Wednesday, March 6, 2024

#66 / I Still Believe In Words

I still believe in words—I wouldn’t be writing books if I didn’t.... But I don’t think that what we need to do we can just do with words. I think we organize in our communities and we try to live our principles, including treating one another better.

That is Naomi Klein, pictured. Klein has published a book called Doppelgänger. The quotation is from Klein, but not from that book. It is from a New Yorker interview by Jia Tolentino, published in September of last year. In the interview, Klein describes herself as "an avatar of steadfastness and resolve for the left."

I am not exactly what I'd call an "avatar of the left," but I do think of myself as a spokesperson for what I am more comfortable calling the progressive politics of "self-government." I, too, "still believe in words." 

What Klein has said, though, is right on target. "Words" aren't enough. Words are "necessary," but they are not "sufficient." 

Awhile back, I used one of these blog postings to say that we needed to find some way to "operationalize" our thoughts about what we need to do. Words might well state some political truth, but words by themselves are not enough. "Doing" something, not just "talking about it," is what is required. Klein has rightly stated, I think, that what we need to do, beyond words alone, is to "organize in our communities." 

Writing words is something we can do (and that we usually do) by ourselves - individually. "Organizing" is something we do with others. And... when we "organize," we do it where we are. Not online. Not in the "Metaverse." We organize with others in our local communities. 

I agree with Klein. I still believe in words, but words won't be enough. We do need more than words. Klein, however, has provided us with a helpful word. This is a word we need to hear: 


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