Venting Our Despair & Supporting Each Other

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flaneur's picture
flaneur
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Dec 14 2011 16:37

I think most people, not just anarchists, can relate to how dispiriting it is to wake up every day, do mind numbing shit for not enough money, whilst dealing with some utter tossers you wouldn't piss on if they were on fire. I'm actually quite envious of those that are asquiescient about it all, I think there's a sense of calm in that. Being angry and wanting to change things is draining, it never ends and it seems so pointless given the minute chances of success. But it gives you a sense of perspective that the Monday team talk is a load of balls so it's swings and roundabouts.

All you can do is live and you try to find little victories where you can. The most inspiring political stuff I've read has been worker accounts doing something about what makes them unhappy in the workplace. Like one man who had enough of the muzak being piped in to the office so he smashed it to fuck. Or another who instead of doing work, wrote books and made interactive art. It's not going to change the world but it's going to feel good and give you a giggle about this absurd world that takes itself too seriously.

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Dec 14 2011 19:00

It's a little difficult not to talk about politics when everything keeps fuckin up. Got a tracfone yesterday, right out of the damn box it wasn't working. The phone wouldn't give us the phone number so we spent about an hour on the phone talking to tech support doing the same thing over and over. So we finally get the number and now the phone won't get service. So we call them again and it's just a repeat of the night before. So I'm sending the damn thing back. Goddamn, how the hell are we to not sit there and bash the system all the time when you can't even get a phone that works right.

I'm using internet where we can only download so many megabits (I believe it's 200) which is bullshit. It's the only thing we get out here and I'm looking for another ISP. I might call them and tell them what I think of their capitalist BS.

Shit breaks down on a car like you wouldn't believe and I know for a fact it would last twice as long if they made it right and twice again if they didn't engineer it to fail (yes they do that, hell a family member took a course in design in college and it was part of the course, design a hair drier that will fail at a certain point).

I'm surprised and aggravated that there are no militant leftists anywhere, and when I say militant I mean militia shit like the damn teabaggers got. I watch protests and people get beat up by the cops and not even fight back which irritates the shit out of me. But I try not to criticize as I've never been to a protest myself and I might do the same as they do.

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Dec 14 2011 18:04

This is such an important topic. While walking back from the p.m. action at the Port of Oakland on Monday, I saw an old comrade who'd been in the Wobblies over the years. I hadn't seen him for over a year, but I knew he and some other comrades were trying to help an older comrade who'd gone on a continuous bender. The latter was from New York and as a young guy had been a YIPPIE before coming to San Francisco. In the early 1990s, he and I had worked as bicycle messengers at the same time (the guy I saw walking had worked in the industry too).

When I asked about the ex-YIPPIE, not having seen him in over a year, my comrade told me matter-of-factly "He died last year." Yet I could still see the pain on his face. He and others had tried to do several "interventions," had gotten him into rehab at least once, had also cleaned his apartment to get him through Section 8 inspections, and had spent countless hours keeping this guy alive. The only problem was that our YIPPIE friend simply couldn't put the bottle down, even when it was clearly killing him.

I remembered doing something similar myself in the early 1990s when I ran into him (I'll use his initials: DS) wandering the streets totally despondent. He'd made his way to a cafe where a friend worked the counter. The friend plied him with free food and coffee and I sat with him for something like 6 hours, mostly just listening and trying to keep him sane. He was extremely paranoid and was on the verge of a breakdown. The cafe had a garden in back and our mutual friend who worked there kept coming back to check on him. When I said I had to leave, he called and made sure someone else could come pick up DS put him up for the night -- since it was crucial to have someone always with him. Thankfully, with our circle of friends and comrades, we babysat DS and got him through that mental/emotional crisis.

DS could be incredibly annoying and when he got nostalgic could be a broken record retelling stories about the good-ol'-days with the YIPPIES. Yet at times he could get beyond his ego and could be extremely generous, soulful and kind. He also was a litmus test for me; if people saw DS's beauty, despite his annoyances, they were trustworthy people and loyal friends.

Last Monday, the news of his death totally dampened the euphoria of having shut down the port, bringing me to tears. I miss DS.

