Working Title: Growing Up Red
Project Type: Oral History
Short Description: Red babies I know and meet relate what it was like to grow up in left wing families.
"I was raised Stalinist- excuse me, Marxist-Leninist," I once told a friend of mine, a fellow red baby-turned-anarchist. "Only another red baby would get that joke," was his response.
I was raised as a red baby (Americans add in the word “diaper”, for reasons that are probably interesting to a psychology major). It is an upbringing that guarantees, I have found, a perspective on the world that the anthropologist refers to as “liminal”.
Being a red baby is at once an experience unique and universal. One grows up with the insider/outsider view of the world similar to that created by closed religious sects. Yet, because the subculture and shared language was spread by an international institution (ie the Communist Party), one finds that this world view is perpetuated amongst red babies regardless of national origin or context, even to the extent of shared jokes. In some ways it is similar to the commonalities understood by lapsed Catholics- and for similar reasons.
Status: Planning Stage