One of the greatest revolutionary hurdles will be normalizing the discomfort of unlearning. We've learned to live with and enact so many endless expressions of oppression, and the process of identifying, isolating, reflecting on, and dismantling those impulses is very, very long under the best of conditions.

Tangentially (but eventually related, I promise): I don't entirely agree with the "fuck theory, if you can't say it in a simple sentence, it's worthless" camp, though I think that effort is important, to an extent. The anti-theory approach I really oppose is that which says "fuck theory, let's go back to when we were all just humans cooperating and we didn't need theory to tell us what to do." It sounds sexy and utopic, but it is anachronistic, patrician, and infantilizing of human history.

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Theory has always existed in the forms of cosmology, cosmovision, epistemology, etc. To deny that those who came before us had complex ways of understanding how and why they lived the way they did is to deny hundreds of generations of intellectual and philosophical pursuits. It also sterilizes our complex relationship to the present and disallows ideas and systems from the messiness and contradiction that arise organically.

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Those things have long been important and useful to humans. Theory, generally, is important and useful to us. Talking out ideas, thought experiments, abstracting from perceived reality, questioning methods: all good and useful. Naturally, not everyone engages to the same extent. Not all ideas are useful to everyone. Nothing is monolithic. Theory isn't the end-all-be-all. Without action, it's not worth much. But the same is true in reverse.

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Here's the related part: so I get frustrated when I see theory vs. praxis arguments. Y'all. Both are right. Both are necessary. And they do not apply in equal measure in all situations.

But also, "teaching the common folk" xyz dialectics isn't going to be your biggest hurdle (this is such a patronizing argument, don't get me started). It also won't automatically spell victory and revolution (as if) . In both cases, the lead up to Allende's presidency in Chile is illustrative.

What's going to make a lasting and cascading impact is embracing the discomfort of unlearning on a broad scale. We can't do that without theorizing how. We can't do that without implementing its practice.

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Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.