My darling comrades,

My name is Josh, and I am the current Treasurer of the QCDS. I may seem like a person who enjoys attention, and the truth of the matter is that I do. I want to take some of your time to introduce myself by kickstarting our Member Spotlight in which we give our members the space to make themselves known, in whatever way they’d like, to the rest of the chapter. I’m going to use this time to write in my own, grandiloquent voice. I know how it sounds, but I’d rather scorch than smolder.

I think I’ll begin with what motivates me to organize and work in concert with others: a consistent collision with the suicidal endpoints of our current social organization. Many of these endpoints are captured with a simple statement, “If you cannot afford to live, then you will die.” I am trapped in the beginning of this construction, “If you cannot afford to live…” Afford to live resonates in my mind like the tintinnabulation of a bell, each tone becoming an invisible link in a chain binding us to a system that recognizes the price of everything but the worth of nothing.

What’s more, it’s like poison poured into the ear from birth. As my perspective changed and shifted over time, I am reminded of the opening chapters of Orwell’s 1984. I think about the way he conceived of the control of language by excising versatility and playfulness, leaving only simplified ideas and thoughts. A friend once told me that what Orwell wrote was juvenile and unbelievable, but I can’t help but see the parallels. It took me years to find the words to describe my queerness and it has taken me years to describe my rejection of capitalism and its gnawing, voracious status quo.

I conceive of socialism as a rejection of alienation and a commitment to compassion. Our wounds and harms cannot become amputations. We must heal together in the home we built together, with the food we prepared and ate together. I reject the very premise that we must afford to live.

Quad Cities DSA