rad climate activists. // Reagan. Watching him and Newt Gingrich essentially militarize religion against the working class infuriated me to no end. // 99% movement. Plus general confusion as to why governments helping people instead of businesses was considered "bad" in history class. // A lot of little small things over the course of a lifetime, but I’d say the moment that really clicked for me was in the summer of 2016 when five cops got shot in Dallas and I realized it made me happy // The episode of Community about Subway, Larry David’s impersonation of Bernie Sanders, Rat emojis, Tiger King // Also, for me it was trump winning in 2016 that pushed me even further left. Im not an extremist though. // Trump, and a Noam Chomsky article that pointed out that Dwight Eisenhower would not be shocked by Bernie Sanders’ policies // The let down of the Obama years started it, then in college I started reading up on Marx, then boom 2016 happened and chapo traphouse // When I was a teenager Reagan was president. That was plenty // Honestly, Trump getting elected which led to a chain of events that ended up in me starting watching ContraPoints in my senior year of high school, and now I’m a Marxist. // Johnny hobo and the freight trains. also republicans existing made me pretty fucking weary of government george bush was a fucking twat. wars sucked always But gotta say the one thing that really radicalized me was history class // A bit after trump was elected. When he won I made a post like "oh well lets give him a chance" then over thr next year or so I was like "wait no this is all bullshit lets burn it down" // Seeing the nazis make a comeback after the 2016 elections. // Iraqi War did it for me. // Charlottesville... // December 10th, 2010 (The Bernie Sanders Filibuster) // I was a tankie in high school for no reason at all and gradually wheeled it back // Memes and good friends! // Trying to figure out what brought on 9/11....Bush/Cheney, Iraq, but probably mostly although I didn’t know it, listening to my father’s Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger cassettes when I was a little kid. // watching the party and its media machine fuck bernie over in 2016 and 2020 // One of my high school history teachers. I don’t even know if she was a leftist, she just did a good job of teaching american history. So I guess it was america’s history itself that radicalized me, but shout out to her for not sugarcoating it // Strip searches and solitary confinement. // learning about Operation Condor in high school Spanish class (CIA and School of the Americas (now WHINSEC) support for multiple South American dictatorships in the 1970s, including torture training but also arms trade and coup planning help) // Watching Obama say we should let DAPL "play out" sealed it for me // In highschool/college when I learned about the CIA’s selling of drugs in inner cities to help fund their wars. Then learning about more drug laws and big pharma, then I took a step back from current events for 5 years until Trump began fucking up. // To be honest? Reading leftist text trying to rebut them. // It was the Bernie campaign in 2016 for me that I think woke up the anti-establishment ideas for me. And it was further cemented when I discovered HBomberguy and ControPoints on Youtube. // The Clash, Reagan, 1982, I was 13. // Reading Chomsky in jail is when I realized I was a leftist, listening to System of A Down in 3rd grade after 9/11 is where it started though // 2015, Bernie got me doing really basic research on the United States. What’s gone on in the past, what other countries are enjoying and have been enjoying for years. // I’m big on "do what works", it’s how my brain’s wired. The fact that we as a country have been doing what isn’t working for decades and decades made my blood boil. Now the systemic corruption and injustice I see does too. // my dad making me sit down and listen to Rush Limbaugh with him when I was a kid back in the 90s // Being in the military and gradually realizing the rest of the world does not see us the way that we view ourselves. Then coming back home and taking a fresh look at things and realizing everything I thought I knew about the world was a lie. // *gestures around broadly and vaguely* // Being a teacher during the Obama years... he hurt our profession more than anyone in 27 years as a teacher.... And he still is up on a pedestal... // When my dad went to prison for the PATCO strike and also growing up in a household where reading Marx and inviting his workers league comrades was our family’s Friday night // Definitely 2016, at first bernie made me a demsoc, but when he was screwed out of the nom I became a Marxist // My friend gave me a copy of Dead Prez Let’s