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  • Writer's pictureNathan

Capitalism only seems good if you're tired

Work is exhausting. And you were just at work all day.

So you don't have it in you to cook a meal.

But that means you're gonna feel worse tomorrow, which means work won't be any better. So you won't cook tomorrow either.

And never mind your union's bargaining session you were thinking about attending, or the thing with your coworkers you kinda planned on, or that drink with friends later, or the half-day road trip you've wanted to take for months now, or the walk you thought about taking when you were leaving work earlier and the sun looked so good on the hills, or the home project you're gonna start someday, or the texts you were gonna respond to, or -

Nope. Too tired. Work work work, that's all you can do. But also, do everything else.

Try to be well-rounded

You hear this a lot probably. Try to have a healthy work-life balance. As if your life can be balanced or round when more than a third of it is dedicated to doing someone else's labor for them.

So let's make you feel shitty on this whole other level, by gaslighting you about how if you just work hard, or work smarter not harder, or whatever bullshit you heard last, that you'll be so. much. happier and have plenty of money and time and thriving friendships, but since you don't have those things, well, you must be failing, because don't you see that you're lucky to have all this FREEDOM to work for someone else or die? Why are you fucking up all this awesome freedom that you have?

The freedom to never feel safe in your ability to pay for food and rent and doctors even though you know you work hard AND smart.

Until, eventually, you're so beaten down that you don't know.

You don't know those things anymore

You don't know that you're actually working hard. You don't know if you're smart. You're just tired and that's all you know anymore. You've worked and worked and worked, and never seemed to get anywhere, never did most of your real priorities, and now you don't even really remember what those where. And you just feel empty inside.

You feel so empty that you don't even remember what it means to not feel empty

That's capitalism. That is capitalism. What I just described is capitalism.

There's other stuff to it, yeah. Things about how capitalism is maintained, why it works the way it does, and other theory. But this? This hopeless tiredness that makes life objectively terrible? This is the lived experience of capitalism.

The lived experience of despair

Being endlessly tired - that's something that people instinctively hate. We have to be trained out of hating it. We have to have our hatred for capitalism beaten out of us by years and years and years of propaganda, and Stockholm syndrome, and working till we can't imagine a single fucking thing in our lives being better, only different, and by different we really just mean my haircut, or which shitty office or warehouse you work in, or whether we both got an extra half day off work for our birthdays this year.

No society that exhausts people this way is good

We need a society that energizes people.

A society that doesn't latch onto an arbitrary workload of 8 hours a day as the best we can ever do, and creep ever upward from that with commutes and working through lunch and taking work home and answering emails before bed -

that doesn't pretend that everything around us will collapse if the stock market does -

that doesn't manufacture joblessness just to feed jobless people to the military -

that doesn't manufacture wars just to make more jobs making weapons to make wars to make more jobs to manufacture weapons, and if there's a surplus we can sell them to other countries whose wars we helped start -

The point of society is to protect people

That's really supposed to be it. Nothing else. No bad neoliberal logic and worse neoliberal economic math. No authoritarian police violently enforcing capitalism's decay.

We need a society where making sure that people leave school happy and confident and healthy is prioritized just as much as having "marketable skills" (whatever the fuck those are) -

where not a single fucking cent goes to exploding people on other continents, or imprisoning deporting and lynching them on this continent -

where all those cents we saved up go into making people and communities healthy -

where administrators and executives get paid less than janitors and plumbers, because it's pretty fucking obvious the janitor and plumber do more work, and it's harder work, and it's more dangerous work -

where nothing that is needed by every person ever makes a profit for any person -

where you can step outside your guaranteed housing that will never be taken away from you, and take the beautiful safe walkway or the free tram to the giant park that mixes with your town for a day of things that aren't work and on the way back home grab some snacks from someone who lives in your community and isn't forced to compete with genocidal companies that clog the surface of the planet with long-distance supply chains and their deadly emissions -

where any business writing off their downstream ecological and social effects as "externalities" is treated as having committed a crime against humanity, and the same is true for anyone caught financially speculating on human necessities like housing and food and healthcare.

But this society we're imagining doesn't have prisons either, so that's not where these people go. Instead they just have their privileges revoked - privileges like pitching their destructive services in a community of real people - and since they don't get government subsidies in this new world, they can't afford to advertise their way back into relevance.

That will be a better world

This world I'm imagining. It's so good. And it's fully possible. But it seems so FICTIONAL because we are so. fucking. exhausted.

And we are exhausted ON PURPOSE.

That is what capitalism is.

This horrible stagnation and the hopelessness that comes with it, all the lynchings and school shootings and $1000 insulin and more empty houses than houseless people - this is not accidental.

It is all, every bit of it, intentional.

Which is a sign of hope, because it means we can intentionally eliminate every bit of it.

We can replace all of what we have with the best things we can imagine

We are not limited by what is. And whatever we create to enable that better future, it can be completely sustainable, despite what every capitalist says. Capitalism is not a safe bet or a default of any kind. It's just not. Capitalists have an interest in lying to you, so they do. It is their nature. Some humans are just greedy. So fucking greedy they'll kill people of color, and poor people, and foreign people, for centuries, if it makes them money. That is literal truth. No hyperbole. There are actually just people that are this way.

But we don't have to listen to those people. We can just kick them out of the group. Fuck them. Don't give them any credit. We don't need to take them seriously. We really don't. Let them eat each other in some part of the wilderness where the only creatures they can try to exploit will eat them back.

Capitalism is deadly garbage. Intentionally deadly garbage. Recognize it. Understand it. Believe it.

And please, join me in replacing it with something completely new.

Cuz I'm fucking tired of being tired, and if you're honest with yourself, I bet you are too.

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