I have a friend. We have been friends now for about 15 years. She was never involved in any kind of politics never mind left wing politics. She also has five children. She asked me when we became friends not to get on to them too much about my revolutionary socialist ideas, my marxism and my atheism. I respected her request. My friend uses the Internet and sites such as redit or reddit I am not sure which is the correct spelling. She also uses the Internet in general and gets a lot of news. Over the past year or two and especially the past few months an interesting development has taken place. My friend has started to say to me:"You see when you would said all that stuff to me about the system. I would think "ah that is just him. From Ireland and all that nonsense he has in his head. But now you know what I think? It is far worse than you ever said." She was almost angry at me for not telling her how bad it actually was.
This made me think. In fact capitalism is not only far worse than I ever said to my friend, it is far worse than I myself, a revolutionary socialist now for almost 50 years, ever thought. I think it was Lenin who said that capitalism was "horror without end." This is true but to fully grasp what he was meaning. We have to really use our imagination to think about this. Mass poverty and starvation, wars and wars, the destruction of life on earth as we know it through climate change and pollution.
There is no doubt about it, capitalism is much worse than can be imagined without a major effort. And it is not only that. Capitalism cannot pull back from this abyss in which it exists and into which it plunges deeper by the day. It is doomed to plunge ahead further and further over the precipice. Life on earth as we know it can only be preserved by overthrowing capitalism. It is international socialist revolution or barbarism, international socialist revolution or the end of life on earth as we know it.
If you think that capitalism cannot pull back out of the abyss think of this. The capitalist class internationally plunged the world into the 2008 recession. It has plunged the world into the environmental catastrophe which worsens daily. Along with Stalinism it was responsible for war without end in the last century, one estimate puts the numbers killed in these wars, world and proxy wars, at 200 million. At the same time this capitalist class roams free on corporate jets and if there is one of them in jail for their economic and war and environmental crimes that would be about that. They have not even been able to throw up one of their own as they did in the 1930's in the US in the shape of Roosevelt who could slap his own class into shape before they destroyed their own system.
My friend sends me emails from a site she is on. They are of different beautiful charming unusual and very funny animals such as sea otters, llamas, parrots, donkeys, they are also of shenanigans between different species including the human species and different animals. ( I have become a vegetarian as a result) There was the one she sent me last week of a dog which went to the ocean every day and swam out to meet its friend the dolphin and they would play together and then after half an hour or so they would go back and spend the rest of the day on their own patch. There was also one where an elderly man, well probably younger than myself, went for a walk every morning by the sea in I think it is Santa Monica. Well a goose has decided to adopt him. Every morning the goose arrives and strolls along with him until he is finished his walk and then goes back to its own pursuits.
Why am I writing this. Well if capitalism is not overthrown then massive numbers of species will be wiped out, not just the human species. What an incredible loss that will be. Hundreds of millions, billions of years to develop and then to be destroyed by capitalism in what in terms of humanity's experience will be the blink of an eye. Some say only the cockroaches will remain. I am sure that some other creatures will remain but the main point is correct, the majority of the most developed species will be wiped out.
Sometimes I go back to visit my home country and meet old Comrades who have been through the mill in the revolutionary left. Some of them have gotten cynical and bitter and are inactive. I get a little annoyed with them, well more than a little. There is so much riding on the ability of the working class to overthrow capitalism and create an international socialist world that people who know of such an alternative do not have the right to opt out. Their responsibility is to build a new mass revolutionary international leadership.
There are the people like my friend who are only now coming to political consciousness and seeing how bad capitalism actually is. They are looking for an alternative. They will make every effort to create an alternative. Look at the rising of the women all around the world now. Look at the rising of the youth in such movements as the Occupy development and the millions of working people and youth who opposed the invasion of Iraq. Look at the fantastic movements now taking place in South Africa. Sure there are many confusions. There are the confusions over such complicated issues as the Ukraine. So also there is the rise of fascist movement in the Western Ukraine. But so also there is the movement against capitalism, mass poverty and starvation, the attack on women's rights, against wars and occupations, there are the opposition movements to the corporate imposed destruction of the climate, environment and the catastrophe of tracking. We are in an all out struggle to end capitalism worldwide or to perish as a species along with many other species and life on earth as we know it.
As my friend says capitalism is much worse than I ever imagined, than anybody ever imagined. We need to use our imagination.