The above is so true that it sort of defines the issue many revolutionaries face in working to build revolutionary parties and formations. The primary problem is propaganda. The capitalist system has created a strong analysis that suggests 24/7 that any idea and/or attempt to conceive of a society where capitalism doesn't exist is a sign of insanity in the person proposing that idea. People are trained to react to stimuli around this question so that you can simply utter the word "socialism" or "communism" and you get knee jerk reactions from people who have absolutely no idea what those systems are. Also, a person who advances those systems as solutions is again subject to be placed in the insane category at worse. At best, that person is considered idealist because with this dominant "capitalism or death" philosophical framework, any concept outside of the capitalist system is considered fantasy, un-achievable, and a complete waste of time.
The core behind all of this is the capitalist system's ability to make intellectualism seem ill-relevant. Ideas are often seen as fruitless and the debate over ideas is considered wasteful by many. This is indeed strange in a world where videos of women shaking their booties, cats, dogs, people dancing, or folks getting injured, go viral in hours. The contradictions are almost un-explainable, but we do know that reading books is becoming a lost art around the world and asking someone to consistently read and study around concepts is almost like asking people to kill their mamas. This parallel is possible because in the capitalist system, the individual is all that matters. Actually, it can be said that individualism is the driving principle within the capitalist system. This is the most significant ideological tool the capitalist system has created to protect it's existence because once individualism is consolidated, it becomes very difficult to push people beyond its tentacles. Once you believe yourself to be the center of the universe, your ability to view the world in more objective terms becomes almost impossible. We see this manifest itself on all levels because people learn to see people simply as a means to an end, a way to suck up resources for you. So relationships are conceived and practiced much the way employer/employee relationships are practiced in the capitalist system. How many times have you worked at a place where there were specific requirements you had to fulfill that management would not honor? Things like being at work, talking about personnel and other non-public processes. The level of work produced. These are examples of a subordinated relationship and this is how many people approach personal relationships in the capitalist system. This is even how activists and so-called progressive people carry out activist work. Movements become more about the personalities - read egos - in those movements than the mission and objectives of the movement. These are all manifestations of the individualistic tenet of the capitalist system and when you see these things in action, that's how capitalism maintains control over us, even for people who swear to you that they are not advancing capitalism.
The way in which this dismisses revolutionary ideas and practices is due to people's approach to relationships described above. Since relationships are defined based on what people get out of them, as opposed to revolutionary ideas and practice which are defined based on what's best for the movement and society, revolutionaries operating in capitalist societies are immediately at a disadvantage. Revolutionaries possess resources, skills, and abilities to contribute to society. We are not interested in doing things to make money. We are interested in doing things because its the right thing to do. That's what motivates us. We are driven by moral incentives, not material. In fact, try as we might, we find it extremely difficult to practice self sustaining policies. This is the reason you will usually find that revolutionaries are without much in terms of material capacity. And, this isn't often because these folks haven't worked hard or taken care of business. Its usually because they are giving so much all of the time and much of what they give is done well below the radar. For example, I'll use our revolutionary free breakfast program. We are constantly buying food to serve the children. We are constantly buying educational materials for them. We are consistently taking them on field trips. All of these things cost money, lots of money. Most of the time, you will not see these types of revolutionary activities because they aren't top quality FB or Twitter news and are not the types of things people talk about for any extended period of time. Since much of what we have learned to value is based on what the capitalist system views as relevant, we base our benchmarks on things that capture the attention of the system that oppresses us. So, the only important forms of struggle against the system are the forms that take place inside the system that are recognized by the system. We view the people who hold prestige and status inside the capitalist system as more important than us so anything in which a mayor, councilperson, or celebrity shows up at is automatically viewed as being important in spite of the fact the actual results of that event/activity may produce absolutely nothing of tangible value to our struggle. By the same token, since revolutionaries are not looking to promote and/or participate in events with celebrities, politicians, or people with clout within the capitalist system, revolutionary work is going to be systematically left out of portals where it can be discussed on a wide scale and where people can know about it outside of the limits of who the revolutionaries can concretely touch with their work. Revolutionary work is focused on the masses of people and since an inner city or village young lady is not given anything close to the respect that a Kanye West visit to town will generate, the revolutionaries working with the young lady have no chance of matching Kanye's exposure, even among the people they are working to support.
