College Students who are Mere Capitalist Critics and Queer Platonic Love

Lately, I have learned to love to turn my noise-canceling headphones on in my room with my picturesque forest scape and an artificial green-pond moat. I exist within these four walls and in whatever sounds I choose and that feels like the ultimate source of comfort.

I guess there are two parts to this story. 

The first one is a call-out for all college-age students. I go to a liberal arts college, an HWC specifically. So yeah I guess it’s safe to say we’re all anti-capitalists here. But as I’ve discovered through my own journey to self-liberation— being merely an anti-capitalist is never enough. Yet when I challenge my peers they seem stuck at that resolution. Yeah, we know the character in this novel is unhappy because of capitalism but what’s the solution? And the moment I propose something, or I guess when I propose a Marxist-Leninist proposition which I’ve found to best suit what makes sense to me, I immediately get push back. In the same words of the Republicans and Conservatives, they claim to be smarter than, I’ve heard the exact same bullshit phrase “communism has never worked in theory.” And then I ask them how indigenous societies survived and thrived in egalitarian societies for thousands of years and were only ended when Westerners imperialized their communities. And that’s when the backtracking starts and the “of course I know that…” 

A big problem I have with my school but one I know exists at any liberal arts school is this idea that we are all upset about the same thing but not looking forward towards a solution. We complain anonymously and say we hate our college. But the second anyone tries to make praxis instead of joining in we start complaining about the change-makers themselves. And the majority of the students that push back towards ML solutions are students in the same classes as me who have the same access to materials and education that I do. But then they can say these grandiose condemnations with no issue. They listen to Malcolm, Huey, William Edward, and Angela on paper but in praxis, it’s a no.

How do we convince students to take that next leap? Well, some already have. It’s the students that live the realities where they are not forced to complain about capitalism but fight it.— battling against the inhumane effects every single day. They are the ones who are embracing the ML solution while the others around me would rather read the class readings they don’t even think serve a purpose in real life. Therefore, to me, it’s just telling of one’s privilege when I hear pushback. Those who have to fight it every day get it.

On a separate note, I’ve been thinking a lot about the article I wrote almost a year ago. “Doomed Love for Queer Youth”. With the emergence of shows like “Heartbreaker” on Netflix, queer love has been a point of conversation among my friends and me. But perhaps more optimistically than my reflections on teen love, I’m starting to see some positivity. I’ve realized that the more platonically queer friends I have to love, the more I start loving myself. As I spent one of our college traditions among my friends, the majority of which are queer, I realized that I felt safe. And it’s nothing against my straight friends of course, but something about the fact that my friends have faced similar struggles to me makes it easier. They know that we have deeper stories than our heterosexual comrades. They know our childhoods were even harder to survive. I guess Queer platonic love can save Queer people.

Pictured: graphic of Marx and Lenin

Published by ellakotsen

student at Bryn Mawr College

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