Job Opportunities...

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 16 2004 10:21
Job Opportunities...

Is it okay for @'s to work for companies we would deem unprincipled? Im asking this because even if we intend to be politically active while under there employment, arent we still aiding them?

This sort of follows on from the Mcdonalds thread, because I cant envisage how I could ever justify to myself working there... neutral

WeTheYouth
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Mar 16 2004 11:37

Well yeah of course its okay, your going to have to work for a company that goes against anarchists ideals wether its macdonalds or the local supermarket.

However much we hate working for capitalist scum bags, we need the money, and me personally will not keep putting all economic responsibility for me on my parents.

phoebe
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Mar 16 2004 12:54

I've been considering doing work that really deeply goes against a lot of my beliefs (it's quite a lot worse than McDonald's but not quite as bad as becoming a cop) recently because I need the cash. I'm not going to like it if I do end up doing that. What I feel though is that the only thing that's really wrong is if you choose to take an unethical job whilst you've got the opportunity to do something else.

The Boy
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Mar 16 2004 15:13

christ, I used to work in a bank - ya don't get much worse than that! Seriously though, what Phoebe said. We all need to make money, and at the end of the day there is nothing stopping you from trying to "turn" your colleagues (sp?) black bloc

redyred
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Mar 16 2004 16:52

yeah, the whole ethical jobs thing is just middle class dreaming. In reality you've got to make a living where you can. Anyway, it's better to be in the inside of things agitating. When you get a job you put yourself on the front line of class struggle.

blackcladmessenger
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Mar 16 2004 17:01

What are people's thoughts on politico's that take jobs as soft cops. i.e security guards, city centre wardens etc?

Although i agree 'Ethical' jobs are a tad middle class fantasy, some people ive met over the years seem to take this exscusse to far. Eg working for oil companies in the Middle East etc.

phoebe
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Mar 16 2004 17:07

I dunno if it is middle class dreaming. I'd like to work in nursing or care work or teaching or anything else like that because I feel that I'd be able to do something which I could feel good about in a job like that. Those are good relatively non-bourgeois non-middle-class-ghetto unionised jobs and they help people directly. However I don't have the qualifications or skills to get into them right now or the time to get those because I just need cash. I'll probably find out some way of getting from where I am now to doing a job that I won't feel undermined by cause I'm a wage slave or because the work I do supports the oppression of myself and/or others (and the work I'm considering taking on right now does do that in my opinion so...).

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 16 2004 17:12
blackcladmessenger wrote:
What are people's thoughts on politico's that take jobs as soft cops. i.e security guards, city centre wardens etc?

quote]

This is partially where my thoughts were leading me, precisely what is a grey job. I understand that most @ are either in productive or caring professions but what would people think about other professions... confused

blackcladmessenger
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Mar 16 2004 17:21

phoebe, yeah i wasn't so much thinking of the professions you mentioned, personally i work in a job that i think helps people to a certain extent and cert doesnt oppress them. I was more thinking of 'ethical' jobs like working for an NGO or some such thing like that.

phoebe
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Mar 16 2004 17:31
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What are people's thoughts on politico's that take jobs as soft cops. i.e security guards, city centre wardens etc?

Um, depends. Judging other people seems to be harder ground (at least for me), especially when it's on that kind of thing, because there's various stuff that can be done to drain the system from within etc and if that's the last job going and you can't find anything else then I'm definitely not going to criticise anyone doing it. You hardly ever know what someone else's situation is y'know?

I was a steward at a certain Surrey-based music festival and my job was basically spotting watching for fence jumpers. I spent most of the weekend watching the bands, ignoring fence jumpers and only notified security when one guy started causing a whole bunch of shit for absolutely no reason and I didn't wanna get smacked in the face by this guy for minimum wage. I felt somewhat good about it because some other jobsworth doing that job would have deprived some kids who are probably short of cash (and most of the jumpers were kids) of a free gig.

phoebe
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Mar 16 2004 17:34
blackcladmessenger wrote:
phoebe, yeah i wasn't so much thinking of the professions you mentioned, personally i work in a job that i think helps people to a certain extent and cert doesnt oppress them. I was more thinking of 'ethical' jobs like working for an NGO or some such thing like that.

oh yeah, ethical in inverted commas, that one...

redyred
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Mar 16 2004 18:46

yeah, that's what i meant by "ethical" too. Or stuff like becoming a manager of some sort in a fair trade company. It's just conscience clearing on a bigger scale really, with added hypocracy.

nastyned
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Mar 16 2004 20:20

some jobs are obviously out (cops, etc) but for me it's mainly the old wobbly one that you can't take a job that has the power of hiring and firing.

Kalashnikov_Blues
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Mar 17 2004 00:39

I deem my job more and more unethical the longer I am at it.

partially cuz I find out more about it.

Somedays I ignore it and other days it really gets me down.

And it is actually a driving factor in me looking for another job.

What I am actually trained in isn't unethical, but the company I work for and its affiliates are.

However that rational doesn't cut it for me as every day I am there I am perpetuating the bullshit.

