A very lively and spirited discussion took place today amongst the Libertarian National Committee and a Party member regarding environments in which to hold our business meetings. Ostensibly it was about cost. I don't think that is really what it was about. If cost was the issue then a simple solution would be simply to ask each LNC member to throw $20 each into the cost of the meeting, and voila- no issue. Instead all kinds of complicated moves were suggested so that an LNC meeting could be had at a "free" location, such as a private residence. Of course free is rarely free. In one example, the added cost of the uber rides and differing hotels with no block rate would have been well more than simply chipping in $20 each, not to mention the intangible opportunity costs.
And many valid objections were raised about discomforts in having a meeting at a private residence (which led to an interesting side point about whether or not it is sexist to assert that women in general have different situational risk assessments than men).
But where the rubber met the bare bottom was these two contrasting statements:
And that, I suspect, is more of the REAL issue here than some may wish to acknowledge – this obsessive desire to look "professional".
I submit that there is an obsessive need to be anti-professional as well as somehow that is "f*ck respectability politics." That is a shallow view of that. Being a contrarian for the sake of it when it isn't serving a purpose is just being ineffective.
Does rejecting "respectability politics" requires that all suits must go? Can one not be subversive in a suit? I suggest that one can actually be more so -- but that is a different post. Is there a standard now for non-conformity?
My position on the whole thing is that business needs to be conducted in a business environment. What makes this conformist or "respectable" or subversive is what one brings to that environment--be it revolutionary ideas or a pair of Daisy Dukes. The environment is merely the effective blank slate. And it is a situation where the preferences of the average win.
Berating others for having different comfort levels, particularly when their comfort levels are typical and common, isn't being a rebel; it is being rude. And it isn't rejecting respectability politics. It is just enforcing disrespectability politics.
It is viewing every problem as a nail which needs a hammer. Some problems just need a hug.