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From: The Socialist issue 1120, 10 February 2021: Tories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

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Why I joined the Socialist Party - The current system is failing millions of people

Socialism 2019, London 2-3 November, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialism 2019, London 2-3 November, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Luke, Gloucestershire Socialist Party

While a few years ago I would have thought it unimaginable, I recently joined the Socialist Party. The last 18 months have been an extremely transformative time. My world view has drastically changed and is continuing to evolve.

It wasn't that long ago I would have described myself as a fiscally conservative libertarian who was socially liberal. Only two years ago I was on the other side arguing how real communism has never been achieved and is therefore impossible.

I'm a university student in my final year studying politics and economics, which I also studied at school. Looking back, there was huge bias within the economic curriculum which led me down the path of the right. During the 2015 and 2017 elections I would have voted Conservative if I had been old enough, and enjoyed debating with people using the basic economic theory I'd been taught. I looked down on those who hadn't taken the subject. In reality, I was taught just one side's theory, and there is a lot of evidence to disprove the ideas we were taught such as 'free markets are great, planned economies are terrible' and that 'trade unions and an increased minimum wage are bad for society'.

Thankfully, I've now grown up and have a broader world view. I've always been political though, and have always seen that we need radical change. I've never thought that Labour or the Conservatives were options for real change, and that we are distracted by trying to pick between those two while not considering actual options for change.

When I was younger, I looked to the right and failed to find answers I was looking for. Then over the last few years I've slowly shifted left and arrived at socialism. I'm always happy to admit how wrong I used to be. But I think it means I am well-placed to engage with those with right-wing views and to change their minds.

I believe that the current system is failing millions of people. But too many people are either almost oblivious to it, or at least choose to ignore it. I believe we're in need of real change rather than switching between the same two parties, neither of whom make any difference.

I would encourage anyone who wants to take part in meaningful political struggle against the dehumanising effects of capitalism, locally and internationally, to join the Socialist Party.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 10 February 2021

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Sparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

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