I would suggest that if you think it might affect you negativly, to avoid it, though as I said, this is only my POV, but it does affect me.

And thats not even ouching on the issues of management, worker apathy etc etc...

How about if you were to work for the media... funny actually I was thinkin about this on the tube today... What about if you were to work in marketing? While there are aspects of marketing that are positive, I don't see it as anything but legal conartists and paid liers (the woman across from me was reading Marketing Weekly which is where that thought stems, not that I'm saying she was a lier...)

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 17 2004 15:25

I suppose that if you want to be a practicing anarchist and subvert the system you wont work for anyone, no matter how 'principled' or consumer friendly that company is.

A trully anarchist means of subsistence would probably involve the use of fraud, theft and home grown vegetables.

A lifestyle that would both negate the necessity of selling yourself and subvert the system of organised capital. However due to the illegality of such a lifestyle the likelyhood is that anarchists like everyone else will end up descending into conformity by working for whichever philanthropist is kind enough to employ his/her labour

blackcladmessenger
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Mar 17 2004 16:30
Quote:
suppose that if you want to be a practicing anarchist and subvert the system you wont work for anyone, no matter how 'principled' or consumer friendly that company is.

A trully anarchist means of subsistence would probably involve the use of fraud, theft and home grown vegetables.

Ala the 'Illegalists'!

Most anarchists i know have spent the most part of their adult lives avoiding employment. I managed eight years before getting a job, although i am not putting the prospect of some time away from wage slavery out of the possibilities for the near future!

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 17 2004 16:39

eight years is admirable.

I think one of the other ways of avoiding actually going to work, although it is a dubious one because it still involves being part of the market, is getting into producing cultural commodities like pamphlets, books, music, art etc.

Although such a move would involve an implicit acceptance of commodity relations and as a result a concession it would nevertheless allow some free-play. Of course the sector of culture is a rather elite one, and making such a concession wouldnt be easy.

blackcladmessenger
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Mar 17 2004 16:51
Quote:
I think one of the other ways of avoiding actually going to work, although it is a dubious one because it still involves being part of the market, is getting into producing cultural commodities like pamphlets, books, music, art etc.

Although such a move would involve an implicit acceptance of commodity relations and as a result a concession it would nevertheless allow some free-play. Of course the sector of culture is a rather elite one, and making such a concession wouldnt be easy.

I think it would be quite hard to make any money doing this without a hell of a lot of compromise. Even if you are a 'radical' publisher you are more likely to put out endless books by Chomsky rather than someone more obscure (AK Press?), because Chomsky will sell, he is on Uni reading lists, in corporate bookshops etc. Within the realms of Music there is of course Chumbawamba. And i'm sure there are many other examples.

blueporta
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Mar 17 2004 17:43

i guess im in a luckier position to some extent in that ive worked as a homeless resettlement worker for seven years and now work as a floating support worker with ex homeless. ive also worked in a project for crack and heroin addicts and i feel to some extent i am doing positive, useful work within my community, albeit for a crap wage. however, even this work involves a degree of compromise - half my bloody job is about securing funding for the next financial year and its becoming increasingly target driven and less about the people who matter. i reckon nearly any job you take up involves being ordered and pushed about by some dickhead spotty boss but i also absolutely would not work for anyone who i know in my heart was not to some extent "ethical". hypocrisy is a luxury i cant afford. red n black star

phoebe
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Mar 17 2004 22:03
blueporta wrote:
but i also absolutely would not work for anyone who i know in my heart was not to some extent "ethical". hypocrisy is a luxury i cant afford. red n black star

I kinda take offence at that, largely because the implication is that those of us forced into work which we disagree with are mere hypocrits. I guess we're all hypocrits on some level but it just felt like a snipe at those who've got no prospect for supporting themselves beyond breaking their own principles.

Basically the option that I've been mentioning that goes against my principles that I've been considering has been the possibility of going into the trans end of the sex industry. The trans end regularly involves a sadistic client base who target trans people because they're regarded as more disposable and less human than a lot of other folks. Working in that part of the industry necessarily involves playing up to parts of that and in part encouraging it, as well as reinforcing the place of transsexuals as perverse curiosities to be used by others for our bodies.

I'm still searching around for other jobs I could be doing to avoid that (and think I've found one). However, if I end up doing it the last thing I need or deserve is someone calling me a hypocrit because it's simply not my fault that I can't get a job elsewhere.

There's plenty of times a person just can't help doing a job that goes against their principles.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 18 2004 17:14

If you work for a company such as esso or hsbc and are not able to pluck up the courage to in some way screw them over, whilst calling yourself an anarchist then how exactly do you propose that nay real change in society is to come about.

Although it involves the discarding of all inhibitions and stigma, disobedience at work and organisation of dissent and resistance is one of the most obvious and effective means of actually attempting to subvert the system. We have to assault the capitalist organisation of life at its heart, starting with a refusal or subversion of work.

