The decay of capitalism is making itself felt more sharply every day. This has led to a growing radicalization of workers and youth with millions rejecting the system. According to a recent poll, one million Canadian youth want communism. Fightback, the Canadian section of the International Marxist Tendency has launched a campaign titled “Are you a Communist” with the aim of organizing this growing layer of communists in Canada. As part of this campaign, we are opening the pages of our magazine to ask the question: why are you a communist?
If you are one of these hundreds of thousands of communists in Canada and would like to explain to our readers why you are a communist, you can make a submission of no longer than 500 words to our editorial board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I grew up in an immigrant family in Montréal-Nord with my sisters and my single mother. We lived in precarious conditions, and I grew up with many friends in similar circumstances. From an early age, I saw and realized that some people live better than others.
When I was around 10, my godfather called me a communist for saying that I wanted everyone to be able to live in dignity, no matter their job. It was the first time I’d heard that word, and it was not until 16 years later that I took an interest in it.
In the meantime, I experienced the suicide of a friend, which made me think a lot about the question: “What leads people to lose hope, but more importantly, how can we make sure that no one suffers in this way?” I came to understand that suicide and mental health problems are often linked to poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity, to not having one’s basic needs met. That’s when I began to think that the system needed to be reformed, and that there should be more investment in health, education, and so on.
However, I was quickly confronted with the argument: “Who’s going to pay for it?” We’re already being taxed enough, and companies will cut jobs or relocate if we tax them more. I then understood a little better the reality in which we live and the fact that the big bosses control politics in this system.
I figured that if these rich people don’t want to put an end to all this suffering, then it’s up to me to get rich and do it.
I started studying health sciences, but my grades brought me back down to earth pretty quickly. So I turned to plans B, C, then D, all the way to the end of the alphabet. But nothing seemed to work, despite all the YouTube videos of financial gurus I was watching.
That’s when I discovered sociology and came across a study showing that people who manage to rise from poverty and become wealthy are the exception to the rule. While the majority of wealth is accumulating in the hands of a handful of multi-billionaires, the middle class is disappearing, and there are more and more poor people. I realized that, under capitalism, the game is rigged. The idea that we can all get rich if we work hard is an illusion designed to keep people from questioning the system.
When the pandemic hit, the circus of our governments’ handling of the virus was the last straw, and that’s what prompted me to look for solutions.
The vast majority of left-wing intellectuals I read at the time described the real problems of capitalism, but none of them proposed any concrete solutions for getting out of the system.
That’s when I met the members of Fightback. Through discussions, I got serious answers to my questions, and the way to transition to a society of equal opportunity was no longer an abstract idea, but became concrete. Today, I’ve been involved with the organization for a year, and that’s why I’m a communist.