I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about my beliefs and my politics. I think all of our beliefs are things we choose to believe. Whether you’re a Conservative, a Liberal, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Wiccan, an Atheist, a Socialist, a Fascist, a Libertarian or whatever, you choose to hold those beliefs and you choose to act on them. So why do I choose to be a Socialist?
First, let’s get one thing straight. I don’t believe any of us deserve anything. We don’t deserve good things and we don’t deserve bad things. I choose to believe that the universe doesn’t care one jot for us, whether we succeed or fail. We’re not entitled to anything in this life.
But that doesn’t mean we humans can’t try to make things a little more balanced. We’re not cold and impartial. We have emotions, we have passions, we feel love. Life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean society can’t strive to be more fair, balanced and equal.
When it comes right down to it, I’m a Socialist because of this: I like humans as a whole, and I want us to succeed. The universe may not care, but I do. I have no idea what the long-term effects of any of my actions will be, but I’d rather err of the side of compassion, generosity and hope. I will stand up for immigrants (both legal and illegal), the working and middle classes, the unemployed, the homeless, the sick and the disenfranchised and the depressed and the handicapped, because I’d rather be kind and generous and optimistic. I’d rather believe that these people mean well and are doing the best they can to improve their situations. I’d rather do what I can to help them out. If I die and the worst thing people can say about me is, “He was a fool to be so trusting, compassionate and generous,” well, I’ll be awfully damn proud.
Sure, I could be selfish, suspicious, self-protective, but I see no more profit or strength in that than I do in being generous, compassionate and hopeful. So why not be kind? Why not help people out as best I can?
This is why I’m a Socialist.