Michael Lebowitz: In the beginning is the dream

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[Quotes and Insights #31] “That dream moves us – even as we catch only fleeting glimpses.”

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[Quotes and Insights #31]

In the beginning is the dream, the promise of a society which permits the full development of human potential, a society in which we relate to each other as human beings and where the mere recognition of the need of another is sufficient to induce our deed.

In the beginning is the vision of a society where the products of our past activity serve our own need for development and where, in working together, we develop our capacities, our needs, our human wealth.

That dream moves us – even as we catch only fleeting glimpses.

It underlies our struggles – our struggles for wages (to satisfy the needs of socially developed human beings), our struggles over the length and intensity of the working day (in order to have time and energy for ourselves), our struggles to make the state (controlled and used by others to enforce our exploitation) into our own agency, our struggles to end our oppression (for instance, as women, blacks, indigenous people), our struggles for our share of civilisation.

And, in those struggles,we ourselves develop.

Not only does the dream itself become clearer through our collective activity, but we transform ourselves, we grow; through our revolutionary practice, where we simultaneously change circumstances and ourselves, we make ourselves fit to create a new world, the world that corresponds to the dream.

—Michael A. Lebowitz

(Michael Lebowitz is author of The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development and other books.)