When “Progress” Means Stepping on People, It Gets Easier to See

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Remember when I wrote that article about how capitalism justifies itself with bogus studies that seems plausible enough or make it sound like capitalism has done a good job? Right, of course you do, because that was literally the last article. Luckily, I totally planned for this next article to be an excellent display of that very phenomenon that I was just discussing! What a genius I am!

In all seriousness, a friend of mine sent me this article from HumanProgress.org by Marian Tupy a while ago and as mentioned, it lines up with what I discussed last time. Serendipity! The article goes over how markets have achieved what Karl Marx wanted: Less work (or labor if you prefer).

Let’s put to the side that Marxism’s (a popular form of communism) main goal is a classless and stateless society where money is abolished and the means of production are collectively owned instead of privately owned. But if you really think about it all Marx wanted was…less labor? Sure.

For the sake of argument let’s grant that reductive perception of Marxism and get to the article itself which proudly compares modern America to the Industrial Revolution:

In 1830, the workweek in the industrializing West averaged about 70 hours or, Sundays excluded, 11.6 hours of work per day. By 1890 that fell to 60 hours per week or 10 hours per day. Thirty years later, the workweek in advanced societies stood at 50 hours or 8.3 hours per day. Today, people in advanced societies work less than 40 hours per week. That still amounts to roughly 8 hours per day, because workers typically don’t work on Saturdays. The “weekend” was born.

It’s worth noting, from the start, that this was only achieved not because capitalists wanted it to happen but because society at large forced them through cultural osmosis or because workers literally died for their right to work fewer hours. Whether it’s the radical unions, the reformist ones or individuals striking, these changes didn’t happen without the blood, sweat, and tears from just about everyone except the supposedly noble capitalists in charge.

In fact, these same capitalists often stood in the way of progress. The only reason we have the 40 hour work week is because workers fought for it in the first place. And even when capitalists such as Henry Ford started instituting an 8 hour work day at their own factories it was often in response to the long and desperate pleas from workers for an easier life not because of their generosity.

“That happened more than 60 years after workers, through their unions, began organizing for an eight-hour day in the 1860s,” said David Bensman, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations. “When Ford adopted the eight-hour day for his factory, he was responding to a working force that had been demanding the eight-hour day for a long time.” (Source)

And so change had to come from the bottom up through unions, workers, protests, riots much like any other significant societal change throughout history and across cultures. The capitalists were not the ones largely clamoring for these changes to the worker hours and even when they did these were (as the source I linked states) policies now laws which could be,

…yanked away whenever the cost exceeded profits,” said Robert Bruno, a professor with the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations.

Companies that operated this way, Bruno said, often revoked these policies when the Great Depression hit.

So even if we admit the studies findings (more on this in a moment), the changes didn’t happen neutrally or without great amounts of conflict from the bottom to the top. Capitalism is then, at best, highly resistant to the positive change that Tupy is trying to establish here. And so even if capitalism was responsible for less hours (it isn’t, unions are) this is “responsibility” where your friend threw your basketball in the net and you somehow take credit, it just doesn’t add up.

Another problem with these studies is that in this article and where it was originally written there are almost no citations for this data or where it comes from. The article hand waves its limitations more than once by saying that “scholars estimate”, “Data for developing countries is difficult to come by”, ” International comparisons are difficult” and “Whether the United States is representative of a broader trend is unclear”, etc.

The only source given is the American Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Americans enjoyed, on average, 5.24 hours of leisure and sports per day in 2017. That was 2.5 percent more than when the survey started in 2003.

When it comes to this survey there’s many problems with it and you can find that just by looking it up with the words “leisure” or just American Use Survey without any qualifiers:

  1. Even if we did have more leisure time, how it’s measured matters. What counts as leisure when women are still doing most of the housework?
  2. What about conflicting data that show that women in particular are working more? Even if we are overall working less (that’s a big if), women aren’t.
  3. What are we doing with that leisure time anyways? Less reading and more sleep doesn’t seem like a glowing recommendation of the American way of life.

And these are just a few problems with using a study that doesn’t count commute time as your work. Nor does it count household work as work (because it’s unpaid). It also doesn’t count the time the unemployed spend frantically looking for new jobs either. Again, because that’s unpaid labor and therefore doesn’t count as non-leisure time. In short, the methodology is very flawed.