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Croy
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Dec 17 2011 18:04

I think part of my article I did for the first monthly edition of Freedom is relevant partially. Here's an excerpt.

"Emotionally, it’s a double edged sword. Casual passing comments made by friends can become a depressing reminder of the effectiveness of the brainwashing coming from the state. The media, perhaps the state’s favourite puppet, is everywhere, so it can be a constant and relentless source of torment. It becomes difficult to separate people from their politics, beliefs that they often don’t know they even have. Having such a fundamental disagreement in principal with what is now the norm of the whole world can give the impression that I am always depressed and hate everything. But at the best of times, I can be so passionate about how good things could be I can’t begin to explain it. So over all, my experiences coming from the outside in haven’t been perfect, but what is?"

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communal_pie
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Dec 18 2011 12:16

Condolences for your friend Hiero, that is really hard news and I wish you all the best. I've known a one or two people very similar to how you describe this guy (basically a yippie but an exceptionally nice person underneath, very few are like this in my experience!). I think that it's difficult to deal with the pain and it takes time, if you've friends you can really talk to about it that really helps! It's really good what you and your friend did for him by the sounds of it, if you've done the best you can at the end of the day, that's good enough, what can anyone do friend..

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Dec 18 2011 23:22

Each response to this thread has been interesting. It's sad to hear other people describe their experiences of alienation, anger, and depression... but not unexpected. Sending warm thoughts your way, to all.

wojtek & Caiman del Barrio- Thanks for those links! I did use the word activist and activism in my original post but I don't think I meant it exactly in the way described in those articles. By activism I mean activity aiming for social change, and by activist I mean someone participating in such activity.

just wojtek now - As for being lonely, I recommend the dating site "Ok Cupid" ... I know a couple people who've made important connections through this site. It has a keyword search so you can look for people who have words like "revolution" or "anarchist" in their profile. And the site seems to attract people that just might have such words in their profile.

There's also meetup.com, which is more for making new friends than finding a partner (although there are singles mingle meetups). Friendship is underrated... I think it is a reflection of how alienated and isolated our society is that we rely on romantic/sexual relationships to meet the bulk of our need for human connection.

Melancholy of Resistance - Wow your name really does suit this post! I think others have already given you some good advice. Pikel's suggestion to change jobs is a particularly good suggestion. It's good advice to anyone who hates their job, regardless of their politics. Capitalism provides few options for jobs you will find fulfilling, but you can probably find a job you don't hate. (For many even this is not an option, but if you live in a non-destitute country and have some post-secondary education you probably can.)

As for this...

Quote:
Often I think of just ending this once and for all, taking a sort of ultimate anti-authority stand by completely taking control of my own life by ending it. Grim stuff. Perhaps I should give drink another try?

I really hope you don't take this route. But it's hard to know what to say to convince you otherwise. My instinct is to tell you that there is hope for revolution, and that you can take action to help make that happen. But you also said that

Quote:
I don't pray for a revolution because although I want change, I'm also afraid of what this might change to. Pessimism I know but I don't trust the masses and I certainly don't think I can influence what they do or think.

...and me telling you otherwise probably wouldn't help, I don't think. That would require a much longer discussion and debate. I can only say you sound much like someone I know who is a Trotskyist, depressed, very pessimistic, and thus utterly unengaged politically. We lost touch when he moved, but I heard that he's gotten involved in "activism" in his new town and that he's less depressed. I think being around other likeminded folks is a big help. It sounds like you're around a bunch of wanks at your job. Do you spend time with comrades on the weekends, etc.? That itself might cheer you up, whether it's just hanging out and not political activity.

Oh - and the poem you posted was great! Sums it up for alot of people.

Pikel - Yeah, I can really relate to this:

Quote:
It can be pleasantly surprising when unexpected people turn out to be sympathetic, and unpleasantly surprising when other people mock those views without even attempting to understand them. The least I would ask of people is to try to understand before mocking but frequently this seems to be an unreasonable request. The worst is when you get ganged up on with rapid fire put-downs from several people, which individually would be trivial to riposte but the pressure of expectation and the number of points to deal with leaves you tongue-tied...

