Nov 18, 2011

refusing to 'do our jobs'

i'm really tired of people questioning the legitimacy of #occupy protesters based on whether or not they have "jobs." raising, feeding, housing, transporting, entertaining, healing, and teaching people, and looking out for the wellbeing of other living and non-living beings are "jobs" that tend to be poorly paid when they are paid at all. moving around electronic sums of capital may be a way of making money, but it is of no social and ecological value. inventing new (and legal) technologies of stealing working people's money by getting them to invest everything they have into loans for their primary residences, then taking that, then taking their public money, and otherwise doing the "work" of making sure states are designed to function and intervene on your behalf, is not a "job." people should not be telling others developing capacities for direct democratic engagement to get jobs. they should tell the people on wall street to get jobs.

i lost two public sector jobs in late 2010/early 2011. one building social support with and connecting homeless lgbt youth with substance abuse treatment and another in youth and community led hiv prevention initiatives. those programs just don't exist now and so i worked unpaid in many of the same capacities through last july. i really resent the ongoing question about employment status, since its so clear that part of what is being protested is that there is no correlation between how to be ethical or socially useful and how to get paid in this society and that people are upset about unemployment! i'm so tired of armchair critics writing about how there is no nuanced economic analysis at play in the protests. all people are revealing is how their sense of political and social possibilities have been scorched and shriveled by the blazing sun of neo-liberal anti-thought and collapsed in on themselves in a kind of rigid grammatical daisy chain that will eat itself and the rest of the earth alive before stopping to consider that we might not have a ton of time left on this planet and that maybe there are possibilities for living and valuing life outside of a nearly self-willing system that has grown into a kind of golem stalking the landscape and extracting its fuel in surplus and human and non-human misery. i mean, i don't mean to get really crimethinc here, i'm just saying, we really need to shift the terms of debate and start talking really critically about capital. if we are all 'just doing our jobs,' no wonder the idea of people not having jobs is so scary. let's just really expand and blow up the idea of what it means to not do our jobs, okay?