Comradeship is a very special kind of friendship which relatively few people know, I think. I am speaking of the relationship among activists who work together for some causes. It is deeper if you share a perspective, particularly a radical perspective that challenges conventional and questions the foundations of society; that is to say in struggle to reorient and alter society in positive ways.
People in those types of communities working for those kinds of purposes are guided by deep concern and compassion for the suffering and oppressed nations and sections of societies. They tend to be kind, bright, capable and articulate people. Such dedication and passion is why they choose to give up a huge portion of their time and the many comforts and pleasures that might be available to them. They work hard to earn a living and even harder to plan, meet, write, research, speak publicly and campaign., often on holidays and weekends.
Choosing this path gives priority to social justice activism over career. There are also dangers to personal security and livelihood. The privileged and powerful in society are biased against them and use their influence and tools to repress revolutionary thought and citizens actions that state the truth and criticize the rulers and extremely wealthy of society. They can blacklist dissenters and use the media to put one in a dark light or make derogatory light remarks against groups and individuals. Such people with the means can get the police to harass, physically harm, threaten, monitor and attempt to incarcerate them.
It is a glorious feeling to be among activists with such a high consciousness who put their bodies, careers and public image on the line. It is glorious to be with others who choose a path so much more difficult and with little in the way of personal benefit so that they are free to raise issues, shed light, organize and point the way toward solutions.
Among such people, there is deep appreciation for taking the side of truth and social justice. There is deeply rooted solidarity. They help, try to protect and defend one another better than typical family members or friends (unless the family is in it together...). They have better vision and hearing.
I have have felt deep joy at working with comrades and many amazing memories. I have been on the "front lines" with many, and waged important struggles, participated at important and historic actions. The feeling of belonging is as profound as our purpose, which is just as satisfying. In fact, the relationship itself is quite enlightening.
Especially among the veterans, there is confidence in each other. We have acquired many skills, some unique and not acquired in the course of jobs. We know how to take care of tasks, so the planning can go very smoothly and quickly, with enough of the more experienced around.
The most fantastic aspect of comradeship is the fact that thousands and thousands exist around the world, activists I have not yet met in person and may never meet, but the friendship and comraderie would be instantaneous and strong if the time came to meet. It has actually happened before. I have gone to some international meeting or encountered visitors and found that we accepted each other immediately and can talk about profound and daring subjects, and share wonderful stories and jokes because of our mutual causes, our similar lines of work and interpretations of current events. Some of the best conversations I've had have been with this type of person, even with language barriers!
This is the greatest reason for me to hold onto hope for the future of humanity, and my own little life.
Non-activist friends, colleagues and family members may be concerned about me living alone. They don't know the magnificent experience of comradeship among anti-imperialist and social justice activists. They should try it and find out!
I am trying to come up with a project to depict an activist's life through a fictional novel...