new words

On the day that the fascist gangster in the White House declares anti-fascist activism as such a “terrorist organization,” I find myself wondering what words we will use to greet and know each other. I remember that, before it became a racist dog-whistle (or a quick way to signal one’s hatred of women and/or trans people, even on the left) there was a moment when “woke” meant something good - alive to the world as it is, conscious of the violent threats to Black life, unfazed. “Snowflake” was never anything other than a term of abuse, but the qualities it supposedly mocks - fragility, distinctiveness, sparkliness - are among those I value most, in myself and in those I love. “Anti-fascism”: one would have thought a kind of baseline term for left-of-center unity (whatever one thinks of such a notion), and yet it has been today, apparently, criminalized by executive fiat. “Radical” could mean anything; “liberal” only ever seems to refer to the other guy; “feminist” includes terfs; “queer” includes the white universalists. COMMUNISM sounds better than ever to me, better than “democratic socialism” ever did, and better than “Marxism” (which I can’t quite abide any more, for personal[-is-political] reasons). What words shall we use?

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