i really really strongly despise academics who perceive themselves as leftists, activists, etc who refuse or are otherwise incapable of making their dialogue and interventions accessible
like if you can’t give a definition of what you mean by the term ideology without quoting Althusser and Lacan and using like three or four french words, newsflash: you aren’t really anything except deeply invested in violent class relations and the system as it stands
my dad is a construction worker. every week i call home and talk to him about what i’ve been learning and reading, and we spend hours talking things out. over the years, i’ve noticed massive changes in the way each of us understand the world around us, and that education passed on via conversation has changed things for our family, for our activism, and has even had reverberations back on academic-type people that subsequently learn from me what i learned from conversation with my father. this is really important. this is really necessary. working class people are not dumb, and putting things in accessible language is not dumbing the material down—a lot of what i’ve learned in academia gets translated into conversation with my dad as confirmation of things we already knew, or as new ways to think about things we had been talking about already. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: most of the most genius people i’ve ever met have either worked in construction or resources extraction. it’s absolutely crucial to be having those conversations, but requiring literacy in a discriminatory discourse as an entry point does nothing but reinforce that discrimination and violence.
theory can be extremely useful and liberatory and i understand that the concepts aren’t always simple but it’s not that difficult to put it in a language that enables conversation across backgrounds, and if you’re not concerned with those conversations or don’t have the language to hold them, then you’re obviously a pretentious purposefully-sheltered douche and not really ever going to be a part of any kinda struggle except to maintain existing regimes of power