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November 23, 2021 42 mins

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to America. It's not great. Here's a podcast, all right,
this is this is it could happen here the podcast
Welcome it is if you're an international listener and you're
not American. That was really get the fuck off of
our podcast, just like left people all like, are you

(00:24):
going to do one for every other country? I think
they're being rude for barging in the internet is clearly
American soil. I would pay good money for a wackos things.
But with Robert saying all the all the countries of
the world, well, you know what you need to do
in order to be able to pay good money for
something Garrison, you need to you need to. You need

(00:45):
to get money by by working well to be born rich.
But if you're not born rich, you have to work.
And a lot of people are saying what if we did,
what if we didn't? And now they have a subreddit
And that's what we're talking about to day anti work.
Uh not just the subreddit, but that's why we're talking
about it today because the anti work subreddit has grown hugely,

(01:08):
um and it's got like a milli it's or it's
it's like doubled. It's been around for years. It's more
than doubled. It's it's almost. It's almost. Yeah, it's it's
it's well, I'll have the numbers for later. Yeah yeah, okay, great.
UM So, Garrison, why don't you kick us off? Now
that I've let everyone know what to expect, will stop
working UM in solidarity with the anti work movement. Thanks

(01:30):
Robert UM, You're welcome. So yeah, the past few months,
if you're anything like us, um and and if you're
online in the same ways that we are, you've you've
probably seen like a flurry of posts and screenshots depicting
text conversations between like an employee and their boss. Typically,
the boss like asks them to come in when they

(01:50):
said they were going to have to be have to
have having to have time off or something. The employee objects,
the boston gets mad and makes threats and demands the
employee be a better team player or some bullshit like that.
Um and and then like the employee said something like
well you know what, actually I quit, good luck filling
the shift now buy and then the boss like pleads
that the now former employee comes back and offers like

(02:12):
concessions and end of screenshots. So pretty soon this type
of like screenshotted text conversation became like a meme format
with with people joking and obviously like staging fake ones
as well. Uh, you know, similar to the scene I
just described. But but but by all accounts, this trend
started incredibly like sincerely with with genuine text conversations showcasing

(02:34):
like worker abuse um and and uh you know, bosses
being unreasonable and cruel um and some people putting their
jobs just to stand up for themselves and um, all
the stuff is kind of tied up in the worker
shortage kind of miss the great resignation as a as
a loud yes yeah people of people resigning. And then
you know a lot of like big companies complaining about

(02:56):
worker shortages um and and central to this like text
conversation online kind of meme trend thing and and employee
resignations is a subredit called anti work. So the antiwork
subredit has has been a growing place specifically the past year. Um.
Their motto is unemployment for all, not just for the rich. Uh.

(03:19):
It's a it's a good good it is it is
a solid it's a solid botto of their their their
own like a description is uh a subredit for those
who want to end work, are curious about ending work,
want to get the most out of a work free life,
want more information on anti work ideas, and want personal
help with their own jobs slash work related struggles. So

(03:40):
back in back in February, um it only the subord
it's been around, But back in February it had like
two hundred and thirty five thousand UM subs, and now
it has over one point one million UM It's grown.
Most of that growth has been in the past two months.
Uh it's it has kind of kind of exploded in popularity.

(04:02):
Um and actually it got it got so big, and
there's so many posts on it that they have to
they have they have now they have to like restrict
text message conversation screenshots to only being allowed to be
posted like on one day a week, just because of
the intense influx of of these posts, you know, some
of them genuine, others maybe not so much. Um And

(04:23):
And even though the suburn it may not be the
biggest in terms of like subscribers, um it's it has
more like daily posts than something like the Wall Street
bets suburb it has, so even though it doesn't have
as many subscribers, the amount of actual like posting on
it is is higher than a lot of other suburates
as well, So it is it is growing in popularity,

