I spend a lot of time on this blog just reporting on horrible things. Ranting about horrible things. Horrible horrible horrible because all day I'm on social media and reading/watching the news and so much is horrible horrible horrible. Part of that is that my main freelance gig right now is to report on the horrible shit Republicans are doing, which is why I don't blog as much as I used to. I can only take so much.
It's so hard to see all this horrible day after day and not have it get to me. And clearly, I have a pretty grim view of the world and the future of humanity. Evil has so much power right now during such a dire time, when climate change literally threatens our entire species and most life on the planet. But what's also overwhelming is how much average people have unknowingly succumbed to some of the most rank propaganda that when you actually examine it, you tend to go, "why did I ever believe this to be true?"
One of the biggest lies is that this is how the world has to be. A big part of that is the idea that capitalism is the only system that works. It's not, and depending on your definition of "working," it might not be accurate to say it works now. If it's intended purpose is to concentrate all of the world's resources in the hands of the few while the rest of us struggle and suffer and die, then sure, it's working.
But is that how it has to be?
I still hear the lies of capitalism come out of the mouths of those close to me all the time. For example, the idea that human beings can only be motivated by money. Bullshit. Absolute bullshit. Bullshit that is refuted every day by all of the things we human beings do for free.
I write in this blog for free. I've been doing it for years and received very little in donations, not even close to enough to cover what I pay for that URL and basic security to guard against possible hate mobs. And this blog is work. It's hard for me to think of it as work because again, propaganda. I have to remind myself that yes, it is work. It's draining. But I keep doing for other rewards that are not money. I'm motivated by personal gratification, by the joys of having a space to write completely unhindered by anyone else's motivations, by the idea that there are some people who will find a blog post every now and then and feel comforted or inspired or enrage or validated, and yes, by spite.
And that's not all. I take care of a cat who needs more care than most. I give her medication and carefully prepare her wet food with added raw meat I cut up into little chunks for her and then add Miralax, fiber, and water. I scoop her poop. Willingly. I do that all the time, for nothing more than a little extra serotonin and because cute and soft and love.
There are countless examples of communities coming together to build something the community needed for free. People who don't need to work because they have rich spouses or are independently wealthy still seek out work, and many people volunteer to do all kinds of unpaid work. People also worked before money existed. Someone asked me recently how we could have doctors if they didn't get paid a lot of money to be doctors, and I was floored. There have always been healers. Long before money was a thing, people lived together in small communities and the people who wanted to be healers became healers and healed people for free. All the people in those communities did what they did without pay, and everyone got fed and got to see the healer when they were sick and homes were built for them by the community and everyone took care of everyone.
It can be like that again. It is not inevitable that people should have to fear homelessness, hunger, and an inability to see a doctor. We can have true community and the security that comes with that again, but with all the incredible technology we have now. We can have that if we want it.
But first, you have to reject the capitalist propaganda you've been fed since birth. You have to imagine a better world. Not just a world that is essentially the same but some things are reformed to make them a bit better for most people. Imagine a paradise. Imagine utopia. Why settle for less? Are you really happy with the way the world is? If you read this blog regularly, I'm guessing the answer is no. And I think for the vast majority of people, the answer is no. We're not even free. We are forced to work, to do things we'd rather not do or just would rather not be forced to do so in order to avoid homelessness, starvation, and early death. Are you really free if your only "choice" outside of the capitalist version of "work" is homelessness, hunger, and early death?
Imagine being truly free. Imagine a world where all people can be truly free to do what they want. And instead of asking "how will we pay for it," ask "why aren't we paying for it?" Money doesn't even need to exist. Imagine a world without it. John Lennon was an abusive misogynist but that one song was pretty good, although the ideas in it don't belong to him. You have always possessed the ability to imagine a better world. Ask yourself who are the people telling you that it's not possible, who are the people trying to get you NOT to imagine a better world, and why are they doing that?
Then do it. Do it out of spite, or because it feels good. If we can imagine it, we can make it happen. That is the truth.
You know one thing I really hate about capitalism? It's so pessimistic. It's all about "can't." It imagines the worst of humanity. I reject that. Socialism, communism, and anarchism, at their cores, imagine the best of humanity and work toward a global community where everyone is taken care of and suffering is fought against and solved rather than being called necessary. I may become pessimistic at times, or at a lot of times, but at heart, I'm a starry-eyed optimist and FUCK YOU if you try to tell me that humanity needs to be coerced, bribed, and threatened into doing anything good. It's a lie. A lie that is proven wrong every second of every day as people perform unpaid labor out of love.
It can be so much better. I truly believe that.