By - elenionline
We have [a Discord server](https://discord.gg/5veYsNf3PA)! Its aim is to cultivate a community of learners, educators, and thinkers as a living library, providing a relaxing retreat from capitalism to decompress and chill with fellow Marxists, and to allow people to have discussions about issues and events that matter. The same rules apply there.
Moderating takes time. You can help us out by reporting any comments or submissions that don't follow these rules:
1. **No non-marxists** - This subreddit isn't here to convert naysayers to marxism. Try r/DebateCommunism for that. If you are a member of the police, armed forces, or any other part of the repressive state apparatus of capitalist nations, you will be banned.
2. **No oppressive language** - Speech that is patriarchal, white supremacist, cissupremacist, homophobic, ableist, or otherwise oppressive is banned. TERF is not a slur.
3. **No low quality or off-topic posts** - Posts that are low-effort or otherwise irrelevant will be removed. This includes linking to posts on other subreddits. This is not a place to engage in meta-drama or discuss random reactionaries on reddit or anywhere else. This includes memes and circlejerking. This includes most images, such as random books or memorabilia you found. We ask that amerikan posters refrain from posting about US bourgeois politics. The rest of the world really doesn’t care that much.
4. **No basic questions about Marxism** - Posts asking entry-level questions will be removed. Questions like “What is Maoism?” or “Why do Stalinists believe what they do?” will be removed, as they are not the focus on this forum. We ask that posters please submit these questions to /r/communism101.
5. **No sectarianism** - Marxists of all tendencies are welcome here. Refrain from sectarianism, defined here as unprincipled criticism. Posts trash-talking a certain tendency or marxist figure will be removed. Circlejerking, throwing insults around, and other pettiness is unacceptable. If criticisms must be made, make them in a principled manner, applying Marxist analysis. The goal of this subreddit is the accretion of theory and knowledge and the promotion of quality discussion and criticism.
*I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/communism) if you have any questions or concerns.*
I feel like I was happier when I knew less.
You’re not alone. Being educated comes with baggage. But i’d prefer to not be ignorant. Just accept the things you cannot change. Change the things that you can. Sounds cliché but it allows some peace.
Thank you :)
Why did you "know less" yesterday and why were you politically conservative, and why are you conscious and disillusioned today? We like to think it's simply a matter of exposure to information we did not have prior access to, but this is getting things backwards. Social being determines consciousness. Capitalism is breaking down, and with it its ideological hegemony; that is why yesterday you experienced blissful ignorance but today have become radicalized. Your world changed, and with it your understanding of it. But because you are seeing things backwards, you do not see that what you long for is not really ignorance, it's the security of a comfortable petty bourgeois life. Well, I'm sorry to say, you're not getting it back, and no illusions could possibly allow you to turn your back on that reality when your landlord is knocking on your door demanding the rent money you spent on food.
100%. Being a Marxist requires revolutionising oneself, and along with this onus comes the need to mend the rift created by the ideological departure from your class position. A reconciliation of the two will lead to the worst kinds of opportunism. This excerpt may be of relevance to OP:
[>Second, when such people from other classes join the proletarian movement, the first demand upon them must be that they do not bring with them any remnants of bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, etc., prejudices, but that they irreversibly assimilate the proletarian viewpoint. But those gentlemen, as has been shown, adhere overwhelmingly to petty-bourgeois conceptions. [...] We cannot, therefore, go along with people who openly claim that the workers are too ignorant to emancipate themselves but must first be emancipated from the top down, by the philanthropic big and petty bourgeois.](https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1879/09/17.htm)
E: To sprinkle in a little bit of personal experience, communism is one of the reasons I persevere in the face of my adversities. It articulates the flaws of our contemporary society while showing how the new can be birthed out of it. Revolutionary optimism is a good spirit to upkeep, provided you gain an understanding of class struggle and why it is so fundamental to that logic.
Thank you for the response, the idea of revolutionizing oneself was nice and made me reflect on some stuff but I don’t really think i had to leave the petty-bourgeois to join the proletarian movement. It was actually the realization that the “hard work pays off” ideology of my family had done nothing for them and we were still very much stuck that launched me into this. I always knew the world was like this I just didn’t have any context behind my emotions and felt a different kind of despair than I do now. I had used liberal progressivism as a kind of way to hold faith but that faded intensely. I liked your comment on “bringing the new out of it”. Maybe I just need a further understanding because it feels like I’m missing something about revolutionary optimism
Right. You have ruptured from your old erroneous ways of thinking, but you aren't quite there yet. To be candid, no communist ever is. Learning is a perpetual process, and the only true way to revolutionise yourself is through discovering the truth through practice. The best you can do right now is maintain a close support network (ideally one you can study with) and read, read, read. Your hope may be waning, but that of the masses isn't. Have faith in yourself; have faith in them.
