I didn’t become the way I am because of communism, I am this way, and communism happens to match what I’m looking for in humanity’s future: a stateless, classless, moneyless society where everyone truly can work to achieve what they want in life, rather than what is dictated to them by those who will never have to worry about having a home, food, or peace of mind.
If, as an American, the first thing you think of when you hear about communism is that it’s some evil, totalitarian system, then you’ve been successfully brainwashed. I don’t lie about these things, I will tell you straight up what I think, and that also means not coddling perceived notions of the system in which you live.
Communism is a stateless, classless, moneyless society. That’s it. No politburo, no gulags, no propaganda ministry. Of course, in the US, you’d just call it government, prison, and the media, because all of those horrible, horrible things you heard about in the USSR, and in China, they flourish right here in the United States.
Communism is freedom. True freedom. It is the balance of the self, the group, and the world around us. To be a communist is to be against fascism, nationalism, racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. It is to be in favor of environmental protection, human rights like the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Sounds odd when it’s credited to communism, isn’t it? Well, that’s because the language of liberation is often co-opted by those who wish to oppress you, and our nation’s founders were no different. We said “all men are created equal,” even as we enslaved black bodies to build it.
Did you know some of the most influential people in history were socialists and communists? Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., they were socialists. Some people say “well socialism is okay, but communism is evil!” and it’s two halves of the same whole and they don’t realize it. Communism is socialism, the end point of socialism where a hierarchical government is no longer needed to regulate human society because people have been brought out of the narrow, soul crushing mindsets of capitalism and imperialism.
Sometimes I will make a distinction, because even in socialism and communism there are different labels. Yes, labels, because labels help the human brain grasp concepts and ideas. It’s perfectly okay to have labels, as long as you don’t let those labels do all of your thinking for you, that you instead take the time to learn about the people underneath those labels, and understand their own thoughts and feelings.
My particular label is “AnarchoCommunist,” but with strong, centered ties to black liberation communism, because I believe that in order to begin addressing the injustices our system has continued to perpetuate for generations, we have to focus on the people we’ve wronged the worst, and continue to wrong day in and day out in a system that uses their labor for its own benefit, while outright dismissing their needs.
In my experience, I’ve had folks tell me that communism is unrealistic, that it’s naive, and I don’t usually hold that against them, because they’re only repeating what they’ve been taught. What better benefits a system of oppression than being conditioned to believe that resistance is futile? Yeah, I’m comparing capitalism to the Borg, because despite the basic surface level idea that “Borg = Communism,” it becomes clear once you learn about the Borg, it more matches a hierarchical imperialism.
The Queen holds all power. The Borg drones live and die at the behest of the Queen.
The Borg drones have no say in how they shape their society. This is antithetical to communism, which relies on the people to make the decisions. Didn’t know that? Well, if you didn’t, yes, communism doesn’t support an oligarchic Kyriarchy like the US. You have to warp the basic foundations to better fit such a system, because on its own communism rejects such a system. Once you change all definitions to match your system, it stops being communism.
To quote Mikhail Bakunin, an AnarchoCommunist philosopher, “when the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the People’s Stick.”
The Borg themselves dominate and enslave other civilizations for their resources, primarily their technology, but they take people, too, in order to increase their numbers, to spread their reach.
Of course, I kind of see the US as the Ferengi, but that’s a comparison I won’t go into as much of it should seem obvious.
Anyway, I broke out of the mindset that making money was important. It’s necessary, insofar as the system in which we live demands it, but it’s not what human beings are here to do, not why they exist. We exist to exist, and capitalism has taken that existence and applied a laborious schedule to it, for you, not for itself, because like the capitalists that feed it, capitalism grows not from doing, but from getting others to do while taking the profit from that labor.
The US has such an awful mindset in that people will work 60, 80, 100+ hours a week and be proud of it. We’ve been so conditioned to believe that constantly working hard makes one worthy of food and shelter that we never stop to ask why.
