By Alice Neeson,
I’ve been a socialist since my early teens, largely due to my bad taste in angry punk music and good taste in socio-political literature.
While studying social anthropology, I became particularly interested in alternative modes of production and consumption throughout the world and throughout history. The more familiar I became with these alternative models of organising the economy and society, the more illogical and exploitative capitalism seemed.
After graduating I was lucky enough to scrape by on freelancing for a few years, which allowed me to travel pretty extensively and experience different societies and ways of life. Of course, like most people I was aware of the extreme poverty and social injustice that exists in the world, but actually seeing it first hand and getting to know the people who lived it really shook me to the bones. It was hard not to become politically engaged.
But the world’s a beautiful place too – there’s enough decency, fairness and equality out there to contradict anyone who claims that socialism could never work because humans are inherently greedy.
After living in Western Australia and Dublin for a few years, I moved back to Belfast and I joined the Socialist Party shortly after. I joined because I believe in democracy, including economic democracy. I joined because I was tired of hearing people talking about voting for “the lesser of two evils” without actually considering a genuine alternative. I was angry at the mainstream parties who only permit debate within a narrow spectrum – a spectrum that is controlled by the powerful unelected barons of industry, media and finance.
I believe that we’re currently living through a pivotal time. Free market capitalism has been exposed as a con game, but rather than let it collapse under the weight of its own greed the mainstream parties are intent on propping it up at the expense of ordinary people. It’s now more important than ever to join the struggle for a fairer world that meets the needs of all the people rather than the privileged few.