The struggle continues in 2014.

At the beginning of any year I often find myself reading Leon Trotsky's Last Testament.

Leon Trotsky wrote his Last Testament in February-March 1940, near the close of his life. On the 20th of August 1940 in an old house surrounded by leafy trees and cactus in a peaceful suburb of Coyoacán, in the capital of Mexico, he was killed by an agent of Joseph Stalin. It was also done with the tacit understanding of the  social democratic parties in the west - the twins of Stalinism.

I think Trotsky's words remind us, in a direct and simply way, why the fight goes. Why the fight must go on.

In our ordinary everyday lives it is almost as if we are being sucked of any optimism we might have.  We are told that are happiness lies with the 'choices' that capitalism provides. As John Berger observed:  'Capitalism survives by forcing the majority, whom it exploits, to define their own interests as narrowly as possible.' 

Certainly the overthrow of our present economic system isn't one of the choices it provides.

The only political 'alternative' being  offered by our so-called  'representatives',  the Labour Party, the Green Party and the trade union bureaucracy,  is some new wallpaper for our prison. But it is still a prison.

And if you are still feeling depressed? Then there's always a mind-nunbing 'self help' course just waiting to depress you further.

We should remind ourselves of what Trotsky wrote over sixty years ago: 

Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room.  I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of allevil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.

Leon Trotsky's poetic words speak to us forcibly today. Amid the clamour, the lies and false hopes of capitalism, they remind us of not only of  who we are but  what we would like to be. This contradiction can only be resolved by the overthrow of capitalism itself.

As Trotsky reminds us, we should fight for the future we want - not what others say that we want.

The struggle continues in 2014.


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