Get Free when I was 14 in 2001. That was the start. // Bank bailouts, and not having healthcare. // 2016 and then reading a lot of history and a little theory and just realizing how fucked everything is // specifically it was learning about the american labor movement, like the pullman strikes // convinced that capitalism needed to be overthrown (had been an over enthusiastic tumblr lib before) learning about the Depression and specifically reading the Grapes of Wrath provided that "click" lmao - the part describing food being destroyed in front of starving people because capitalism distributes for profit not need. Very soon after that reading Latin American history and Galeano and realising the scale and centrality of colonial plunder + genocide to world history and the west. // For me it was (unironically) majoring in business. Holy shit that opened my eyes so fast. Being forcefed Ayn Rand & Milton Friedman in the process had me seeking out alternatives as an extracurricular activity. The only mention of Marx or anything like it was like half a chapter in my last semester and it was on the topic of business ethics lol // Growing up in catholic schools made me an atheist. Going to a preppy high school made me hate the upper class and being an engineer showed me that meritocracy is a lie. // Business School radicalized me too. All the equations that don’t make sense in the real world. Labor as a variable in an equation. Only learning how to turn numbers into higher numbers and not solving real world problems // Being homeless for 7 years in the late 80s early 90s // Iraq War 2003 // I was a liberal in 2016 and saw leftists online but didn’t want to go that far left because it seemed extreme, but then the election happened and I couldn’t figure out why Trump won and why all these liberal institutions failed, and leftbook and breadtube and chapo provided somewhat of an explanation // For me it was reading some of the things Lenin did 1917, and then looking up some basic’s on Marx’s theory of exploitation. After that, I was hooked. // Iraq + 2008 + lack of accountability for everything + living in Nairobi for several years // Law School and learning the history of property law // Britney Spears // Scott Walker // Working my ass off for over 10 years and getting nowhere. It made me realize the system is designed to keep people poor, and all the financial advice my parents gave me didn’t help."Buy in bulk"-cant afford to "Get a mortgage and buy a home, its cheaper than an apartment"-cant afford the downpayment "Save for retirement"-I can barely afford rent Poor people simply don’t have the resources to plan for the long term or the problem they never see coming, and there are plenty of companies there to take advantage of that. So what radicalized me? Working for over 10 years in a capitalist dystopia did... // Standing Rock // I remember 14 year old me not understanding the Iraq War. A Jewish classmate explained to me that it was an unjust and illegal war. I still didn’t understand the foreign policy underpinnings of that issue until Bernie and learning about the CIA. // I didn’t learn about all the cia backed coups until college and I remember it blew my mind. Couldn’t believe that no one made more of a big deal about it. // Rent, both the musical and moving out and paying it. Also dumping my centrist bf // my boyfriend since last year is a communist and I had no interest in politics or world events, if I hadn’t met him I’d still be a normie liberal, probably a social democrat // my earliest salient memory is 9/11 (I was 6) and the rabid hyperpatriotism that followed. Then moving from a fairly progressive place (Boulder, CO) to a backwards shitshow (Jacksonville, FL) reaaaaally made me realize how much of your life comes from your material conditions, though I couldn’t put it in those terms til college. Started getting lefty friendly learning about the extent of US imperialism in latin america (RIP Jacopo Árbenz) But honestly I didn’t get into radical politics til I realized I was trans and learned about stonewall and how exactly everyone who isn’t a cishet white landowning man has gained the right to do anything in this country // Punk Rock. // Dead Kennedys // Subhumans // Trumps election and then thinking about how bad my family was fucked over during 2008 // 2008, reading about how involved the US is in Latin American countries, seeing data about wealth inequality // I think it was around February of 7th grade where I was really introduced to Du Bois in any meaningful way, from there it was just reading Guerilla Warfare and Marx in gym class, I tried to suppress it for a few years in my early 20s as to be considered respectable and taken seriously, which never happened, then