All my life I have always said that in adulthood I want to help improve the world. Most of my teenage years were spent dreaming of going into wildlife conservation to defend animals against the environmental destruction caused by humans. Now I still have that same goal, but I am going to achieve that by protecting the planet and all its inhabitants from capitalism.
Throughout my childhood I experienced and witnessed hard times. Not being able to afford food or running out of electricity was something that I became used to. In my early teens I went to live with my Nan where my life changed as a result of living in a house with a stable income. This contrast made me question why some of us have to live in hardship whilst others have a comfortable life. It just didn’t seem fair, but at that time I accepted that this was how the world worked and it could not be changed.
My political consciousness has, however, developed dramatically over the last few years. It wasn’t until my second year of college that my law teacher explained the political spectrum to the class. He described the general views of those on the Left and those on the Right, and this was when I realised that I was very much on the Left. I learned about the ideas of right-wing politics and realised that we lived in a world dominated by the Right. At this point I realised that the Conservative Party, who my family always vote for, and who I had assumed must be the best choice, are not good for the vast majority of people.
An answer to the injustice I saw everywhere around me was brought to light by a close friend who told me about a man called Karl Marx. Immediately, I realised that I had found what I’d been looking for and asked to hear as much as my friend knew about communism.
Going to university was the catalyst that made me start calling myself a communist. The name Marx kept coming up during my lectures and I decided it was time to read The Communist Manifesto. This led to a friend introducing me to a member of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), and within the space of a few days I went from feeling like I could never really make an impact on the world’s problems to being at my first IMT branch meeting filled with excitement.
Finally everything made sense. Under capitalism there will always be people suffering because that’s how the system works. The rich will always want to become richer and it is these people who run society. Why on earth would they want to help the working class when this would ultimately mean less money for them? The only way we could live in a society where everyone has enough to live comfortably would be for this tiny handful of people to lose their power, and for the vast majority of people to run society for themselves.
There is more than enough for everyone and clearly there’s nothing natural about allowing millions to starve when we have a surplus of food. We simply choose to ignore these things because we see no way of changing them. I used to be in the same boat believing change is nothing but a hopeless dream. But now I know this is not the case.
This is why I fight. There is an answer to these problems, the working class must unite and fight for a socialist revolution to end these daily injustices and make the world a better place.
by Charlotte Weston, Goldsmiths Marxists