Remember when you were in school and your teacher would give you busywork? That being, they’d assign you a task that you knew served no purpose except to keep you quiet during class while they dealt with whatever they needed to handle that day? That’s what most of the jobs in capitalist societies like the US entail. We’re not advancing humanity, we’re not finding better ways to provide for people and their needs, we’re just doing busywork for capitalism.
In capitalism, building a house and then tearing it down the same day is a productive action, because the construction company makes profit, and the demolition company makes profit. That the house will serve no purpose does not matter. That it could be used to house one of our million+ homeless people does not matter. It exists only to serve capital, and thus we do things that serve no actual purpose except to make money for people who serve no purpose except to receive money.
This is wasteful in the extreme. Contrary to what one might believe, capitalism is not efficient, it’s merely cost selective. If it were efficient we wouldn’t be facing a global climate crisis due. Rather, it is cost selective, in that it only saves the money of its investors, not resources, nor does it take into account the environment, as that is a long term consideration, and capitalism only works in the short term argument for expansion, always and forever expansion.
So if communism is the protection of the exploited, whether it be people or the environment, and capitalism is the profitable exploitation of resources, whether they be human or environmental, then can it be seen why I would so embrace the ideas around communism?
If you know anything about me, then this won’t be a surprise, otherwise, let me explain something. I am:
A prison abolitionist.
A humanitarian and human rights activist.
An intersectional feminist.
Anti-fascist (as fascism is oppressive)
Anti-capitalist (as it is exploitative in nature)
Anti-imperialist (as it is exploitative in nature)
Communism is not:
Wealthy Political Elites.
Extreme poverty for millions.
You’re thinking of late stage capitalism, which is the U.S. system.
You might think these things are impossible goals, but take a moment and put your conditioned thoughts to the side. Consider with me this: assuming that it is what one might consider “impossible,” since when has “impossible” ever meant we won’t try to make it happen? We’ve spent generation after generation using the blood of indigenous folks and black folks to support what white men once called “Manifest Destiny.”
When white people were doing it, it was Manifest Destiny, whether it was crossing miles of countryside murdering native Americans, or going to the moon to plant our nation’s flag on its surface. Now that it’s about bringing the poor, the indigenous, black folks, the disabled, neurodivergent folks, and every other exploited and oppressed class into equality, now it’s impossible? NOW it’s impossible?
To see communism as impossible, as naive, is to dismiss the accomplishments of non-white humans as irrelevant, to disregard the oppression of their lives as an afterthought. YOU may think it’s impossible because you’re either comfortable and don’t want to rock the boat, or because you’ve been spoonfed neoliberal white ethnocentrism your whole life and the idea of something incredible happening outside of that sphere is utterly alien to you.
Consider that possibility, because that is the truth. That is the *real* truth of the United States, that it it populated with highly intelligent, empathetic human beings, but they’re not white, they’re not moderate neoliberals, and they’re not interested in building bank accounts, but instead want to build a bridge to humanity’s continued survival in accordance to the needs of and consideration for our environment.
I am a communist because I have worked very hard to unlearn the false knowledge I was taught. I was oh so very smart in school. Teacher’s pet. I knew our history as we were told backward and forward. The US was a shining city on a hill, a beacon of freedom, the great Democratic experiment.
Then I knew better.
And then I found a system that more matched my empathy, and my humanity. I don’t think this way because communism has somehow brainwashed me or lied to me, I’m here because capitalism brainwashed me and lied to me, and my own personal ethics sought out a better, smarter framework that could help build towards what I want for all people.
I’m here because I give a damn about everyone from the “lowest” to the “greatest,” and I see that those two extremes are just two different labels applied to those well-meaning, fallible, flawed human beings. Neither one deserves to be in the position they’re in, and so we need to remove those positions, and open up the world to everyone, that we may save it, and it may save us, and in the process our lives will improve, our needs will be met, and we’ll learn more about who we are rather than who we can serve.
That, my dear friends, is why I’m a communist.