And I totally second your advice about animal companions being mood enhancing. And your preference for cats! smile

HorrorHiro - Ah, loneliness... thankfully not something I've dealt with lately but have been painfully familiar with it in the past. I gave some suggestions for this above in my reply to wojtek.

RedEd - Interesting theory on there being a disproportionate amount of unhappy and troubled people in anarchism and why. I have discussed this with a friend before with a similar theory. I myself was attracted to anarchism because of my unhappiness but also the total opposite of that. I was extremely depressed for about five and a half years, made three serious suicide attempts... during that time i was also totally apolitical. Then I quite rapidly overcome my depression and felt so great about life but realized the vast majority of people were still miserable, and knowing how painful that was I passionately wanted to change that. Investigating the sources of people's misery led me to capitalism and other sources of oppression.

I strongly agree with what you say here:

Quote:
I think we ought to also pay attention to other forms of marginalisation within the working class.

Ambrose - I can definitely relate to your frustration. And btw, I think the designing stuff to break down is called planned obsolescence. What type of design course was it? Engineering?

Hieronymous - That's such a sad story. I hope you and his other friends are coping well with this. But I'm also very impressed with what good care you and your comrades took of him. It's probably the most uplifting story I've heard in a while... not his death obviously, but the fact that you all gave so much of yourselves to help him. In his case it didn't work but if everyone rallied around their friends like that when they were down and out, way fewer people would die the way DS did or even get to that state of misery to begin with. And I shouldn't even say that your efforts "didn't work" for DS -- yeah, he drank himself to an early grave, but you'all helped him feel loved during his final years.

Here's wishing it turns out better for the other DSs out there.

acal
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Dec 25 2011 17:00

wrote a long post, found it too pathetical, deleted it and decided to thank you all for posting in this thread.

i do relate with a lot of you, i'm facing some of the hardest times since "gotten political". when i'm in a better mood, i'll try to contribute too. until then, let's try to keep cope with all the shit!

baboon
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Dec 25 2011 17:50

A very moving thread. I liked the poem too.

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Dec 26 2011 01:38

Despair is my normative state. Ended up having a political argument with my granda while eating Christmas dinner earlier, and he has the most reactionary views you can imagine, and frankly he just doesn't have a fucking clue. Speaking with people like that just makes me think there's no hope at all.

petey
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Dec 26 2011 04:03
ultraviolet wrote:
Hieronymous - That's such a sad story. I hope you and his other friends are coping well with this. But I'm also very impressed with what good care you and your comrades took of him.

yes i second this, that was first-class of you and your buds, hieronymous.

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Dec 27 2011 11:29

Yeah, my condolences to ultraviolet and Hieronymous (and anyone else similarly bereaved recently).

I think there are two separate issues here.

One is about "activist" despair, of change not happening or seeming impossible. The other is just more general human despair - general despair about work, futility, loneliness etc.

With the former, as some people have pointed out I think the only remedy for this is that we have to not think that we are going to save the world. Individually we are going to be able to achieve almost nothing. In terms of the political activity we choose, we should focus on doing one or two things which we can fit into our everyday lives, which we enjoy and which are directly related to our everyday lives.

For me, this means organising my work with my colleagues to defend each other and our terms and conditions. This improves my life. That, and helping out with libcom which I enjoy anyway. Other than that I just have fun.

There is no point being a super activist who burns themselves out.

As for the second issue, general human depression, despair, etc. This is a lot trickier, and if any of us knew how to solve that we would probably be rich. In a way I find my politics help me deal with the general futility of existence. Particularly work. When I was younger I used to think that I would get a decent job which I would define myself by. Now I am resigned to working a succession of utterly meaningless jobs, until I'm too old/disabled to work anymore. In a way this sucks - this is the proletarian condition. But in another way I find it easier to deal with now because I no longer expect to enjoy work or find personal validation in my work. I find my personal validation in being a good friend/lover/colleague/libcom instead, and in avoiding work, and helping my co-workers.

If I never get promoted, and never get praise from my boss it doesn't bother me in the slightest. My colleagues like me, my friends like me my girlfriend likes me, so that's what I care about.

