Political influences: Introduction

A long time ago, I was tagged for a “political influences” meme, which got me thinking about the political writers and activists who formed me, a topic that came back to mind when I read this nice post by BenSix, which inspired me (I move slowly) to start a new series on my political influences.

I know this is a self-indulgent thing to do, but, in the words of comrade Coates, this is my gaff and I make the rules. To minimise the self-indulgence, I decided to exclude from the series friends, teachers, close comrades and family members, even though some of my most important political influences have come from these categories.

I have ordered it more or less chronologically in terms of my life as a political animal, which probably creates more of a sense of a narrative coherence to my political development than has been the case. At all times, now more than ever, I have held contradictory views, been unable to decide between positions and changed my mind about things.

No.5: Leon Trotsky – a united front against fascism
No.6: Bill Hicks, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller – it’s a mad, mad world