How do we keep going when the situation looks so utterly hopeless?
Let me begin by saying I hear you. It’s absolutely acceptable to feel scared and frustrated, in a world marked by pervasive inequality, a world that desperately needs change.
Would it help to share a bit of what Marxism tells us about these times? I hope it does, because that’s what I’m about to do.
We are in late age capitalism. It’s a rotten world order to begin with, and it’s rotting even further. At this point, it can only be expected to be more cruel, and in recent years we’ve seen what that means: tyrants on the rise everywhere, and governments becoming more brazen in speaking for the elite. Fascism is capitalism on steroids. As markets get more saturated and the System plunges deeper into crisis and chaos, Capital wields fascism to promote “peace and order.”
The emergence of Trump, Bolsonaro, Duterte, and the like, and its attendant life-sucking developments may look out of the ordinary, but our ideology tells us otherwise. In the materialist conception of history (non-activist friends, stay with me I will explain this), they are but the products of their time, the logical consequences of all that had happened before. When we look at world events this way, it’s easier not to be stunned by the news, and feel despondent when things are not the way we’d like them to be. They are the symptoms of a long-running disease, and our goal must be to vanquish the disease.
And so with calm we face the tide of history, and heed its call. That is, while remembering that the task of changing the world does not lie on any one’s shoulders alone. We’re supposed to find kindred souls, and together, learn how to dismantle – and build – power. Learn how to organize communities, learn the ways of social media to amplify our messages. Learn how to cook so we don’t depend on Capital to nourish our bodies (it’s not keen on that, never was), learn active listening so we can take better care of each other. And many more skills.
We’re already experiencing so much injustice, and an even greater one would be letting the situation weigh us down to the point of silence and inaction. The same way our forebears survived the oppressors of their time, I trust that our creativity, strength of spirit, and solidarity will allow us to overcome today’s challenges.
We got this!