The leftist holiness spiral has been increasing as late. One activist explains how he sacrificed everything to win the holiness competition.
Activism is hard. Plain and simple. Being an activist is even harder. It’s long hours, empty bank accounts, angry girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses who are ready to leave you at any moment, family that doesn’t get it, making calls, receiving calls, logging contacts, selling a vision, rejection, empty promises, fulfilled promises, emails, press releases, signatures, counts, validation, databases, vendors, merchandise, rallies, public speaking, volunteers, supporters, haters, naysayers, politics, more politics, and people wishing you would just stop. Especially your doctor.
After a year of this, I can say that I’m tired. This stuff consumes you in ways that I can’t even begin to describe. My life revolves around cannabis, reform, legalization.
What people often forget, is that I’m a volunteer too. The last campaign took years off of my life, and several others. For at least the past year I’ve neglected myself, my personal life, and all the rest of the things I should be focusing on at this age. The ripe old age of 32.
Throughout the piece you can feel a vague, suppressed sense of disillusionment with the process that ate his life. Not surprising. Yet he continues to support activism. He believes that sacrificing everything in his life for easier access to chemical highs was worth it.
On the other hand, another radical activist is complaining about the holiness spiral of leftism. This activist hails from London in Ontario, not the real one, best known in Canada for confusing people with its name and being somewhere near Toronto. She is best known for her world-changing work of being arrested for spray-painting Pink Floyd references on other people’s property, then complaining that the arrests were political persecution.
Anyway, she points out something everybody knows about leftists, that they claim to care about the poor while shitting all over them, that they try to outholy each other, and that they suppress speech that they don’t like. She states she’s sick of it. Good for her, I guess.
Yet, even as she descries the holiness spiral, she says this:
That is not to say that we should accept bigotry in any form?—?far from it.
She can not escape holiness signalling even as she decries it. This ignores that the entire piece reads like a holier-than-thou lecture, as she paints other activists as less holy han herself for their holiness signalling. To be fair, it might no be easy to avoid sounding like holiness signalling when calling out the left as a leftist.
She also wrote a follow-up, which included this:
So, humour me for a second and let me tell you a bit about myself: I am a white working class queer female with a history of trauma. I have experienced intimate partner violence in many forms and I have been formally diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and struggled with drug addiction in the past. I’ve been stalked, harassed and had the shit kicked out of me by police. Until I landed my current job, there were times when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from, or if I would be able to make rent that month, or pay off the bills on time. While I’m doing better now in a lot of ways, and I am definitely not claiming to win the “Oppression Olympics” (spoiler: it’s not a competition to begin with), it is not only ignorant, but simply incorrect to assume that I am nothing more than a privileged white girl refusing to check herself.
Notice how she signals herself well in the ‘Oppression Olympics’, but makes sure to signal that it’s not a competition, thus making her more holy. Also notice how shitty her life is; I guess being a citizen journalist doesn’t pay so well and ain’t so good for the mental health. Why are leftists activists almost invariably mentally ill with have a history of abusive relationships?
Onto my point, for individuals, the leftist holiness spiral is almost impossible to exit from once entered. Those whose lives have been chewed up in the signalling continue to support it as only martyrs can. Even those who oppose the signalling, can’t help but keep up their own forms of counter-signalling. They have to show how holy they are by pointing out how they are above signalling it.
The need for status runs deep.