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Sick of living surrounded by capitalist desiring subjects; there is no one worth meeting

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Thrasymachus
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Mar 14 2014 01:16
Sick of living surrounded by capitalist desiring subjects; there is no one worth meeting

I feel like I don't belong in this world. I never wanted to belong. If someone belongs, it is only because they are rotten like the rest. I have never meet anyone worth meeting in my whole life. All everyone cares about is irrelevant. You find alot of people who care most about material objects, shopping for those objects, climbing the social-career ladder to buy more, vainly oscillating between distracting themselves or entertaining themselves. But you don't find many who care about anything actually life affirming and if they do they are only mocked. If you bicycle instead of ridiculously traveling around with your 200 lb. body(shockingly, this is the average weight of the American male in a country where well over 60% are overweight and well over 30% are obese) in a 4000 lb. car, one of the most common insults you will hear is "how will you get women?" And they are right, these damn capitalist desiring woman actually do prefer men who display the most waste via conspicuous consumption. Everytime you try to do something comparatively right for the world you are shot down viscously and mocked. At work, in our contract we get free bottled water. Every disgusting capitalist desiring co-worker relishes the opportunity to drink water bottled in a bottling factory hundreds or even perhaps a thousand or more miles away and trucked to distribution centers and finally to our employers. Me, I am just disgusted and dismayed by my wasteful, greedy co-workers who think they are veritable princes and queens who deserve waste for its own sake. Anyway, it is most likely bottled tap water anyway, and if it is spring water or lake water, it is perhaps worse(since these bottling factories deny the local ecosystem and people that water). Of course my co-workers rib me for actually drinking tap water, which they drink anyway at home in all likelihood anyway. Which brings up an interesting observation: in American capitalist society, especially amongst males, socialization involves an inordinate amount of allegedly friendly or playful put-downs, ribbings or constant mocking.

I just feel so isolated and alone. I am sick and tired of feeling like I am crazy, while chronic alcoholics and religious nutters run roughshood in terms of apparent social connection and networks. The only way for an adult to socialize with other adults in the contemporary USA essentially involves going to a bar, club or other alcohol serving venue where you are not welcome if you don't pay to enter or stay, or Church. That is it, because people are like clams everywhere else. You see in capitalist society you only need money, and this makes realize you don't need relationships to others, you only need a relationship to a corporation, so the clam shell comes up socially even amongst neighbors. Not that capitalist desiring subjects are worth meeting anyway, as if this was simply a problem of venue or logistics. The venues they choose to actually loosen up just give one more datum, highlighting how they are not worth knowing anyway. If you seen thirty or so of them, you have seen them all. You have seen all the types and variations: there are the serial daters, the cellphone addicts, the drug addicts, the clubbers, the proud helicopter parents who do nothing but working to "provide for their kids" and entomb them in a tight spider web extending to never allowing their precious future worker-consumer kids even to go outside without adult supervision, etc.

How do people on this forum cope? I just feel disgusted with the type of people I interact with. I don't like my family, my co-workers/classmates, or my so called friends. What is the point of living if you don't want to meet the type of people your society has? Or more importantly be one of those people yourself, but you cannot avoid because you cannot escape or create social conditions by so called "personal choice", despite the illusions that most have that they are the king-makers in their lives.

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Soapy
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Mar 14 2014 02:14
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How do people on this forum cope?

Try to find someone to love

boomerang
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Mar 14 2014 03:27

sorry you're hurting. i say, move to a major city, it's easier to find similar-minded folks. then get involved in activism, particularly with anarchists or with syndicalist unions (well, that would be my bias!), because then you can be part of changing the world, and not just feeling powerless about how much it sucks, and you'll find others who have similar critiques of the world and a similar vision for improving it.

but you'll also find douchebags among the anarchists and activists, so beware. it's not some social utopia. there's a lot of bullshit, and it can't be escaped. but you'll be able to find a few friends who share similar ideals AND who are kind and caring. hang on to them.

good luck.

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mikail firtinaci
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Mar 14 2014 04:57

Thrasymachus;

Hang in there! You have to be very very patient. The natural course of things, or at least any realistic assessment of the future will only give us a shitty picture. If one day, when we woke up we can find a better day that will definitely be a surprise. People can sometimes be disgusting, world is dying, there are wars, chaos, and everything... However, there are surprises happening. In Bosnia there was a surprisingly hopeful insurrection which only started a few weeks ago. There are almost constantly new strikes bubbling up somewhere around the world. We started to see increasingly more numerous and more intense insurrections year by year. If things could seem getting better everyday without surprising us, than the state and bourgeoisie would almost surely kill it. Fortunately it is not like that - but that does not make it better for us, since this situation is isolating people like us.

If you have the patience, I can recommend the same thing with boomerang. Try to get in touch with like minded people in the US and around the world. From my experience, I have to admit that you need extreme patience with revolutionaries as with everyone else. We are no saner or saintlier than the "ordinary people." People are shit. But that is the beauty of it. You see how surprisingly people change from hopelessly lost to heroes - it happened Gezi revolts last year in Turkey. It is worth the patience. As you said, immediate gratification is not the sole thing that interests us...

in solidarity!