So I think that looking for your validation in the right place is extremely important. Of course, this isn't something which you can just switch on and off. But if you are depressed or whatever something like CBT can be useful to help you get out of negative thought cycles.

Just a few thoughts…

Spassmaschine
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Dec 27 2011 13:28

great post, Steven. Couldn't agree more!

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Dec 27 2011 21:35

My condolences to those who have lost friends/family.

Great thread here!

Steven. wrote:
When I was younger I used to think that I would get a decent job which I would define myself by. Now I am resigned to working a succession of utterly meaningless jobs, until I'm too old/disabled to work anymore. In a way this sucks - this is the proletarian condition. But in another way I find it easier to deal with now because I no longer expect to enjoy work or find personal validation in my work. I find my personal validation in being a good friend/lover/colleague/libcom instead, and in avoiding work, and helping my co-workers.

I'm just coming to this same realization, and gearing myself toward more fun and love. And you never know, a cool job might turn up.

Steven. wrote:
But if you are depressed or whatever something like CBT can be useful to help you get out of negative thought cycles.

Meditation/mindfulness (which needn't be woo-wooey; see Jon Kabat-Zinn) is great for dealing with everyday stress. Also, I haven't tried it, but neurofeedback therapy is supposed to be quite helpful in 're-training' your brain towards 'healthy' thought patterns. Sounds crazy, but my uncle tried it with success.

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Jan 4 2012 07:39

acal - Wish you hadn't deleted that long and "pathetical" post! (You should never worry about seeming pathetic... it's part of the human condition, right?) But I understand not wanting to spill your guts out on an internet forum. Hope you do write about it later.

Steven. - Good advice. As for this...

Quote:
As for the second issue, general human depression, despair, etc. This is a lot trickier, and if any of us knew how to solve that we would probably be rich.

Some people do... they're out dealing MDMA. ( grin )

knotwho - This neurofeedback thing sounds awesome! But also expensive... Did your uncle have to pay for it or was it free where he's from? What country does he live in?

Old_Goat - I hope you can find a way to become more optimistic... I used to feel that same despair when debating with hard-headed reactionaries. But the influence of a friend has helped me not feel that way anymore. His advice is summarized in his slogan "build at the margins."

By this he means that our efforts to persuade people politically should be aimed at those whose ideas are already nearish to anarchism. This person is not necessarily a radical -- they might be apolitical or liberal but they have certain beliefs that give them an affinity with aspects of anarchism and thus greater potential to fully embrace it... for example, a belief in the potential for humans to be good and cooperative and peaceful in the right environment ... or a disdain for authority.

So now I don't bother to debate anarchism with reactionaries, and if I do somehow fall into a debate with them I'm unphased when they don't change their mind. I save my hope for those who have more potential.

Another thing is the power of majority beliefs. When you're in a community or social circle where most people think a certain way that tends to have a powerful influence. I know a couple where one person is vegetarian the other omnivore. They started hanging out in a group where there was a couple of vegans (one of them me). Suddenly this guy, the omnivore, started considering animal rights. His partner was surprised because she had tried to persuade him before but it didn't seem to have an effect. Actually in this case omnivores were still the majority in the group, but people who cared about the abuse of animals for food were a big enough minority that it had an effect -- and we never even explicitly tried to change his views. So a good strategy is, if you have a group of anarchist comrades, start inviting non-anarchists to hang out with you... just being around you'all and hearing your political conversations will influence them, probably more than any argument you have with them individually. Another reason this works is probably because in a political debate people become close minded because their goal is defending their views. But hanging out with a bunch of anarchists and just hearing anarchist opinions, without being attacked or challenged directly, they will be more open minded.

Also, if you've worked for a while to try to convince someone, at some point it's probably best to redirect your efforts elsewhere. If you've ever worked in sales or donations canvassing, one thing they teach you is not to waste time on people who are stubbornly uninterested. (Forgive the capitalist analogy, but there is a lesson there.) Almost everyone is uninterested at first, and so we give anyone a try, but after a while we can usually tell if further efforts on this person are going to be wasted or if our time would be better spent on someone else. Maybe someone who seemed really stubborn would have changed their mind eventually, but in the vast majority of cases this won't happen, so it's better to move on.