just went mask off for good // Anti-flag’s terror state cd, with the booklet full of information on what the songs were about, it was great // Reagan! Eek! // Honestly just being even vaguely aware of the world around me // Seeing the housing market collapse and that the only people who didn’t get help were the ones who needed it most. Banks got free money. Insurance companies who took bad bets with banks? Free money. Homeowners who couldn’t refinance after the teaser period because their mortgage was underwater? They got freedom and individualism is what they got. // For me it was watching Reagan lie to get elected and then attack everything America stood for for the last 50 years: fighting fascists and sticking up for the little guy. // Being in a private school full of out-of-touch 0.1% kids roasting me for having parents on UI during the 2008 Recession, made me super class-conscious and also want to each the rich lol. also my sis & now brother-in-law showing me anarcho & crust punk soon after. I see that’s influenced a lot of us on here. // Anarchist and free thinker since birth but waaay apolitical. What got me interested were Chomsky, foreign policy and the combo of Bernie and Corbyn. Probably will become apolitical again if a general strike isn’t conducted after the pandemic ends. // Unhelpful and belittling advice from my middle class parents and news media, and the panic and uncertainty that inside from how my future was gonna play out. That in combination of studying sociology set it all up for me. // Watching the news. // Rahm Emanuel fired all the teachers at my old middle school to turn it into a military academy, I vowed revenge on him. Parents yelling at Chicago Public Schools begging them to not close their schools plus NATO protests played a factor. // How screwed up the 2000 election was. Then the reaction to 9/11 after realizing we trained al Qaeda // Punk rock // I’m 22 so my radicalization happened fast and recently and largely online. Learning about operation condor through my own research + the Rare Earth video about Allende + reading Goldman, Marx, and Kropotkin + reading/listening to Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Žižek + Behind the Bastards podcast + the Syrian Civil War and the treatment of refugees + Afghanistan because I literally do not remember a time before the US was occupying it and digging into Afghanistan really made me realize the scope and depth of American imperialism + NonCompete, Thought Slime, and Philosophy Tube (I have specific videos that truly made me realize...oh shit. I AM an AnCom) And none of my openness to anything left of Soc Dem would have been possible tbh without my high school civics teacher Mr. Zay and Spanish teacher Mr. Delassandro lowkey lowkey being like "hey kids 👀 capitalism is evil 👀 use ur own brains 👀" Like I don’t think either of them are AnCom, and they may both just even be Soc Dems, but they did their best in the public school system to kinda. Encourage us to seek out bits of history that they’re not allowed to teach you in public school. Like Operation Condor. I NEVER heard of it until I was 19/20 and on a late night Wikipedia binge. // Vietnam War! // For me it was living in poverty then moving and living middle class + reading marxist literature. // Being young and naive and believing in Obama in 2008 and then realizing the extent to which id been conned. // Let’s get some books and texts for a reading list fam // My radicalization was a combination of the following: -Realizing Obama wasn’t as left-wing as I thought he was,-The Occupy movement, -Bernie’s 2016 campaign, -Everything about the 2016 election, -Finding out who Michael Brooks, Richard Wolff, and Slavoj Žižek are, -Finally sitting down and reading some Marx, Combine all of that with a 26-year-old who would be on the streets in different circumstances, and you end up with a pretty decent radicalization story. // I remember being way too into the Civil War at age 11 and telling my family about how I thought John Brown was awesome and got so close to creating a slave rebellion. I was mad. I wanted Confederates to pay. I realized later that even though the term wasnt invented yet, that was fascism. Its like the USA’s one good moment where it stopped evil until Hitler came along. I just never stopped going leftward once I realized what the Overton scale was. // Bernie got me started. Communism concluded the ordeal. // The Iraq war was when I started realizing how corrupted everything is and wanted to do something about it. // Bernie Sanders // The Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, which wasn’t even that radical, but woke me up to our rigged, corrupt system // Getting my economics degree taught me that I