and fear of fascism.
Alicia, this really hit home -
your fiancé is a wise man, please don’t beat yourself up;
having struggled with this for almost 55 years, I agree completely with your sentiments, what greatly troubles you - it is a real challenge, getting more people to recognise corporate capitalism as at the root of the problem, but then also what the truly just solution could be;
in the late 60s and early 79, ‘participatory democracy’ was the most basic ideal that inspired me: everyone should be able to democratically participate in the decision making for all the institutions in their life (schools, workplaces, communities, ...), and although I have to confess I was more than a little romantic insofar as thinking this could be achieved in, oh, maybe a decade or so (ok, it felt at the time ... for some of us ... that real revolution might actually be at hand 🤭), it was Rudi Dutschke’s advocating of a ‘long march through the institutions of power’ to create radical change from within society and government that finally kept me going, as something to hold onto ... but then came the really big problem: what did it mean to actually do this, to lead a life in this way? after all, Rudi’s idea is, well, awfully vague, none of the grimy details noted, and vulnerable to all kinds of fatal, self-justifying compromises ... and so I have to also confess I have yet to figure this out to anything remotely approaching satisfaction ... it seems the ‘figuring out’ is endless but still absolutely necessary ... and everything you write seems — to me — to be amazingly honest and reflecting on how to try to do this, and always gets me thinking;
on vegetarian, vegan, ‘Industrial meat’ - your story was quite helpful to hear - I started out trying to be a vegetarian because of horror about how the animals we have domesticated for our food supply were being treated, were raised and slaughtered under horrific conditions, the whole brutal ‘industrial meat’ system ... and yet I gave a pass to wild seafood because at least fish had a ‘free’ life in the sea, and on Thanksgiving agreed with my dear carnivore wife of 50 years that we could eat turkey if I could see how the one we bought was truly raised in a pasture and ‘humanely’ slaughtered ... but then I had to painfully recognise (working for an international NGO on sustainable fishing) that the fishing industry is as ‘industrial’ as they come, so then ‘vegan’ seemed both more consistent with my anti-industrial capitalism and humane (treating all creatures with kindness) ideals ... yet I failed to sustain consistent veganism (back to eating the odd fish and a ‘humanely raised’ turkey at holiday time) ... so now it’s a daily debate with myself;
anyway, please keep sharing your amazingly honest thoughts