Lastly, even if it seems like you've failed to persuade someone, you never know if you planted seeds that will blossom later. My friend's mom became vegan after hearing a presentation I gave on animal rights. She had been trying to persuade her mom for years and it hadn't worked. Or had it? I doubt my one presentation would have convinced her if her daughter hadn't been laying the foundation.

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Jan 4 2012 13:49

@ultraviolet

Thanks for the good advice! It probably is best to debate with more sympathetic people, but sometimes I just can't help myself and I get into debates with reactionaries. One of the main problems overall is as soon as the word 'anarchism' or 'communism' comes out I find myself immediately on the defensive and having to explain the terms etc...

Ah well, I suppose I'll keep plugging away at it.

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Jan 4 2012 21:30

I understand! I do still sometimes get into debates with reactionaries, but I remember that it doesn't much matter if I don't succeed in changing their mind, as other people will be more receptive.

Oh, and I try to avoid using the words anarchism, communism, or even socialism until after I've already explained the substance. You'll find that many people are quite sympathetic and supportive of things like direct democracy, collective solidarity, the right for people to have their needs met, and autonomy... i.e. the substance of anarchism... but if you utter the word these same people will close their mind and won't give you a chance to explain yourself. So get them agreeing with the substance first, then you can say, "Oh, and btw, when you put all these things together, some people call that anarchism! That's what I'm into." smile

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Jan 4 2012 21:53

Haha, that's a good tactic. I'll have to try that. Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised though... when I first mentioned Anarchism in history class last year, it turned out the teacher knew all about it and was very sympathetic and even explained it to the class.

Caiman del Barrio
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Jan 5 2012 13:42
ultraviolet wrote:
Quote:
As for the second issue, general human depression, despair, etc. This is a lot trickier, and if any of us knew how to solve that we would probably be rich.

Some people do... they're out dealing MDMA. ( grin )

If you've found a batch of MDMA which doesn't include 3-4 days of mild to serious depression soon after, then please hook me up.

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Jan 5 2012 15:09

This is a really positive thread.
Three small points:
If you are finding political activity depressing you could try and give yourself a political holiday. In my experience, this helps things slip back into focus. If not, take more time out and think over the miss match between the ‘means and ends’ of what you’ve been doing.

One of the down sides of being a human is feeling depressed and to wonder if it’s worth giving a damn. If a reliable ‘soma’ ever hit the market it would be embraced by capitalism, as what would be better for the ruling class, than a working class of perpetually happy drones. Though it may be a poor consolation sometimes to be depressed allows you the opportunity on occasion to be genuinely happy.

None of the political ‘quick fixes’ have proved successful, so better to pace yourself for ‘the long haul’ to free communism, and if it happens to arrive ‘unannounced’ hurrah!

mons
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Jan 5 2012 18:00

Like everyone says, this is a really great thread. Steven's posted a few brilliant posts, especially on 'activism' and how no-one should feel any responsibility towards saving the world or anything. Pretty surprised and impressed people weren't dicks on this thread. A few points...

The idea that capitalism leads to miserable lives, and communism will make us happy is actually a pretty depressing belief (although as a generalisation there's lots of truth in it I reckon). It's perfectly possible to have a happy life under capitalism, and if people get ideas into their head then those ideas become the truth, for them, even if they were wrong before -i.e. if we think it's very hard to have a happy life under capitalism then we're less likely to have one. Similarly, if we say we hate something (in this instance, work - but it could apply to anything) then it becomes really hard to enjoy it. There's no shame in taking as much enjoyment out of work as possible, even if you're literally just doing what the boss wants you to do. There's nothing good, glamorous, working class or communist about hating work (or being in education, etc.), it's really shit, and we should try to enjoy it as much as possible. This is kind of the opposite to what Steven said in his last post about recognising work is shit and thus not be disappointing when it is, and I'm sure there's truth in that as well.

