I sure wish liberals would let go of the concept of "political beliefs" but they just keep clutching onto the idea that politics is about what you believe to be true in the outside world rather than about what you want to do to/for the outside world

just saw somebody on Twitter emphasizing that "Republicans REALLY BELIEVE all that crazy shit!" and like… my friend. it does not matter whether they do or not. they don't care. they say it and repeat it and memorize it because it is politically efficacious.

fascists and reactionaries don't have politics borne out of their beliefs; they have political goals, and to fit those goals they design rhetoric to justify themselves.

"the world is a bad place because of bad ideas and false beliefs that people have" is called, by Marxists, "idealism" — not in the sense of political optimism, but in the sense of giving ideas, such as beliefs and rhetoric, primacy over the material world.

the end result is all these people getting sucked into the idea that if you just disprove all these conspiracy theories, disseminate debunkings, and argue with fascists and reactionaries, their politics will melt away and the world will be changed.

in fact, the point for fascists and reactionaries of saying all these heinous things is to keep their political goals "on the table," an acceptable 'opinion' to hold in public life.

the Marxist position of "materialism," meaning not greed but a belief in the primacy of the state of the real world over ideas, goes like this: "people starve, die of preventable illness, go unhoused, and are imprisoned; and the people who make it so tell stories, to make it seem it could be no other way."

the world is not right. what can you do about it? what can you, and your comrades, do about it?

this is not an abstract or rhetorical question, but it's also not one with a single correct answer. there are many things to do. you, yourself, may come up with a good idea, and the observations, explanations, and ways of re-seeing the world that leftists before you have made may help you do it.

you want people to be full, and be housed, and be well, and be free. what can you do about it?

likewise, fascists and reactionaries see a world "in danger" of becoming better in any way, and they say: what can we do about it?

but it's different for them. the world is already terrible. the easiest way to keep it that way is to rope more people into their goals, and confuse/distract/demoralize/terrorize/ostracize anyone who would make the world a better place.

and when they make all that noise, the violence they want comes "as if unbidden," from "lone wolves" and state-sanctioned "bad apples."

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we, leftists, people who want the world to be a better place — we cannot play in the world of ideas and daydreams, as the fascists and reactionaries do. the world is already set up to make fascists' and reactionaries' dreams come true.

but the world was set up this way, in specific historical motions. it can be torn down.

and the material forces that are most primed to bring a leftist world into existence are workers, oppressed nations, the seemingly "powerless" who outnumber the powerful — and, organized in specific, concrete actions, we can overwhelm the "powerful," and topple the house of cards built on the backs of the exploited.

materialism matters. actions, goals, plans matter. beliefs? secondary, at best.

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