Why I Became a Socialist


by Alec Johnson – Minneapolis, MN, Student

When I read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, I realized that there is an “untold history” of this country and the rest of the world. The book reveals two main aspects of history that are left out of our textbooks: 1) the imperialist nature of U.S. capitalism; and 2) the powerful labor movements that played a tremendous role in fighting U.S. capitalism and were instrumental in winning the rights and benefits we enjoy today. The latter, when kept secret, fuels the myths of capitalist ideology portrayed in our textbooks that social change only comes from presidents and extraordinary individuals.

I lost patience with the Democratic Party leadership over their failure to build strong opposition to the war on Iraq. Studying Marxism has made it more evident to me that the U.S. political system is constructed in a way that gives the illusion of two “opposing” forces, when in reality it’s a tag-team effort by two pro-capitalist parties to push forward a big business agenda aiming at world economic domination. That’s why I’ve joined the effort to spread socialist ideas and the struggle to build a revolutionary working-class political force that stands for the millions, not the millionaires.

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