Whether you’re a seasoned organizer, a budding anarchist or (especially?) if you’re a DINK who just moved to the burbs, sometimes you’re going to have questions about how to best fight and live within our capitalist system.
Ask a LeftistTM is a relatively safe space for those days that you’ve got those “oops maybe I shouldn’t have said that!” feelings. This may be a rare condition for you, or a more permanent one. No matter what, we’re here for you. Send in your questions and we here at Ask a LeftistTM will do our level best to help guide you back to the safety of being an ally… shit… accomplice… wait… agitator… oh yeah I think that’s the one.
“Someone called me a lib yesterday. What’s that mean? Am I offended? What do I do?”
Being a lib can be either a fleeting or permanent condition, but overall a lib is someone who thinks that our capitalist system works. This is usually because for them, for the most part, it does. And when it doesn’t, a lib is gonna tell you about it. Now, to be clear most people have at least a touch of lib in them, so you’re not alone.
For most libs it would be too painful to admit that most of our positions in modern society have more to do with the luck of the draw than merit. In addition, most libs (both at home and in public) believe and proclaim that they really are helping to make the world better. This is usually without the input of the people they are making it “better” for.
Now within this description, libs come in many shapes and sizes ranging from your “raging piece of shit lib” (the Clintons, Leahy, Joan Shannon, etc.) to your “kindly, well meaning and still learning lib” (think Bernie when he’s talking F-35s or police). We here at Ask a LeftistTM can’t say where you are on that spectrum most days or even in the moment in question, but, given that you read The Rake Vermont and wrote in, you’re probably in the “still learning” camp.
Moving to the second and third questions: Yes, you should be offended, but also let’s not make this all about your feelings. That would be a classic lib thing to do, so don’t! Instead, look within your heart. Did you police someone’s language? Did you cry at a meeting? Did you vote for Biden and tell people about it with pride? Maybe you even negotiated for a “pragmatic” solution without the input of affected parties! If so then the moniker of “lib” was probably appropriate at least temporarily.
So begin with a conversation to find out more about what you did or didn’t do. If you truly were being a lib, apologize for whatever lib behavior you did, make amends if necessary, modify your mindset and actions for the future and move on.
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A Leftist is the author of the wildly popular advice column “Ask A Leftist™”.