To be honest, I was a little strange. I think I was always going to wind up a leftist, I remember even as a young kid, like 5-6 years old always asking my dad why we needed money to buy things. It didn't make sense to me that my dad worked all the time and never had anything. I remember being fairly apolitical as a kid and teenager, I always felt like it was something that only smart or well read people could get into, and life never seemed different for me regardless of who was president, as I was still poor as shit (!!!!). When I was 9 or so, I used to also read a shitload of Nat Geo, and always loved the stories where they went to war torn 3rd world countries and I heavily sympathized (being bullied myself) with the poor helpless Middle Easterners and Africans and was always left wondering why my life in the US wasn't horrible like theirs. I also remember reading a book on the holocaust and being absolutely fascinated by it. I remember being absolutely awestruck by the sheer inhumanity of the Nazi regime, and I would spend ages just staring at the page (keep in mind I was like 9) where they showed the Jews piled up naked in ditches. I remember feeling a very deep feeling of anger and impotence at the fact that that happened to them, and I remember thinking that since I'm Mexican, maybe in a different time or place that could have been me (this was around the same age I remember being called a wetback for the first time, and learning about Joe Arpaio, who I fucking DESPISE and still do)
As a late teenager, I met some crazy girl who would trip on /mu/ and she had somewhat progessive views and I started changing a lot as a result of hanging around her. I had made a Tumblr a year before that and gotten into radlib ideas and feminism, and I was also fairly bicurious and got into Xiu Xiu who on top of being over the top gay have a few songs about US imperalism/the global south and I started reading a lot about that too. I became somewhat of a limp wristrd radlib, I'd always hated "toxic masculinity" (I still do) and thought that making fun of gays and women was pretty fucking stupid, but I didn't really have much of a coherent world view beyond that and OBAMA == GOOD.
I became seriously depressed and dropped out of highschool at 17 and began to wrestle with a lot of repressed trauma from when I was a kid. I kinda stopped caring about anything until I got to college after a long series of fuckups, and since I had been browsing 4chan a number of years already I began paying attention to the proto gamergate/culture war BS that had begun forming in late 2014. I thought SJW's were kind of ridiculous, and my older brother (a 4chan super oldfag rightoid) saw that I was becoming amenable (on top of super depressed and insecure) to this kind of thing and began a long period of what I now realize (thanks to therapy and a few people who commented on it) was very serious emotional abuse that involved him slowly indoctrinating me into his insane, social darwinist fascist worldview formed by browsing /k/, /pol/, being a victim of child abuse, working at Walmart, and growing up Mexican in the "hood". I remember walking home from a job interview once in 2015 thinking "ya man I'm so cool and alt right, I'm real counterculture" while listening to Death In June and whistling a Laibach (LOL) song. I hated anything "progressive", started to view everything as a competition where only the strongest survive, and began to have an extremely rigid, black and white worldview. I started to becoming unironically racist too, I remember so many conversations with my older brother just making fun of black people, and late nights spent on /pol/ being horrified by "blackpill" threads where you had webms of uighurs doing uighur shit like being victims of colonialism and doing stupid shit at the club.
I started to feel even worse about the state of the world in 2016 as I was really fucking up my degree and began to start seeing the serious decay neoliberalism was bringing to California. I remember thinking this was all because of "cultural degeneracy" and I felt somewhat enthused when Trump won.
I got super into lifting weights in the first few months of 2017, and a number of different things began to happen to me. I started developing some self esteem for the first time in my entire life. Seeing this, my older brother suddenly became even more abusive. He would insult me multiple times a day, often quite literally each time I came into the room, frequently calling me fat, stupid (which he has done all my life) in the most vicious ways (honestly just imagine the average /pol/ spergout but directed at someone IRL) possible. He had started dating this fucked up Korean chick around this time, so I think I was a blow off valve for his frustrations at being unable to turn this anime watching raver girl away from degeneracy (which he frequently complained about, and it clued me in to the fact that he really genuinely is an abuser). I remember he got back from Fanime once and the first thing he says to me unprompted when he came in the front door was like, "You're a worthless piece of garbage and you'll never, ever be anything without me" (as I later found out from snooping on the /fireden/ vg archive, the night before he was kept awake because his friends decided to have a threesome in the corner) which slowly made me start to realize: "Hey, if right wingers are the good guys, why are they all such fucking assholes?".
I still kept my somewhat reactionary ideas with me in spite of all that, but over time I began to doubt what I believed more and more. The strength training groups I hung out in were all filled with lolberts and Trumpoids, and there were a few times when they went mask off where I felt deeply unsettled. This happened in a lot of the somewhat reactionary spaces I inhabited around 2018-2019, including 4chan. I felt more and more that everything I believed in was a lie, I consistently felt shocked at the fact that these people didn't actually want to fix anything despite their rhetoric, and only seemed to exist to exercise their innate cruelty. The community that most shook my worldview was a shitposting group for my town, which was infested with Trumpoids. They would routinely post all kinds of racist bullshit, and would frequently bully this insane trans person who posted there in the most over the top juvenile ways imaginable. I remember them always talking about how everyone ought to just kill homeless people or just move them somewhere else and leave them basically to die, which horrified me. I wanted to the homeless to take "personal responsibility", not fucking die. More and more I began to see how bereft of empathy these people were.
I think one of the final nails in the coffin for my reactionary views was joining a popular FB music group. It was fucking FILLED to the brim with radlibs, and some moderate leftists. Everytime I tried to debate them on anything when things went political, I got hopelessly btfo. The thing that got me though, was that even though I disagreed, they were all very nice. Even the most deranged radlibs there treated me with more respect than any of the rightoids I met on 4chan or the other FB groups I posted in, and I started to think back to the things I thought as a kid. If these people were bad, as Ben Shapiro would say, why were they all so nice? Why did they consistently side with the opressed, even in spite of their own advantages and differences? Why is it that my older bro, who always claimed to be doing things out of kindness, so consistently cruel?
I started to question everything again, and at the beginning of this year, I decided to take a polisci course. My professor, and admitted Marxist and founding member of OWS did his best to expose us to everything without bias. I doubted this, and expected to be indoctrinated to some dumb radlib BS by the end of the class. I remember getting to Marx finally and thinking, well, this is it. It better not be about transhumanists.
As I read Estranged Labor, I thought of my dad slamming his fist in anger on the wall each morning before work, and I realized that this, this was it.