Thoughts about the Necessity for Struggle
Why do we have to debate the necessity for struggle? It is because in the midst of the all-out-struggle for Liberty, Fraternity and Equality in our world today, there has emerged the idea that the problem is the struggle itself. We struggle too much in our lives. So by stopping the struggle, it is argued, we stop making enemies, we stop dividing humanity in us and them: we get peace.
This can be a tempting thought and it can seem to some like a revelation. That after all the contradictions between people and the sufferings and injustices done to some at the hands of others, that we humans – somehow in an almost spiritual way – are together anyway… And we can experience that togetherness by quitting the struggle… So that, as if by some magic almost, with struggle gone, we will be able to see each other’s humanity… we will be able to relate to each other as Humans, as if entering heaven. On an individual basis, this can be a good exercise so now and then, but as a political stand or strategy, it is seductive and misleading.
It is seductive and misleading in its denial of reality. Human Beings have the capacity to act united, in agreement with each other, to the better for all. But that is not the reality.
The reality is that we are deeply and systematically divided. And it is this division that we need to struggle against and that makes the struggle necessary. The necessity of the struggle becomes visible, when you realize that children are dying every day from preventable diseases. If we want to take a stand to creating a united Humanity, we can start with ending the tragic destiny of these children and instead create a future for them. This is a very necessary struggle.
So instead of giving up the struggle, I would like to argue for the need of intensifying the struggle. And to put up a goal, what we should struggle for, is another system. Capitalism, our existing system, has lost all its credibility. May be Capitalism has brought us many goodies, but freedom, liberty, democracy and brotherhood, is not what it has brought us. It never will.
On the contrary, capitalism divides people:
People are waging wars on each other to maintain and create markets for weapons to enter and for money to flow.
People are stealing and taking for themselves huge amounts of land, so that others have no land.
People are earning money on the exploitation of other people as workers, as slaves, as prostitutes, as child workers, drug abusers and you name it.
People are stealing resources from The Poor so that The Poor stay underdeveloped.
People are making fortunes on the disasters of others.
Last but not least, and also as a part of the division between people created by Capitalism:
People destroy our planet and the livelihood and home for our children and grandchildren.
As you can see, the misery that Capitalism creates on our planet, the havoc it accumulates, is too big to comprehend. It is both a humanitarian disaster and a destruction of Humanity. It obstructs Humanity from living in freedom, democracy, equality and brotherhood. And it is a nightmare for our planet and the nature on it.
These huge consequences of Capitalism on both Humanity and our Planet, dehumanization, the exploitation and oppression of peoples, pollution of the nature, and global warming are also threads from where the struggle against Capitalism can start and take place. Realising this, we can see that the struggle against Capitalism is in full swing, alive and kicking!
We are talking about:
the struggle of the Poor,
the struggle for Humanity in this world,
the struggle for more trees and forests,
the struggle for using other energy sources than fossil fuels,
the struggle for ending pollution and
the struggle for the right of any individual to live a decent life in freedom and community and so on.
The world of today is characterized by a fight from the bottom up. By the Poor, by the working class, by the refugees, by the poor farmers, by the poor women and so on. And from the top down, it is waged by the rulers of this world:
through land grabbing,
through depoliticizing people,
children to become
through control over the media,
and you name it.
The choice that we have as Human Beings is this one: We can close our eyes, close our ears, and keep our mouths shut, like the three monkeys. In other words: we don’t engage in the politics of life and we quit the struggle. But in fact, for the majority of people on this planet this is not even an option because without the struggle they would not be able to live a decent life.
Or the choice is this one: We look at our world and we recognize and understand the contradictions in it. We learn to see the struggle and we learn to see how we are a part of it. And then we engage ourselves with the struggle. Struggle is an essential part of the evolution of human kind. Our survival and success as a species shows that we know how to struggle. Struggle is also a part of my life. I am passionate about it. My main struggle is a better life for human beings. This includes the struggle to end injustice in this world. And it includes the struggle to prepare the new generations how to live on this planet-in-decay, heavily destroyed by us, their forefathers. But these struggles I cannot do alone. Neither can you. So let’s struggle together…
By Gert Tjoelker from the Netherlands