Dead End Thoughts

In the past I have held a fascination for Marxist philosophy; I still do today, although in a very different way.

When I was much younger, entering the world of higher education in Italy, I considered myself a Communist for a while. Little more than a kid, I could not understand how people close to me failed to identify with my ideology. It seems so fair, Marxism; so obviously right: People should not be exploited.

Believing in it put such a righteous energy into me that I would participate in all possible demonstrations, protests or whatever other chance to support the "cause". I would wear memorabilia from these events, or just communist symbols, on my right arm. I did this to "exorcise" the "right" (as in right wing) from my right arm. To be fair, I do not blame my directional dysphoria on communism: this stupid, pretentious and cheesy habit was, unfortunately, all me.

I can't help but smile embarrassed at this silliness, but I still can understand it: Italy came out of fascism with deep scars, and the "freedom-fighters" militia that spontaneously developed in our nation was glorified in our history books. It so happens that, based on our history, these freedom fighters were moved to fight because they were communist. Italy celebrated them, and almost transitively celebrated communism too. We did not stop to think whether they really were convinced communists, nor if they knew what they were "subscribing" to.

Looking back at those years, I must thank my father and his surgical use of logic. In one of our frequent political debates we had the following exchange:

  • "you want to be a software engineer when you grow up, right?"
  • "yes."
  • "and you will want to be paid the same as everyone else?"

A simple, elegant, burning, irrefutable, infuriating truth started forming in my mind.

  • "no"

I can't remember what defensive silliness I threw at him. Something popped in me, and a lot of bile spilled out.

To this day I haven't admitted to my father how influential that short exchange has been on me, to the point that I still remember the feeling more than 15 years later, but I knew right away that I had a lot more thinking to do.

#ideology #politics #communism #sjw #marx #italy

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