So today we got trolled for the first time: by which I mean someone opened a conversation with us with the intention of leading us into a pointless argument or to make us angry rather than engaging in an interesting discussion.To be honest, we’re actually quite flattered that someone bothered. The person in question told us that we would inevitably ‘grow out’ of socialism. Later, as we tried to engage in polite conversation, she responded with an irrelevant question: how old are we? We have not answered this question, nor will we, but this gives me an opportunity to talk a little bit about our anonymity and the importance of our age.
On this blog, we have chosen to be anonymous, hence our vague bio and nick names. We are anonymous since who we are is irrelevant to our opinions and would not enhance the experience of reading our opinions. I could say my name is x, I am x years old and I come from such and such a place and from such and such a background, and you would change your perception of what I say accordingly. But we want our ideas to remain separate from us. Personal details might better your understanding of my personality, but I do not want them to distract from my feminism, republicanism or socialism. We could boast about whatever credentials we have or don’t have, but ultimately, we feel that this blog should be about our ideas, not about ourselves.
About our youth then. I am sure that some of you have picked up on the fact that our bio describes us as young, and yet I am conscious that we have not spoken about the issue of youth representation in politics. Nor do we routinely refer to the fact that we are young. I cannot speak for everyone on this blog, but my thinking behind this is that the best rebellion against the lack of respect often shown to young people’s ideas is to wholly ignore it. So we write this blog as if we are oblivious to perceptions that young people’s ideas are changeable so should not be taken seriously, or that socialism is something young people grow out of (the idea that motivated this article).
We support youth wings in parties and any organisation that seeks to make the voice of the young heard. It is in some ways an issue similar to feminism: in an ideal world, such organisations would not have to exist, because it would be an accepted fact that the young have ideas just as important as older people’s, but until such a time, these organisations must still exist, just as feminist organisations must. Our attitude of not bringing up our age obviously cannot be utilised by those attempting to climb up the ranks of a political party.
About the idea that people grow out of socialism: it is probably true that some previously principled men and women give up their left wing ideals once they have to pay taxes, but there are more than enough older, serious left wingers to prove that it isn’t just some silly idea that is fashionable for students. It is more than that: it is an ideal which has helped thousands, and can help many more. It is the ideal that birthed our NHS and gave us the welfare state. And I sincerely hope that all of us on this blog will be able to keep it up for the rest of our lives (however much of it remains).