It seems like every few months for some years now, I find myself in a conversation with one of my left-wing friends about another incident of sexual misconduct. It doesn’t seem to split down any creed or color, but is usually perpetrated by a man who has ‘clout’ and is in some form of the limelight, be it local or national. This time it’s Andrew Callaghan, whose rise to gonzo-journalist fame and subsequent allegations regarding consent have been summed up by Rolling Stone.
The outrageous inequity and violence caused by the arms of this machine of late-capitalism that is the United States has certainly turned more on to Marxism (or some form of left-wing ideology) than any period in recent history. But with incidents like this—which, again and unfortunately, seem to pop up on the left too often—I wonder about the reason for it all.
One could be that left-wing spaces are rather inviting to all (outside of like, straight-up fascists), which someone with predatory behavior would see as ripe for taking advantage of. Part of me wonders if those who only understand socialism from an economic or socio-political structure don’t connect the dots to how it’s based on a humanist belief that all people are equal and deserve their own agency as well as a proper return on their labor. Then there’s the idea that the infection of social media and its influence is too severe for an individual to overcome—that the modern concept of fame corrupts anyone, no matter their ‘belief.’
(of course, the other side of the social media argument is that, without it, these allegations either never would have surfaced or taken a substantial amount of time and effort by the victims to get the attention of a mainstream publication like RS )
Using an ideology of hope as a way to con people is an act as old as time—I mean, just look at the Catholic Church. And perhaps this is just another example in a long line of corruption, and there is no rhyme or reason. Maybe it’s a good thing that the idea of the individual-as-hero is being continually shown as an impossibility. For now, I just hope Callaghan can actually learn a lesson from this and take some action that allows those he hurt to find some peace.