was a democratic socialist. Fuck the invisible hand // For me it was reading Noam Chomsky’s dissection of US foreign policy in Southeast Asia in 1981. Before that I really didn’t know what the fuck was really going on, my mind cluttered with corporate propaganda from the mainstream media, my high school "education" and the culture in general. // My parents are both Polish and they always made it clear to me how backwards America seems. I started watching TYT, then Bernie came along and voila. I’m now a socialist. // Iraq // Round one...the 80’s. I’m a Xennial. Which means I was old enough to pay attention but too young to do anything. Way too damn much was going on. The police literally bombed a neighborhood. I listened to a lot of punk music that seemed to reflect everything I was feeling. Round 2...Because of my anxiety disorder I would skip lunch period and go to the school library where I sat on the floor reading and discovered The Red Wheel, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I was 14. Within weeks I started spending all my freetime during the weekends in the basement of the public library teaching myself Russian so I could read all of the revolutionary books I’d found down there. Round 3...I learned to appreciate the work of the Zapatistas. There’s been a lot more rounds and a lot of reading along the way. // Being a young teenager ruminating on just how bullshit capitalist insurance is amidst the ACA debate, as well as just how bullshit capitalist ISPs are. Bill Maher was on in my house which exposed me to left-lib from a young age, then I got increasingly socialist through the internet. I did regress to reactionary anti-feminist socdem around age 16, but the 2016 election shook that up // A very formative political moment for me was Michael Brown and the rise of Black Lives Matter (I was a bit too young to contemporaneously understand Trayvon Martin’s murder). It told me that I’d been lied to about a basic assumption - the virtue of the police. I started to wonder what other institutions people had lied to me about. Then to some degree, Bernie and the 2016 election crystallized my opinion on some important issues. To a larger degree, going down the leftist pipeline on YouTube. Ancom channels like NonCompete and Thought Slime are just one or two recommendations removed from much more vaguely left-associated channels like Lindsay Ellis and Jenny Nicholson, who get recommended because I was watching a lot of media criticism. It’s an easy jump from channels like them to HBomberguy, Shaun, Contrapoints, Philosophy Tube, etc. Those channels are more explicitly political, but maybe mix in media criticism frequently or aren’t as explicitly radical, even if they’re largely socialist as people. And then, voila, ancom YouTube. NonCompete’s series about how anarchism would work, in particular, won me over to being a full commie tbh. Oh also gotta give some credit to leftbook around 2017/2018 ish for helping me get past the shock of Ahhh Real Communists and realize that there were actual communists, not liberals, in the world, and they had good reasons for their beliefs, and to some people I was not a radical (I grew up in a very religious, conservative environment). // moving to a red state and realizing that a lot of the lib stuff i took for granted is bullshit. // Bernie + reading about Marxism + all the shit going on in the world + realizing what we have now is SHIT // An accumulation of 40 years of trauma. // Going from having lived in Western European social democracies all my life to living in the US and seeing how even the most basic of humanitarian reforms are impossible under late stage capitalism. // In my early 20s, my wife asked me if I had ever heard of Marx. I hadn’t. She said my ideas were very similar to his. So I read the Manifesto and other things, yeah, she was freaking right! // Trump, poverty, eviction. // Oh."The Responsibility of Intellectuals" by Noam Chomsky. I read it in the mid-2000s and really reentered my focus. // Then came Aaron Swartz. His advocacy truly hit me right where my passions met my skill set. Then his arrest. Then his suicide, which I still say was murder by the American government. Edward Snowden and his ongoing battles. Being on OkCupid and realizing that people weren’t ok with violent actions against Nazis. Yes, there’s a question about leftist politics that brings out the neolibs. The murder of Taliesin. The hate and racism that the girls he died protecting faced. Not seeing people give a flying fuck about the deaths that occurred or the fact that one of the girls is still too afraid to wear her hijab, but the proud nazi who killed my friend still get praise and excuses. The fact that anti-fascist views are compared