From birth I was immersed in The Struggle
, breast-fed Bolshevism,
and suckled on the synthesis resulting from the battle between thesis and
antithesis in a steady diet of dialectical materialism
Early, at a rally of The Party, I was exposed to the brutal realities
of The Revolution, when I was aroused from a peaceful sleep
by the cry of Trotsky as an ice pick was plunged into his head, in
a consciousness raising re-enactment. The Party
boasted some of the country's finest thespians amongst its members,
and if I had been perhaps a little older I might have appreciated more
this coup de theatre. Sadly I wasn't and scared out of my
childish wits I bawled uncontrollably.
It was here that I encountered The Leader for the first time.
He was a powerfully built, balding man, every inch the
When he addressed the shock troops of the revolution
(as we considered ourselves) he gave a demagoguic peformance, his voice
rising in pitch, his hand thumping the podium, as he came to his climactic
conclusion, generating a fulminating ovation.
I have to admit that I found him somewhat sinister. Perhaps this
was because of his gelid eyes, but more likely it was because of
his startling similarity to the eponymous antihero of the Stranger Danger
video I had recently seen at school. An impression that was only
compounded when he offered me a lollipop when we visited him at
his London home.
Those of us in The Party -- actually I never was a member, as my early
exposure implied equally early disillusionment, but in my mind I
cannot help but think of myself as a left wing radical, even if in reality
this radicalism amounts to little more than a
general feeling of "Boo oppressors, yay oppressed peoples"
-- constantly expected an armed uprising of the proletariat.
It could come at
any moment, and we had to be ready. But the revolution
repeatedly took a raincheck, numberless putsches were postponed,
the proletariat were steadfastly lumpen;
we lived with the constant disappointment of eschatologists
waiting eagerly for the end of the world.
To our endless dismay,
the steel hammer of Historical Inevitability consistently left
Capitalism dentless, and The World Banking System uncollapsed,
despite all their internal contradictions.
At this time, our most fearful enemies were not, as you might imagine,
The Ruling Classes, or
Imperialism, or even the lackeys of the aformentioned.
No, our greatest venom was reserved
especially for the various other left wing groupings and factions
of which there were many, and this number grew constantly as one party would
split, in the way
rock bands used to, citing political differences.
It was important to be able to correctly dismiss this sibilance of
opponents according to their particular thoughtcrimes: revisionists,
reformists, Stalinists, state capitalists...
and some other ists which presently elude me.
In the end it all fell apart amazingly quickly when it was discovered
that The Leader had been abusing his position in order to gain access to the
knickers of the young female cadres.