"When I was a teenager, raised in a conservative evangelical culture, I questioned the contradictions of worshiping the Prince of Peace while venerating the American war machine, which led me to see the close relationship between capitalist wealth hoarding, global poverty, and the brutal violence of our present order.
I began to hear resonances with the biblical prophets who taught that politics of withholding welfare, warmongering, and worshiping wealth inevitably lead to destruction. I thus believe only a politics built around the throne of God -the socially marginalized and economically disadvantaged- can lead us off of our doomed path onto one of restoration and justice."
"I'm critical of capitalism because I believe that class, along with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia - and all hierarchies of oppression - is a primary cause of misery and suffering. Often when we do try to fight for a more fair world it is the wealthy who stand in the way and use their money and resources to maintain the status quo. I view politics as a struggle between those who owns the means of production and those who have to sell their wages to survive. Under the current system, many of us are meant to be deprived and struggle while generations and generations of wealthy, often white, people continuing to accumulate and live off unearned inherited wealth.
Socialism is becoming stronger in the US because more and more people are starting to achieve class consciousness as the result of things like having massive student loan debt, being either unemployed or underemployed, and coming of age during the 2008 financial crisis. Many of us are starting to recognize that the nature of capitalism, and a society entirely geared towards profit-making, will never allow us to build world. It's going to take collective struggle and people working together in a mass movement to dismantle the system and create a society that actually attempts to meet the needs of everyone."
"I could probably frame my “coming out” as a revolutionary Marxist around the very particular experience of attending “vanguard” public schools in Houston, Texas in the 1980s. Often the idea that socialists “fail” to connect with “the working” class is rooted in a completely ahistorical and personalistic evaluation of the flaws of socialists, while ignoring the known and hidden histories of transgression that populate the history of socialist, working class and revolutionary history that we can and should draw inspiration from."
"Once I began exploring Marxism and learning that working class movements are how we've gotten any of the gains we've made in our struggle be it the Civil Rights movement, Stonewall, the 40 hour work week, the right to vote, etc, I realized I could use my voice and my body to continue that fight with those who struggled with me. It's been the only thing keeping me going, as I see my friends and family across the world dying from the exploitation and oppression we face.
If I can convince a single person to get involved with me, and they can do the same, and so on, we can change anything we want to. I'm a socialist because I believe we all deserve a dignified life for the life of labor we give. I believe I am not free until everyone is. I believe in the equality and freedom of all people, and I won't stop fighting as long as that doesn't exist."
"I call myself a socialist openly and loudly most days. I wish we would get beyond the perceived “dirtiness” of the word so we could actually talk about what socialist-driven community actions we could be taking to make this a better country. It’s amazing to think that while people may consider my views so leftist here, I’m probably very moderately-viewed compared to many countries."
"Left politics began resonating with me after about 5 years into my career as a social worker. I've watched means-tested programs do nothing for clients and I've experienced aggressive harassment and discrimination as a trans woman when advocating for change. Unless something changes in our political system, those in power will continue to abuse people on the margins with impunity."
"Everything that happens in health care in the US is either dependent upon or at least fundamentally controlled by capitalism. We have developed different languages and processes today to accommodate these forces in our system; for example, is a treatment “cost-effective” or “covered”, does one “qualify” for services, obtaining “prior authorization” for medicines, is a doctor “in/out of network”, “quality improvement” initiatives, etc. These all form a vast smokescreen to hide the stark truth – that health care is a commodity at the mercy of the market, not an essential human right.
The idealism that the doctoring profession professes to hold as central to their identity is laughably incongruous with reality. Not only is capitalism incapable of solving the health care problems of inequity and access we have today, it is in fact the root cause of these issues. For our system to reflect the ideal of health as a human right, we must abandon capitalism and embrace a radically different structure and vision."