The point about the attitudes, prejudices and beliefs we have influencing the way we experience the world I think is so vital, and it means we can change ourselves when we want to, in ways we want to, change how we relate to others, enjoy things we previously disliked, etc. If we tell ourselves capitalism controls the content of our lives, and deprives us of the freedom to live as we want (all largely true, of course) then that's depressing. Instead, we should stress the freedoms we have despite living in this society and the huge potential we have to affect our lives.

Capitalism is shit, but the world and the social/political/economic system could be so, so, so much worse.

People joking about MDMA and that, but I think drugs/alcohol have a pretty big effect on people in our society, for better and worse. Laow MDMA - Caiman's right about that - but shrooms, acid are something else, and I'm not even joking when I recommend them as a way of getting happier, lots of people say they have lasting effects after you take them but at the very least they show you that there's lots of opportunity for having indescribably amazing experiences. Weed numbs you if you're feeling shit, and it can be fun, but smoke too much and you can become a numb person in general.

Also all that hippy shit about being nice to people helps too, and assuming people are really nice is good, and makes you more likely to see the good in people. Croydonian, you mention people being brainwashed and "having such a fundamental disagreement in principal with what is now the norm of the whole world". I empathise, and know what you mean. It is difficult to oppose so strongly the hegemonic ideas. I imagine if you're part of the 'anarchist community' this isolation might be even more dominating, and lead to a 'us against the world' mindset (I'm not and never have been so that's just speculation). But if you approach it, and people who moreorless subscribe to mainstream politics, in the right way I find people are more open-minded, and have more complex thoughts, than first impressions suggest. I'm pretty open about my politics with friends, although I never really bring them up and don't go on about them. I think a healthy amount of taking the piss out of your politics is good too, shows people you're not some strange, humorless leftist who's out to convert them! Also, ironically, I think not trying to convert people is a pretty effective way of converting people wink Seriously, there's 4 or 5 friends in the couple of years I've been a libertarian communist who'd now call themselves anarchists/communists, partly based on conversations we've had. But the most important thing is to prioritise the friendship over trying to make them agree with your politics. Sometimes when I talk to politico's, especially Trotskyites (but this maybe is just because we've got different politics, whereas no libertarian communist would try to convert me, obviously), it's pretty transparent that the whole conversation is designed to try and convert me, and every word they say is targeted in that direction. It's really off-putting, and I imagine it's pretty dispiriting for the person trying to convert others, as well as being an obstacle to them creating genuine bonds of friendship with others.

Loads of sport or other exercise is always great.

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flaneur
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Jan 7 2012 23:21

Mons, a lot of what you've said is pretty standard psychotherapy fare which is fine if you can get along with it. I always thought it was a cop out to to place the impetus on the person to see things in a different light, rather than solving the real problem of those things being shitty. But horses for courses.

And if you can enjoy your job or work, more power to you. Though I think it's wrong to say there's nothing good about being anti-work, let alone communist. If we ever want to see a mass movement wanting to abolish work, they're presumbly going to need to be sick of it otherwise why bother? I reckon you have fun when you're doing things your boss definitely doesn't want you to do, like dicking about with your mates or skipping out early. It's in these small things that we can feel we're taking back a wee bit of our lives, or at least make the time pass quicker.

mons
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Jan 8 2012 12:55

Yeah solving the real problems is obviously most important, I just think there is some truth in the idea that people's perception of a situation can have an affect on how much they get from the situation. And yeah it'd be better if you get enjoyment from taking time back from bosses, just saying there's nothing good on an individual level about needing to hate work in order to feel more communist. Basically I agree.

wojtek
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Jan 29 2012 11:27

Saw this and thought I'd share it, forget the title of the website.

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bulmer
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Jan 29 2012 12:32

Great thread btw!

I'm in a strange situation now because in so many ways I'm more isolated than I've ever been.

Politically it's hard for me to do much at all. I can't organise in my work place and there are no chance of community organising either. This is a combination of laws in the country I live in and my linguistic isolation from the people surrounding me. I can travel a bit and link up with some anarchists I've met but there's not much chance of me being politically active with them in any meaningful sense. However, its good just to be around like minded people.

