by Sam Skinner
This article was originally published in Socialism Today, the paper of the Independent Socialist Group. Subscribe to the paper to receive each issue in print and read the articles before they’re published online!
For most young people, it’s impossible to pretend that capitalism works. From disastrous wars for profit to the climate crisis, it is clear that the status quo offers no future for my generation.
At first, I was drawn to Bernie Sanders and AOC—“progressive” Democrats who promised change. But after seeing how the Democratic Party rigged primaries, failed to deliver on any progressive promises, and how quickly “progressive” Democrats like “The Squad” became indistinguishable from the rest of the party, I realized that Democrats are in effect on the same side as the Republicans. They’re on the side of big banks, fossil fuel companies, and other corporations. While the two corporate parties differ on certain issues, they stand united on major issues like endless war, tax breaks for the rich, and private health insurance.
I met ISG at a protest they organized against immigrant concentration camps. Instead of just asking the crowd to vote for some politicians, ISG called for building a movement of ordinary people which could use mass pressure to force the government to shut down the camps.
Talking with members of ISG, it became clear how the issues workers and young people face today are interconnected, and a result of capitalism. As long as the majority of the wealth that workers produce is hoarded by the capitalist minority, society will be full of systemic inequality and crises like the current recession. The only solution is socialism—for the working class to take control of society and democratically plan the economy, so we produce goods to ensure everyone’s survival and wellbeing, rather than for the profits of the capitalist class. I’m a socialist because there is a better future for us than the apocalyptic future capitalism is offering—a socialist future, if we are willing to struggle for it!