I don’t know about any of y’all but I don’t consider time that I dry and put away the dishes to be leisure time. Heck, I don’t even consider exercise to be “leisure” since it actively tests your body against itself. If I’m watching TV, taking a nap/sleeping, going somewhere with my partner, reading, writing or playing video games then that is leisure time because my body is (generally) at rest and I don’t often feel stressed, nor am I being paid, though that’s hardly the main qualifier.

There’s also a simple explanation for that incredibly mild increase in leisure time besides bad measurements: more participants. It’s likely that when you get more people to respond to a survey, get the survey better known and have better technology from which to access and distribute the survey itself, you’ll get more people involved! And that is going to make it so that certain percentages necessarily get bumped up over time. That doesn’t mean capitalism is great!

Lastly, at this point, it’s hardly, “…undeniable that people have more free time than they used to – at least since our nomadic days.” as Tupy claims. It’s only undeniable if you rely on faulty data, a misguided notion of what constitutes progress and an ideology that’s rotten to its core.


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When it Comes to Job Numbers, “Don’t Believe the Hype!”

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I remember getting into Public Enemy when I was in high school. That’s because of the wonderful band Rage Against The Machine, who themselves were inspired by Public Enemy. So the transition from one band to another makes a ton of sense for my teenage self.

Anyways, that’s the reference.

And here’s the article that I’ll be talking about today. It’s a bit out of date, it’s from 2018, but hey, things aren’t any better right now! So let’s just pretend we’re living in a good(?) year!

In a healthy economy in which one job can provide for a family and meet basic living expenses, a 3.7 percent unemployment rate would certainly be fantastic economic news. As ABC News reported, the unemployment rate hasn’t been this low in 49 years. September’s unemployment rate is just two-tenths of a point higher than the 3.5 percent unemployment rate recorded in 1969, when the American auto industry was at its peak.

But of course the kicker is: These unemployment rates don’t care how people are employed, just that they are employed. It’s a value that these kinds of studies (and the media itself) don’t account for because it doesn’t really matter to the GDP how you’re producing value. As long as you are producing it, that’s the important thing! Working a shitty job you hate just so you can make the rent? Well, feel grateful you have a job, come on! What about all those other homeless people?

This toxic mentality makes it hard for folks to feel like they’ve deserved much of anything in their life or that they shouldn’t be getting more jobs/work. What about monetizing your passions and making that your part-time job? Not to mention doing that in addition to the full-time job you should so clearly feel thankful for. How many people don’t have full-time jobs? Come on!

Again, this is a terrible framing and it makes it so much easier for people who are in fact hard working to feel lazy or crummy about their lives and efforts. When unemployment statistics ignore these cultural norms that have been built up over centuries, they end up being more than useless, they end up being actively harmful. It lures people into a false sense of security about the economy, when the reality is that there are so many problems here:

For example, while the federal minimum wage remains a paltry $7.25/hour, the minimum wage would actually be $16/hour today had it risen at the same rate as the cost of living from 1968 to 2018, according to Andrew Pacitti, an assistant professor of economics at Siena College.

In late May, the United Way’s ALICE Project (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) project found that approximately 43 percent of the U.S. population — or 51 million American households — are unable to afford basic necessities like housing, food, healthcare, transportation, communications, and child care with their current monthly income. And last year, 44 percent of Americans say they would be unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense — say, an emergency room visit or a broken alternator — without having to borrow from someone or sell their possessions.

These are just two major issues to think about when consulting these kinds of “positive” reports. What about those who are employed with toxic bosses? Those who are employed in jobs they actively hate or make them feel bad? Jobs folks don’t feel passionate about or wish they could quit but they can’t afford to? What if some people have one okay job and two other jobs they absolutely hate? All of these situations and more are possible in such a blind report.

I’m in a fortunate situation where I’m able to get by on a part-time job because I live with three other people. But this really shouldn’t be a “fortunate” position because I only do that by minimizing expenses and going to food banks as much as possible before COVID happened. I am only able to sustain this lifestyle because, frankly, I’m a cheapskate and I don’t like buying a lot of things unless I really need it or it’s a video game I really want (or book). Other than that I usually (hypothetically) ask friends and family members to help me with streaming services or find My Own Way of getting media that I can’t find on Youtube.

I’m doing pretty well but my situation isn’t really that great at the same time.

