You are at your workplace, and you decide to look down at your watch or phone to glance at the time. You see it, and a hopeless sigh is your immediate response. We always encounter this situation. You want to be out of there. It’s a long time until your next break, and it’s even depressingly further from walking straight out of the door. Under capitalism, we suffer just not poverty, stolen wages, and injustice, but also alienation, boredom, stress, and dare I say… routine.
I have severe A.D.D. I get cabin fever when I stand in the same grocery-aisle alone for ten minutes. I have to constantly keep my mind busy, occupied with thoughts, just so I can resist the urge from walking away from what I am doing. This, however, is a prominent feature of capitalism. Making workers do the same routine everyday sucks the life out of them: we become mindless zombies. Set out to do simple tasks over and over, for several hours a day, the majority of the week, we become downtrodden with boredom. Humans are creative creatures: we like experiencing new things, and thrive to prosper at what we are good at. Capitalism is the complete opposite of this: they simply hire whoever is the best at lying in the interview (we all do it). Once we have landed the job, we are trained to repeat the same task over and over, whether we like it or not.
A cruel feature of capitalism is that you are always wanting to get out of work. What sane person doesn’t have this thought come across their mind a couple dozen times throughout the workday? We think of what we want to do when we’re out of this wage-slavery; to cherish our few waking hours not working or sleeping. However, a common occurrence is that once you are out of work, the thought of work pops right back into your head. “I can’t go out tonight, I have to be up early tomorrow morning for work.” How about “I can’t go to such-and-such, I have to save money for bills, rent, and so forth.” We have to plan our lives accordingly to the wages we make, and the time we spend working. We live to work. The burden of money is ever constant, and we are forced into making decisions that is out of our reach.
Maybe I want to take a lovely Wobbly-girl to a concert and dinner? Too bad. I have to spend all my paycheck on bills, rent, gas, food, everything that matters just so I can live to work, get to work, or have access to work. I can take the risk of not paying my phone-bill, just so I can have some “fun money.” At what cost might that be? Phone companies, among others, are notorious for down-rating your credit rating. Therefore, in the future, I might have a high-interest rate if I need a car (so I can once again get to work), or have a place to live, or so forth. It’s a full circle: I end up spending more of my money just so I can live to work, and get to work.
Capitalism surrounds us, just not at our workplace, or paychecks, but our minds. It burdens us with ever constant stress from all aspects of life, both in-and-outside the workplace. We work our dull jobs, and get yelled at from our boss, just so we can go home and receive a small paycheck and not have time to see our friends and family. We work our jobs, just to end up not having access to the goods of our labor. I work in a grocery store, however, between rent, gas, debt, utilities, and many other burdens, I rarely have any food in my household! I am constantly surrounded by food, just to barely have any. I am forced to live on rather unhealthy meals, because it is cheap and that is what I only have access to. The ruling class has access to whatever they desire; whereas I spend my entire life working, only to have a very limited means to what I have my in my own life.
We need to fight not just the boss, but the whole concept of capitalism and the wage-system. It is necessary to change our social-relations, and the ways we perceive “work.” We simply don’t want better wages: we need an escape from this boring life.