(04:46):
like in in in multiple ways. It feels a little
bit right now like the social media equivalent of at
of a sort of Dama lea. It's like Wall Street
bets made a not insignificant uh splash earlier this year.
It was it was quite a thing for the national
economy for a little while there. Um and Anti Work
hasn't had that moment, but I kind of feel like

(05:07):
it might be getting close to critical mass, Like something,
something might come out of this um which I think
would be rad For for the record, I think would
be rad absolutely, And you know, it may not be
one big thing, but it could be a lot of
smaller things, right. You know, sometimes it's harder to see
bigger change when you're like having more anarchist adjacent ideas

(05:30):
and and and the and the anti works that when
it does does try to keep itself being a radical
suborb and does trying to fight off neoliberal sentiments and stuff,
And there have been there have been some complaints. I've
seen a people being like, ah, the liberals have gotten
in and and people are talking about like, well, I
just really want a life that's like I'm not stressed
all the time, and I have enough money for for

(05:51):
bills and stuff. Like people have been talking about like, oh,
this job, Like I I left my old job and
I got into a better situation. That's good. And there's
complaints about that. And I think it is important to
like push against de radicalizing the sub credit. But I
don't think it's bad that you're getting a lot of
liberals in there who are not turned off by the
name anti work um, and I think that's I think

(06:14):
it's positive that that they're even if they're you know,
they're not coming at it from kind of a revolutionary perspective.
But hey, it's okay to quit my job if if
the conditions are shipped and try to find a place
where I'm treated better. If that's their in road to
this kind of thought, I still think that's pretty pretty awesome. Yeah, absolutely, yeah,
because I mean it's not realistic for every single person.

(06:38):
Well and actually it is realistic for every single person
to quit their job, but it's it's not realistic for
only a few people to write and sometimes if if
not if if everyone's not going to do it, like
literally everyone. Then he knows some people can't can't afford
to quit their job um right now because they have
like kids, defeat or whatever um for themselves or you know,
there's a lot there's a lot of reasons, which I'll

(06:58):
kind of talk a little bit more about later. So
and so the term anti work just does not does
not come from the subredit um. And anti work has
been like a post left term for a while now,
and it kind of kind of applies to a broad
spectrum of like anarchist adjacent kind of thought around, Hey,

(07:20):
if we're gonna if we're gonna question like capitalism, uh
and the state, we should probably also question just the
idea of work itself and how it functions, and how
the state kind of works only possible with the state,
and and it's that specific line line of thinking. UM.
A few examples of like of like you know, seminal
anti work books UM is. One of them is Bob

(07:44):
Black's The Abolition of Work. UM. Crime Think has a
really good book just called work, which is another another
one that gets referenced a lot even even in the
subredit And also Bullshit Jobs by David Graber and uh
Bullshit Jobs was also kind of partially inspired by Blacks
the abolition of work. Um, all of those are are
great resources and uh specifically like bullshit Jobs is great

(08:07):
in like a like a for a modern outlook on this,
like Bob Black's book was written, was written a while ago,
and the Bullshit Jobs is definitely very timely and even
even even crimes things. Work book also also addresses stuff
or even though it wasn't not written within the past.
I think it is maybe slightly older than than a decade,
but I think that they are updating it with more

(08:28):
information about like the gig economy and stuff like that. Yeah,
and it's it's not as it's characterized as as anti
work is often characterised by critics. It's not saying like
nobody should have to do anything in a way, it's
not Actually we'll talk about Diogenes later. Um, but it's
not everyone should just like lay around and do nothing.
It's people shouldn't have to do the thing that we

(08:51):
call work, which is destroy your body or your mind
or both. Uh, most of your waking hours, most of
your life. The hope that you'll get ten years as
an old person to not do that, and and and
and a little bit that that that's bad. That's a
bad way to be a person, like a bad way
to have to be And it's not bad to do that,
it's it's bad that you have to do that. Yeah, yeah,