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cresspot
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Mar 14 2014 05:50

To me the masses, considered generally, are like children who have been taken from their natural parents and given to step parents- the capitalist overlords. The capitalist system wants to keep the masses in tow, to keep their thoughts and desires in as infantile a state as possible. Ultimately, most people are powerless except in their own small ways, and the things that are available to them (morality, ideology, cars, electro-doodads, sexuality, clothes) provide a cheap way of compensating for that powerlessness. So all the people who embrace these things the most, and who become the most detestable members of our Republic, are possibly some of the most helpless children in the whole family. It's very hard interacting with people who are fixated on the infantile pleasures that keep them superficially satisfied. But there is a sense that these people are just as alienated as you or anyone else, but the alienation is not made blatant and conscious. Overcoming psychic repression in yourself and in others is a difficult thing to do, but as long as something is being repressed, than that means there is something to be liberated, and that can be a joyful experience to share with other people. Other than that, I like to write and draw and play and listen to music and read and let the good feelings from those activities recycle back into my attitude toward the world at large.

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Mar 14 2014 05:53

I feel for you. There was some stuff here I can relate to. There are positives too, which are hard to focus on sometimes. People do care about one another and try to help each other out.

I can think of many instances in my life where strangers (let alone friends or family) have stepped up to offer me kindness and assistance when I needed it. Or I have witnessed strangers helping other strangers. I hope you will find on this forum many people will have a strong desire to help you and offer some words, as best they can, and despite our recognition that a lot of the fundamentals of social organisation are anti-social, we can still see there is some good in the world and scope for positive change, even personal joy (though this is never a constant thing!).

Of course capitalism is horrendous and alienating (even to those that would claim it to be 'the best we can manage' or even 'the ideal'), the human tendencies and social forces that sustain it are pretty awful, but despite the dominance of the ideological and coercive forces of capitalism, many people are aware that there is something not right, and it's hard to find a single person who literally does not care about the state of things, or the wellbeing of others, even though many of them (and probably all of us) have internalised some pretty terrible ideas as well. There is good and bad tendencies in all people. Try to find those who seem to have a greater emphasis on good. If you can, try to see the good, or potential for good, in those you currently don't like.

I hope you will find some comfort in knowing you are not really alone. All of us are here today because of other people who, at various points, have cooperated to produce the means of sustenance and make life worth living- not all of that cooperation was driven by selfish or anti-social tendencies, so people you have never met have helped you, have produced things which were useful to you- it's a shame this cooperation is often constrained and warped by capitalism, but without the human tendency for working together and generally 'getting along', capitalism could not exist either (communism/ anarchy will be much, much better at using this tendency for cooperation to its fullest pro-social potential!).

Much of what you cite as the worst you see in people stems from learned behaviour, or coping strategies to deal (perhaps badly) with society as it is, many do not realise or understand what is wrong with their thinking or actions. This is frustrating, but it is not usually borne of spite and malice, it's not your place to try and change it alone (especially since you do seem to feel alone), we endure this as best we can. I think we should try to see and appreciate the positives, and only fight for change when we are able to see a chance of success, or we have no choice. Do try to find other people who might share some of your frustrations and concerns, they are out there. Many people who don't see things exactly as you do, will still try to have a positive effect on your wellbeing, so try to appreciate and see that if you can.

Please post here more often if you feel bad and want some interaction. Don't pin too much expectation on others though, sometimes you need to draw strength from within if you can't find the person who can offer the support you need.

In terms of lifestyle choice that's a tricky one. Personally I find change often helps (though often the transition is pretty tough). When I start to feel too alienated or dissatisfied I tend to move- I just left London because I felt constantly surrounded by people, and also utterly isolated or alienated much of the time- the other problem with big cities is their transitory populations, many of the people you do meet who you share a positive connection with are often only there for a little while, or else they live on the other side of town, have their own well-established networks, and its hard to find time to meet up as much as you'd like. I did try to get more immersed in radical groups, but that didn't work so well for me, but it did provide me with some new ways of being and thinking in other social settings, particularly at work (actually, often I need to be around 'normal' less-aware people and just focus on having a good time, or on building small acts of collective solidarity. I also really feel good when I'm living in a more hedonistic way, though not anti-social by any means, I hope - at festivals, raves, parties etc, but I know that I can't, and shouldn't, do that all the time.

I personally find small communities offer a more welcoming environment, at least initially, (as long as they are used to outsiders and don't have a really backward outlook) but it's also a problem that in small communities you more quickly run out of people who haven't done something you don't like! But I would say if you aren't finding any fulfillment in the social circles you spend most of your time in- try reaching out to other people, don't expect too much, but also appreciate what they do give, or try to give (even if it is tempered by behaviour you find disagreeable). If they aren't able to give you the type of social relationship you need then others may well do, so don't give up hope.

We don't see eye to eye on everything, we have slightly different needs, behaviours and desires, but we also want others to have their own needs and desires met (where these needs are not anti-social). We do our best to offer help when we see need and feel able to try. Nobody is perfect but we can find others to get along with. I hope this helps.

Please do let us know how you feel when you look over these comments and say so if you need to feel that others share some of your concerns and care for your wellbeing.

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Chilli Sauce
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Mar 14 2014 10:47

Hey Thras, that sounds rough. I think most folks who've been involved in politics have experienced some level of dismay at the state of the world, so you're in good company.