Even though my political and social views are a huge part of who I am, this lack of being able to express myself politically in the real world hasn't made me depressed tbh (and I've been in and out of depression since my pre-teens). In fact, I'm happier than I've ever been. I'm content for the first time in my life. It's strange but it's true.

I have a job that I love, even though I'm at work for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week (that said, this time isn't all working and I can get 3 months holiday a year). In the UK, I never had a job I loved after the first few weeks doing it. It soon became tedious and laborious and I tried to find any way I could to do other things on the job that wasn't my work and getting away with the absolute bare minimum. The job isn't perfect and it has it's problems but I find it rewarding and fun.

I also have an amazing girlfriend who helps me out so much. Plus, even though I can't communicate with people as much as I'd like at the moment, the people that live and work around me are so courteous and welcoming compared to what I've been used to. It's just frustrating that I can't make more friends because of the language.

There is a part of me that thinks I'll have to go back to the UK in the near future for me to be able to contribute to the 'struggle' more (mainly anyway but it's not the only reason). I do think that you are more valuable politically in a place where you are accepted as a normal member of the community and I will never have that where I live now and I know it. But there are other things in life to focus on.

When I look in to the future I see myself living in the UK, but I'm not sure I can have a happier life there. Maybe it won't happen, I don't know. For now I don't care though.

wojtek
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Feb 2 2012 16:45

Mic Righteous' smile is so infectious! smile

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ultraviolet
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Feb 9 2012 04:01

wojtek - nice video. corny, but got the job done (got me smiling!).

bulmer -

bulmer wrote:
Politically it's hard for me to do much at all. I can't organise in my work place and there are no chance of community organising either. This is a combination of laws in the country I live in and my linguistic isolation from the people surrounding me.

Shitty! Where do you live, I wonder, where the laws prevent workplace organizing? (Feel free to ignore that question if you don't want to post on the internet where you live.)

bulmer wrote:
Even though my political and social views are a huge part of who I am, this lack of being able to express myself politically in the real world hasn't made me depressed tbh (and I've been in and out of depression since my pre-teens). In fact, I'm happier than I've ever been. I'm content for the first time in my life. It's strange but it's true.

Yeah, I think that would make any of us here depressed... I'm glad that at least you have other good things going for you in your life right now.

bulmer wrote:
I have a job that I love, even though I'm at work for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week (that said, this time isn't all working and I can get 3 months holiday a year).

That's a fucking intense job! What are you a teacher or professor or something? (That's the only job I can think of with really long hours but long vacation too.)

bulmer wrote:
It's just frustrating that I can't make more friends because of the language.

I know how much that sucks... I hate being in that type of situation! But at least it probably won't be long before you become fluent.

bulmer wrote:
There is a part of me that thinks I'll have to go back to the UK in the near future for me to be able to contribute to the 'struggle' more (mainly anyway but it's not the only reason). [...]

When I look in to the future I see myself living in the UK, but I'm not sure I can have a happier life there. Maybe it won't happen, I don't know. For now I don't care though.

That's rough... luckily I don't have to choose between living in a place I like and doing political work... I would hate to have to choose... I'm pretty sure I'd choose to go to the place where I thought I'd be more politically effective... but it wouldn't be easy. If you go back to UK I hope you manage to find better happiness there than the last time!

blackout
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Feb 13 2012 11:23

Wrote a big narcissistic thread about having a positive outlook, deleted it.

The biggest f-you to capitalism is never letting it get you down. Keep kicking against the pricks, but don't be an ascetic.

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Steven.
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Feb 13 2012 20:18

I would be interested to read what you wrote blackout.

Ultraviolet, that poster is living in China at the moment, hence the laws

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Picket
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Feb 13 2012 20:41
Steven. wrote:
I would be interested to read what you wrote blackout.

Me too. Lately I find it very difficult to imagine how anyone with a brain in their head could possibly be optimistic. Spill the beans.

blackout
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Feb 18 2012 22:58

Ah, I'll be back when I have time.

Edit 15 hours later: Sorry that sounded really flippant, I meant I'm busy with something and will respond fully when I've got a chance.

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