Sure, I don’t need multiple jobs but that’s only because I live with 3 other people in the same apartment. It can get crowded, smelly and unpleasant when you’ve got 4 people in one place in the Summer! Not only that but it’s tough to have your own sense of space when you’re living with roommates. Which is a necessity in today’s economy given the statistics cited above. But not everyone wants roommates and that means they have to find more jobs or strike a deal with a landlord, find somewhere super cheap, one really good and stable job, etc.

In other words, the economy tells us we must go to huge lengths just to find some sense of stability and independence from others. Not that living with others can’t be great! My roommates (including my partner) are generally pretty great folks. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’d like to live with a couple less people at this point and am ready to explore other living situations. But that’s just not a realistic option under today’s economy. But hey, who cares right?

People have jobs!

Hooray!

Question Mark?

Economists have, in the recent past, cast doubt on glowing jobs numbers given the harsh reality millions of struggling Americans face when attempting to reconcile stangant wages with rising costs of living. In August of 2017, macroeconomic consultant Komal Sri-Kumar penned an op-ed for Business Insider cautioning Americans to withhold their optimism about a July 2017 jobs report that showed the unemployment rate had hit a 16-year low.

Sri-Kumar argued that even though the economy had technically recovered, the “recovery” applied almost exclusively to investors, rather than typical wage earners.

And this is the other big caveat to studies like this. Although it’s true that employment has gone down, who does this benefit exactly? It benefits those at top to the detriment of those at the bottom, no surprise there! So not only is this study harmful because it glorifies toxic cultural norms surrounding work but it also glorifies sacrificing our well-being for those at the top.

But hey, at least we’re all employed, right?


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May the Caring Classes Revolt: A Brief Look at Value and Pay Under Capitalism

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I’ve had a lot of surprises in my life, some weren’t welcomed and others were. Perhaps this most recent surprise was a mix of both? David Graeber has an account on Linked In and has written on the site as well! I couldn’t imagine anything more immediately ironic and funny. I could care less about “hypocrisy” charges, that’s the not the point. It’s just the last place I’d expect to see Graeber’s name and let alone see him in a writing capacity.

Now, be honest with me, did you even know you could publish articles on Linked In before I mentioned it? I sure as heck didn’t! Granted, Graeber has, to the best of my knowledge, only written one article (back in 2018) and it’s the one we’ll be looking over today.

The article in question explores the correlation between how valuable your job is and how much you get paid can be disproportionate or even directly inverse to how you’d think they’d be. For example, there’s the long-standing complaint about how much teachers make (I’d love to make around 58K a year, but also I’m poor) or how much nurses make despite the amount of social value they provide for society. They’re literally instilling people’s lives with lessons on one hand and the other profession is working to save lives and yet they are paid less than doctors.

That’s the common perception anyways, but the basic fact though is that we think less of the people who pick our garbage every day less than celebrities even though:

As Rutger Bergman likes to point out, in 1970 there was a six-month bank strike in Ireland; rather than the economy grinding to a halt as the organizers had anticipated, most people simply continued to write checks, which began to circulate as a form of currency, but otherwise carried on much as they had before. Two years before, when garbage collectors had gone on strike for a mere ten days in New York, the city caved in to their demands because it had become uninhabitable.

Imagine a group of retail workers getting their demands met in 10 days. I can’t think back to a time where I heard about a workers strike getting their demands in such a small window. It’s probably out there (and if you know, feel free to comment!) but it’s sure not talked about.

What’s also interesting for my own personal experience is that even though I’m much more directly caring for people than I was before (I take care of pets) I’m making the same amount of money that I made at my last retail job. Even though my job is inarguably better for society, I mean, I sold cigarettes and alcohol as well as who knows how much sugar and unhealthy food to customers on a daily basis for a period of over two years. I’ve added more direct benefits to society in one day than I did on average in my 10 years of retail.

By the way, that’s not a dig on retail workers at all! I was one for around 10 years of my life and I know it’s not their fault that retail is such a largely useless profession. You spend most of your time organizing things other people made messes of, getting yelling at/lectured by your bosses and harassed by customers (especially if you’re a woman!). It’s just not a good industry and I’m not blaming the workers for that, maybe if they had control of the means of production I would.

But that’s a long way away.

If we all woke up one morning and discovered that not only nurses, garbage collectors, and mechanics, but for that matter, bus drivers, grocery store workers, firefighters, or short-order chefs had been whisked away into another dimension, the results would be equally catastrophic.

If elementary school teachers were to vanish, most schoolchildren would likely celebrate for a day or two, but the long-term effects would be if anything even more devastating.

