Thank you for providing an invaluable resource for those interested in frank, humble, sharp commentary on current events. I always learn when reading your articles. Recently, after reading your piece regarding two lines on the CHAZ [ed. Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone], I’m confronted with the issue I’ve been struggling with for some time and for which I’d like to ask your honest advice.
I want to be a person that leads and inspires others to struggle but I have always had a very strong aversion to commitment and self sacrifice. My question is: how should a person transform themselves from individualistic preoccupation to wholeheartedly serving the people? Could you share the story of anyone whose development from a similar position has progressed to serving the people?
The advice we can give is just based on a basic world view. Aversion to commitment and self sacrifice are common in capitalist society, where everyone is supposed to be an aspiring individualized production unit, trying to live out some fictitious, American dream. These things, while common, reflect a class stand, that of the middle class or small owners, whose ideas are the most common among society, even the working class. This is because these are the ideas that dominate institutions and schools. Understanding it as a way society is organized and that we are alienated from one another is important, because it is not just a personal fault. The proletarian class stand comes from class struggle, production, and study. It comes from conscious integration into the struggles of people who have no option but to struggle, and slowly but surely you begin to have commitment and self sacrifice. Think of it as working out in a gym – most people like it a few times, but then hate going daily, but if they stick with it, they start to really hate not going. Discipline is attained through persistence, even when you are still working to be committed.
We have found that A Basic Understanding of the Communist Party of China has been very helpful in people’s journeys to taking up a revolutionary viewpoint and life. Its language can seem outdated at times, and it uses a lot of theoretical terms but it is a real treasure for advice on this kind of thing. Historically, this was produced and used to give to students who were taking education to the peasants in the rural parts of China. They had to be really self sacrificing since life was much harder for peasants than students, and this book sought to teach them those kind of principles. Scan through the chapters, because you do not have to read it in any order to grasp any one chapter. As with anything, if you read it with your personal experience in mind and think of the solutions creatively, good ideas will come to you.
We have known many people who have gone from your position to become true servants of the people – there is nothing impossible about doing this – it only takes your sincere desire, commitment, and action to do what is necessary to take up your post in revolution!
-The Editorial Board