And while the folks on this thread have offered some good advice, I'd be wary of turning to politics/activism/the class struggle for relief. (I mean, shoot, if you think you've met some frustrating folks, wait til you join an anarchist organisation!)

I'm not saying don't get involved in politics, but it might be a good idea to sort of spread out your interests: find a new hobby, join a class or an exercise club, learn a new sport, develop your artistic side. In other words, find activities that are less likely to reinforce your alienation and frustration with the state of the world.

The other really important thing is to find someone to talk to when you're feeling down. Yeah, most people are shit, but try to find one or two that you can relate to and make sure you talk to them if you're feeling low.

Anyway, libcom, for it's reputation as the snarkiest of anarchist forums, is actually pretty good at listening when folks are feeling rough. So don't be afraid of the occasional emotion post if you think it'll help you sort things out.

Thrasymachus
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Mar 16 2014 19:04

@Soapy:
Did you actually read my initial post? My whole life, I never meet anyone worth meeting and I am 31 now, going on 32 next month. There is no one interesting or worth knowing, most people are net drags on your emotions and time. Outside of their major vocation and preoccupation in making and spending money, the average capitalist desiring subject just wants to distract and entertain themselves, or else how could they cope? They couldn't they would motivated to take some decisive action to alter their situation and that of their fellow man.

Besides love is a bs metaphysical and useless concept. My father abandoned my family after my mother divorced him when I was about six years old and moved to another country, Greece. You know what he told me the two times I have seen him since, once when I was 17 and again over a decade later when I was 29? That he loved me. Most murders are committed within the same family, or against girlfriends -- so called "loved ones" by "loved ones". Alot of time the murderers cannot cope with losing say a spouse in divorce, or over cheating, so they kill them. Often they will say that they loved them so much they couldn't deal with possibly losing them and knowing they are living without them -- so they take their lives. One could say that no indigenous Native American is living as they once lived because white settler colonists loved the concept of America so much. This what focus on nonsense bourgeois concepts like love gets you. Can you dispute such examples using the nonsense wishy-washy, overly subjective notion of love? People need to love alot less and try to do the most correct thing in the right moment to make the world a better place, because love is just a made up highly subjective concept. Besides I cannot do what it takes to attract a mate under capitalism -- because I simply won't.

@boomerang:
In a city I will find more people who pretend to have a problem with living under capitalism. Some of them will actually have a problem, and many will be posers. To go to the meme of the previous poster, what if I believed in love and "just found love". Then I had kids with that person. Well if you are really against capitalism and living under it, how could you have kids? To me, I consider having kids child abuse. I can barely function in this capitalist world, or support myself financially let alone support and care for a kid for two decades. If someone can hold down a stable job for two decades and raise a kid, needless to say despite what they may say, they have little trouble actually coping with capitalism. For me this is not the case. I cannot bring myself to bathe frequently often going up to or almost two weeks, or groom often, my room is always a mess often with clothes on the floor, I don't wash my clothes often and only do so after the stench disgusts me, etc. I can barely even bring myself to eat often enough. My favorite thing to do is mope on the couch and wallow. In the second part of your post you get more accurate and hint more that the people who don't have the illusions needed to support capitalism -- often are damaged goods.

Further, I believe that people aren't meant to live totally ensconced in artificial, alienating man-made structures totally enveloped by arbitrary man made rules like in the environment of a city. There is actually a term being popularized to describe this called "nature deficit disorder". Cities are more for ditsy, capitalist loving professional types with a salary big enough to eat out frequently, and frequently partake in museums, bars, clubs, movies, etc. That type of capitalist desiring subject loves the city because their comparatively higher income allows them to partake of lots of entertainment, and distraction in the more developed market of a city than elsewhere. The fact that most so called anarchists and anti-capitalists often cluster in cities, indicates that to a large extent -- they are posers, far as I see it.

@mikail firtinaci:
I don't share the vision of masturbating over protests that you do. Recently for the first time in my life, I finally made enough money to support financially with my recent raise and could move out finally from my mom's house. But conversely I have never felt more suicidal, I feel trapped in this job. Normally I always had close to bottom of the barrel jobs, but I felt less pressure and nervous angst, because I knew I could quit them and easily find an equivalent job. Now I feel trapped and stucked doing this job I hate, because I cannot make the same money elsewhere. I want to leave so bad, but fear I will regret it because I will just end up with yet another job I cannot cope with, that also in addition doesn't pay a living wage.

Now most those protesters in Gezi, Bosnia, etc. would love to be in my position, and if they were, not only would they cease to protest, but would happily support the system and consume the world into oblivion if they were given half the chance. Alot of these protests are tapping into financial angst and if the protesters felt secure monetarily they would cease to protest. In my case, I actually work in public transit for the railroads at a union job and my co-workers have a disgusting life philosophy. They have a haughty attitude since under capitalism, the bio-physical world (the trees, the air, the water, the dirt, the living beings, etc.) don't matter to them, other people don't matter to them, social relations don't matter to them outside of those who they consider an extension of themselves(like immediate family). What matters to them most is having what they consider a reliable, stable job with pensions, benefits, health-care and moderately high salary, which my job provides. Thus at my job, my co-workers feel like they are getting over on the rest of society, because they have what others don't and this makes them feel cocky and full of themselves when in many or perhaps most ways -- this actually makes them worse as people. Further if a plebiscite was held at my former workplace on whether to cut down the few trees surrounding it and if this course was taken everyone would receive a one-time $500 payment -- I am almost 100% sure they would take the money, since disgusting worker-consumers like them only care about how much they can make and spend.

