In Search of a Revolutionary Party: Why I Joined

NEWWILLOGO1SmallerI became a Marxist in my sophomore year of high school. My AP European history teacher had mentioned The Communist Manifesto as part of a lecture on communism. The lesson itself didn’t amount to much, but being a curious little brat I acquired a copy of and set about reading it. I was completely bowled over by it and ended up reading it four times in a row, becoming a Marxist in a sudden, sharp leap of quantity into quality. Of course, my interest in Marx didn’t drop from thin air; at that time in my life I was rather disillusioned with the existing capitalist order and disgusted at the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, which I was baptized into, and with the inability of Christianity to answer the logical questions I was raising about the existence of god.

Why I Joined the WIL—A Reflection On the Case for Socialism

NEWWILLOGO1Smaller“Philosophers have merely interpreted the world, the point however is to
change it.” —Karl Marx

I’m a product of the Occupy movement, and like many who flocked to Zuccotti Park and other public demonstrations across the US in 2011, I hoped to create a profound change in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.

Causes and Conditions: Why I Joined the WIL

I am currently a graduate student at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh studying Community Organizing, and it was during orientation that I met a comrade from the Pittsburgh WIL. Immediately, I was captivated in a discussion on labor unions and I hoped the conversation was representative of the educational program I was about to embark upon. We talked initially about our interest in, and the problems confronting the labor unions, but he took the discussion further into the topic of the need for a mass party of labor. Everything he said in that short conversation sounded logical and true. I wanted to know more.

Why I Joined the WIL

willogo545In this letter, Marcus Mayo explains the evolution of his political views and why he ultimately joined the WIL.



Apathy to Activity

In my, thus far, rather brief time as a young man, I have had a quite tumultuous history of political beliefs. In secondary school, I was a part of the inaugural core of the “Young Republicans Club” (an affiliation I now regret). Post-secondary school, that is, college, brought with it a new phase in my political leanings—ignorance.

My mind was too full with the issues of a freshman. Among these “more pressing” concerns were: a new educational apparatus, finding new friends, and the misguided social miring of a directionless youth. My political paradigm was one of “ignorance is bliss.” This bliss, however, did not last.

After seeing the state of the world, in both the “foreign” and “domestic” realms, deteriorate, I felt an urge to be political. Much like my ignorance, this urge was short-lived. Faced with the prospect of trying to effect change in a deeply established system, and realizing the apparent futility of such a goal, I became disillusioned nearly immediately. It was in such a state, one of deep cynicism and apathy that I remained for several years; that was, until I stumbled upon the WIL.