Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day to all the workers out there today, and unhappy May Day to all the bosses, landlords, and all the rich people who act like they work but don't actually really at all.

Today, let's all sit and think about how in the U.S., our culture, grown out of Calvinism, constantly pushes the idea that working too hard is a virtue. It's a toxic attitude that harms everyone's health. People who insist on working way more hours than is healthy for a human being (anything over 50 hours per week is considered detrimental to physical and mental health) because they think it makes them cool or better than others end up putting higher expectations on all workers. Bosses start to expect all their workers to work more than 40 hours per week and those of us with mental or physical health issues who simply can't keep up get looked down upon as lazy and pressured into doing more than we can handle.

And in the end it benefits the bosses, the rich, the corporations, and general capitalists more than anyone.

Let's go in the opposite direction. Let's all demand leisure time. Let's all work toward a world where people don't have to use all their energy making money for someone else. Let's create a society where pursuing your own interests and developing your talents and exploring the world are considered virtuous and working too much is cautioned against for health reasons.

If you really love your job and love to work, that's absolutely fine. But you'll be better at your job if you take the necessary steps to avoid burning out. Frequent rest increases productivity. In the U.S., the average office worker gets about three hours of work done in an eight-hour workday because when people don't get any vacation time and spend half their free time on the commute, their brains go into work avoidance mode and they end up not doing shit. I know, I've been there.

And I'm only saying that to make my proposal more widely appealing. In the end, I don't want bosses/capitalists to be squeezing any amount of money out of their workers. I want workers to get the full value of their labor, as they are entitled. And if they got that, they wouldn't have to work much at all, and could spend so much more time learning, growing, and becoming better people. Pursuing art and science and philosophy, cleaning up their communities and coming up with solutions to problems.

Think about all the amazing things we as human beings could do if we weren't forced to spend so much of our precious time working, doing work we don't like in order to make profits for someone else.

No more being impressed by people who work 80 hours per week. Instead, we should be concerned for them. We should be asking why they have to work so much. We should be shaming companies and bosses who have created a workplace where this happens. We should be outraged that so many people are having years taken off their lives via stress because some rich fucks for some reason need even more money.

Celebrate leisure time. Demand more vacation days. Fight for six-hour workdays. Strive for a society where people have to work much less in order to survive. Because that is real freedom.

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