Dear Editors,

I am not an image for sale. My intention is not to gain a profit for knowledge I share. What I'm doing is sharing my experience. My experience is part of what made me who I am today. My objective is not to exploit myself although we do live under a capitalist system, which means time is money and the bills have to get paid and that's why I take great honor in being a tradesman.

My objective is to share the knowledge I have gained from experience as well as lessons taught
by generations before me. It's the responsibility of anyone with knowledge that can help another person-especially future generations-to share it freely. (Realize how much progress is made when we're cooperating, compared to holding out on knowledge that could be helping people succeed and thrive and for money.)

The history of San Francisco, Oakland and the Bay Area is full of social awareness and activism. The civil rights movement wasn't sold, women's liberation wasn't sold. These battles won were for the greater good of the community, and the world.

These battles for equality were won for the greater good of humanity. One of the nearest lessons to my heart is to fight against the oppression due to the capitalist system, which includes the oppression of the natural world.

This fight was handed down to me by my grandparents and parents, who dedicated their lives to the civil rights movement, women's liberation movement, and the antiwar movement.

I was born into a family of freedom fighters and I refuse to lose sight of that or let the fight slip through the cracks like a child caught in the system.

I'm not yet sure if capitalism was originally a system of human greed. What I do know is that greed is definitely a symptom of capitalism. Drug addiction is a symptom of capitalism. Mass incarceration, depression, racism and poverty are not only symptoms of capitalism and prejudice-based fears, but weapons held by the bourgeoisie, or powers that be, and "owners" of property and production designed to divide and conquer the proletariat. The working people of the world are those who actually control the means production. We are also the ones who can change the world. And we happen to be the overwhelming majority.

And whether you work for a company or are the boss of your own company, if your goal is to earn a profit you are working for the system that's designed to divide, conquer, pillage and plunder, and are therefore a worker.

Ultimately capitalism leads to either Barbarism or Socialism. When funding for social services and infrastructure is continuously cut back and every available penny squeezed out of the working class, and as the rate of profit dwindles and the planet becomes increasingly uninhabitable for future generations-like the end of a game of Monopoly-the capitalist system inevitably consumes itself.

Capitalism is not a sustainable system by nature of its mathematics. What then is left for the future of humanity and the planet? What happens when the game is over? Why is it more important to be good at this "game" than to make sure our grandchildren's grandchildren are able to enjoy this world in all its glory and abundance? Because we've been misinformed miseducated and conditioned to value material more than we value the lives of our brothers and sisters.

We are living in an unhealthy condition. Like a boxer who's been living a luxurious lifestyle has to get back in shape for the next fight, we can become healthy again too.
We must challenge the status quo and not accept the current state of affairs.

One of the arguments of people who opposed the civil rights movement was "it's always been that way so it should stay that way." This is obvious ignorance. Did Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, Rich Sorro, the Black Panthers as well as my grandparents, Nat and Sylvia Weinstein-and more-accept this argument? Not by any means. I'm not willing to accept that ignorant argument applied to capitalism, either.

These fighters against social injustice knew they had to fight back against a way of life that continues to kill. And I'm willing to accept that challenge and carry this message to the ones who still suffer from the conditions of a barbaric system that's only interested in seeing the money in a private bank account rise at the cost of humanity and the natural ecosystem.

Working people of the world Unite! We can rise above any number in a computer and free ourselves and Mother Earth from the bondage of capitalism. Together we can.

- By Johnny A. Gould

Inside the cover ot the January/February issue of Socialist Viewpoint, Vol. 19, No. 1, there is a footnote about Patrice Lumumba that explains how he was murdered because the U.S. did not intercede in the local Congolese conflict. First of all, I read that Allen Dulles personally stated that a military coup against Lumumba was "an urgent prime directive." This way of thinking and actions led to his overthrow and, in turn, prompted a U.S. supported dictator. Does this added information discredit the footnotes mention of non-U.S. involvement leading to his death?

Secondly, I was wondering if it is true that the U.S. didn't help out, would it have been okay for Western intervention in military actions abroad? I thought that the left was supposed to be anti-imperialist. Is it not pro-colonialism to go to war in other countries, on the other side of the world?

And finally, what is your opinion on members of the Western left taking up arms and fighting with the YPG, in Rojava? Nearly every article I read, on the left and right, are in full support of the U.S. military helping the Kurds, even thought they are embedded with the CIA and USAID? It all appears like an old fashion coup to me, with leftist Western mercenaries blindly carrying out the intelligence agencies and NATO's Middle Eastern operations agenda. Thanks for your time and keep spreading love.

-Ryan Policht

Editor's response: The reader is correct on both points. The U.S. fomented the coup and assassination of Lumumba. Socialist Viewpoint does not support U.S. troops fighting anywhere in the world. Bring them all home and dismantle all foreign bases!