I know a lot of people around here VERY much do not have the depth in theory as me and some other people. Many people have come to radical ideas through wprd of mouth and breif points shared through memes and such, never long form explanations. I want to preface my point here by saying you do not HAVE to read theory, you can be a leftist without having read a word of it, however I think that theory is still very important and that being educated in a complex topic is always going to be better than not.
Theory is inherently exclusionist. To sit down and read a 300 page book you need acess to the information, the attention span to read it all, the understanding of the material that sometimes requires previous foundational material to be discussed. This puts many people off of theory, and also leads some to go as far as to disregard theory as a medium due to this barrier to entry.
What anti-capitalists are trying to do, in no short order, is destroy EVERYTHING OUR society is based upon socially and economically to then replace it with an entirely theoretical new system and hust sorta hope that works. Now, I don't think it's too tall an order to say hey, maybe people who want to do that ought to be educated and understand the HUGE complexities of the world around us. Breaking the machine is easy, theoretically at least, understanding what needs to be broken and why and what to replace it with that won't just go back to the same issues takes a lot, but it's a needed lot.
Some will say that practical experience teaches where these books cannot. That a cis het white man in 1890, and yes this difference in time and inherent privilege really does provide a bias that many of us as queer, PoC, disabled people ect have an understanding of. However, you can apply a modern intersectionalist view on this theory first of all, and second of all much of the depth of say the critique of the money form in Marx exists outside of these intersections it's just a pure economic critique and a solid one as that
There are any number of reasons to say why you don't read, and they're fair. But know that I'm a dyslexic idiot who dripped out of school at 17 and I'm no prodigy of humanity, I'm just some average poor trans woman who's faced more than a lot of bullshit in my life. You can understand a lot more than you think, I've seen that during my time on the fediverse that a lot of you really can digest big ideas when taken in an approachable way
@CornishRepublicanArmy Thank you for that insight.
My reluctance to read Marx (or any particular political theory) is the same as my reluctance to read the bible (or any particular religious text):
It's a huge time investment to fully understand, yet without making that investment I can't know how relevant it will be to my life.
Unlike my peers in 1870 I have access to literally thousands of competing theories and little guidance as to what I 'should' read.
In the end I read bits and pieces and fit those bits imperfectly into my understanding of the world, aided by a diversity of insights from those who have read and understood the theories.
Oh trust me there was no shortage of theories and all of that in the 1870s. The enlightenment lead to an entire era of people developing theories in philosophy, politicals, economics ect. That said, it's perfectly fair to say that there's too much to read. There are good reading lists I've come across and I'd be more than willing to write up a few lists of what to read at different levels
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