16 votes

Mentorship networks/software for Leftists?

Reading HackerNews and saw that some mentorship software launched: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20656223 and someone mentioned another software as a service that does mentorship: https://mentorloop.com/

Now I'm wondering where the mentorship for leftists and leftist organizing is.

And I'm wondering if anyone else feels like most of the good ideas that leftists have slowly trickle into businesses but in ways that can be controlled by executives/managers. Their "features" include these slogans:

Tools to Turn Human Resources into Superheroes

Don't let employees slip through the cracks
Stay on top of hundreds to thousands of mentoring interactions in a way that still feels personal. Check in on employee relationships, give them the right nudges they need.

What's your take? Is there a need for more mentorship and peer to peer training/collaboration amongst anarchists and communists? Is that realistic? Or is this something that we just need to be on the defense against and form our own networks outside these systems of control?

3 comments

  1. [3]
    reese
    Link
    Thought-provoking questions, but holy smokes there is a lot to unpack here. Answering for myself and nobody else, I don't want to be involved in a mentor relationship, or community, where the...

    Thought-provoking questions, but holy smokes there is a lot to unpack here.

    Answering for myself and nobody else, I don't want to be involved in a mentor relationship, or community, where the explicit goal is radicalization to the furthest reaches of an ideology. You said, "I'm wondering where the mentorship for leftists and leftist organizing [my emphasis] is." I'm uncomfortable with social interactions meant only for those under one banner, because that sort of exclusivity runs counter to the free exchange of ideas. Without that, I don't know if I'm closer to the truth when I receive praise, or if I'm circlejerking. Subjecting ourselves to a vacuum, we lose sight of what experience instigated our perspective to begin with, and we alienate everyone else, everyone else, even people who might agree with us for the most part, or who might have something to teach us. On that note, I have observed in ideologically homogeneous communities there is a tendency for self-destruction or conflict through splitting hairs and subsequent fragmentation into fractal-esque denominations of the One True Interpretation. There are an ungodly number of subreddits now that illustrate this point.

    Now, I am on board with organizing for collective action and causes, but nothing nebulous. The reason being is that, when you're engaging in the real world, surrounded by real people, your conviction will be tested by those who think differently from you. Now, obviously conviction does not correspond with correctness if history, distant and recent, has its say; however, at the very least, when you put yourself out there, you have to choose whether you will stomach other perspectives. If you choose to ignore them or pretend they don't exist, then that is on you, and I imagine it will take a toll on you in some way. But, for someone who says I refuse to engage in anything nebulous, I am being awfully nebulous. To the point, if you are a worker and the Man is keeping you down, you need to seriously consider joining a union, the more specific the better, especially if you are a skilled tradesperson (for most, that is how one becomes a skilled tradesperson, which does in fact involve mentorship). Maybe you are a business owner or entrepreneur, in which case you could unlock a legal and fiscal pathway to divvying ownership between your workers, flattening your organization. Want a certain political candidate to win? Volunteer for the campaign. These are causes that immediately come to mind, nothing particularly interesting. There are countless others and what you choose is a matter of your personal priorities.

    I should mention, because you're curious about the frame of social networks and software, that most causes piggyback on existing infrastructure as needed, whether it's hosting or GoFundMe or the notion of a 'group' on some shitty website like Facebook. I guess you might say Tildes is a cause in and of itself, being an open source and community-funded alternative to the inhuman and outright strange demands of venture capital. Yes it is invite-only, but being open source, anyone can fork the code to create their own community about anything they want (and I will suppress the interesting examples that come to mind right now). So I guess what I'm driving at is, if you desperately want a mentorship platform, then you might create one for its own sake. Then, permit self-organization with said platform. If you wish to realize idealistic principles in the design or behavior of that platform, then that is entirely up to you. So long as the platform is free and open, then you are appropriately subjecting your work to outside forces, meaning that your ideals will either pass or fail by some definition. This form of self-realization corresponds to ideals on the left, but isn't restrictive to it. All in all, I do not think I adequately answered your set of questions. I also want to mention that I'm not against somebody creating a website or service specifically for a lefty thing, but if you want longevity and good faith user engagement, then there are preexisting real-world examples that can shine a light on that.

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        reese
        Link Parent
        Placing yourself in an ideological echo chamber is effectively equivalent to radicalization no matter the ideology in question. I do agree that the marketplace of ideas has limitations, and never...

        Placing yourself in an ideological echo chamber is effectively equivalent to radicalization no matter the ideology in question. I do agree that the marketplace of ideas has limitations, and never stated that it does not. Tildes handles this through moderation with the paradox of tolerance in mind. When I said those causes were not "particularly interesting," that isn't because they aren't—I meant that in the way that I didn't have more vibrant examples. You cherry-picked my comments without context, and misrepresented my views to form a narrative that I am not leftist enough, or something. I'm perplexed as to how what I said is all that drastically different from what you said in your comment. We both cited examples in labor and volunteering for political campaigns. Neither one of us seem to be fans of hierarchy. I suppose my example about splitting hairs may be accurate in this case.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. reese
            Link Parent
            I understand what you're saying. No harm, no foul. Had I not launched into my salve for warding against ideologies in general, and instead built up to it, then I wouldn't come across such that I...

            I understand what you're saying. No harm, no foul. Had I not launched into my salve for warding against ideologies in general, and instead built up to it, then I wouldn't come across such that I am dissuading OP from doing whatever the heart desires. Verbally, I tend to benefit from intonation and the ability to read a room. I get the feeling, and not just from you, that much of my writing presents me as if I am super serious, when really I'm musing and, at worst, pontificating. I will work on that.

            For what it's worth, there is an underlying method to my madness as informed by my experience. When I was young, my family instilled me with beliefs, like anyone else. Many of those beliefs I continue to hold, but I had to replace the foundation underneath them. Upon critical consideration, I realized many of these beliefs could not be supported without circular logic. Worse, some of them were not falsifiable. In a strict sense I was ideologically aligned with the left. There was no epistemic basis for my beliefs. And maybe this is just a personal problem, but I found it difficult to reconcile my readymade ideals in a world rife with the unknown.

            I decided to turn down the emphasis on the importance of my beliefs, staying on the present task at hand, whatever it was. Mostly I focused on work and school. By doing that I was able to synthesize most of the same beliefs through reason, but not everything. College introduced me to logic, data, whitepapers, and meta-analysis, so that is where my foundations lie today, but I still have blind spots. Through math and the sciences, I learned that you really only need to memorize very little, if anything. Deriving the rest just requires directed thought, and so that philosophy is actually what propels my politics today. And because I'm a programmer, I prefer to work over the fine details again and again—I have a tendency to find bugs. I do think anecdotes like this one are powerful, and I've incorporated them into my value system because, well, I have to accept that I am a human being with feelings and experiences.

            At my core, I can no longer abide ideology for its own sake. Of course, one could associate left ideology with my beliefs, but that is not how I arrived at most of them. Karl Popper, the guy who introduced us to the paradox of tolerance, lectured on his conception of the three worlds. The third world, objective knowledge must be informed from the first, physicality, and second, mental processes. Left-only training and collaboration for its own sake skips much of the first world, and I think everyone knows that the second is not infallible. In terms of concepts, the left is a nebulous term, but political parties tend to be more prototypal. Scientific research, codified laws, and recorded history are exemplary, and so I would advise in favor of general education wherein these examples are learned, and stress against working backward from preconceptions. No doubt, OP may not find my comments helpful or particularly relatable. I interpreted the questions and responded accordingly, but others such as yourself may offer something more useful.

            5 votes