"The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation." – Albert Einstein
I was talking with a friend about our radical leftist views and he asked, "How does your wife feel about it?"
I knew what he was getting at and it has been making me uncomfortable for some time now.
His wife, like mine, doesn’t share our enthusiasm.
I shared with him my suspicion that as men in a sexist society our views are a luxury women often cannot afford. As my wife puts it, she is more "in tune" with the daily operations of family life. She concedes that I do more than any man she knows but there is still an inequity. I can’t deny it. She’s right.
My friend also feels another factor is how females are shaped not to be worried about these kinds of things but rather: petty, "girly" things.
I also asked some questions to friends on Facebook about whether they think about how we are psychologically conditioned by social traditions, whether we think we would be different under different ones, whether we can imagine them, and if we prefer them, what are we willing to do to achieve them.
One friend noted he thinks a part of him would be the same since he is conscious of the oppressions. I think he missed my point and I am using the personal anecdote above to illustrate. Regardless of how conscious I am to various oppressions I still find myself shaped by them. From sexism to racism to our American hyper-consumer culture. Being conscious of it doesn’t change the fact that it shapes who we are.
The other night I was talking about participatory society stuff with my wife and she says, "What I have a hard time seeing is how we get from here to there." I briefly mentioned any reform that advances human freedom and protects us from oppressive forces can be a stepping stone to the achievement of a participatory society. But the most important thing we need, and which is in my opinion largely lacking is consciousness. We are often ignorant to our own oppression and how, as my wife has shown me, we are agents of oppression. Or we don’t see the reform as a means, but rather as an end in itself.
We need to be conscious of who, what and where we are. And, we also need to be conscious of who, what and where we want to be. We cannot go from Point A to Point B, or all the way to Point Z, without having some idea of this.
These things play with each other – today and tomorrow; vision and strategy.