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A new axiomatic phrase is making the rounds in the hollows of Amerikan culture. ‘YOLO,’ abbreviated for ‘you only live once,’ is meant to capture the attitude of freewheeling youth. Used to justify sometimes risky pleasure-seeking, YOLO enthusiastically expresses the individualistic hedonism prevalent within petty-bourgeois circles.

One does, in fact, only live once. For communists, this notion impels us to take action which has a lasting positive impact, namely organizing for revolution against imperialism. It implores us to not waste time with the frivolous, but to live a life of determined purpose.

For most who benefit from global exploitation, YOLO has a totally different meaning, imploring those who tout it to maximize their pleasure while they can. ‘Who cares about the cost of consumerism for today’s proletariat or tomorrow’s generations, I want a new iPhone- YOLO!’ For working petty-bourgeois parasites, this expression might as well stand for ‘you only leach once.’

Revolutionary Marxism, i.e. Maoism (Third Worldism), goes to great pains to identify global class structures and to highlight the profoundly parasitic and reactionary nature of the First World mass petty bourgeoisie. This is not something we make up, but is evidenced in everyday life, including in the culture generated through mass embourgeoisification. Whereas parasitic bribed classes strive to ‘live for the moment’ with only minimal regard for personal or social consequences, communists strive to engender ethical values which advance collective interests via revolution and the resolution of the fundamental contradictions of capitalism along with abolition of class society.

Yes, we only live once. But for what purpose and with what impact is entirely in our hands.

Nikolai Brown

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Imperialism, Media & Culture, News and Analysis, US/Canada

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