Why I’m a socialist

Every morning, as the sun is still rising, a crisp 5am where I am awakened by noise coming through the paper-thin floors and walls of my flat complex, I open the blinds and take in the beauty outside my window. Of course, this beauty is the litter flying out of our bins and dancing around, a private circus show! And, as I hear my dad grumbling, and getting his crappy grilled cheese breakfast made in the George Foreman, I can practically already smell the rust coming from his steel-capped shoes and the electrical smoke on his carpenter pants. I often wonder, isn’t there a world better than this?

Is there not a world where my dad is fairly compensated for the hours he spends, a world where I don’t have to live in a dump surrounded by affluence? Walking to school, I never understood that I was different to the others, but now it’s so clear. I go past family homes every morning, decorated with BMWs and Chevrolets parked outside with their licence-plate-teeth grinning at me, and every morning I’m jealous that people have an upstairs. I’ve never had an upstairs of my own, a room which wasn’t practically transparent for everyone to listen in on because of how small the house is. I’ve never been to a private school, nor have I the outfits or the latest fashion which all my peers covet. I’ve always been what they would consider an outsider, inadequate and an outlier to their inner circle.

My friends don’t really get it. Sure, they’re not rich, but they’re well-off enough to have a house – I mean how lucky is that? Never in my parents’ lives have they had the money to actually buy property, yet some people in the world have dozens of homes, which they don’t even live in. What do they have them for? To showcase? To boast? Meanwhile, I need a place to live which doesn’t have mould in every corner, or a boiler which isn’t straight from 1940, and what do they need it for?

Perhaps because I’m not one of them, I don’t understand the reasons behind it – I probably never will – but to me, this world is black and white. There shouldn’t be an argument over who deserves housing, we are all deserving of at least that – shelter. And I find it so hideous that people like us are out on the streets while landlords hoard their property, boasting about how smart it was to get into real estate. It’s not ‘smart’, it’s just the exploitation of a broken system.

What does this party offer to me, specifically, as someone who is both transgender and autistic? Genuinely, what does this article have to do with either of those things? What are you talking about, Jame? Well, I think the answer lies in the fact that both of these things will forever be intertwined with my status as a working-class citizen. I don’t have the money to afford private gender-affirming care, of course, so I’ve had to rely on the wonderful Conservative-run NHS for help.

I’ve been on the waiting list for about two years. Of course, when profits and tax cuts are prioritised over actually helping the people, and healthcare is neglected, this is what you end up with. I’ve had to wait a similar amount of time to get my autism diagnosis, on top of that.
So what, Jame? What does this have to do with anything, why the Socialist Party?

Because capitalism doesn’t care about people like me. Not one day in this world have I ever felt like I’ve truly mattered, simply just another burden to the government, never somebody worth fighting for. Never have I felt reassured by government when they say they’ll repeal conversion therapy, never have I felt safe when I’ve walked through CAMHS’ doors and I’m met with stark-empty hallways and a dilapidated counselling service. Never have I felt equal, and sure my superiors can smile and make me feel comfortable all they can, but to them I’m just a pawn they need to wrangle in place so that their bosses don’t decrease their pay for not managing me well enough. Do I really want to continue living in a system where the worker is so undervalued and overworked, that they are not even considered human? We are just products, who need to be maintained and placated so that the higher-ups aren’t faced by union strikes.

But it hasn’t been working. It hasn’t been good enough. Concessions are not being met, and I’m tired of being ignored as a transgender, autistic, working-class teenager. My needs, most people’s needs, are not being met. We’re in a world where the difference between the mega-wealthy and the poor is so discouraging that it’s hard to think that we can carry on this way.

I don’t see the world in the same way that you do, most likely. And in my eyes, things are either good or bad. Things are unbelievably bad. I see the world as being in a massive stalemate, torn between what’s right, and greed. There are solutions, but nobody is jumping at the opportunity to use these solutions, because they are too distracted by greed. Yet, nobody is speaking out? Everyone is just sitting around, letting our leaders do nothing? When will change come? When will things actually be good? I just don’t understand. People will flagrantly defend our leaders, capitalism, the free market, but what has it ever done for us?
What has it ever done for us trans, autistic, working-class teens?
That’s why I joined the Socialist Party, because I’m tired of the way I’m treated. I’m tired of being exploited, ignored, disparaged, and I want to make a change. I don’t want to be part of a system which hates me for my uniqueness.


Next article: Before Marx: David Ricardo ➤

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