to the hate that a racist murderer spewed on the train that afternoon. The fact that people said Taliesin and the others shouldn’t have interfered or intervened. The fact that Taliesin’s last words were "Tell everyone on this train I love them", and he’s compared to an aggressor that took his life. Unite the Right and their tiki torches got protection and praise while people were terrified. Tiki torches are ruined for me. An innocent woman died while showing others love and support. She was made out to be a bad person even though she was plowed over by a car. The fact that this country is only a good place for affluent white people. The fact that PoC are the ones being hurt the most by Coronavirus. The fact that people are afraid to seek medical care. The fact that even if they seek medical care, we don’t have the supplies to treat everyone. The fact that I see so much hope and love in my dog’s eyes but don’t see it in the eyes of the people around me. // Being cornered by the 2 women closest to me on Sept 11th, 2001 and hearing them tell me that I should enlist in the military. Ralph Nader, Democracy Now!, and Noam Chomsky were voices of reason for me back then. // 2016 primary and witnessing just how un-democratic the Democratic Party actually is // When I checked out a book on middle eastern geopolitics from my school library and learned about the Iran coup, the Afghan war, and basically how we shot ourselves in the foot with the twin towers // 2014 — Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Iraq pissed me off but I was a little young for that. Coming from a Red State I’d never seen mass protests like I did in NYC when BLM formed. It had a huge impact one me. // Obama 2008 versus Obama 2012 // wild as it is, tumblr. there was at one point a very strong socialist community // Does everyone here know that in 1979, almost a year after Iran took over the US embassy and kicked out our puppet dictator and installed the current extremist regime, that Iran was holding the Embassy staff prisoner. US Media called them ‘hostages’. President Carter (the last respectable Democrat) had been negotiating with Iran to get the hostages released. Well, we know now that Candidate Ronald Reagan’s staff also called the Iranians and asked them to hold on to the hostages until after the election. Iran wanted to return them – Reagan asked them to hold the hostages even longer! // Iran did as Reagan asked, and held into the hostages for months and months longer than they wanted to, and when were they finally released? The day of Reagan’s inauguration! So Trump’s sleaziness is nothing new. Conservatives have been committing High Crimes and Misdemeanors for decades, and the Dems have ALWYAS refused to stop them. Bonus points: In the late 1980s, when the feckless Dems were pretending to investigate the Iran/Contra ‘scandal’, guess who Reagan hired to stymie, and eventually succeeded in shutting down the Dem’s invetigation through open and brazen un-Constitutional Obstruction of Congress? BILL BARR! When Trump announced Barr as AG, I immediately knew the reason why: violating the Constitution to protect the GOP’s political power. I still remember when I first heard of the Reagan/hostage deal. He was still President and no matter how much I talked about it, NO Democrat was brave enough to do anything about it, so it was all described as ‘conspiracy theory’ back then. // I also occasionally lucked out and had professors who encouraged us to read Chomsky or learn about The School of The Americas // Communist literature on Grateful Dead tour ca 1990s // Not being able to find a job post-graduation + defaulting on my student loans + bankruptcy bc no job and debt + working multiple slave labor I mean min wage part time jobs and not being able to make rent while living with my mother and starving + Bernie saying it doesn’t have to be this way // I grew up on TYT, and their constant criticism of Obama from the left was what shaped my political views. Only within the past two years did I begin exploring leftist theory, largely because I first learned of the consistent stream of US imperialist interventions to prevent socialist uprisings throughout the world. // Um, eating out of a garbage can when I was 7. // For me it was the occupy wall street movement // It was having to live in poverty, homeless, despite maintaining my full time work. // Being forced to work for a company that bullies me but I haven’t been able to leave because the job market is fucked up and the other options are worse // Some wierd video I watched about Marx turned me into an almost tankie, then I became a lib, then Bernie pushed me further left till I got into lefttube and somehow ended up here // 1. Traveling to other countries and seeing how barbaric this country is. 2. Flying my ex to Europe for months at a time for medical treatment realizing that 1)their care is better than ours and b) it is less expensive to spend 4 months in Europe than get shitty health care here. 3. Understanding factory farming. 