(09:14):
and I mean and and there is a there is
a little bit of it that is about finding time
to chill out, which which was just going to apply
a lot of you know, a lot of the ways
if you have to keep a job, you know, the
different ways you can you can go about that job
that does that makes it so doesn't like kill you.
One of my favorite ways to think about anti work
is just like anti capitalism put into actual practice. So
it's sort of you know, just debating online about anti

(09:36):
capitalism as some you know, future things like no, like
what can you do to actually you know, make capitalism
less important part of how you live your life every day,
which means you know, not obsessing over careers and all
these kind of other things. So I think I think,
first of all, it might be useful to kind of
think about, like what do we actually mean by work
because works kind of a works like a it's it

(09:57):
has a lot of definitions to be depending on what's
like you depend depending on like what you mean by it, right,
Is it just like wage labor? Is it just forced labor? Um?
You know, is cooking for yourself or your family considered work?
But not always? But you know, like at times when
I when when I when I'm like relaxed, I quite
enjoy cooking for friends and family. But but certainly, but

(10:17):
certainly it can feel like work sometimes, especially if you
especially if you just got home from like a work shift,
so in a way, like work creates more work. Um,
And it's it's not it's it's it kind of it's
doesn't It isn't just it isn't just about like wage
labor or something. It can kind of apply to a
lot of ways about how you live your life. You know,
there's a lot of looking laying down wood chips or sod.

(10:41):
If that's like your job, every day can be like
a miserable, backbreaking process. If you actually have a huge
yard or like own a little bit of land and
you're making your own garden, that can be an intensely
like the best part of your week. It can be
a great Yeah, yeah, it's it's not. The problem is
not the individual tasks necessary early, it's what work is

(11:01):
as a as a a platonic kind of concept in
our society. Yeah, not and and again one of the things,
and I think this is one of the things speaking
of you talked about David Graber earlier, who's a an
anarchist anthropologist and widely seen to be like one of
the most brilliant anthropologists of his generation. He did. He
recently deceased, but a book that he wrote before he

(11:22):
died with another uh and another fellow, came out recently
called The Dawn of Everything that talks a lot about
how Yeah, these ideas, that kind of capitalism has a
vested interest in you believing that the world was always
hard in the way that it's hard, by which I
mean like, in order to get basic necessities you have

(11:44):
to make somebody else rich um or find some grift
of your own. And as opposed to like, yeah, life
is always hard, but life wasn't didn't always involve labor
the way we think about it. Labor has not been
a constant in human civilization. In fact, most of humans
realization people have not done a thing that we would
recognize as labor. And I think also even if you

(12:05):
go towards things that like look more like labor to us, right,
Like I don't know, like look look like if you
look at like feudal levies, right, you're a peasant. You
have to give some amount of grain to your lord.
But like, okay, we work way longer than medieval peasants did.
And not only do we work longer is something Greaper
and David Beno talk about in that book, is like, yeah,
like not only do we work much longer, Like the

(12:26):
amount that we work would have been considered absolutely, like
even even a feudal lord would look at that much
work and go no, like this is this is this
is like and you know, and I think there's there's
another great hasn't. As another point um he wrote a
piece called Turning Modes of Production inside Out where he
has this argument that like, okay, so if if you

(12:46):
take you know, if you take like Plato, right, you're
like you take any of the Greek philosophers, even the
conservative ones, and you show them this the thing, the
thing that we do every day. Right, you know, you
have your you're completely under the command of another person
for like at least a third probably more of your day. Yeah,

(13:06):
I monitor you and Garrison's bathroom breaks. I look at
your texts with family and friends. Um, it's it's really situation. Yeah,
it's an incredibly strict surveillance state. From Robert Evans. Yeah yeah,
this is like like you know, if you show a
Greek person that this is like this is the apocalypse
to them, this is this is the worst thing that
could possibly happen. It's every single person in society has

