ONE OF the strangest criticisms socialists sometimes hear is that we care about too much.
We involve ourselves in many political movements, rather than sticking to a single issue. We believe there’s a connection between, say, opposing bigotry faced by LGBT people and the struggle for democracy in the Middle East. We think it’s important not only to plan protests about immediate issues, but to educate ourselves about labor struggles of the distant past and hold meetings about what a future socialist society might look like.
These not-at-all-hidden facts can become the source of a lot of phony outrage when right-wing blowhards find out that, for example, a social worker organizing against budget cuts might also have marched against the Israeli war on Palestinians and thinks women ought to be free to choose to have an abortion.
But some people on the left also object to the idea that activists should view different struggles as inter-connected in various ways—in fact, quite a bit has been written about the importance of movements keeping their autonomy and separateness. There’s an uglier charge sometimes associated with this thinking—that socialists don’t care that much about the movements we participate in, but are there to recruit people away from them, and to our organization.