4. Watching the DNC be corrupt and despicable without trying to hide it. 5. Having read Howard Zinn many years ago and knowing my country’s narrative is mostly propaganda. And a lot of other things I’m sure. // My godfather. He was in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain and was subpoenaed by the McCarthy Committee // 2016-2018 first sanders and then breadtube // 2011: learning about Obama’s Drone Wars + Chelsea Manning + Edward Snowden/NSA + 2016 + Lefty Podcasts/Books // John Locke // Growing up in Romania // Watching occupy wall st, working in a city that is primarily trust fund babies, and seeing how little effort some people have to put forward to get far further than is possible for normal people // Bernie Sanders speech in 2007 then 2008/2009 crisis + assigned Marx in political theory + discovering Star Trek all at the same time. If I think about it hearing Chris Rock talk about "the money is in the medicine" in middle school definitely got me thinking critically about profit // for me, it was being a disenfranchised gay in the 90’s until now + I FUCKING WANT MODERN HEALTHCARE // ya know, nothing special, just 30+ years of outrage... // Getting a dead Kennedy’s album in 7th grade. // when I was 14 I picked up a copy of Frankenchrist and Bad Religion’s No Control. Been snotty POS ever since // Took a class on Marxism, then the professor asked me to help teach it...right after the Bush/Gore circus. Didn’t take much after that // Blotter Acid // 2016 Primary, And then general, and then the progression of the politics of the nation over the last 4 years // LOL remember the election where Bush and Gore competed over hanging chads? Yeah, my first election. // Pretty much the same as in the tweet. abu gharib happened when I was like 7 and read about it and it fucked me up. My dad lost his job in 2005 and then the recession hit, plus I read about Eugene Debs in a Vonnegut novel right around that time // Reading Rudolf Steiner // When I was 14 my high school let in a speaker from Voices of Palestine (not sure if they were invited or asked to come) who was a rape survivor attacked by IDF soldiers at a checkpoint. Peace was never an option // In 1997 when I was born // Vietnamese diaspora, Bosnia / yugoslavia, school reads like The Outsiders, 1984, Animal Farm, Lord of The Flies, Fahrenheit 451, Farewell to Camp Manzenar // Well I am Canadian and I was born into a family of large L Liberals, I spent my youth reading philosophy and political science as encouraged by my parents, when to a liberal arts university in the maritimes, where I studied philosophy and Canada studies. I think tho it was the slow dissent of the Harper Government that radicalized me, I started protesting when I was 14 and never stopped mostly because of cannabis regulations // Becoming disabled and UK austerity // For me it was also Iraq + the 2008 financial crisis. But I did not get much involved in activism until Trump came along. That was when I knew I could no longer sit on the sideline. // Working construction // 9/11 was my first day of high school classes and I was already in ypsl. It just kept going from there. // Learning actual American history + 1999 WTO protests + reading theory + Iraq + the Great Recession and everyone responsible for it getting off scot-free // 2002-2003 reading Chomsky and A People’s History of the United States. Also had a really good Am History course in high school 2000 // Gritty // My dad’s sudden death after not being able to get the medical treatment he needed, even though he was "covered" by Medicaid. // Chomsky while attending a Jesuit university in Seattle- the same year as WTO; Direct Action training and participation in Anti-Globalization in DC, Prague; Then Iraq, the recession and finally taking Marx more seriously, reading Eagleton and other critics. Listening to Marxist Grandpa Prof. Wolff. // The entire world being run for the benefit of some smug rich shitheads who are comprised of some of the worse people imaginable just annoys me on a base level tbh. I was an angry socdem going into 2016 (thought we should purge the rich upper classes but couldn’t really imagine an economic system outside of capitalism) but did what every vaguely angry edgy teenage boy does and spent a lot of time on various forums. Eventually found leftypol on 8chan and they got me to read Marx and discover an ideological framework that stood in opposition to both conservatism and neoliberalism. I’ve