So I don't share your rosy eyed immature analysis. Even if the elites in Bosnia and Turkey were killed tomorrow, there would be two whole nations of people dying to replace them and recreate an almost 1:1 mirror of the social order. The people at the bottom of the social order, have everything they need to perpetuate the system from everything I have seen in my 31 years.

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Mar 16 2014 18:27

Thras,

On the job thing, I have also felt trapped in that way (fairly well paid job that just sucks the joy out of living- worrying I'd regret it if I quit etc). I have since overcome that, and quit a long line of jobs- never once regretting it. I bounced from a well paid office job into a poorly paid nature conservation/ community outdoor activities role (even that job sucked after a while)- I returned to office work later as I always like change. I quit another office job recently and am now seeking work as a gardener (got interviews lined up so seems to be working OK for me, I was richer in the past but I don't miss the money- just live within my means). In order to quit jobs I did have to rely on others (mainly family & gf) to help me through the transition. I think if I didn't have family to fall back on I would be more concerned about not getting benefits and becoming destitute so in that case I would just be awful at the job (but not to the extent of making it look deliberate) and get sacked - or try to get diagnosed with mental health problems and go on long term sick (tbh it sounds like you might genuinely have a problem with depression, which I've also experienced in a fairly mildish form). My advice would be join a volunteering group focused on physical outdoors work or maybe a part time course to change career into something you think might be interesting. It might help you drag yourself out of the hole you seem to be in and spend less time moping on the sofa.

Also, I've had plenty of relationships where I didn't feel like I was catering to 'capitalist desiring subjects'. In fact there are many people out there who find shallowness and materialism very off-putting (having said that people are also not generally keen on poor hygiene and constant moping either). There are plenty out there who seem to be more desiring of someone who seems caring and who has radical ideas than someone who flashes wealth about. You do also have to be nice to people and demonstrate warm feelings towards them though, if you would like them to reciprocate. I ain't going to give dating advice, I think you should focus on self care first but tbh I don't think you should rule out all prospects of having a loving relationship with another person/ people. Actually if you never feel caring towards others, I am not surprised you fail to see the potential for others to care about you. Try to fix that.

Try not to dwell on the negatives so much and try to recognise there are ways to help yourself feel a bit better. Seriously, working outdoors with a group who are giving their time freely (ish) can be super good at sweeping away the depression and misanthropy. Give it a crack, what have you got to lose.

Also, why are you being rude to people who have tried to offer you their honest perspective- 'masturbating over protests' etc. You don't own a monopoly on the correct interpretation of things you know, this sort of behaviour only serves to alienate people who are acting out of compassion towards you and it makes you appear to be a troll (I srsly don't care if I 'feed' trolls because I'd rather run that risk, than risk staying silent when someone might need help). I think you need to drag yourself out of this hole, the only way I've ever managed that is to make concerted efforts to start thinking and acting differently- to break the worst bits of the harmful routine (sadly, not breaking the whole system of capitalism while I'm at it)- and recognising there are people out there who can help and who might also benefit from your help. So that would be my advice. Hope it works for you

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Mar 16 2014 19:27

Wotsit, you've beautifully covered what I wanted to say.

Thras, I found that last post a bit...disappointing...maybe.

People were doing their best to help out. I mean, 'rosy eyed immature analysis', that's not really cool. They weren't perfect answers (not that any exist when dealing with these situations) but they were genuine.

If I'm honest, it appears you have a sort of anti-consumption politics that I'm not sure will be widely shared on libcom (not to discourage you from posting!) but, given that, I'd echo Wotsit in suggesting you maybe get into gardening? Maybe you can even get lucky and find some sort of community gardening scheme. It could be a good way to find like-minded people, plus you're getting outside in the fresh air and you can make as political or non-political as you want.

Anyway, I thought these threads might be helpful:

http://libcom.org/forums/libcommunity/venting-our-despair-supporting-eac...

http://libcom.org/blog/callout-submissions-depression-class-struggle-070...

That second one's not done yet, but it will be, I promise.

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Mar 16 2014 19:33

Oh yeah, the other thing to consider, if you're interested in doing some reading, would be to check out the Situationists. They come specifically from the perspective of trying to understand how and why individuals buy into the spectacle - basically the alienated consumption of industrial capitalism. I think where it gets interesting is where people break with that and why, despite having a decent standard of living, that same alienation with work and consumption still drives class movements.

Thrasymachus
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Mar 16 2014 20:07

@Wotsit:
You have an extremely naive view of the actual world and its processes and a deluded sense of agency. To give you an example: There are two people. One is rich but is an asshole. He drives a Bugati, has a 150 foot yacht and throws many parties. Another guy is poor, but the nicest guy possible. Who will have more "friends"? Charles Eisenstein point out that friends are mostly people who use each other for entertainment under capitalism, because deep down everyone knows they need only money to survive in our social system. Heck in the society I am from, until the last decades, there was no concept of friendship as we know it, because people had so many connections and obligations with extended family and neighbors they didn't need to bond with strangers over trivialities like hobbies or shared interests or ideology. They had real community instead and no need for its artifice. And dating is something only developed as recently as the 1920's in the USA. Before that adults would vet the mates for their children in the family home.

