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Opinion: You Don't Need to Be Poor to Be a Socialist!


Leftist YouTube, also referred to as BreadTube, can be a great place. It's fun to entertain ourselves by basking in the warm glow of community while hooting with laughter at ridiculous neo-nazi trolls.

But it's not always just fun and games and laughing at nazi punching bags; there's a problem, which shouldn't be that surprising, with hating people for their privilege and wealth. It's counter-productive, because we're too busy canceling other leftists (for having money) to work with them and possibly benefit from their help.

No one should have to say it, but apparently it needs to be said: Socialism is the political goal of workers controlling the means of production. That's it. Full stop. Doesn't matter what's in your bank account or the value of your home.

Of course, if someone is excessively rich, it makes their motivations suspect as a socialist influencer or politician. In the end, will they be more loyal to the worker's rights causes they champion, or to their own bank account? It certainly makes sense for some people to be upset when a YouTuber or other influencer lives in luxury that is unreachable for most people.

But the reason we are socialists, I would hope, is not just because we want to tear down the rich. It should be about wanting to make sure the poor also have a share of the luxury their labor builds for society, so that even if not everyone can be rich, no one has to be too poor.

Socialism is also about opposing the hierarchy-forming nature of capital accumulation at the top of society. People who are buying $3 million homes might seem mega-wealthy to a person who grew up very poor, but it's not that much to who we actually mean when we say "the rich". When socialists talk about "the rich" they mean the bourgeoisie, and that term is supposed to refer to those who own factors of production like warehouses, farms, businesses, factories, and things that can be used to make money. Having a house for your family isn't the same thing as owning a mine or a tech company. Living comfortably is also our goal for everyone to be able to do.

Socialism should be aimed at alleviating the stings of poverty, NOT about forming a judgmental cult that puts that poverty on a pedestal and acts like owning a few nice things or being invited to the ball makes you the enemy.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Naomi Starlight


Nigel Kirk from Calgary, AB, CAN on September 26, 2021:

Oh god... I get that AOC isn't perfect, but the problem with Leftist internet (I saw this argument on a leftist Facebook group) is that everyone thinks you gotta be a militant revolutionary to join the revolution. Like, no? Everyone's got a different role in creating change, from leaders, to politicians, to militias, to demonstrators, etc. She does her role well. The internet Robespierres saying other leftists aren't "loyal enough to the cause" or "traitors" are going to get the same fate as Robespierre himself.

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