swapped between various leftist ideological positions since but the basis for what I believe hasn’t really changed // For me it was the Downing Street memos. // Watching planes crash into buildings on september 11, 2001. watching the news and seeing the narrative morph in real time about why we should go to war in Iraq. dealing with neoliberals who couldn’t stand a party outsider while i campaigned for Nader in ‘08. not being able to afford college, and having the audacity to attempt to live my life while poor. Having to keep going to work after I was diagnosed with cancer. et al. // I always thought of myself as being vaguely to the left but then i stumbled upon an hbomb video sometime in 2018 (the soyboy one) and discovered lefttube in a couple of very interesting weeks. // The UK rapper Lowkey, and San Francisco Liberal hypocrisy about homelessness. // Definitely growing up under 10 years of Tory austerity and learning more about Marxist economic theory plus being part of woodcraft folk from a young age // Waking up from waking up with sam "historical racism doesn’t matter" harris. All i did was listen to his critics and realized that it was actually his characterization of the "usual suspects" that was unfair. // Teen Vogue // 2016, realizing that the Democrats weren’t the altruists that I’d thought they were. // Back in 2016 and honestly it was when Donald Trump beat Hillary. I was bummed that Hillary robbed Bernie then, but it didn’t radicalize me yet I was just an average socially left economically center dem. That changed when Donald Trump won. After that I really started looking into the Clinton’s and the Obama administration and it just became a rabbit hole of corruption. This coupled with the rise of white nationalism really got me going. The straw that broke the camels back however was watching as the DNC once again fucked over Bernie, and then I found Jreg and Now I’m an anti centrist. // Listening to Richard Wolff, David Harvey and old Chomsky talks while working a shitty job // Reading Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow made me realize how dirty corporate media is. Then I saw with my own eyes how they smeared Bernie. // Writing a world war 1 diary in sophomore year and doing it from the perspective of a russian. // Step 1: Reading A Short History of the World by H.G. Wells and being increasingly exposed to Québécois nationalism, racism and xenophobia in high school and cegep. Step 2: Regular use of varying amounts of LSD in university while studying Psychology and reading: Terence McKenna - Food of the Gods Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain - Acid Dreams Jay Stevens - Storming Heaven Step 3: All of my experiences working for employers and at times being scammed e.g. getting kidnapped and forced to work door-to-door illegally for a day after being told I was hired for a warehouse position. This culminated in my experiences in nursing school, trying to find a job in my field, working in nursing homes and then psychiatry, and basically having soul crushing experiences that demonstrated just how corrupt and disgusting the healthcare system in Québec really is. Seeing the rise of Trump added fuel to the fire. Disenchantment with Canadian politics as well. Step 4: Paying attention to the 2020 US election so far, studying capitalism and socialism more closely, seeing impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. // For me, I went from false centrist, to liberal, to ML. I appreciate the anarchist side too. This happened after spending all hours driving to and from work listening to smaller stuff like Prof. Wolff and Robert Reich, and then moving on to critical analyses by people such as Michael Parenti, Noam Chomsky, and the like. I read Parenti’s books and looked at the culture of capitalism, the domestic policy struggles of a false republic V. policy of empire abroad, and knew it to be true that the worst fears were true. // It’s been a slow but steady path for me; 2016 was definitely a turning point though. Honestly, playing historical strategy video games actually contributed, which I understand is maybe the opposite of what usually happens XD Becoming conscious of exactly what folk have been up to the last few centuries specifically was definitely a big part of me turning more to the left; as a human I can’t look at naked imperial ambition and the slaughter of people for profit and ignore the wrongness of it. // Being a post 2008 econ major, Marxian economics class, anthropology classes, Bernie sanders, watching the climate and the middle class disintegrate before my very eyes, graduating college and supposedly starting a career during the coronavirus // Jeremy Corbyn // for me it was watching my mom