A reply to a reddit post to /r/climate, “Trying To Be Optimistic, Find The Will To Fight”

The poster said,

I’m obsessed with thinking about it and cannot get it out of my head. I’m just absolutely terrified that the next generation is going to be totally screwed and that the end of my life will be awful. Given a lot of you are in the rough ballpark of my age group (I’m 27), I’m sure you can relate to this in some way.

I’d like to know – where do you find the will to keep fighting? How do you ward off the anxiety that comes with knowing that extinction is on the brink? What, if anything, is making you optimistic that we’ll at least mitigate SOME damage?

My reply was

I work to bring about global socialism, because it is the only possible solution. My fight to do this involves struggling alongside people who already face problems and being of whatever assistance I can in the work of solving these problems and building power in their communities.

People are already suffering, and have been for a very long time, and the world is overall a much less fulfilling, nurturing, or interesting a world than it would be if this weren’t the case. Because there is poverty, there is crime. Because of the necessity of controlled reproduction of a labor force (and other reasons), there is the domination of women and the oppression of all non-men and non-gender-conforming people. Because there is colonialism (which is fundamentally a political-economic phenomenon), there is racism. Because of all this, the world is filled with deeply fucked-up people, both victims and perpetrators of these horrific social mechanics, and cheap, unsustainable thrills to soothe the majority of us. What person even of substantial privilege wouldn’t at the very least have nerves just living in the same global society as all of that? I am deeply alienated by our world, and its misery enters my life on a daily basis, and the way to reduce my alienation and sadness is to work to change it. I believe socialism is the only way to resolve these problems, because the problems are, at their deepest root, a function of our economic system.

So I was already delighted to have found a way to serve humanity as a way of also working against my own alienation in this shitty world, but it turns out that it’s not only the well-being of the billions who are already suffering on the line (and that of billions to come after them if we don’t end capitalism)–it is actually everyone’s life, even the whole species’ life–on the line due to climate change, so I have all the reason to work harder.

That’s what gives my life meaning and gives me the will to fight, along with the relationships I make with people I meet, love, befriend, and work with as I do this work, and even a love for all life.