As far as I can remember it was always within me to question my reality. I wouldn’t go ‘with it’ if I found ‘it’ to be wrong or unjust. When I was a teen I would channel that attitude towards anti-social behaviour and sometimes towards the law, something I may have picked up from my Dad who often organised protests against abusive Gardai in Ballyfermot. But in my teens it was more just for self-fulfilment.
Capitalism is something I always knew about, as to quote the matrix, “it is everywhere”. When I was 19 my daughter lily was born. I took a step back, and looked at the bigger picture. For the first time, I started to think and plan for the future, something the capitalist system isn’t capable of doing. Like a lot of people my age I was angry about the environmental crisis and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and demoralised that we didn’t stop them. I attended protests against the bank bailouts and the Dail. Even though it was good to be involved, I felt it didn’t make much of a difference.
I was really inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and the Occupy Wall st movement. Me and my mates always say, “we’re living in interesting times”. Anti-Capitalist as I was, I didn’t see any clear solutions to the problems, until one of my frequent small talk conversations with Ballyfermot’s County Bar bartender, James McCabe, turned political. He informed me on some fundamentals of Socialism and Marxism. It felt like my unfinished puzzle of anti-Capitalist ideas got the extra pieces I needed to complete my view of the system (at the risk of sounding too poetic). James then invited me to a meeting on Socialism. I was starting to see solutions. I was already wondering if I was always a Socialist and just never knew what it was to be one. Looking back I understand I was born into a system based around greed of the 1%. A controlled media a controlled people would always have negative thoughts on socialism without understanding it at all.
I’m 24 now, and in my first year of joining the Socialist Party I’ve been armed with an abundance of knowledge, tools and like-minds to help me be more politically active in the first few months of activity than in the previous few years of protesting. It has giving me the chance and power to change and awaken minds. I’ve encouraged people to stand up and fight the Household Charge and explained to them what the Austerity Treaty was about. Had a lot of fun driving my mates to voting booths, who would not normally vote, but have since thanked me for empowering them. The working class has the power and thanks to such great writers as Marx and Trotsky, it’s only a matter of time before more and more realise it.