cuss out this lady who was working at compusa because my mom bought the wrong thing // taking some Poli Sci courses on US Foreign Policy in Latin America 1800-Present // I was already very left in 2016, what radicalized me was seeing how hard even the """good guys""" will fight against making peoples’ lives better // COINTELPRO tells you all you need to know. // 2016+learning basic economics plus foreign policy history of the US+Marx+1 or 2 Malcom X speeches // I was a lib from 2014-2016. Then Sanders came in and exposed the DNC that I had put my trust in. Around that same time, I had a friend that would NOT STOP posting lefty memes. Through the memes, I began noticing how some of my positions and things I valued were impossible to reach using politics the way the US usually did it. It took me a long time to finally come to terms with being an actual socialist because of the stigmas and because I would have to turn back against pretty much everything I knew of, but now that I am comfortable calling myself what I am, I don’t know why I didn’t think this way earlier. // Reading Chomsky and Marx junior year of hs and other Marxist/Socialist interpretations like Fanon and Trotsky after that. // I haven’t been ‘radicalized’ at all. In fact I find the term to be a grossly inaccurate and inflammatory way to cast aspersions on people who still believe in the concepts of the New Deal or have the gall to want that government to protect all its citizens, not just the shareholders and corporate titans. That said, in the 2000 election when Florida flipped from Gore to Bush I knew American politics had been utterly corrupted to the core. When the Bush cabal, installed by the Supreme Court, started their fake WMD war with Iraq, I had a feeling we were being duped. When Bush’s tax cuts failed to raise my take home pay I knew it was all a scam. Getting laid off from my pale-blue-collar job as a designer after 14.75 years (just before I would be eligible for more vacation time and a raise) was probably the final straw that broke the spell of optimism I’d been under. Ugly days are now upon us. The curtain has been pulled back to reveal the frauds and charlatans running this shitshow. The question for voters and politically-minded individuals is: what are we going to do about it? // My progression to the left was pretty linear, until 2016. in 2016 I considered myself left of the DNC but not a radical, by now I’m leaning pretty hard into Marxism. High school got me out of the conservatism of my family, Occupy was the wake up call, NSA/Snowden/Manning was the fuel, and 2016 was the nail in the coffin // Vietnam and Jackson State. And since then...the list is too long to post. // the bloomberg debate // obama. i was made to campaign pretty hard for him by my family in 2008. ended up liking him, and supporting him genuinely. in the end, i felt betrayed by obama. he promised so much, and achieved only a few of those things in my opinion. by the time 2016 rolled around i was finishing up the communist manifesto for the second time. // I had a Marxist-Lacanian professor for The History of European Intellectual Thought and I never looked back. // Working in binder factory in the late 90s at a teen and we tried to unionize and they fired us all and replaced as all with temp workers. // Growing up in poverty during the recession, the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the violent militarized response from the police to protesters. // The DNC ripping off the illusion that there are people in government that want to help us. // Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth was assigned reading in a replacement literature class I took in college. I got an otherwise corporate education at the university of central Florida but thanks to over enrollment I had to choose an elective literature class instead of basic requirement Literature II. A class inconspicuously named "World Literature" ended up being about revolutionary world literature and was structured around The Wretched of the Earth. This was my last semester at UCF and the first time I truly felt like I learned something meaningful. // Public opposition to the Nicaraguan contras in 1988; our leaders ignored the people. // Unemployed for 99 weeks then working 3 jobs and trying to stay on food stamps when my boss filled out my form with more hours than I actually got while complaining about the property tax on her second home while occupy was going on. Then I tried to kill myself and got a job working for big pharma listening to old women cry because they couldn’t get pain meds and old men demand free boner pills while reading /r/LateStageCapitalism

Back To History Is A Weapon's Front Page

Our Amnesia Only Serves The Masters