(13:30):
like essentially been reduced to a slave, and you know
that's bad and it doesn't have to be like it's
not that they've been because I want to push back
on that terminology because it can go to some uncomfortable places.
It's not that they are treated as a slave. It's
that in the hours in which they are expected to labor,

(13:50):
there's a societal expectation that they act as the property
of whoever owns the business or manages them. Right. The
idea of like if it if it like that, that
attitude from like like working in a kitchen or or
working at a fast food restaurant, like if you lean,
if you're if you can lean, you can clean, Like
that attitude is saying you do not have any autonomy

(14:11):
when you are at work, you are the property of
the of the employer while you are at work. Um,
I think, yeah, and I think and I think, you know,
but I think the specific thing with Greece is that, like,
you know, you the only way you could do that
to someone in Greece is if you owned them. Yeah,
Like you know, I'm like, the grease has wage labor, right,
but the only people who like it has wage labor,
but it has wage labor for slaves. And that's like

(14:33):
it right, like this, you know, and this is this
is not like obviously not to say that, like you know,
we're like having a job is the same thing as slavery,
But it's just to say that, like the kinds of
things that we think of as normal, like are things
that like the people who you know that the people
who run the system and the people who you know
get cited all the time justify stuff would have looked

(14:55):
at as like the worst thing that could possibly have
happened to a society. Yeah, like daily life for a
very substantial chunk of of the American workforce is that
would be a nightmare to large percentages of the human
population prior to the modern period. Like it's it's and

(15:17):
and if you think about it that way, like one
of the things Graab does a good job of going
into UM is like the way in which uh and
this is also something that comes up in in in
Tribe by younger, the way in which, like, during the
early period of colonization of North America, UM, it was
very common for you know, Europeans to leave the cities

(15:41):
and in towns being established behind um and and join
up with indigenals, with the tribes. The reverse never happened,
like like not willingly, not without kidnapping being a part
of it. UM. And it's because like their attitude was,
they were looking at the lives these people were living
in these cities and like, well, why would you agree
to do that? And Um, this is turning anyway, Garrison,

(16:04):
you should you should take us back on the rails.
This is getting more but first time for products. You
know what has nothing to do with the fact that
human beings are forced to labor for basic necessities in
order to keep up a system that steals the freedom
of the many in order to provide impossible liberty to

(16:25):
the few. You know what isn't related to that. Sure,
the advertise industrial complex not has nothing to do with it,
totally unrelated. Why would you say that? Garrison? By the way,
did you know that McDonald's seg muffin is turning fifty
years old and it's giving the breakfast they're they're they're
they're selling it for its original price of sixty three

(16:46):
cents during breakfast hour six am to ten thirty am,
exclusively on the McDonald's app. I can't, I can't do
you guys? Do you guys want mcmuffins for sixty three cents?
That's the original price. I wonder what else the McDonald's
app is looking at on my phone? Any way, here's
some mats. Oh, we're back and we're talking about anti work.

(17:16):
We're talking about how works kind of bullshit for our jobs.
Um yeah, yeah, we sure are, We sure are. So
you know, like there is there there's a lot of
people who like enjoy stuff like gardening, fishing, carpentry, cooking,
and even like you know, just fighting this fighting computer
programming just for their own sake. Like a lot of

(17:37):
the stuff that we like, quote unquote needs to need
for society to function. A lot a lot of those
things people like doing as hobbies in their spirits. For
for example, if you're a police officer, gunning down a
man in cold blood might be kind of like your
day job and like frustrating, and there's a lot of
ship you have to deal with. If you're a mass shooter, though,
you just love it. You know, you're just doing it.

