Why I Became a Socialist

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All it takes to be anti-capitalist in this “American century” is a sense of awareness.

I’ve worked for years in retail and fast food, trying to help my parents put me through college. Here, I’ve seen beneath the gilded veneer of capitalism. I’ve seen the myth of mobility – “work hard enough and you can be anything” – crushed on a daily basis by the sub-poverty minimum wage, the lack of decent healthcare, and impossible housing markets. I’ve witnessed racism, ageism, and the daily exploitation of labor by distant corporate managers.

Historically, these are the practices fueling capitalism. Even in the prison-like schools of inland California, U.S. imperialism cannot be whitewashed. Now, more of my friends are returning from their first tours of Iraq with horror stories and news of this country’s plans for long-term occupation.

Only a socialist struggle has the broadness of goals and depth of understanding to confront the whirlwind of issues at stake. People in general are becoming increasingly aware of the individual plagues that haunt the globe. Only the vision of socialism can even begin to address these issues in a cohesive manner and bring true democracy, liberty, and justice to the people of the world.