Also I don't per say choose to go stinking until I finally take a bathe, or have a hard time coping with the society I live in. It is just how it really is for me. I am not someone who just says they are against capitalism but actually has no trouble not only supporting themselves and a family -- that is doing what it is actually takes to live under capitalism. Living under capitalism is really killing me prematurely from stress, anxiety, angst and isolation. I don't want to do the type of narrow activity this society allows or associate with the mass-man and mass-woman it produces. This is not something I am writing to create an impression. Similarly I don't believe in fantasies like you do to make myself feel better, because it is hard for me to maintain the necessary illusions, unlike most other capitalist desiring subjects. You should read this article by David Smail called "Power, Responsibility and Freedom." You suffer under the illusion that people control their lives more than they actually do. The wage slave can only switch masters in general, but it is not a surprise that workerist types that frequent here would believe this mainstream myth. Smail points out that the lives of the individual are more controlled by hidden, distal social forces than most want to account for. He points out that his field, psychiatry, ignores "social space-time" and reduces all problems to issues relating solely to the "interiority", the feelings and mental space of an isolated individual. You remind me of the disgusting baby-boomer buddhists of buddhist webforums when I bothered with that escapist claptrap in my life. They liked to believe lots of nonsense too about positive thinking and meditation, while actually being more selfish and nasty than the American mainstream. It really hurts me just to exist and see that everyone around me only cares about making money, spending money, inanimate objects and competing with others to try to get over at their expense. This is not just something in the interiority of my mind. For example the average American watches, 34 hours of television a week! And that is just one form of escapism. Why do they need to live in the fantasy realm, if reality is so good and it is so easy to just think positive as you allege?

Well back to the example of my father, like I said: he abandoned me, but will say he loves me. So what good does it do me, if extremely confused people give me bad advice, but they have "good intentions"? The path to misery is paved by people with good intentions, I am sure!

@Chilli Sauce:
Good, if I was like the workerist types that frequent here, I would be even more disgusted with myself. If you live and consume just like the average American(or whatever nationality), and theoretically claim to be against capitalism, aren't you just a poser and hypocrite? Saying your something has to mean something in the concrete, if it is to be useful. Another example: How could you complain about American military imperialism, if that is the only thing allowing your present level of consumption which otherwise wouldn't be possible?

I already knew it would be unpopular to actually claim people would have to change instead of create utopian fantasies around future revolutions where a singularity like say a black hole in space, would change human matter.

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A Wotsit
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Mar 16 2014 20:16
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You have an extremely naive view of the actual world and its processes and a deluded sense of agency.

lol, fair cop. I'll read the rest of your post now. I might reply if my massively limited agency allows it. I will stick with this thread for now despite your negative impression of me because I had cause to post asking for help here very recently and what people said really did help me (I asked for that thread to be deleted though as once I felt better I found was a bit embarrassing). Might take me a while to formulate my response.

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Mar 16 2014 20:21

It's because you only focus on the worst qualities in people. Successfully relating to someone with that attitude is for obvious reasons close to impossible. People aren't as dumb as you think, so they know when you think they're stupid.

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Mar 16 2014 21:41

So on your 'who has more friends' example- I can't see your point. I agree that society has a lot wrong with it, and capitalism reinforces the worst, and many people choose wealth over whatever- I don't deny that. This doesn't mean that people can't still do good things for one another and develop genuine connections of affection and care.

I don't see how 'deep down everyone knows they only need money' applies to anything I said. In fact I said (or tried to say) the opposite- when I had more money (in higher wages)- I was less happy and more isolated (the jobs sucked away all my energy- leaving nothing left for nurturing positive social bonds).

Are you saying it was better when parents 'vetted mates' for their children? That sounds pretty awful to me. Maybe 'dating' was the wrong word, I was using it as shorthand for 'actively seeking opportunities to meet people you might get on with and making an effort to get to know them in the hope a very close bond might develop between you'.

I don't have any illusions about how constraining, oppressive and alienating capitalism is. I know I can only choose between one boss or another (until we get a revolution rolling). That totally fucking sucks, work totally fucking sucks but it doesn't suck as bad as being broke and alone in my experience. We are stuck with capitalism for now, until more of us actively struggle against it. We are not 'workerist'- we do not romanticise work. We just recognise that since we are not capitalists the workplace is a key place we can struggle against capitalism and undermine the interests of capital and promote the fulfillment of human needs (and at the moment we do need wages, ?or other means of sustenance?, because we are stuck in a capitalist system- which I hope with all my heart that we will find a way to overthrow).

While we are stuck with capitalism I see no option than muddling along as best we can manage, looking after our own needs and looking out for each other (mutual aid) and try to push society (in whatever small ways we can) in a better direction. I recognise the limits of my agency, I need many others to share my aims and work with me if we want to make anything revolutionary happen, but I also recognise I do have some agency myself and I can go from a truly unbearable existence (I have sunk pretty low) to a more bearable one, while doing my best not to actively reinforce capitalist relations and have a good time now and then.