(17:58):
It's not work, it's not I mean for a mash
that is that is exactly what the cow writtenhouse thing
is though like like like like like actually like literally
that that that is what that is. This is we
I mean, we're not going to get the verdict today.
It doesn't look like not today, which isn't but by
the time this airs, it may already be done. Um.
But anyway, like a lot of a lot of people

(18:18):
like doing those things without getting paid, and sometimes you know,
often like costing themselves money. Right, A lot of these
hobbies are you know, are costly in their own in
their own right, um. And I think it's interesting to
you know, think, think of a society where you're well,
you're free to do those things when you feel like it,
and you don't need to drag yourself out of bed
at you know, early in the morning to work to

(18:39):
work a ten hour shift as like a cash register.
And it's not just even when you feel like it,
because there will be things that you have to do,
even if I will discuss this letter get yeah, yeah yeah,
in any like yeah, but there is it's not work
if you're if you're going out and harvesting food that
feeds you in your community. That's not like work in
the sense that we talk about modern work. The amount

(19:00):
of extra energy we have by not having ten hour
horrible shifts that drain ourselves mentally and physically and more
in with you know, the amount of most of the
work that we people do, as shown in David Graper's
bull bullshit Jobs, is like not necessary. Like a lot
of like a lot of the work that we do
as a whole is not There's there's some squibbling about

(19:21):
because the book was based off of a study, like
a survey that kind of showed a lot of very
significant chunk of the workforce thinks their job is like
pointless and doesn't do anything, And there's been some criticisms
of that, but it is undoubted that a very significant
amount of total labor time spent is stuff that isn't
necessary for really like reason of like making people's lives better.

(19:43):
And another part of like anti work theories is looking
is looking at our society as it's built, you know,
because it is it is HyG to anarchism, and be
like how much of this is actually necessary? Like how
do we do we really need a mac rib? Like
do we do? We? We do? What do you? What
do you Garrison? Do we do not need to macrib?

(20:05):
We do not? Did the company training? And they the
company training says you can't attack someone for their religion,
and Garrison just attacked the McRib, So that actually is
you know, it is a religion for a lot of people.
Did you see that there there? They they did sell
a macribb n FT a few weeks ago. Um and

(20:27):
tell me that ship that is so upsetting, thank god
damn it. Yeah yeah, just saying society with no money
would not have so gosh. You know, I think thinking
of like anti work as as the theory. You know,
it's about cutting down those those unnecessary things that fill
people's time. Um. And you know and for a more

(20:52):
you know, forward forward looking sense. It's it's a general
kind of like a like abolition of the producer and
consumer based society. Um. So you know, life is not
dedicated to the production and consumption of of goods and commodities.
So you know this this applies not not just a
capitalism but also to you know, like state socialism um,
where you know, work is still you know, a big

(21:13):
part of state socialism UM. And I think you know
it's humans. It's it's it posits the future that humans
can be way, way, way more free when they you know,
can reclaim their time from jobs and employment, um, instead
of you know, spending a lot of their time doing
that and spending spending a lot of like not just time,
but also just like their energy. Right, because even if
you work, you know, eight hours a day, you still

(21:34):
have a majority of the day to yourself. But you're exhausted,
you can't do it, you can't do much, right, It's
it drains you of everything. So you know, the main
point one of the main points of like of the
Abolition of work essay by Bob Black is but like
there's no one should work because because work is as
defined as like as like as like a forced labor

(21:56):
practice um. Is. You can kind of track this to
being the source of most of the misery in the
world from you know, in in individual people, um, who
are forced to do this. So like this is where
a lot of a lot of their pain comes from.
Um is this is this is this forced labor concept. UM.

