When I joined the Young Fabians in 2007, my main motivations were to find out more about politics and to meet like-minded people. During the years since it has occurred to me that underlying these original motivations were a desire for group membership and a feeling of belonging.
For me, joining the Fabian Society was a precursor to Labour Party Membership, which I had thought about and yet been wary of for most of my early twenties. Learning about the Fabians at LSE seemed to augment for me the desire to be part of something greater than myself and where plurality and diversity were also a natural home, within the progressive political realm. The desire to be part of a group can be an innate or instrumental goal. For me it was both, and the Young Fabians have fulfilled my desire on both levels.
Being a Young Fabian was the start of enabling and formalising my identity as someone who is left-wing, and who identifies with socialist principles and seeks to use these beliefs to influence others. With this goal of identity-building there has also been an interplay with more practical objectives.
By being a member and Executive Officer of the Young Fabians I have tangibly used my principles to influence others, for example, as the first Young Fabians’ Equalities Officer, a programme that is now essential to the ethos of the organisation. Also, through organising panel debates and attending events I have been able to strengthen my views through discussion and by being informed by many different perspectives: international, political, feminist, academic (to name a few crude and broad camps).
The end result has been that this experience has made me a more able and confident political citizen, an essential grounding for the years ahead. It has also introduced me to a plethora of wonderful people with a similar aim.
It is with this in mind that I urge anyone with similar desires and thoughts to join the Young Fabians. Believe me, you will not be disappointed. As with most things in life, it is what you make of it and with more opportunities to actively participate in the organisation than ever before, the scope for engagement is tantalising.
You can join for only £5 for the first six months. Your friends can too!
To do so, click here: http://bit.ly/jointheyfs
Preth Rao is Member Involvement Officer for the Young Fabians