by Jane Michaels
Editor’s Note: The following thoughts and reflections by Jane Michaels, Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s newest member, accompanied her application to join MHI. We were impressed and moved by them and wish to share them with the public.
After going through life, fruitlessly searching for answers to my questions and gut feelings about capitalism, Marxism, and society, this group has finally provided me with a way forward. MHI’s mission, message, and way of going about the mission have become somewhat of a beacon to me, showing me a way to move ahead. Since finding the [Radio Free Humanity] podcast, I have worked on absorbing as much information as possible, being unable to turn away from learning more and I cannot help wanting to be involved. It feels like a responsibility; how could I turn away now?
This group and the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya have already shown me so much more of what I’ve been searching for than I even had considered, and it has been so validating and exciting. Albeit at times, also very hard to come to terms with. I love that it’s about developing an understanding of the philosophy, not just “Here is the action we are going to take, and later you can learn about the heady stuff.” This way seems to make more sense to me than the backward actions of other Marxist groups. I’m the type of person who needs to know why I’m doing something before I can get behind it.
Having first-hand experience with trying to learn about concepts such as these, and hitting wall after wall of misinformation and gaslighting, I think it’s incredibly important to try and learn the truth about Marxism and humanism specifically to change the narrative in order to develop a better and new society. The ideas and truth about Marxism have gone so far down rabbit holes that it isn’t recognizable to the regular person, and, of course, this has been on purpose. Correcting this misinformation campaign seems to me to be of the utmost importance.
I agree fully with the concept that neither spontaneous action nor organized action without the development of principles will be sufficient in creating real change or a new society. In order for these changes to happen, the learning and development of the principles of Marxist-Humanism should be brought to or learned by the working class, not through a vanguard party, but through organic processes between fellow human beings. I don’t believe that we can become a better world and species without developing these ideas. And I feel strongly that this is something that I not only want to be a part of but feel that I need to be a part of.
After reaching out by email, the members that I have had communication with have been nothing but informative and patient with my limited knowledge; and for that, I am so thankful. I would like not only to continue learning from them but hopefully continue that cycle with others now and into the foreseeable future.
I really feel like being a member of MHI is the right thing to do for myself, my family, and my society as a whole. I don’t know that I have a huge amount of anything to give up front, beside my wholehearted effort and desire to learn, absorb, and do whatever task I am able to carry out in order to further the mission of MHI, but if given the chance, I feel that that is a great place to start. I’m enthusiastic, and eager to be here, and am willing to do what is needed to earn a place in your initiative, and am sincerely hoping you will have me.