So this is Christmas...

Or as John Lennon went on to say “For rich and the poor ones the world is so wrong.” Well that’s certainly not the case for the rich. Every day is merry for the rich parasites who live like Roman emperors through the capitalist system that guarantees them leisure, health and everything money can buy — all off the backs of the working people they exploit and oppress. But for the poor the capitalist world is indeed so wrong and no more so than in the so-called season of goodwill.

For some of us Christmas is, indeed, a welcome break from the drudgery of work — a chance to put one’s feet up, eat and drink and enjoy the life the rich enjoy in their mansions every day of their worthless lives. For others, the homeless, unemployed and destitute victims of the worst slump since 1929 it’s just another day of despair. The festive platitudes of the politicians and the princes of the church are meaningless to them.

The rulers of all the heartlands of western imperialism embrace Christianity in one form or another. But Jesus of Nazareth, whose birthday we are supposedly celebrating, barely gets a look in these days.

In feudal days Christmas was part of the cycle of religious and agricultural festivals that the lords supported to reinforce their hold on their tenants and serfs. In Victorian days the capitalist captains of industry elevated Christmas to uphold class divisions and justify their own immense wealth. It is not surprising that children were taught to sing: “The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly, And ordered their estate.”

Nowadays our leaders simply confine themselves to brief but well-publicised attendances at church services, while encouraging the masses to celebrate the “Prince of Peace” in exchanging gifts and cards, dancing round the mistletoe, gorging themsmelves on turkey and drinking themselves silly that has nothing to do with the teachings of the Nazarene but simply reflects the hedonism of the capitalist ethos. But the pursuit of pleasure can only be done by those who can afford it — as the rest of us discover when the decorations come down and the relentless pile of bills mounts up in January.

On the front-line against imperialism the people of Cuba and Democratic Korea are building and defending their socialist societies. In China and the other people’s democracies of Asia working people have been sheltered from the depression that has sent unemployment soaring in Europe and north America. In Venezuela and across Latin America progressive forces have taken the lead in defying imperialism to take the path of socialist alignment and throughout the world the communist movement is growing as working people struggle for liberation and genuine change.

In the old days the Christian promise of “pie in the sky when you die” was enough to convince people that obedience would be rewarded with a better life to come in the mythical paradise of Christian fantasy. We know better. There is only one world and a better tomorrow can only come through revolutionary change and socialism.