Finally, capitalism's individualistic culture prevents people from being able to learn how to build healthy interactive relationships with people. As a result, since people are a means to an end, part of the appeal of interactions becomes the question of who will come out on top. How many relationship movies are there pitting men against women? Men against men? Women against women? How much of popular culture, whether music, movies, television, etc., is based on seeing who will get the best of someone else? In capitalism, people are primed to actually think they know someone based on how they perceive one or two things that person allegedly says. So, in this superficial environment, whatever work revolutionaries are able to do, it is always going to pale in comparison to reform work which is going to always be given more attention by the media, and by organizations who's resources far outreach those available to revolutionary forces. So the town hall meetings, the hold the system accountable rallies, the council chamber meetings, the protests, are always going to generate much more excitement than the study groups, the seminars, the educational approaches, the capacity building events and activities. In other words, on a scale of 1 to 10, reform activities are always 8 or more and revolutionary activities are 1 or two at best. Haven't you ever been at an event where revolutionary views are being advanced? The person doing so, assuming they are well versed, can put forward an extremely comprehensive analysis of why revolution is necessary and what very good work is taking place to build that capacity. Without question, other people participating will always lead that discussion back to a reform centered conclusion without ever even addressing the revolutionary components presented. This happens because again, there is no real solution outside of the capitalist system and whomever suggests that there is, regardless of how concretely they present it, is crazy. And, since everyone knows the best way to counteract a crazy person at an event is to talk about things that are "reasonable", then the discussion will always revert back to something, anything, that fits comfortably inside the capitalist system. This is the case even for people who claim to support revolutionary politics. If these folks examine their activities, I guarantee you that you will find that you end up talking reform, time after time, regardless of how you start out or what you want to talk about. Understanding all of this is essential because it effectively negates the erroneous concept that capitalist societies are democratic. Capitalist societies control through propaganda and when that doesn't work, violence. As long as most people view revolution as a crazy concept, the capitalist has no need to worry about physically repressing the revolutionaries. Consequently, the individualistic perspective that observes this comes to the conclusion that there is no repression because you don't see it. Right now, most people in capitalist societies perform as expected. So much so that people do the bidding of capitalism and think they are doing it on their own free will. This is the height of an anti-democratic society, but how else can you explain why people keep trying to seek justice from institutions that have been oppressing them for centuries? Its like the battered person in a relationship who keeps trying to transform the batterer when all the people providing support for the battered person are trying to convince that person to leave.
None of this is stated to disrespect reformist work on any level. We should be attacking this system on all levels, but with the field so firmly slanted in favor of reform work inside the capitalist system, it's revolutionary work that gets left out all the time. Revolutionary organizers are fully aware of reformist work, the organizations doing it, the results, and the strategies they use for success. This is true because no one is born a revolutionary. Becoming one is a process so revolutionaries always start out doing reform work. On the other hand, reformist activists most often have absolutely no understanding of revolution, what it is, what revolutionary groups are out here, what they are doing, and how to build healthy relationships with them. So, because of these inequities, it's important to point out the contradictions, but for those engaged in reformist work, please continue doing that work. Just understand that revolutionary organizers are not your enemy. In fact, the stronger the revolutionary message and work, the better your chances for success - at least for now - with your reformist agenda. So, don't dismiss revolutionary work. Support it. Recognize it. and help it build sustainability. And for revolutionaries, stop responding to these contradictions in a dysfunctional manner. Reform activists aren't the enemy either. The enemy is the capitalist system. For every person you wish would "wake up" and see what's going on, you have to direct your frustration and anger at the capitalist system because that is the culprit that has made the person unable to perceive your message. You have to be steeled and disciplined enough to understand that and not take it as a personal affront because someone isn't hearing you. Revolutionary work is about love or as Malcolm X said "we have to love the people more than they hate themselves." We needn't argue about who is right. The masses of people make history. They will decide for themselves. Our job is to make all of our work for justice stronger and if we do that, as the masses gain momentum, we will need to demonstrate our faith in them to take the struggle in its right direction.