I’ve spent a number of years focusing on climate change-related activism – it felt like the most pressing matter to me, as I’ve seen the devastating effects of extreme heat and loss of biodiversity.
Taking part in community learning opportunities, talking about our environment and how humans have come to shape the world, in doing so causing the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, and discussing solutions which centred especially around the need for grassroots, community-based organising, helped to fundamentally shape my understanding of the world and our relationship with nature.
It has also helped channel a lot of my anxieties and anger into something hopeful. For a while, I was certain there could be a solution found on an individual level, if only we took the time to educate ourselves about things like consumerism.
It took the pandemic for me to realise that individual responsibilities are not the main problem or solution. Capitalism works hard to shift the blame to us, the ‘consumers’, in an effort to negate damage to its own system. Capitalists even try to profit from their blame game, trying to sell us their ‘solutions’.
I now understand how it is actually the capitalist system that, while exploiting us, also puts our lives and the planet’s future on the line, all for the sake of short-term profit that is never used to benefit the lives of the very people who generate the massive wealth that’s hoarded by a handful of billionaires.
I joined Socialist Alternative when the bin strikes started in my city, Coventry. I felt very strongly about the bin workers’ cause, as I understood that so many of our individual struggles are connected. This is why we have to stand in solidarity with each other. The way capitalism isolates us and makes us feel so hopeless shows just how important it is to support people fighting for a better future. We aren’t alone in our struggles, solidarity is one of our most powerful tools.
Being part of Socialist Alternative has taught me so much already. I have met so many compassionate people who inspire me and have given me a lot of food for thought. I also get to learn about revolutionary history, and hear about and share more information about struggles and ideas locally and worldwide.
All of this has given me a framework to understand the current crises we are facing a little better and by doing so, laid the foundation to a future we can work towards: a world with compassion, respect, and dignity for all of us under socialism.