I largely agree with this, if we didn’t have nurses so many lives would be lost because doctors would be overrun. If we lost the garbage collectors then, well, see above. And firefighters actually respond to credible threats instead of hosing anyone in sight. There’s also a great need for bus drivers due to how expensive a car is and how much easier it makes navigating a city.

I could keep going, but the main thing I don’t like (or puzzles me) is that Graeber is an anarchist and still thinks that elementary school teachers are a largely good thing for society. I’m surprised at this! What about the pledge of allegiance? What about the warped sense of history that comes from gross displays and lessons of patriotism and nationalism? What about those teachers who help bullies bully by saying “boys will be boys” or the teachers who reinforce the naturally authoritarian ways in which the schooling system works?

I’m not saying there’s no good teachers (#notallteachers?), I had a few myself throughout high school and middle school for example. But the government schools are such a cesspool of learning at this point that I think kids would be better without it. Homeschooling and unschooling are great alternatives and it could also open the door for education cooperatives. But these things can also be used by abusive parents, religious parents who can’t keep their beliefs balanced to respect others and overly controlling parents. I’m not saying it’d be a slam dunk for society, but damn, I’d be mostly happy for kids, not worrying about the state-run school system.

It’ll just get bailed out later anyways.

The same cannot be said of hedge fund managers, political consultants, marketing gurus, lobbyists, corporate lawyers, or people whose job it is to apologize for the fact that the carpenter didn’t come.

In fact I’ve talked about this before (finally, I can link a previous work on this version of the site!) about the people who keep these noxious industries around far past when they should be. Despite how overpaid and undeserved other communities and jobs are, these industries get to make it by quite well on their paychecks. And even if you ignore studies that Graeber cites in his article because this stuff is hard to measure (as he admits) most of us feel, heck many of them feel or even know they aren’t contributing a lot to society. Graeber has talked about this as well.

I have very little experience in these professions (and hope to never gain it either!) so I can’t personally comment on how much people think their jobs suck. But then again, it’s a pretty well-known fact within our society that work generally sucks and we’re all either grossly underpaid or grossly overpaid. Think about all of the complaints regarding the Kardashians and how folks feel about them, unfortunately not extending nearly enough of the same criticism towards Bezos.

Though, to be fair, it’s getting better on that front.

In any case, you can read this great article by Graeber if you’re interested in the studies. I’d never heard of them before and they seem interesting. I’m sure there are some methodological issues because the topic of pay and value is a rather taboo one in our culture. But that just shows that more research needs to be done and better methods discovered. There’s a reason the rich don’t want us talking about paychecks, especially if you’re among, as Graeber says, “the caring class”.

May we all revolt and show them just how much we care.


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How Liberal Centrism Kills Us

Why can’t we just get along, right?

On a previous version of this thread I had articles regarding liberal articles that are heavily critical on modern day capitalism. My takeaway was this: They’re well-meaning but lack political backbone in their solutions. For instance the “solution” to work isn’t to make it involve more play, to let workers get a couple dollars or to devolve a mild amount of autonomy is enough to fix the core problems with our current system.

Making workplaces “open”, making them have shorter hours, more breaks, fewer meetings, more time to cry and be yourself, none of that is cutting at the roots. Getting to the heart of what makes work so awful is capitalism itself as well as the governments that encourage it.

Unfortunately, for all of Jeffery Pfeffer’s solid analysis of the problems work creates for the workers, he doesn’t get this either. And so he becomes another case of liberal centrism and how that kills us, by short-circuiting our imaginations and convincing us only minor tweaks are possible, necessary and worth trying for. That’s a huge limitation to put on all of us and it’s one that robs the liberal vision of having any sort of political punch to it.

All of my previous articles on this subject are on the Internet Archive, so let’s start here instead:

Work harms employees in two fundamental ways. In the US, employment status and your employer determine your access to health-care … Second, employers affect the stress-inducing conditions of work: work-family conflict, long work hours, absence of control over one’s work environment, and economic insecurity.

It’s worth noting that Pfeffer is a “…A giant of business scholarship” and “…teaches one of Stanford’s most popular courses, on office politics and power.” So this kind of analysis is likely the pinnacle of the Educated Liberal who has some Serious Criticisms about how our system currently operates. Except both of the “fundamental ways” in which work harms workers is, while technically correct (the best kind!) is ultimately not actually getting at the fundamentals.

