A Pseudonymous Requiem for Yesterday in My Radical Life

[Cross-posted from Anti-Capitalist Chat at Daily Kos]

I thought I should pay a tiny tribute and wave goodbye to yesterday. I think that is something important for me to do. We have to know when to fight and when to retreat and redeploy. We have to constantly marshal our force of one to use it most effectively.

Yesterday began with a notification from WordPress.com wishing my hobby website a Happy One Year Anniversary! (I won’t provide the link for fear that the thousands who would click it would cause a crash.) My ultimate “hobby,” by the way, is the core of my existence. Like most of the other 1,054,220 people at Daily Kos, I want to do my best to help to try to save the world. That is my life; that is our life. As an anti-capitalist democratic internationalist on the ever-shifting left wing of the possible, I believe in working with a wide swath of people, including “liberals” as they are called in the U.S., because I think that we all have important roles to play.

I am grateful (no sarcasm) to Daily Kos for providing a big tent that allows us dirty democratic radicals (I am quite proud of the dirt although I prefer to think of it as soil) inside and for doing an excellent job as the true organization of the practical opposition to the right wing in the U.S. Kudos to Markos and all those at the masthead for the work that you do. I know that you know much more about the day-to-day political battlefront in the U.S. than I do. But I know that the U.S. and the world need the “serious left” too, and that is where I take my stand. No disrespect but in the end compromise liberal positions will not get us where we need to go as humanity. But in its own way, your work is dirty, and very necessary, too, and I appreciate it. So, from the radical fringe, a sincere thank you.

I appreciate the message from WordPress.com as a reminder of all that I have accomplished in my own personal reformation in the last year. I do not count it as spam, not that I am desperate or anything. It is true that, other than a few pity comments from a dear brave high school friend, I have basically received no comments at gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com in the year of its existence. That is just fine with me. I want people like me on the left (“people with both a global and a local outlook who may or may not be religious and who are (1) unwilling to accept that unsustainable capitalism is the best humanity has to offer, (2) sense the need to be to the left of capitalism-accepting ‘liberal,’ and (3) have a serious interest in, but no false expectations of, socialism”) who are in search of support to read the stuff, and I know that a few people have.

That is all the comfort I need for the effort. Comments, on the other hand, by people at a leftist political website may expose them to trouble in their daily lives, and that is not something I want to cause. In fact, in addition to my original Galtisalie fake name at Daily Kos, I operate with the pseudonym Francisco Nejdanov Solomin at my website because I do not want those who love me to suffer for my socialist activism. I do not believe that there is anything wrong with hiding our identity in doing radical work for the good. In due course many of us will out ourselves as leftists in our local communities or be out-ed, suffer, and maybe even pay the ultimate sacrifice. But for now, for me at least, best as a socialist living in Nowheresville, Deep South to stay on the political down low.

Yesterday I also had to tell my clients in a major public interest environmental law battle in the southeast that we lost on summary judgment before the trial court and need to decide very soon whether to appeal. I handled the lawsuit pro bono and will handle the appeal pro bono too, if there is one. For several years now I have not been a practicing environmental lawyer, but once in a while I follow my instincts and take on a good legal cause in my spare time. I dare not tell you about the lawsuit because that would expose that lawyer “so and so” is also Galtisalie/Francisco Nejdanov Solomin, democratic socialist.

I am proud that of the over quarter-century I practiced environmental law full-time in the U.S. that all but the first three years were representing causes for the people and against the corporations. But that is largely now a closed chapter of my life. I am still deep green but my hands are even deeper in the soil these days. Being half-Hispanic and descended from cigar workers, my skin is brown, and I am in my totality a political shade of reddish pink these days, just like they were. I do not feel that I should spend most of my time casting enviro-pearls before Republican judges in the U.S. Best to try to change the global system on a fundamental level. Yet we need to continue to agitate on the judicial front when the opportunity arises just like we need to continue to agitate on the parliamentary front. Don’t cede any battlefield to the bad guys but steward your seed to the most promising soil (yes, I mix metaphors–a lot–so sue me).

We have a lot of repression against socialists in the U.S., and we have to conduct ourselves accordingly. I now realize that the repression is because they are so afraid of our solidarity message, the message of true freedom for the workers of the world.

So I say goodbye to yesterday, and the last year that ended with yesterday. I kicked some ass when I could, got my ass handed to me quite a bit, and lived to fight on.

May the force be with us.

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