The accumulation of capital is the supreme value of capitalists and all elements of capitalist society--control over resources, labor relations, fiscal and tax policy, culture and propaganda, the workings of academia, war, and imperialism--are shaped to satisfy its hunger
Joel Kovel, "The Future Will Be Ecosocialist, Because Without Ecosocialism, There Will Be No Future"
Democracy and freedom are at the heart of socialism...Humanity needs no condescending saviors. People can only become truly free through own efforts.
Paul Le Blanc, "The Third American Revolution: How Socialism Can Come to the United States"
(image by nordhofsweden)
Imagine the struggle for freedom in the US without ordinary human beings such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. It is not just the passionate speeches of a fugitive from a brutal and an oppressive ordering of humanity or the bravery of a determined conductor in the Underground Railroad. There would be no speech or action without first a Sojourner or a Harriet recognizing that "freedom," small "f" for the individual is no Freedom at all in a system that, in itself, negates the very idea of freedom.
In the face of their own "escape" from enslavement, both women would have experienced this painful truth. Painful because both would have realized their lives could have little meaning if the end goal was to enjoy the fruits of their individual freedom in the North while so many remained enslaved. Quite possibly, both Sojourner and Harriet experienced anger, too. Looking back, seeing before them the faces of family members, other families, men, women, and children subjected to the myth of Southern Chivalry, a very real national embrace of white supremacy, violence at its rawest, neither women opted to shudder of fear. Neither women could shrug off their anger, nod in acceptance of the status quo, and cheer their own good fortune. Neither Sojourner or Harriet succumbed to the distraction of distorted dreams in which "exceptionalism" mask the sacrificial mechanisms of an un-free and un-democratic society.
I got mine. You get yours is not the mantra of those who are principled, who are human enough to feel empathy for the suffering of others.
Beyond the slogan of individualism , Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman imagined a US where all its people truly free. And to achieve that kind of freedom, they imagined themselves as committed thinkers and activists in the struggle for a vision of freedom and democracy for all.
Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman were not alone in their commitment to freedom for all and rejection of the ideology of individualism. There were others such as Paul Robeson, Hubert Harrison, and Pauli Murray who imagined the road to freedom and democracy in a socialist USA.
can make clear what peaceful existence means. It means living in
peace and friendship with another kind of society--a fully
integrated society where the people control their destinies, where
poverty and illiteracy have been eliminated, and where new kinds of
human beings develop in the framework of a new level of social
(Paul Robeson, Paul Robeson Speaks )
People control their destinies! Poverty and illiteracy eliminated! The rise of a new kind of human being is possible, if we imagine...
To imagine is to see the possibilities for humanity to live in free and democratic societies. To imagine is to discuss openly how all human beings, surrounded by unpolluted air, produce from uncontaminated soil, food and free flowing and clean water.
To imagine is to envision a nation in which we no longer collect, as lived of experiences, memories of the very palpable fear of racists, fascists, Zionists, anti-feminists, homophobes, collaborators.
To imagine socialism in the US is to resist the tyranny of violence--and capitalism is no less a violence against humanity and Earth as was the implementation of Southern Chivalry and its continuing legacy of racism, patriarchy, and class-based hierarchy. In fact, capitalism has embraced this legacy because it has been profitable for the ruling corporate-capitalist class.