On careerism

Who are we who call ourselves Marxists and beg for careers?
In Sydney opera houses
In city municipalities
In Somerset gardens

We are weak
We are hobbyists
Marx is a fashion statement
Like Che, and soon, Mao.

We spend one night in prison
And think ourselves hard.
Being hard is not about prison.
Being hard is about self-criticism;
Attacking the headquarters of dissonance that keep us small.

Stature is measured in intellect,
As is morality, a function of consequence.

Take pain, or get results?
Make contributions, or realize the goal?

When we look materially at history,
It becomes clear that failure is not an option.

And so, we who have the cultural capital to understand the system
But not the financial capital to have a stake in it
Must grow up and become a real vanguard

Something feared if necessary
Something loved if necessary
And then, freedom arrives:

Arrives once we have taken it;
Taken it by ditching the excuse of ‘I have to make a living’.

We must make the revolution first and foremost, comrade.
Money is easy once you’ve stood up.

Justin Theodra is a master's student at SOAS University of London interested in intellectual biography, Marxist political economy, and the life and work of Samir Amin. He runs the Lives on the Left and Songs of Revolution facebook pages. Read other articles by Justin.