I wasn't trying to make you feel ashamed for not washing, I know this is a common thing people who feel depressed lack the motivation to bother with as much, I was only suggesting maybe pushing yourself to attempt better hygiene might be a good thing. You asked for our advice on 'how to cope', I think taking care of yourself better is important if you want to cope better.

There's probably more that I haven't addressed but I sense this thread has a lot of miles in it and would like to give others the chance to engage with you as they might make more sense to you than I have.

(edited a bit to attempt to remove some potential ambiguity)

(edit2: on the issue of your father I think your negative feelings towards him are probably justified and a natural response to his behaviour. In my opinion saying you love someone is worthless if you do not treat them well (in fact, saying one thing and acting contrary to it is damaging imo)- you have to 'show and prove'- ie actively try to be there in a positive way for that person if love is to have any meaning. There is a lot more I haven't addressed but I didn't want to leave that one hanging in particular.)

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Mar 16 2014 21:00

You're a saint, Wotsit.

Thras, I'm gonna bow out at this point. I understand that depression can leave one feeling pretty alienated, but being outrigthly rude to people who are who are reaching out to you, well, I don't particularly think it's a good strategy for emotional health or political engagement.

Anyway, I honestly do hope that you come out the other side of this alright. I actually think libcom can be a good place to have these discussions and but you've got to be willing to give a little too, you know what I mean? If that happens, I'd still be glad to continue this conversation in the future.

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cresspot
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Mar 16 2014 21:59

There are a lot of Disgruntled Misanthropic Anarchist Meeting Groups out there, you just have to find them. The conversation is actually a lot more pleasant than most people would think, because once the obligatory misanthropic rants are made, the topic turns on things like what type of bodily fluid to name the new stray kitten after, or the merits of dumpstered half-charred coffee, or just the best way to turn the grime in your sex life into shinier grime.
I'm serious, and if you find people like this , who do exist (in every single city), you can probably relate to them enough to feel better about yourself, even if not the rest of the planet- but don't let the hatred fester, because hatred that festers past a healthy biological limit is counterrevolutionary.
There are ways to cope with the barbarity of work and capitalism, but you have to be able to forget about it for long periods of time, without accepting it as the only thing possible. Moments of happiness, or whatever you seek, should be fuel for the fire used against the system, rather than anaesthesic moments of forgetful bliss. Try to find ecstasy in your life, even if it's just building legos and then smashing all the legos up in a revolutionary cataclysm. You have to try to put your anger into creative ways, because creation is fundamental to revolution, whether individual or societal.

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Noah Fence
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Mar 16 2014 22:38

As has been pointed out, looking for the worst in people and doggedly ignoring the best in them is a surefire recipe for misery. To lock yourself up in a high tower of superiority and sneering down at your fellow man is a self imposed punishment. You have asked how do people on this forum cope, well I cope by doing the opposite to what you do when viewing and taking stock of humanity. I enjoy my life not through material objects, although there is nothing wrong with material comfort or even abundance, but through the nurturing of interpersonal relationships. That isn't nativity but practical management of my life.
I know that capitalism sucks and that most people are unaware of the truth but that doesn't mean that I don't fit in, it just means that I need to connect to these people in different ways.
I'm not saying this to be mean, but asking for help and then, when it is freely offered to you, viciously throwing it back at people is pretty stupid and will only dig you deeper into your hole of isolation and self pity.
As someone said to me once when I was badly in need of help: 'you need to take the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth'.

Thrasymachus
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Mar 16 2014 23:07

I am pretty sure I would have likely have even gotten more accurate responses on a mainstream forum...

Kureigo-San wrote:
It's because you only focus on the worst qualities in people. ...

Too funny. I think what is actually happening is that people are focusing on the worst qualities possible themselves and making the trivial the most important parts of their life, and everything that is worth damn, they ignore. I am certainly not making people care more about the fictional travails of television and movie characters more than the real life struggles of people against domination. I am not making people care about the made up fantasies of economists than the actual real biophysical underpinnings of the world. I don't have that kind of power and agency. I remember this funny comment I heard on this podcast by a workerist type who would likely fit in well here. He was talking about I believe Beaver stadium where Penn State teams play sports and saying how the left was out of touch with the working class because they don't participate or connect with the that type of ditsy sports obsessed people, who in addition to the typical orientation of only giving a crap of themselves, their immediate family and their material comfort, also give an inordinately large damn about the wins or loses of their favorite sports team.

The average capitalist desiring subject is more base than I can possibly relate in text. Think of racist Southern White planters who while keeping and abusing slaves, considered themselves gentlemen for their macabre theater of protocol and niceties amongst themselves. Well now the corporations that the capitalist desiring subjects depend for their consumption have exported veritable slave conditions to the colonized world and workers comparatively have a better lot in the imperialist nations. I guess I should look on the bright side though as this deluded fellow says. Just like Southern gentlemen planters of old who were kind to each other, at least the American capitalist desiring subjects hold the door open briefly and then say thank you as they shop for their exploited wares in the markets and stores. And also don't forget all the empty "have a nice day, how are you doing, have a good day" and other empty niceties not really meant passed around in American discourse.

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Mar 16 2014 23:37

Utterly baffled.

