The decay of capitalism is making itself felt more sharply every day. This has led to a growing radicalization of workers and youth with millions rejecting the system. According to a recent poll, one million Canadian youth want communism. Fightback, the Canadian section of the International Marxist Tendency has launched a campaign titled “Are you a Communist” with the aim of organizing this growing layer of communists in Canada. As part of this campaign, we are opening the pages of our magazine to ask the question: why are you a communist?
If you are one of these hundreds of thousands of communists in Canada and would like to explain to our readers why you are a communist, you can make a submission of no longer than 500 words to our editorial board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I grew up in the United States, more specifically just outside Washington, D.C in the most affluent county in America, with two brothers and a single mother. In school from kindergarten until my graduation, the indoctrination into the capitalist system was profound. Every morning you were expected to say the pledge of allegiance, which I began to refuse in grade 5. This was in solidarity with some other students who came from countries oppressed by the United States.
Surrounded by the ruling elite and military-industrial complex of the imperialist core, the degeneracy of the capitalists was in view everyday. Despite this affluent location, my family was not well off and struggled to meet our basic needs, even with government assistance, and a parent working unfathomable hours.
During my time in the States my family and I were victims of the naked greed of the banks via the mortgage crisis, where my family lost our home, and on any given day you could not track down which bank owned your mortgage. This made it nearly impossible to get a modification on the loan. I was a victim of debt when I was only nine years old and my family could not afford the $3 per day for a school lunch. This debt was tied to me, a child. Despite being eligible for subsidized lunches, I would have to tell the lunch lady everyday of this debt, which they did not know how to process, and due to my shame I found it difficult to admit. This is where my radicalization began.
Several years later I would go against my White Russian roots and delve into the theories of Marx and Engels with the help of many comrades along the way. After moving from the U.S. to Ottawa I would meet my new neighbours, a couple in their 70s whom I would spend hours with discussing politics, and who patiently showed me the compass of Marxism. Through these discussions my understanding of what is to be done developed past reformist ideals, and into revolutionary materialism. In 2023 my comrade and friend, the husband, passed away.
With his passing I found the courage and determination to go and organize. Through two to three months of searching and wanting to join some more prominent organizations, such as the Communist Party, I ran into Fightback during an event on identity politics. I was inspired by the knowledge, energy, and passion I encountered, which was nothing like the other organizations I encountered.
I am a communist because the system of greed that reduces people to tools for profit needs to come to an end. The only way to accomplish this is the revolution of the working class against our oppressors. We must educate and organize ourselves and our fellow workers to bring about the change that will save us from barbarism. Workers of the world unite!