There is a lot of talk about “communities” and how we should look after our “communities”. What is more this talk can come from left and right of the political spectrum. We can have Cameron and his Eton millionaires talking about the need to strengthen “communities” and we have trade unionists and activists talking about defending our “communities”. But what do they mean, they can't all be talking about the same thing, can they? Most people mean their neighbourhood when they talk about their “community”, but a neighbourhood, like a community, is not a commune, it is a very mixed bag of all manner of people, form shop owners, other small capitalist enterprises, professionals, government officials, workers and unemployed estate kids. All of these have different interests and in most cases, conflicting interests. To call for the strengthening of our “communities” is to call for the status-quo, the community or neighbourhood is a microcosm of the capitalist society that we live in. In this society that we live under, to call for a community loyalty, is just the same as the state calling for patriotism, there is no real common interest. The conflicts and exploitation that take place in society at large, take place in our “communities” on a daily basis. Why should ordinary people call for the strengthening of the subordination and restrictions that hinder their freedom of expression, and opportunity? It can never really be a community unless all its members have equal freedom of expression and equal opportunities. Once we have that, we can then talk of strengthening our “communities”, until then we should talk of taking control of our “communities” and shaping them to suit the needs of all those in that community, working from a position of equality. That of course requires getting out of the capitalist system.
I’m proud of my people, proud to be one of them,
that great mass on society’s bottom rung.
Those who, with coal-dust under their nails
in their eyes, in their lungs
claw at the earths entrails.
cement in their hair
in their mouth, in their ears,
oil ingrained in their fingers,
on their face.
Sisters, glistening with sweat
midst the ceaseless noise of machines
that throw out shirts, shoes, toys, carpets
for other people.
Those with soil and sweat stuck to their skin
smelling of the earth, feeding the multitude,
grinding out their lives in a harsh pitiless system
with a sack load of half-dead dreams,
sometimes brought to their knees
by a tidal wave of despair,
groping in the dark to find tomorrow,
keeping hope alive;
they amaze me.
Somehow, from somewhere
in this cold, cruel
unforgiving scheme of things
they find love for their children.
Not a teaspoonful, not a cupful,
but buckets full, to bathe them in,
to pour over them.
They seem to know
that one day this world will be ours
and to take care of it
we will need those who have been loved.