The End of Struggle
The definition of Marxism goes as follows: “a theory in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in Western societies.” I wonder how true this theory actually is. Much of what this one simple statement makes sense, and it fits with how the history of the United States, for example, has progressed. Social change never seems to occur until that one group or class causes a “scene,” or gets enough attention. Social change will not happen just because someone wants it to. People have to be dissatisfied with how things are. They have to realize that it is possible for them to be treated better. People have to be able to look around and compare their situation to the situation of those around them. If this does not happen, then social change will never take effect. If the oppressed, or maybe even just people in general are not dissatisfied, it is not worth the fight for them. People must be given a reason to struggle, or to want to struggle. Living a quiet, peaceful life and accepting things how they are, is always easier anyways, isn’t it? Does all struggle create the social change people want or are looking for? How long does it take for the change to actually occur, if it does at all?
Looking at the history of the U.S., the Civil Rights movement provides the perfect example of this. African Americans were dissatisfied. They were in a class below everyone else, something similar to the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The African Americans were segregated from the rest of society. They were restricted in every aspect of life. They looked around, and were able to realize that it could be possible for things to be different. It took many years for their movement, the Civil Rights movement to really take effect. They caused a “scene” and obtained the national attention necessary. The created a national movement, which therefore forced the federal government to step in and get involved. Although this change in federal law, state law, and even pure national sentiment took a depressingly long time, this change or progress was made. Out of a very difficult struggle on the part of African Americans, came social change.
Scattered across the headlines of nearly every newspaper these days are stories about the cartels in Mexico. The violence has become so out of control, the military has nearly admitted that they simply do not know what to do anymore, and are not handling the situation properly. The violence is incredible and all encompassing. No, the government has not been overthrown, however the government is almost inactive. They have no power, no control, and do not know how to protect their citizens, not even themselves. Government officials cannot be trusted. No one is safe. Anyone can be killed at any time. There is no who is able to respond to the atrocities that have been occurring. This struggle seems to be leading nowhere, and no one can see the end. What if the end never comes, or is that even possible? An end must be reached, eventually. But who will assist to find that peace again? The U.S. does not want to get involved, and the international community obviously is trying to stay out of the mess as well. Right now in Mexico, it is a nation wide struggle between the cartels and everyone else. But what are they looking for? Or what were they dissatisfied to begin with? How does the struggle end?