I have been trying to decide whether or not to leave the Democratic Party formally. I am going to vote Green for President in November but I am still attached to the mid-century idea of the Democratic Party as the party of the working class.
I regret I cannot be a loyal Democrat — the allegedly realistic option in the United States after the suppression of the Left — but that Political Compass Test says even the most liberal Democrats are quite far away from me on many points. They are “tolerant” like me but they are a capitalist party and apparently I do not have the capitalist attitude at all — I am socialist and anarchist, even more than I realize or acknowledge.
I see ever more clearly how I take after my grandmother and great-aunt, the Socialists (who knew and argued with Emma Goldman), and my great-uncle, the Wobbly. Reading about the IWW once again I note that its internal arguments are the ones I have with myself. Perhaps I am it or it is me.
Perhaps I was explicitly given it to inherit. When I got my first car Addison and my grandmother were already dead but the car allowed me to go visit my great-aunt on my own for the first time. I did not think of it then, I just went because I wanted to, but it was probably very important to her that I did this. She was at least 94 and may also have supposed it could be the last time she saw me. Perhaps she made sure to offer me the legacy that day.
With her and Addison the usual place to have lunch would have been the Blue Rock, which had been a speakeasy and had bawdy-rooms upstairs in the early twentieth century but was respectable now. We could not go, she said, because she had been the day before, so we went elsewhere.
What she had to say started out: “Don’t tell anyone, but I am still a Socialist.”