You are too young to understand the life and death of communism, this fervent idea espoused O so long ago by Marx, Lenin, Mao and countless more, this dream of toppling the evil capitalist system and giving rise to an equal, just and human world. You’ve heard of the destruction and misery this idea has sowed, of its evil leaders and deadly utopian dreams. Today, the battle is over, capitalism has won. Today you live the world as it is presented to you – a world of haves and have-nots. In this raging sea where only the fatest stay afloat, you slowly devour yourself.
Karl Marx saw enormous potential in human beings. Their minds enables them to conquer nature and create marvelous things out of it: beautiful cities, architectural masterpieces, scientific discoveries, technological revolutions. But over and above such opulence and beauty, a vast majority of people, although taken part in this great human experiment, felt not only financially cheated out, but most importantly, mentally flushed. They took jobs that reduced them to beasts of burden, mechanical, passive, repetitive life-long chores that sucked their minds from them and expulsed material goods for others. They no longer lived to produce the fruits of their minds, but consumed the goods hewn by the imagination of a few. The material wealth was there, yet it was crowding out something essential to human happiness: the need to produce in accordance to one’s potential, to mirror one’s raison-d’être in his work. The meaningful life Marx would say, is found in conscious activity, not in passive consumption.
The point of a communist revolution was not to foster financial equality; it was creative equality that Marx sought for humanity, a trait capitalism crushed on its balade to prosperity. Today the dream is dead and buried but the feeling of emptiness for many lingers above its grave. This is not about reviving communism. Rather, it is about improving on, giving meaning to our lives within capitalism. The question boils down to how much are we willing to sacrifice for the good $alary, for the nice car, for the good life. How many of us yearn to find meaning in our profession, a place in which we can let our minds rip in creativity? Communism was a societal revolution that fell asunder. Perhaps Marx wouldn’t growl down there to hear speak of individual revolutions.