As most of us are deeply aware, capitalism is currently in it’s death throes. The breakdown of the Capitalist power structure is manifesting itself through “The Great Resignation” aka a mostly spontaneous and unorganized General Strike.

The working class here in “America” (Turtle Island) is sick of demoralizing jobs for low pay that don’t even cover living expenses. We’re sick of working conditions shaped by exploitation and disrespect.

This wildcat General Strike is affecting most sectors, but it’s showing most prominently in our supply chains. The Capitalist structures can do very little to fix the problem (though, why would they want to? Profits are at record-setting levels and yet we don’t discuss how THAT impacts inflation…)

These conditions are causing the proletarian masses great difficulties in their daily lives! I’m sure all of you see how this plays out in your own personal lives…. whether you’re struggling to pay your rent (housing is increasingly owned by corporate landlords, which is artificially inflating housing prices to a massively unaffordable level) or your neighbor is struggling with “food insecurity” (as it’s called by the media. Here, we prefer the more honest term, “starvation”.)

More than likely, you, or someone you care about, is one of hundreds of millions of people that goes without access to healthcare. We haven’t even discussed climate change in this context. But the point is, without offering alternatives, these tasks seem too daunting, or the future may seem dark. That’s where the concept of “Revolutionary Optimism” comes in. To put it shortly, if we make it sound like fighting is in vain, or that we cannot overcome these hurdles, then it makes it even harder to get people to organize in their communities.

Make no mistake, given our current trajectory, there is the possibility of a very bleak future, indeed. However, we cannot be weighed down by that. We can instead, choose TO fight!

We can fight by building working class power! (Examples include the anti-war movement in the early 2000s, the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, 2014-present)

ALL of these examples faced serious repression by the Capitalist power structures, including by the use of chemical agents….

What gives us cause to remain optimistic? Well, for starters, the historical developments around the world! From the Paris Commune to the Indigenous Resistance Movement, revolutionary scientists have fought the necessary struggles to improve the material conditions of their people. The USSR, for example, legalized religions other than Christianity, and took a firm stance against racism. Socialist Cuba, only 90 miles off the coast of Florida, has remained a beacon of true democracy and the power of a Worker’s government. From Communist China to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, we’ve seen how socialism can empower and lift a population to meet their full potential.

For a more modern context, we turn to the movements we just mentioned. The anti-war movement of ’06-’07 saw crowds as large as 100,000 march on Washington. Then, a few years later we saw thousands take to the streets in over 950 cities during the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011. To follow that, we saw 21 MILLION people take to the streets in the Imperial core in 2020 as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. To top this off, the grassroots organizers had Marxist roots and pushed a racial AND CLASS analysis. (We could go on a whole separate rant about the organization that funnels money to the Democratic party…. but for this discussion we’re talking about the grassroots movement.

To top this off, these examples are just SMALL views into the power the working class holds.

All of this gives us great cause to be optimistic! If we believe, as a society, that we can build a better world… and people start putting in the necessary work, it WILL happen!

Inspiration and information for this article came from the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s “Liberation News” article linked below.

The PSL is deeply involved in the mass anti-war and anti-racist movements. We look forward to the day when those movements merge into a revolutionary force. We are working to this end.

Liberation News, 2007

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