>Over the thought of the babblement and rack of the age and the ages, over the talk of the day and the scenes of the evening, arose in my mind one question touching upon the final law of being, for which I would seek answer from this sage. Going down to the depth of language, and rising to the height of emphasis, during an interspace of silence, I interrogated the revolutionist and philosopher in these fateful words, "What is?" And it seemed as though his mind were inverted for a moment while he looked upon the roaring sea in front and the restless multitude upon the beach. "What is?" I had inquired, to which, in deep and solemn tone, he replied: "Struggle!"
>At first it seemed as though I had heard the echo of despair; but, peradventure, it was the law of life.
—[Karl Marx; Interview by John Swinton](http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/26/021.html)
>I I find myself wishing I could go back to being a liberal just for the sheer simplicity of it almost.
I have former friends but now acquaintances who are what Fredric Lordon has called the "willing slaves of capital" who identify as liberals but are part of the labour aristocracy and have fascist views. I don't think they live the life you think they are living since they are constantly competing amongst each other to project the Facebook smiley version of themselves who go visit expensive restaurants and clubs and enjoy holidays in Greece or Mauritius, etc. as the "real" them all the while hating their jobs as they try to rise up the corporate ladder in the Bellum omnium contra omnes of the market, in a way which reminds me of Patrick Bateman from Brett Easton ellis's novel "American psycho". That is a life I cannot imagine myself being able to live and am much better off being a communist since it truly makes me feel alive.
See I understand this and see what you’re saying. But I don’t see my life as becoming any different than this, I will most likely still work a job I don’t like and still feel unfulfilled in whatever pleasures I decide to indulge in. I don’t know what way out there is
>I will most likely still work a job I don’t like and still feel unfulfilled in whatever pleasures I decide to indulge in.
The way I look at it is that this desire to be "happy" and "fulfilled" is the problem and to be alive means to be engaged in practice and to change the world we live in. just like any creative endeavour there will be huge and long stretches of time when one will feel exasperation, despair, lethargy, etc. i.e. due to apparent non-movement in terms of the task and thus will not feel fulfilled all the time.
>But I don’t see my life as becoming any different than this,
This is the essence of depression when one feels that life is an unending cycle of repetition without any hope of change and difference intervening in life, i.e the dialectic has been truly suspended and no motion and movement is possible, in fact this also the crux of the alienation for the proletariat under monopoly capital working at assembly lines which Harry Braverman explains so lucidly in his book and also the reason behind the Frankfurt School's pessimism- and I am talking about its first generation and not the liberal hacks Habermas, Honneth who came after etc . You will find these themes explored in some good movies as well which may offer some degree of catharsis like Lars von trier's "melancholia trilogy" especially this scene which captures the lack of movement in mechanical repetition creating a "hope" for death of everything as the only possible release:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty80gJfKDlE](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty80gJfKDlE) (this scene in fact is the condensed trilogy itself)
You can also watch True detective especially the first two seasons and especially the first season which explores the theme of "time being a flat circle" and depression and rage and crime. Do not watch the third season.
The point is to engage in practice -political and theoretical- otherwise capitalism will grind you to dust.
Losing hope and feeling helpless and jaded are bourgeois luxuries the left can't afford. I don't say this to scold you, but it's an important thing to remember. Our enemies want you feeling this way. When you feel like this, you're not angry, and you're not organising or furthering the cause. There comes a point where you need to take control of your emotions and put them aside if they're not useful to you or the movement.
Discipline is important. Don't allow yourself to be beaten down like this. Keep reading, keep learning, keep working, keep talking to friends and comrades, keep taking care of yourself, keep taking care of others. Unfortunately the only way out is through, and the sooner you make your peace with that concept the better. We got a world to win.
The only way out is through comment was one of the only things in these replies that really had an impact on me. Thank you
I'm glad that helps!
I will say that the things that have made me feel the best have been my friendships, as well as organizing. In the past year I've helped successfully unionize my old workplace and I also opened up a worker-owned business. Now, neither of these things are "communism", but they are small feats of worker power, and have done a lot to lift the spirits of everyone involved.
