Why I joined the Socialist Party

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I have had anti-capitalist sympathies for as long as I have had a political opinion. I knew what I didn’t want in politics before I knew what I did want.

I suppose it was a kind of malaise caused by growing up during the Howard years witnessing cuts made to education and Medicare, a lack of action on climate change and attacks on workers’ rights. This came in addition to new wars being waged and the promotion of xenophobia.

As an adult, those feelings materialised into mild support of the Labor Party, who I saw as slightly better than the Coalition. I voted for Labor and I would argue for Labor’s policies in political discussions. I saw that as my politics.

It took me some time to realise that slightly better doesn’t mean good. A little more education spending and a little less pollution doesn’t actually change the fundamental problems that lie at the core of our society.

All it does is maintain the status quo, where worker exploitation, inequality and environmental destruction are necessary in the creation of profit. I came to realise that as long as society was arranged in this way, those profits could, and forever would, be used to buy influence and undermine legitimate progress toward fairness and justice.

It took me a lot of time and learning for that malaise and those ideas to manifest into a real political belief, a political belief that does not just merely accept minor alterations to the status quo. I have now come to reject the cynical nature of the two-party system.

It’s not good enough to support a party like Labor that does not work toward the necessary goal of ending capitalism and replacing it with a just alternative. That’s why I joined the Socialist Party.

By Ben McIntyre