You socialists reading this…you know you’re one of these. Or all of them, if you’re particularly unpleasant.
- The Hippie Buddha
We all know someone a bit like this, especially if we live in California. Or Hampstead. This person is leftist out of deep moral and spiritual conviction. Maybe they had an epiphany while doing yoga at sunrise, or they liked the taste of the organic chocolate from that very socialist co-op, or their flower chains cut off oxygen from their brain. In any case, their leftism is because they have strong senses of justice and equal rights. Ugh.
Loves: Organic, vegan, gluten-free food, 70s music, bandannas, slogan T-shirts, meditation, their strong values
Hates: Immoral behaviour, technology, guns, the 1%, dark colours, big corporations
Idols: The Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Jesus Christ, Russell Brand
Most likely to say: “Socialism is moral decency. Simple as that.”
“The socialist movement should have spirituality at its heart.”
“I luuuurve goop.com.”
- The tumblr commie
This person is most likely a teenager who describes themself as “belonging to the tendency of left anarcho-councilist technocratic third-worldist Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist-DeLeonist-Luxemburgist-Hoxhaist thought with Bordigist leanings.” Or in other words, the tendency of utter bullshit. They feel an obligation to defend every state that ever described itself as socialist, have a collection of Che shirts and are cis, straight, white, male and living in a developed country, but still feel sorry for themself.
Loves: Every country with a Wikipedia page that calls it a “communist state.”
Hates: Everything else.
Idols: The Kims. And someone they met on Reddit and thought sounded smart.
Most likely to say: “Socialism is where everything I hate goes away.”
“The First World is all bourgeois. Yeah, I’m American. Why do you ask?”
“I sold cookies with the Soviet flag on them at school once. Not at a profit either. I’m like a 21st century Che.”
- The Edgy One
This leftist is edgy as fuck and they make sure everyone knows it. Their end goal is Total. Destruction. which they get ready for by burning flags and shoplifting sex toys which they then use to masturbate. They have piercings, wear too much make-up and look terrifying. They spend their free time consuming riot porn and yelling about how no one understands them. And their parents also hate them. I wonder why.
Loves: They’re too edgy for love.
Hates: They’re too edgy for hate.
Idols: They’re too edgy for idols.
Most likely to say: “BURN IT! BURN IT! I DON’T GIVE A FUCK! KILL EVERYTHING! BWAAAAAAH!!!”
- The Intellectual
This person can be found in posh cafés, having intellectual conversations about guys with beards who died a hundred years ago, almost every day. They are very clued-up on theory and can quote Marx, Engels & co. at will, but turn their nose up at actual activism. Socialism for them is an expression of a philosophical possibility which they arrived at through deductive reasoning, as opposed to a tangible movement, and their ideas therefore tend to be extremely impractical.
Loves: Theory and highbrow intellectual conversations about theory.
Hates: Practice. (but they love to talk about unity of theory and praxis, as yet another excuse for their lack of activism.)
Idols: A bunch of guys with beards, who no one has ever heard of.
Most likely to say: “Socialism is [insert long, insanely specific description using fancy words].”
“You’re being undialectical.”
- The One True Revolutionary
They are the supreme revolutionary leader, the saviour of socialism and the guiding light of the proletariat…or at least, they think they are. This is the one you always see at conferences, picking out tiny flaws in what the speakers have said because they don’t stick exactly to the party line. They are extremely sectarian, and anyone who disagrees with them and their (probably tiny) sect is bourgeois, petit-bourgeois, revisionist, reactionary, liberal or fascist…or all of the above.
Loves: Their tiny sect and its EXACT line.
Hates: Everything else.
Idols: The founders of their tiny sect, who died 100 years ago.
Most likely to say: “Socialism is [the description from the back of their sect’s paper]”
“I’m not dogmatic. I’m orthodox.”
“Oh, them. They’re a bunch of bourgeois petit-bourgeois revisionist reactionary liberal fascists.”
- The Old Schooler
This one parties like it’s 1917. They’re more concerned about getting the members of the revolutionary vanguard to wear trench coats and cute hats with red stars than about revolutionary strategy, but when they do think about revolutionary strategy, they’re still concerned with integrating the peasantry into the movement, providing “peace, bread and land,” and what exactly Lenin’s April Theses meant and how to carry them out. They may or may not know all the lyrics to L’Internationale in 50 different languages.
Loves: ’10s music (and by that I mean 1910-19), farming, using a hammer and sickle in everyday life, cosplaying and historical LARPing
Hates: When people call them old-fashioned, because “the words and actions of Lenin/Mao/Makhno/whoever are timeless.”
Most likely to say: “Socialism is the liberation of the workers and peasants!”
“We must organise in every factory and every field!”
“Arise, ye workers from your slumber / Arise, ye prisoners of want…”
- The Pollyanna
The Pollyanna is what non-socialists tend to think all socialists must be: youthful, idealistic and ridiculously optimistic. They are a cheerful, trusting person who believes in pacifism, wealth redistribution, the innate goodness of humankind, unicorns, and other such things. Their life motto is “Anything is possible, anything at all.” They also probably drink too much coffee.
Most likely to say: “Socialism is when the world is lit up in a blaze of colour and sweets rain down from the sky and hatred ceases to exist and everyone’s dreams come true!”
“The Gini coefficient has decreased by 0.01! Socialism is coming!”
“Vote Labour! It won’t be like last time…or the time before…or the time before…”