Talk to those around you! I have felt this despair before, but what helped me stay optimistic was talking with my family and those around me! The working people of this country are good and they are strong, do what you can to connect with them and you'll have hope for the future.
Comrade, I have exactly those same issues you do, regarding this question. Once I read Marxist theory I knew there were structural problems in my country and since then I really wanted to change that. However, I feel it has been an unglorious battle and that only lead me to anxiety and depression, as well. It's shameful to hear everyone saying "I'm not left nor right", when we all know what it actually means...
Im exactly in the same spot you are, and I cant get out of it.... I developed Agoraphobia. You need lexapro, asap. I have stress headaches again :(. Ive made my life so much worse trying not to take part in all of this fuckery, thinking I could teach people or meet like-minded (educated) individuals. I havent, and I cant. Maybe it is okay to understand more and not be able to do anything for it...I dunno if you know what I mean... Im trying to survive everyday.
Fight for the part of no part, i know.. Its drowning me though.
Ah yes. We were all happier when we could gleefully vote Democrat and pledge to push them left once we won. It made us see more tangible goals.
But, being radicalized is a superpower. You see things for the way they really are. We can and will survive under this capitalist nightmare. I’d say get involved with a mutual aid organization, great way to see actual tangible goals that aren’t electing more capitalists.
I think most importantly even if it’s on some Reddit forum with people you may never personally know, it’s still important to know you are not alone. Putting politics and personal views aside, everyone across the board feels this to various degrees. When you have an open mind and open heart and view the world on how it could be rather than how it currently is, this only makes it harder for people like you and clearly most of us on here. It’s hard it’s really difficult to function in a society that we know can be better. I totally see your point in knowing less is almost easier. It reminds me of my children right now, how they play for hours with their matchbox cars and have zero clue on the world today. They are blessed, we are blessed to live they way we do. But knowing how much suffering is out there is difficult as parents. Mainly because we wish and would do anything to keep there current state or “innocence”. Humanity is extremely toxic, but in there lies good people, those who wish to change society for the better. Even if that’s a far cry from reality I would still choose to be on that side.
You are not alone, even if it’s virtual we are with you and feel your struggle. Don’t settle for anything less than what makes you happy, you are in control of you at least. Wishing you the best and hope with all these comments it helped you see the glimpse of hope in humanity.
The subjugation of women in our society is repulsive, and when the Revolution is here, it will be recognized as unforgivable. I’m lucky enough that I have people in my life who are intelligent and empathetic, and I don’t want to think about where I’d be without them. If you know anyone else who might be able to understand your perspective, try to spend more time with them. One of the people I described loves music, and so do I, but neither of us really set the time aside to refine our musical ability. We decided to make it a priority, and now we get to spend more time together making music we both like, occasionally ranting about Capitalism and the USSR. It’s been a great way to vent. The world can be improved, and for me the best way to start was with myself and my social circle. Ofc, eventually I’ll need to take on more than that, but for the sake of my health that’s enough. Reading theory, not necessarily limited to Marx, who drew heavily upon Darwin, Hegel, and other theorists, also helped me to feel less hopeless. The better I understand bourgeois ideology, the more comfortable I feel denouncing it, and the less dismissive others are of my perspective.
It’s altogether different for a woman. It’s hard for men to perceive the myriad unique obstacles women are regularly confronted with at every wakeful second. I might recommend reading the SCUM Manifesto, if you haven’t already, and comparing it with Arthur Schopenhauer on Women. It gave me a laugh, and I think the Manifesto touches on some qualities of male psychology in Capitalism that are worth investigating. Stay strong, comrade.
Try to separate your happiness from your politics. It sounds easier than it is of course and I’m still working on it, but it does help. Oh and avoid social media, that’s the biggest thing. It’s literally designed to make you feel all our worst emotions. Seriously, delete it and don’t look back.
Keep a revolutionary optimism, friend.
A lot of things used to be thought as invincible. Back when Kings and Queens were literal monarchy chosen by the god, no one thought their power will be gone one day, heck, some of them even lost their head on the guillotine. And a little before that, no one thought that one could disobey the Pope. So the same goes to whatever injustice you think that is invincible right now. There will be an end to them and there will be a better future eventually.
Sadly it may not happen in our lifetime, but why would that matter? Keep your hopes up and do what you can, no matter how little.
I recommend to watch second thoughts video on revolutionary optimism
No you’re not alone. I’m in the same boat. I live in the US, and feel any revolution or even reasonable reform is impossible, at least in my lifetime, and until then, poor people, in particular black mothers, will continue to suffer and die under poverty