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I have come to the conclusion that I might very well be, through no fault of my own, a Marxist. I didn't choose to become one, and I sure as hell didn't want to be one, but I've realised that for years I have been lying to myself that capitalism is the best way to run a society. I am dreading coming out and telling my mum and dad that I dabble in Marxism.
You see, the way the British education system works means every first year university student has to take four 'units.' Nearly everyone (including myself) takes three units, these are subjects we have chosen to study, in my case the three areas of study are creative writing, drama production and film studies. This means that we have one unit left to take. So at my uni (the BCUC) everyone's fourth unit is 'using theory.' Now, everyone that has been subjected to the disaster that is the British education system will know that 'theory' is a bi-word for 'dullness,' so it was with some reluctance that I turned up for the first class. My fears however were unfounded as I actually find the lessons fascinating. So far I've learnt about Adorno's theory of standardisation, Freud's theories of sexuality, and most importantly of all, Marx's theory of society. Before these lessons I had no idea what Marxism was all about. I knew he was a left wing communist of course, but I didn't know why his theories are held in such high regard.
As it happens, I think I've been a Marxist for years and not known it. I have always believed that the rich exploit the poor, that money drives everything and the 'super structure' keeps us oppressed, but now I have Karl Marx in my corner, and he's intelligent, he's not an idiot like me.
"But hang on a minute, how can you sincerely say you are a Marxist, aren't you part of the super structure yourself, don't you work for a living an earn a wage, aren't you a producer in this capitalist mode of production?" Yes Bob, all this is true, and it's something that has been troubling me for a while. How can anyone in Britain claim to support a communist society when we ourselves benefit from capitalism? It's very easy to support one mode of production while living off another. For years I used to believe that no one can truly support communism because of this. But recently I've realised that none of us have chosen to live like this, the only reason we work for a competitive wage is because that's how our society works, and if we didn't immerse ourselves in it we would die.
I think what I'm trying to say is don't be afraid to believe in something radical, even if it's never going to happen, and especially don't let anyone tell you that communism can't work. "What about Russia, they had forty years of communist rule and look how they turned out." Well Bob, Russia hasn't really benefited much from capitalism either. Has it?
I hope you don't think less of me now, I have always tried to steer clear of the political as it always alienates people, but how can anyone fully support the current state of society? Especially now Bush has been given another term.
Can you tell I'm a uni student now?
If you're interested (and I know you are) about finding out about Marx, I find a fairly good resource is http://www.philosophypages.com/ph/marx.htm
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