"anti-capitalist" employment

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Josh...'s picture
Josh...
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May 18 2014 11:43
"anti-capitalist" employment

Sorry this is half rant half question...

im 17 and facing the end of college here in the UK.
im expected to just have my life planned out and my generation
seem to be continually forgotten and exploited cos the parties in the
British parliament just turn their attention to pleasing old people...
cos the wrinkly bastards vote Tory. wink
but i digress, constantly having to balance my principles with the
inevitability that working and getting a job seems like 'selling out'
and going to UNI seems like it just expands my privilege
(although to be honest with rising tuition fees i don't know
if i'm gonna be able to afford it... cheers clegg)
rant over..

a bit of a query though... How do you get a stable and wage
or just a way of earning money without contributing to 'the system'?
And the lines of anti-capitalist employment... short of robbing
banks what exactly is there?

If kind of a whiney post but you get my point, right?

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
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May 18 2014 12:31

Josh,

Respectfully, you can't escape capitalism, or oppose it, with lifestyle choices.

About anti-capitalist employment. . . Its not really a thing. Organizing at work can be anti-capitalist however.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
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May 18 2014 12:41
Quote:
How do you get a stable and wage or just a way of earning money without contributing to 'the system'?

You can't. As members of the working class we both produce and reproduce capitalism in our daily lives - that much is inevitable. However, that also means that our hands are quite literally on the levers of production and we can use that both to improve our lot under capitalism and to build a future world without bosses - and that's what I think Boze is saying above.

Also, if you can go to uni, I wouldn't feel bad about it. If, because of going to uni, you use that to become a manager or a boss or a union bureaucrat or whatever, that's anti-working class. However, the vast, vast majority of university graduates remain members of the working class (if sometimes, but not always, better paid ones).

As JK said to you in the other thread, work is always going to shit, full stop. But there's nothing wrong with trying to find a job that offers you the most satisfaction in your day-to-day life.

Josh...'s picture
Josh...
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May 18 2014 13:38

Cheers for your replies... I think it's kinda about finding a balance
Between you're principles and the necessities of living in a capitalist
Society, as long as you're not exploiting anyone and your using
Your position as a opportunity for "mischief" wink....

It's certainly an interesting discussion point,
I believe it was mark Twain who said;

"principles have no real value except
when one is well fed...."

Now mark Twain was a bit of a prick, but
Thats an good point to make.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
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May 21 2014 09:14

Try to do what is interesting and don't become a manager, bailiff, cop etc.

You can't fight the system in that way by yourself.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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May 21 2014 11:26

Yeah, like other people have said there is no such thing as "anticapitalist employment".

And anything that seems like that is actually just some form of recuperation (like getting a paid job as a union organiser).

So I would just try to find something where you can at least get some enjoyment from it, get okay money, and doesn't harm anyone (like not being a cop, prison officer, bailiff etc) and where you can try to organise alongside your co-workers to defend/improve your conditions.

With uni, if you want to go, you should go, don't feel bad about it. About half the population goes to uni in the UK.

That said, personally unless you want to go into academia I probably wouldn't go if I were your age now unless I was going to learn an actual skill like product design/engineering etc which will help you get a decent job afterwards (I went when it was still free, but dropped out, and am still paying off my student loan). For arts/humanities stuff, if you just want to learn there are loads of free online degree courses you can do which could be worth checking out.

Best of luck!

cresspot's picture
cresspot
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May 21 2014 19:35

As everyone else said anti-capitalist employment is basically an oxymoron, but there are still 'ways of life' outside of 'the system', however they're fairly difficult to maintain I would imagine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maroon_(people)

Josh...'s picture
Josh...
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May 25 2014 09:33

Hmm any thoughts on teaching as a useful tool for the movement?

On one hand its easy to see how teaching and education can be the
tool of the state and bourgeoisie...
However could anarchists and radicals to some extent 'infiltrate' or use education to
Teach the next generation idealeology, independent thought and to question authority?

Just a quick thought...

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
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May 25 2014 11:39

Again, as workers of any type we're going to reproduce capitalism and, as a teacher, you'll be participating in the generational reproduction of capitalism - because no matter how much you try to introduce radical texts or actively encourage critical thinking, it won't override the fact that schooling socializing children into capitalist notions of time, authority, discipline, etc, etc.

But, I'm a teacher myself. As a job, I find the actual teaching aspect of being a teacher incredibly rewarding - and there have even been times that I really feel I've helped pushed students' ideas into a more radical or progressive direction. Similarly, I've been involved in attempts to link up students and staff in relation to disputes at work. I think those are really worthwhile things to do, but radicals becoming teachers can't undermine the ideological function that schooling serves within capitalist society.

Josh...'s picture
Josh...
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May 25 2014 22:21

Cheers for the responses, I ask because teaching might be something I consider as a job I can live with and use to actually help people...

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
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May 25 2014 22:35

Yeah, that's cool when that sort of thing happens and it's worth supporting from the inside and out, but I'm still not sure it means teachers can fundamentally undermine the role of schooling.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
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May 26 2014 10:52

Hello Josh. On the basis that being employed will always support capital I think that the criteria for the job that you try to get should be a balance of two things, namely, that the work that you do is the most satisfying or at least the most bearable that you can find that pays enough money for you to survive on and hopefully pays or will eventually pay enough for you to live relatively comfortably with. You ARE living within a capitalist framework and there is no true escape. I 'dropped out' for 3 years and for me it was not the answer. I understand why people become lifestylists and I suppose it's fair enough, although 9 times out of 10 they become sanctimonious know alls that think themselves very clever for 'beating the system'. Lol.
I've done loads of different jobs- green grocer, painter, factory worker, barber amongst them and eventually ended up in a very specialised area of contruction which borders on artisan territory. I make beautiful things for the homes of very wealthy people, many of whom really don't appreciate it but the fact is that I'm very fortunate to enjoy my work and get relatively well paid for it. Of course there are many things I dislike about my job and some things that I hate and I deeply resent the fact that to live a merely comfortable existence I am forced to do something that I don't always want to do on days that I would much rather do something else. I think though that there is a fine line between a healthy contempt for the coercion applied to us by capital and the state and having your life crippled by bitterness at the crimes perpetrated against you.
Bottom line is, the best victory that you're likely to achieve is to live an enjoyable life. That is what most of my energy is focused on.

Josh...'s picture
Josh...
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May 26 2014 14:49

Cheers webby...
That's a good answer and I'm glad for you finding something
You like doing and I agree that balancing ideals and reality is
Difficult but important.

Oh and this...

Quote:
Bottom line is, the best victory that you're likely to achieve is to live an enjoyable life. That is what most of my energy is focused on.

...just made my day!