Because while lack of health care and workplace stress due to bosses are important facets of why work sucks, these are symptoms of a larger issue. These might be some of the biggest symptoms, I’d be willing to concede that much. But ultimately they are not the cause of the problem so much as they stem from the problem(s), that being capitalism, the state, hierarchy, etc.

Even if capitalism somehow self-regulated itself into a more caring and gentler version of itself you’d still have unjust power dynamics that lead to toxic relationships and unequal pay and decision making mechanics within a corporation. Which is, in of itself, an entity that is historically prone to corruption, greed and using violence against workers when they dissent.

So OK, disentangle the current apparatus from healthcare (without completely changing the system somehow) and make bosses a little nicer so employees don’t have to get addicted to alcohol or pills to deal with their jobs. What then? That leaves so many workplace based issues and issues that intersect with work very much untouched in the process. But that’s precisely the point for liberals who’d rather us make some “major” tweaks and then call it a day.

All of this said, it’s hard to disagree with Pfeffer says:

Companies do not act on the basis of the best evidence. They merge even though much research shows that mergers destroy value. They use forced-curve ranking systems for performance reviews even though extensive evidence documents the harmful effects. There is no reason to believe they would behave any differently with respect to their human capital.

Exactly! If companies don’t care about what studies show concerning the thing they constantly go on about (stocks, money, investors, etc.) then why would they care about the things they don’t constantly talk about (their workers, safety standards, autonomy etc.). There’s so many more press conferences about how a company is monetarily doing as opposed to how well they’re treating their workers and how they think they can improve on this in the future.

You can always treat people better and can always improve yourselves. But there’s only so many ways you can disappoint your shareholders for the millionth time. And all of this should go to show that the issues with this system go much deeper than just healthcare and basic humanity shown (or not shown) by bosses towards workers, but for Pfeffer it just doesn’t click.

Here’s another frustrating (but slightly valid) take, this time on AI:

Although governments might act to mitigate these adverse impacts through extensive job retraining programs and income maintenance efforts, most governments already face large budget deficits and an ageing population.

Moreover, states in the US and the government in Britain have been reducing their expenditures on higher education for decades. Thus, I see little reason to believe that state action will mitigate the disruptive effects of AI.

Well yeah, when governments are largely owned and operated by the rich and so is automated machinery, it makes sense it’s not going to go well for anyone else. Workers are likely going to see massive layoffs (and have in some cases)  and the reason they are is because they have very little say over what their workplace conditions look like in the first place. Never mind the kinds of conditions that may eventually replace them.

Then again, Pfeffer’s analysis here is slightly simplistic. Yes, it is likely many workers may lose their jobs but this also happened to farmers and the agriculture industry. Many of those people found jobs in other industries just the same. That doesn’t mean it’s the same exact situation (automation impacts many more industries than just agriculture for one thing) but that there’s at least some precedent for us to not be gloom and doom about it. There’s some reason for speculative positivity, especially if workers gain more power and bosses gain less.

But OK, what’s Pfeffer’s (lackluster liberal) solution?

We can—and should—measure the dimensions of work environments, including work hours, that we know affect health. Measurement would be the single most important thing we could do, particularly if we highlighted those workplaces doing the best—and the worst—on the various measures.

Ah, of course, legibility.

No one has ever thought to make corporations simply self-report their own statistics in order for them to be property regulated and then sorted out, right?

This is the kind of lackluster conclusion that is all but inevitable to most liberal analysis. Because the foundational analysis lacks any sort of political backbone, the conclusion shows it at its weakest point possible. That’s why it’s always the point I harp on the most, well, usually.

But this time, I think the “solution” speaks for itself.


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Doing What You Actually Love is a Privilege Under Capitalism

Source: http://www.janellequibuyen.com/about/

Remember when you were a kid? You could watch TV shows you enjoyed, go outside with your friends and play games. You still had to go to school and, sure, you didn’t get a huge say over what dinner was most nights, but most of your activities were your own. Obviously some kids grow up with controlling parents but for me anyways, childhood was a very self-directed and involved many activities like video games, TV and movies that I enjoyed and wanted to do.

These days it’s much harder to make time  for the hobbies I love. I’d love to speedrun Kingdom Hearts 2 more, write my novella more and spend more time on my backlog of video games. But all of these things are hard to do because of work. That one thing you likely didn’t do as a kid growing up (unless someone got around child labor laws) and you were better for it.