How exactly are we focusing on the 'worst qualities possible'?

If we are focussing on 'trivialities' by talking about self-care, finding ways of behaving and human relationships that feel good for you and so on- what is the non-trivial?

It seems you only see 'biophysical' things as good (except those involving human contact)? If that's all that matters, why did you come here seeking human interaction? Why not go sit in a forest and interact with the outdoors a bit? (I think that is also a good thing to do btw- even better if done with other people if you feel down imo).

You seem to have reached a point where any human interaction (no matter how much the other tries to be positive towards you) sets off negative thoughts and feelings in you. You can still turn that around, but you need to realise a lot of that negativity is being reinforced by you and it's only really bouncing back on you and making you feel worse.

We are strangers attempting to offer you some help and assistance, out of a genuine concern for your wellbeing- we didn't come here motivated by a fixation on enriching ourselves with material goods or whatever. Human relationships matter to all of our wellbeing- we are social animals.

We didn't come on this thread to defend capitalism, or celebrate alienated consumption or the boss-worker relationship or a shallow definition of 'worker culture' etc (we recognise a worker by their relationship to capital, and a shared (if often unconcious) interest in abolishing capitalism- not by their interest in sports, but that's by-the-by). We came here out of genuine concern and a desire to try and explain 'how we cope' living in a society dominated by capitalism. Whatever we say, you remain fixated on your own depressed outlook.

So I ask you- what did you want to hear from us? That we all sit around on sofas feeling shit all the time? Did you want us to say that depression and constant alienation is the best you can possibly hope for, that, or brainwashing yourself into shallow money-worship? That is not what we believe- that is not what we experience. That is only what you have convinced yourself of.

You are wrong to believe that, it's obvious that it is doing you no good whatsoever, but what else can we possibly say to convince you otherwise? We're not saying 'capitalism is fine' we are saying 'despite capitalism (which is dreadful), there is still some good in the world and there are ways of coping that can help make living under capitalism more bearable'. The main focus of this site is on how can we help make our lives better now, while also working towards abolishing capitalism and focussing even more on our core needs as human beings. That's pretty much all I can say, unless you show just a smidgen of understanding here. Despite finding this exchange frustrating, I do hope that you find ways of making yourself feel better that work for you.

Thrasymachus
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Mar 17 2014 00:17

@Wotsit:
You have something far beyond reading comprehension problems. Kureigo-San, told me that the problem was that I was focusing on the worst qualities in people. I replied essentially, that those same people were focusing on the worst qualities in themselves, without my help or agency. To be more exact the social system prods them, but no cop is holding a gun to their head forcing them to care more about video games than real life, money than real life or the next dose of drugs they will take for escapism. They could have chosen another path, they didn't and generally won't.

And yes I am going to call you guys out on your bad advice. I am getting the same type of crap advice I could find in a buddhist forum: ignore social reality, put your head in the sand, repress emotions, meditate and worship the disgusting lamaist guru hoarding wealth and with several disciples and sexual concubines. But take advice from the same disgusting attached guru on how should I practice non-attachment by following him blindly and giving him large sums of money I can barely make do with parting with.

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Mar 17 2014 00:21

Thras why don't you fuck off? Waste someone else's time. If you want people to shit on go and join Reddit. Also you sound like a petulant child with a penchant for post-structuralist words, likely you adopt the latter to feel superior considering that's all you've done here. Seems like you've figured it all out so why ask for advice?

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Mar 17 2014 00:42

I did not think I misunderstood that bit- when you said 'people' you seemed to include 'the people on this thread' among them (you haven't given any indication that you think of us as anything but 'capitalist desiring subjects'). Anyway, I give up. I feel sorry for you, it must really suck to think and feel the way you do, but I don't think I'm able to help you. I'm starting to doubt someone like you could really exist, you seem to make a concerted effort to remove any possibility of positive contact and therefore I do now suspect you are probably a troll, who is equally as sad as the character they have created. So long.

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Mar 17 2014 00:48

P.S. imo this thread was totally worth it as it reconfirmed my general faith in libcom's ability to attract the most awesome humans (those who are motivated by pro-social tendencies)- and also cresspots second post was just ace

For anyone who can't be bothered to read the whole thread this gist of it is:

Thras said: help me, it's all shit. People suck.

Libcom said: (some things to try and help)

Thras said: you're wrong, it's all shit. You suck.

To be continued...?

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Mar 17 2014 01:02

Oh gawd, I can't leave it alone. So a group of people who are capable of sustaining positive relationships with other people, while holding true to their revolutionary ideas, just gave some 'bad advice' to an individual lying on a sofa in their stinking underpants feeling utterly alone in the world.

You heard it here first- misanthropists have got life sussed. I need no more convincing. From now on the only advice I will ever give to anyone under any circumstances is: stop washing, and start cultivating that warm glowing feeling of isolation and despair.

Excuse me while I cry myself to sleep.

