Thirsty for Communism

It was hot at the local high school football practice that I help out at. Students bought drinks from a truck parked nearby. I noticed one student didn’t buy anything from the truck. He told me he didn’t have any money.

I told him I knew these communists that said we wouldn’t need any money in communism. He asked me, “How will that work?”

My first response was to say we’d need a revolution and that it would have to be violent, but that didn’t satisfy his curiosity. So, I told him he should talk to my friends in the International Communist Workers Party (ICWP) to find out the details.

The next day I was talking with a comrade at work. I began to think about my childhood in the Detroit Housing Projects. If some of my neighbors were hungry, we’d feed them. I can still taste the goulash my neighbor made Friday nights for the whole neighborhood.

Nobody ever thought of asking for money and nobody starved. Many would have if it came down to whether or not you had money. Collective survival was our way of life. We shared everything, even the roaches.

My grandparents told me how they came north to work in the auto plants from Alabama. They could only travel at night between 11:30 pm and 5:00 am. Volunteers had houses for them to stay at during the dangerous hours of the day. No money was exchanged.

When they finally got jobs at Ford they were not allowed to work on day or swing shift because they were black. They worked the same night hours that they traveled on through the south.

The ICWP will never have as much money as the corporations and the politicians that serve them. We have something greater: a communist vision and plan to build a society where a kid gets fluids without worrying about money. A society where there is no money, only help for our fellow workers and students.

A society without money can be a great motivator. My comrade asked me to explain this to the student, using the stories of my childhood and grandparents. High school students don’t like to be lectured to, but they will listen to personal stories. I distribute dozens of Red Flags. My question is, “What do I do now to build a movement for this vision of a society without money with this student and others?”

—Boeing worker and youth coach

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