But now many of us have to balance our work commitments and our “life” commitments. It’s telling that the term “work-life balance” contrasts work with life. Hanging out with your friends, reading a book, playing video games, writing, meditating, going for a peaceful walk in a forest, these are all things that are part of living. But sitting in a chair for nearly 8 hours and having to live at the beck and call of others is decidedly not living. So what do people do about this misery?

Well, some of them quit their full-time jobs to pursue their passion.

But Janelle Quibuyen counsels otherwise:

Quitting your job to pursue your passion is bullshit. This messaging is only beneficial for privileged people and very dangerous for working class people.

The statement alone reeks of privilege. It confirms you had a full-time job to begin with. It confirms you had time to develop a passion (that you can capitalize off of, enough to meet your cost of living). It confirms you had the option to pursue something different because you feel like it. There are more challenges to being self-employed than just mental perseverance and grit.

We are predatorily luring working class people into an entrepreneur lifestyle as the answer to living a meaningful life and making loads of money.

It’s the new American Dream.

And like George Carlin said, “It’s called the American Dream because you gotta be asleep to believe in it.” And this period of sleep is more like a nightmare for those less privileged.

Here’s a fun fact about me: I’ve never held down a full-time job.

Never.

I’ve worked part-time from 20-30 hours in a week before with the most being in the upper 20s and maybe lower 30s but that was a rarity for me. I’ve never been able to hold down a full-time job because I don’t have that amount of executive functioning to spare. Nor would I even want to at any of the jobs (mostly retail) I’ve worked in the past 10 years or so.

So I have never been able to just quit my “full-time job” since I’ve never had one. That does bring me the advantage of having more time to work on my own hobbies. I’ve been able to make time for school (to the detriment of this site and my writing) but it always feels like a part of my work takes me away from the life I’d rather be living. Sure, my job is pretty chill and pays OK, but I could sit at a chair for hours listening to D&D podcasts in my own house and get paid for it.

And so this statement of “just do what you love, quit your full-time job” hurts folks like me. The people who are too disabled or otherwise not able to find full-time work. And even when it doesn’t harm those folks it can still make people feel ashamed that they’d rather not pour 40 hours into their week for a hobby they’d rather spend 5 hours on a week. Doing something that long can (though not always) burn you out and make you resent what you used to love.

Quibuyen goes on to say:

I am privileged to not have any student loans to repay. … I am privileged to have paid off most of my credit card debt while I was working full-time. I am privileged to be in a relationship with a partner that was working full-time. That I had a partner who I could live with. I quit my job because I was dealing with a family emergency with long-term responsibilities I had to wrap my head around.

I quit my job because I had the privilege to do so.

This is an important article because it not only speaks to the privileges you would need to say something like this but to also do it. I’m glad Quibuyen wrote this article as it’s an important one and it gets to the heart of their own privilege in being able to do what they did. A privilege they admit and are able to come to terms with in this piece. And using that newfound peace they were able to write this great article exposing another superficial myth about work.

This myth surrounding do what you love crucially revolves around the concept of live being different than what it is in reality. In reality, love isn’t a immutable thing, it changes, ebbs and flows with the passage of time and can go away just as easily as it entered. I’ve loved and lost many things in my life and to be able to try (for example) and take speedrunning as a profession seems disastrous to me. The amount of pressure I’d have to put myself under to make that work and the amount of money I’d have to invest just to maybe have it become too frustrating or have my love fade over time? That’s an investment that is much to risky these days.

That said, Quibuyen is wrong to say that “You have no one to blame but yourself if things go awry.” we can also blame the economic systems we live under and feel very little control over. We can take a look at how we got to a culture that constantly admonishes working class folks for not being rich enough to simply do what they love. And we can work to abolish the systems of power that keep in place the privileged above everyone else while they admonish those below them.

As Quibuyen says, “I’m not saying working class people can’t be successful entrepreneurs.”

And neither am I. I agree with them that although the ideal of everyone doing what they love sounds ideal, under current conditions it just isn’t realistic and that’s one of capitalism’s biggest failings when it comes to the topic of work. While we all put in massive efforts everyday we are being rewarded for less than we need to cover basic costs, for people we don’t like, inside of corporations we may not ethically agree with while working far too many hours under people who are overly-demeaning if not downright cruel and abusive towards us.

I guess what I’m really saying is: More Saturday Morning TV Cartoons, Less Capitalism.


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