Thrasymachus
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Mar 17 2014 01:02

Oh man, this thread reinforced your faith in libcom? I work at a union job where in an 8 hour shift alot of people honestly get done in 3-4 hours, maybe 5, and then the rest of time their are heads are in their cellphones permanently distracting themselves or sleeping(honestly I do that do from time to time, but not as long). Probably they continue this massive project of escapist distraction with any free time they have at home as well, but maybe expand to other activities like television, video games, alcohol, If I broached the same issue with my absent minded, trivia obessed co-workers I am sure I would have gotten the same type of "its just your mentality", social space-time doesn't exist as anything but roses, its just you, type of claptrap advice. Infact recently I outed some of my views on society publicly to co-workers and got the same type of claptrap seen here. I told my co-worker that essentially almost no-one in our society is happy, they need to watch 34 of television fantasies just to cope. He replied with some lame phenomological fallacy that he was happy based on his own self-report. Well based on my father's own self-report he loves me, the son he abandoned. With the same perspective we could perhaps say Hitler was not a bad man, he just loved the German nation so much. I pointed to him that if I was paid not to do my job, but to tally what people did with their free time I would find they would have had to distract them from the reality of their life, because they are scared of being alone with their own mind and facing what is their actual situation in life. That is not the mark of a happy society:

http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/chapter1-4.php
"Whence comes this feeling we call boredom, the discomfort of having nothing to occupy our minds? Boredom--nothing to do--is intolerable because it puts us face to face with the wound of separation. Boredom, that yearning for stimulation and distraction, for something to pass
the time, is simply how we experience any pause in the program of control that seeks to deny pain."

From my co-workers I expect that. From people allegedly against capitalism and who ought to have some critique of it, I expected better. But that expectation was dashed.

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Mar 17 2014 01:16

It sure did, it also showed me that you can't always have a positive influence even when you try, and that my patience and desire to help others has limits. If we were having this convo irl I probably would have found an excuse to leave quite early on (possibly as soon as I caught a whiff of you tbh)

No one has said half the things you're assuming we believe- it's not 'just your mentality'- alienation has clearly had a more adverse affect on you than on most of us and you seem to have a strong desire to drag us down to your level- soz, but that ain't gunna happen.

This thread was about trying to get you to see there are many positives out there, if you are capable of finding them (for e.g. finding a partner and friends who care about you is really great- honestly, it is). We are not trying to convince you 'it's all fine' or ignore the obvious shit things (like, well, everything about capitalism tbh).

Don't come around here acting like we think work is fine- our main objective is to abolish that shit.

Anyway, you've exhausted my supply of 'bad advice' but I'm still curious to know- what did you want us to say? What would you have liked to hear?

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A Wotsit
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Mar 17 2014 01:20

(secretly, the more I disagree with someone, the more I enjoy the thread! aside from those where I go to learn or seek help that is)

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Fnordie
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Mar 17 2014 01:25

It's hopeless. An hero

Thrasymachus
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Mar 17 2014 01:30

Sorry, you are seriously confused. My critique still stands. There are people who say they are against capitalism. And certain of those people certain of them, have not only no trouble to do what is necessary to maintain a steady job continously, but even thrive under capitalism, by climbing the career ladder(with the university as gate-keeper) and raise a family, etc. In other words: posers, since they really don't have much trouble at all, despite whatever claims they may make. Then there are those who capitalism really causes serious distress and who actually in reality cannot cope, and some of these people don't even claim they are against capitalism.

Anyway get over yourself wotsit, you sound like some smug, disgusting psychiatrist, who has the power to cure his patients without their own participation, if only they are willing.

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Mar 17 2014 01:32
Quote:
Oh man, this thread reinforced your faith in libcom? I work at a union job where in an 8 hour shift alot of people honestly get done in 3-4 hours, maybe 5, and then the rest of time their are heads are in their cellphones permanently distracting themselves or sleeping(honestly I do that do from time to time, but not as long). Probably they continue this massive project of escapist distraction with any free time they have at home as well, but maybe expand to other activities like television, video games, alcohol, If I broached the same issue with my absent minded, trivia obessed co-workers I am sure I would have gotten the same type of "its just your mentality", social space-time doesn't exist as anything but roses, its just you, type of claptrap advice. Infact recently I outed some of my views on society publicly to co-workers and got the same type of claptrap seen here. I told my co-worker that essentially almost no-one in our society is happy, they need to watch 34 of television fantasies just to cope. He replied with some lame phenomological fallacy that he was happy based on his own self-report. Well based on my father's own self-report he loves me, the son he abandoned. With the same perspective we could perhaps say Hitler was not a bad man, he just loved the German nation so much. I pointed to him that if I was paid not to do my job, but to tally what people did with their free time I would find they would have had to distract them from the reality of their life, because they are scared of being alone with their own mind and facing what is their actual situation in life. That is not the mark of a happy society:

http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/chapter1-4.php
"Whence comes this feeling we call boredom, the discomfort of having nothing to occupy our minds? Boredom--nothing to do--is intolerable because it puts us face to face with the wound of separation. Boredom, that yearning for stimulation and distraction, for something to pass
the time, is simply how we experience any pause in the program of control that seeks to deny pain."

From my co-workers I expect that. From people allegedly against capitalism and who ought to have some critique of it, I expected better. But that expectation was dashed.

In other words Thras has seen the light, the rest is sheeple. Again, why don't you fuck off. You're clearly here to feel superior. It's sad that that is your solution to your woes. I empathized with you in the OP, but now I think you're a total asshole that deserves misery. And your political beliefs means fuck all if you're incapable of relating to others; then the problem is you, not them