I am naturally unpolitical, I have never really felt confident enough in myself to hae strong opinions one way or the other politically, I do have strong feelings on things, but generally I am too “touchy feely” too “emotional” to express myself properly, people who are political are always so good at making references to times and dates, numbers and facts…..I am crap at that. So if I ever try to express myself I always wind up tied up in knots by the person I’m talking to.
My partner is a socialist, a member of the Socialist Workers Party he is someone who has concrete solid opinions on things, the fact that he has such passion and optimistic belief in socialism is one of the things I find so attractive about him. He really cares about the world, not just his little corner of the universe, not just his own interests, and in this world of consumerism and individualism it’s so lovely to meet someone really thinking about the world and what he can do to improve it. Now his optimism and belief in an almost utopian society is the perfect foil to my pessimism and lack of action.
Now this weekend Marxism 2008 was on in the Royal Dublin Hotel, it was a seris of talks about a variey of issues, from feminism and Marx to religion, China, Gay marraige. My boyfriend had mentioned it a few weeks ago, and he didn’t have the kids tis weekend, I was free from Friday evening until Saturay afternoon, so I agreed to go to the conference.
My lack of confidence, terrified that if anyone spoke to me I’d sound stupid, that I wouldn’t understand what everyone was talking about. But I love my partner, I want to be able to listen to him talking about politics and maybe make a contribution with a bit of knowledge, so I went along.
There was a “rally” type meeting on the Friday evening, various speakers talking about the recession, recent protests by students and pensioners, and the future of the left in Ireland and Europe (there was a speaker by a representative of Die Linke the new group representing the new left in Germany. There was lots of “comrade” and “revolutionary” rhetoric, and at times I felt overwhelmed, but over all I found it inspiring, I haven’t felt so inspired to try to instigate change since I was a student, my little brain was excited, surrounded by so many optimistic people, all so active and interesting in changing their reality to make everyone elses lives better.
I felt so useless and lazy around such motivated people, I felt so bloody crap actually, the pensioner who organised the protest out side the Dail, talking about people like me who thought it was a waste of time to vote, that it changes nothing, that I could afford to be unpolitical, because I have a good life, I have a roof over my head, my kids goes to a good school and I have a regular income. Now of course I am affected by the lack of affordable childcare, the problems n education and the waiting lists for the hospitals, but generally my life is middle class enough for me not to need political change.
So I have decided to get off my rapidly expanding pregnant woman ass, take my kids to the education protests on the 6Th of December, I am gonna ask the principal in my kids school what hey plan to do in the locality to protest about the education cuts, I am gonna try to find my voice, and my optimism again! I had given up on so much, I stopped thinking about feminism I really just stopped thinking, well no more, and who knows maybe thinking about other things and other people will stop me from so much self piteous naval gazing?