28 January 2021
Simon Pearson a recent member of the anti*capitalist resistance and new to revolutionary politics imagines some questions that you may have before joining.
I joined Anti*Capitalist Resistance, am I now a Revolutionary Marxist?
Well, like me, you joined a revolutionary Marxist organization and so I hope subscribe to the idea of revolutionary Marxism.
Do you have to be young to be new to Marxism?
I guess I’m rather old to be new to Marxism, but from my experience, age is never a barrier to learning new ideas. Especially when they are timely.
Is there a lot of reading?
I will admit I own the books, a lot of books, from Capital to the Communist Manifesto, books by Trotsky, Lenin, Castro, and Mao.
Yes, but have you read them?
I will admit that reading the great Marxist theorists is hard going.
Yes, but did you read and understand it all?
As it’s just you, and please don’t tell anyone, no I didn’t!
There, I said it.
If you haven’t read all of Marx, can you even call yourself a Marxist?
Can I be a lapsed Marxist?
Is that even a thing? You seem to have dodged my question. If you haven’t read all of Marx, can you call yourself a Marxist?
It is okay not to know all of the theory (nobody does!), after all, we don’t expect people to learn Marxism by rote. It is much better to understand a little Marxism, than be able to repeat great tracts of text by heart (and not actually know what you are talking about).
Over the years a lot has gone over my head, and I will admit that certain books have appeared impenetrable, but I keep going back to them.
Marxism is like that; I want to unlock the knowledge contained within these texts so I can make sense of the world today. Theory and practice are complementary.
That may seem strange, going back to texts that in some cases are over 150 years old, but being part of a new revolutionary Marxist organization, we are lucky to have people reassessing the capitalist system and writing fresh interpretations of/and challenging those older texts.
One of the most important parts of being a member of Anti*Capitalist Resistance is being able to ask questions of other members, either through our regular member meetings or by using the groups and forum on our website. Whatever the question, no matter the subject, there has always been someone available to talk it through with.
The pandemic may have stopped face to face meetings, but that hasn’t impacted the feeling of being part of a new organization. New technology has been embraced and we hold everything from talks, discussions, day schools, and member meetings online, we even have a regular left book club reading group.
The website is our hub, a space where we can meet (virtually of course) register for those important future events and even write articles. We have several self-organised groups, which members can join if they wish.
The important thing is nobody will pre subscribe members to groups or campaigns, anti*capitalist resistance seeks to give members the confidence to go in whatever direction they want, run the campaigns that they are interested in, set up their own groups, the important thing, there are no leaders barking orders – we aren’t a cult.
Revolutionary thinking and activity are an important part of the anti*capitalist resistance. We seek a revolutionary change of the state and the capitalist system.
Is revolution actually going to happen in the not too distant future?
Maybe not, but we need to recognise when the system is creaking and be prepared to act when the situation demands it. Marx believed revolution was necessary to move societies forward, from one historical epoch to the next.
The time is approaching to move past late capitalism, enter a new historical epoch, a revolutionary start to a new epoch, and who better to make that journey with than anti*capitalist resistance.
Simon Pearson is a founding member of Anti*Capitalist Resistance and part of the current Steering Committee.