Che invited me to his blog as a guest a while ago and I think I finally found the right topic to write about. Che and Trout seem to have the political side of things nailed down far more than I do so I won't go there; but I do think I can add something meaningful.
Che pondered how we can move forward with a new politics in his last post. I'm not posting to attempt to answer that question, but instead to ask bloggers and authors to think about how many people they aren't reaching because of their word choice and sentence structure. In Che's last post, he quoted Bookchin, and I requote part of that here:
"For political radicals today to simply resuscitate Marxism, anarchism, or revolutionary syndicalism and endow them with ideological immortality would be obstructive to the development of a relevant radical movement."
What a mouthful. The little I have read of Bookchin is like that too. Why didn't he just say that if political radicals want a movement that works they should drop the idea of breathing life into old ideologies that weren't developed with the problems of today in mind.
In essence, my gripe here is that leading intellectuals alienate themselves from a large segment of the population because of their word choice and sentence construction. It doesn't matter what your great idea is on a new political movement or path forward if you can't explain it in clear, concise language.
I understand that sometimes choosing a relatively obscure word will save you from writing 50 other words to explain the idea, but that isn't always the case. How often do we get stuck in the trap of using 5 dollar words to sound smart. Has anyone ever thought that if they didn't use large words or write in a certain way they wouldn't be taken seriously. Forget about that! With the fast pace of today's society, if you can't reach an audience in the first go they aren't going to bother trying to decipher what you are trying to say.