Clearly this is easier said than done, but it is neccesary.

phoebe
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Mar 18 2004 17:35
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
If you work for a company such as esso or hsbc and are not able to pluck up the courage to in some way screw them over, whilst calling yourself an anarchist then how exactly do you propose that nay real change in society is to come about.

To be honest I haven't been in a job that I consider crappy without running a few scams. I would think this is quite common in low-paid work where one isn't doing a job that they care for anyway politics or not.

Quote:
Although it involves the discarding of all inhibitions and stigma, disobedience at work and organisation of dissent and resistance is one of the most obvious and effective means of actually attempting to subvert the system. We have to assault the capitalist organisation of life at its heart, starting with a refusal or subversion of work.

I don't think there is that much stigma around screwing your employers when they deserve it (ie I wouldn't say that the employers deserve being screwed over if I was working in the NHS because the employers are essentially the general tax-paying public [not that I'd be against industrial action of course but that's different], but working a minimum wage service job I'd steal anything I could get away with)

Quote:
Clearly this is easier said than done, but it is neccesary.

It's quite often pretty easily done.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 18 2004 17:52

Its easy as in skipping days at work, spending long periods in breaks, not actually working or working particularly slowly, etc, activities which waste time which is supposed to be spent in work, but in terms of actually involving yourself in active resistance, stealing from the company (especially if in retail), leaving subversive literature around the place, giving out false and counter information (if in the information industry) etc etc, isnt so easy to begin with, it definately involves a release from convention which often cant be easy for some people.

blueporta
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Mar 18 2004 18:05

i seem to have offended some people with my comment about hypocrisy, which is fair enough, on reflection i was out of order, but at least i admit it. i understand that you have to compromise yer ideals just to keep yer head above water, i drive a car and im up to my eyes in "consumer" debt, im not sayin for one second im any better than anyone, just that personally, i have worked hard to ensure the work i have to do is hopefully useful to my community and is fulfilling for me too. i appreciate that a lot of people arent in a position to choose and to that extent im lucky. dont call me middle class though, eh.

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 19 2004 11:10
revol68 wrote:
as if to confirm my suspicions of anarchism being a lifestylist pile of shite.... this thread in itself shows on the whole how anarchism is now a moralistic lifestyle choice.

Fair do's I think your right (although very central to anarchism is practicing what you actually preach) but I find that certain professions are quite oppossed to our outlook, for example I dont envisage people in property selling or commission based sales being very favourable to our ideas.....

phoebe
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Mar 19 2004 11:48
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
Its easy as in skipping days at work, spending long periods in breaks, not actually working or working particularly slowly, etc, activities which waste time which is supposed to be spent in work, but in terms of actually involving yourself in active resistance, stealing from the company (especially if in retail), leaving subversive literature around the place, giving out false and counter information (if in the information industry) etc etc, isnt so easy to begin with, it definately involves a release from convention which often cant be easy for some people.

stealing from work is pretty easy as long as your work doesn't figure out where stuff is disappearing (or if you're lucky if your work doesn't even know it's going). Bar jobs are easy: scamming the tills so that you don't clock up as much as the customers are buying and quietly pocket the excess etc as well as nicking stock which is hard to track down. Shelf-stacking at a major supermarket harder (cameras, however I know tje one I worked at lost a huge amount each year in stolen goods, like around £1million a year or something stupid, so other folks must have found a way around it) but the toilets were kept well-decorated with various graffiti and generally being fairly slow about things is easy enough (noone ever seems to work fast in supermarkets). I've never done factory stuff. It should be fairly easy with a bit of imagination to fuck over anywhere.

domina
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Mar 19 2004 12:16

phoebe, when you were going on about going into the trans end of the sex industry and how it would be degrading or whatever, there are part sof the sex industry which aint to bad... such as what I'm gonna do domination... trans are well sought after and it means YOU get to use people and abuse them and totally have the power to do as you feel.... and it pays well...

phoebe
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Mar 19 2004 13:04
domina wrote:
phoebe, when you were going on about going into the trans end of the sex industry and how it would be degrading or whatever, there are part sof the sex industry which aint to bad... such as what I'm gonna do domination... trans are well sought after and it means YOU get to use people and abuse them and totally have the power to do as you feel.... and it pays well...

The one other trans person I know in the sex industry is a domme and whilst there's no shortage of business, she's has had people try to pull all kinds of scary shit. I've been considering it myself cause it's not as bad as other stuff. I mean part of the issue would for me be that being a trans domme would be pandering to trans fetishisation and that's an issue for me too. As I said, I think I've found a job so I don't need to go into that stuff (not that I'm denigrating prodomming as a means to a wage - I think I'd probably enjoy it - but as a relative noob with no resources the idea scares me a whole lot and I'd prefer going into care work like I think I'm going to be able to). If I did go into prodomming I'd probably do it as non-trans anyway and I pass well enough as non-trans these days to pull it off probably and I'd be cool with that. As I said though, domming requires resources (equipment and a place of work) and I don't really have either.

Also I'm slightly wary of the fact that the sex industry can be hard to get out of once you're in it for various reasons (you can't put sex worker on a CV and explaining why you've been unemployed during the period might be difficult).