Life is ever-changing. I’m in the midst of one of the biggest transition periods right now, hence the lack of a column in the past two weeks. I recently became an adult, got my first job, went through a breakup with somebody I consider closer to me than anybody in the world (not just in experiences but in ideology too), and am going through the college orientation process as well — while most of my friends are going to completely different colleges.
The thing about such monumental shifts is that they’re much like their tectonic counterparts. The earth will quake, shaking foundations, making you question why they are built the way they are.
It’s in these times, comrades, that I’ve become reaffirmed in my ideology.
This week isn’t topical. This week is epiphanal.
Socialism is necessary, and socialism will happen.
The people of our beautiful earth will not be free as human spirits until they are in control of all that they do, including the way they make a living.
They will not be free as they were meant to be until they can be guaranteed that the system in which they are living won’t completely uproot the world and its resources for their children, and their children’s children. Sadly, at the moment, they are given no such guarantee; the monolithic capitalism swallows the earth’s gracious gifts in order to grow itself even larger.
It’s a disgusting reflection that there are still sweatshops; that people are still being paid slave wages worldwide; that there is shameless exploitation of all different kinds of peoples.
It’s horrible that we have the ability to achieve without question so much but because we choose to allow capital to stagnate in the hands of a select few — because we choose to allow the people able to procure capital to choose how our cities, towns, and villages are ran and what they produce instead of allowing the people themselves to choose such a thing — because we leave the “invisible hand of the free market” to caress us and feed us rather than letting people take control of that for themselves — we do not achieve, as a species, even a miniscule amount of what we’re capable of.
We are sand grains but together we are a formidable shoreline. So why in the world do we allow a select few grains to control the entire shore? Is it not just me? Shouldn’t every grain within the beach have a say rather than a very, very small number of grains?
This is not revolutionary thinking. This is common sense. This is democracy, and that is necessary in order to truly reach a world of understanding, of love, of mutual compassion.
This seems admittedly to be a bit of a fluff piece. But comrades, I promise that’s not the intent.
I’ve got a lot on my mind, and no shortage of that is ideology and the reason my crucial foundations are laid as they are.
So this is the intent of this column: what I want to do is remind everybody of why they’re here in the first place, as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America or its youth wing.
I will not settle until there is true equality of opportunity for all people, not just the ones of European descent — nor should you.
I will not settle until we can say that the worldwide homeless epidemic is a thing of the past.
I will not settle until we ensure that, first, no American child goes hungry, and then that no child at all goes hungry.
I will not settle until we have up-to-par educational facilities built throughout the third world.
I will not settle until women in the Middle East may show their faces without fear, until the women in America earn equal pay for equal work, until the women all around earth can go outside at night without worrying about being mugged or raped for being an “easy target”.
I will not settle until I know that, as a child of parents in the manufacturing industry, children that grow up with my situation will not be stuck with the student loans that I will be stuck with just to be competitive in the workforce; that no child will be stuck in an abusive household because they need the abusive parent’s health insurance or paycheck.
And since this world is so ideal and so far from our own, I suppose that this simply means I won’t settle. But I can fight, and you can fight, and our voices together might bring this world a little bit closer to something very beautiful.
Regards, comrades. Wish me luck as I continue fighting the good fight both in terms of my own little sand grain and in terms of the whole shoreline. I’ll see you all next week.