I used to define myself as a libertarian socialist (I still do in response to questions, if anyone asks me). I do not follow political labels any more, because I’ve come to the conclusion that groupthink is harder to overcome than ideological error, and it seems like all political groups have heavy groupthink attached to them. Bringing up feminism (real feminism, I mean) is a big no-no even in actual leftist circles. Antinatalism and population reduction, surely one of the biggest issues of our time, are usually relegated to the margins (this is changing slightly, and the discussion has started, although barely). There is no way, even in leftist groups, to try to bring up other radical issues without being attacked.
The best I can say is that I am a radical leftist. That, of course, can be misinterpreted. People, especially Americans, seem to think that “leftist” means “liberal.” Extremists of many kinds are called “radicals.” This is unfortunate, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Nowadays, I prefer to think about ideals. I’ve gotten very much into Iain Banks’ Culture series, which is about a far-future utopian anarchist galactic society governed by super-intelligent AIs. If I had to point to any book which highlights what I believe in, that would probably be it. There’s also The Dispossessed, by Ursula LeGuin, which I’ve been recommending for a long time. These provide an ideal of what could be, and what direction we should be thinking towards.
There are downsides to this. Some people will argue that pointing to far-future utopias demonstrates that those utopias cannot exist right here and right now. While spurious, this argument also shows the need to discuss current-day liberationist structures as well, like self-managed businesses, autonomous communities, freedom schools, and so on. There is no reason, apart from the interests of existing power structures, why we can’t have liberationist structures anywhere.
This position already has a name: fully automated luxury communism (FALC). It is not a widespread position (not yet, anyway), although it’s starting to get some popularity. It is a hyper optimistic position, which may seem to contradict my pessimism. I personally have little to no hope that FALC will ever exist in human societies, mostly because we’re going to exterminate each other before that happens (even if liberationism ever catches on). But I hold to it as an ideal which should inform our political views in the here and now. We all know deep down, even the worst conservatives, that the ideology of the future is not one of exclusion and petty limitations.
People might call me out for not caring about the present. It’s not that I don’t care about the present, but rather that I think people need ideals more than ideas. We are at a time in history where it seems like we have arrived at the horrible end of history, that capitalism has won, that democracy has won, and that we are about to destroy ourselves. Devoid of living alternatives, devoid of ideals, the opposition is reduced to a bunch of whackos trying to stake a claim of being the only true political alternative.
On present time politics, I prefer to concentrate on individual issues, like I do on this blog. Bottom-up politics, if you want, instead of top-down. Really getting into the details of a handful of issues and getting to the truth of it can then become a litmus test: any ideology which does not conform to what I already know is definitely true cannot be right. The reverse, forcing specific positions based on one’s general political views, can lead straight to absurdity, because their opinions are unchecked by good sense or logic, only by one’s internal logic.
Right now, I think the most important issue concerning politics is the issue of population control. And yet this is an issue that is not discussed very much at all. Here I am not talking about antinatalism, but about population ethics and population reduction in general. There is an urgent need to start reducing population worldwide. This is also connected to other issues like feminism (since much of procreation is caused by the exploitation and objectification of women), radical environmentalism (since population control is overwhelmingly the most efficient and only permanent way of reducing human impact on the environment), childism (since population growth is driven by childist arguments), antitheism (since so much procreation, and opposition to abortion, is driven by religion), antinatalism (obviously), and so on.
In terms of social organization, there are so many different problems and issues with their own importance that it’s hard for me to just name one. An old school leftist would probably point to the lack of class awareness as the core problem. Again, I think the lack of ideals has a lot to do with it.