Why I fight: for revolutionary optimismJanuary 20, 2020
I knew that coming to university would allow me to meet people that shared my political views. Coming from a small college, I’d never talked about the issues that face human beings and our planet with my friends at home. Most political talk was limited to surface level drama within bourgeois political parties and what Trump was posting on Twitter.
Having been interested in the writings of Marx from a young age, and coming from a Labour supporting family, I knew that I wanted to throw myself into political societies once I came to university. I was attracted to the Marxist Society immediately. It was so refreshing to talk to people with revolutionary ideas, who understood that capitalism cannot be tweaked through reforms, that instead that it must be done away with to end exploitation once and for all.
After attending Revolution Festival, I knew I wanted to be part of the Marxist Student Federation. Seeing comrades from around the country come together and talk about the issues facing the working class; international conflict, economics and the often suppressed history of the working class was inspiring. It helped me to understand that it is only when armed with the ideas of Marxism that we can truly set about on the historic task of emancipating the working class.
But we must realise that as long as our media is monopolised in the hands of the ruling class, it will protect its interests by ridiculing revolutionary ideas and acting as a mouthpiece for the capitalist class; we therefore can’t sit around waiting for the media to be kinder to us. The ruling class are organised: they have their newspapers, their courts, their parliament and their police. We have the strength and the ideas but it is now time that we are organised too.
Having gone through the recent election and seeing Labour’s defeat I understand that now is not the time for defeatism. What I have learned from the history of our class is that it has suffered great defeats before, but they offer us a chance to learn (should we choose to) from said defeat, in order to reorganise, come back and win, stronger than we were before.
We must take the long view of history to situate these events in their broader contexts. Capitalism is inherently contradictory, unsustainable and unstable and can no longer function as it has before. The gap between rich and poor is becoming wider and the system offers no way out of our current impasse. But from India to Hong Kong to Chile and France we are seeing the working class take to the streets and fight against exploitation and oppression. Our class is rising globally. But without a revolutionary leadership steeled in the lessons of the past, to guide these movements to their logical end, they will evaporate as quickly as they appeared.
The MSF seeks to educate and speak the truth about how this economic system works, why it is unsustainable and how we can overthrow it. It alone is providing the long view of history, perspectives and the revolutionary optimism needed to get rid of this decrepit system and establish socialism within our lifetime.
Keziah Spaine, Sheiffield Marxist Society