(22:16):
I think I think a good a good way. You know,
there is you know the point that Robert brought up
earlier is like you know, what about the tasks that
aren't fun? You know what about what about the stuff
that isn't isn't maybe as as enjoyable. Um. You know,
there's this there's there's a list of list of things
that the standard responses. Who's going to clean up the poop? Right?
That's that's the thing. So you know I I kind

(22:38):
of I I kind of I kind of look at
this as like the I kind of kind of look
at this as like whenever I have to turn the compost,
which is not my favorite thing to do. I I
don't look forward to having to turn over our massive, shitty,
rotting compost pile. Not not my favorite thing. Um. But no,

(23:02):
but now like if there's if if there's like friends
around and we're playing music and we're all we have
like some like have I have have like an iced
tea or Dr Pepper, and we're like talking as we're
turning the compost. It's a lot more doable. You know.
It's there's there's it's it's it's one task that's going
to help all of us in the future. Um and
I'm not getting watched over by a boss to fill

(23:24):
a certain quote so I can pay my rent. Right,
It's it's this, it's this. It's this thing that helps
everybody and I and I do it because I want,
I want the goal of it to succeed. So there's
there's there's gonna there's always gonna be tasks that are
less pleasant than others. You know, what we can do is,
you know, imagine a world where the amount of work
actually needed to be done is greatly reduced so that

(23:47):
the tasks that are necessary and some of them unpleasant,
can be spread out, um and among more people, because
less people will be wasting upwards of eight hours a day,
five days a week doing mostly pointless time filling work.
Because yeah, there's there's gonna be things that sucked, and
we'll be able to do those a lot better if
there's more people and we don't have to waste our

(24:09):
times doing stuff that is is honestly a lot more
bullshit than actually scooping bullshit. Wow, what a good joke.
Speaking it's time. It's time to scoop up some more ads. Wait,
really haven't we done too? No, we only only one.

(24:30):
All right, we went a while without doing one. Guys,
listen to the products because everyone loves a service. It's
not like the thing we're talking about is bad. It's
different than that. So it's fine. Yep, we're back and

(24:54):
we're still still talking about into work. Um, I I do.
This is something that the crime think work h points
out and you know it's a pretty it's pretty obvious
thing I've I've certainly thought of this before is that,
you know, we've been told that the like technological progress
will soon liberate humanity from the need to do work
or from you know, having to do work as much um.
And today we have the capabilities that you know, our

(25:16):
ancestors couldn't have even imagined for free, the amount of
work that we could get done. Um. But these predictions
still like aren't true. We're still working more than ever,
even though we have developed so much um technologically, we're
still working more than ever. And if I think it's
silly to think that we'll we'll, we'll reach like a
magic threshold where somehow now we have less work to
do because we'll have like I don't know, like robots

(25:38):
being a server at Adam Adam McDonald's or whatever. Right
where there's still there, there's still is forcing people into
this thing because this is the only way that we
can live, right. This is we've we've built our whole
society around getting work for money. So this is the
only the only thing that we can do. Yeah, David Creeper.
One of the things he's arguing in Bullshit Jobs is basically,

(26:01):
you know, okay, so so if if you have like
you have the Soviet economy, right, okay, so the Soviet
economy has has the policy of of full employment. And
for a little bit they were like, okay, what if
we make everyone work less? And then they stopped and
then like everything went to ship, so you know, okay,
but if if if you can't make people work less
hours and everyone has to work, what do you do?
It was like, okay, well you pay a bunch of
people to like stand at a doorway, right now, we

(26:26):
also do this And then one of the graps, like
the funniest points that he brings up is that the
total number of bureaucrats in the x USSR like increased
dramatically after the sr fell, which is incredible, and you
know what what it points to is that like, yeah,
you know, Grebar called this total bureaucratization, which is that
you know what, what we did, instead of like giving

(26:48):
ourselves more free time is created this just like endless, enormous,
incredibly violent bureaucracy that all of us have to spend
all of our time, like dealing with bullshit from our
insurance companies and like fighting with like the Comcast service
person and all of this just like you know, incredibly
violent to humanizing stuff that you know, it's it's it's

(27:10):
a make work program, right, it's but it's a make
work program that just the work that it makes everyone
is making everyone's lives miserable. And we could just not
do this. Mh yeah, I mean we could. It's always
more complicated than that, right, because the thing that is

(27:30):
when we talk about anti work, I think that's on
the other side of this is like Okay, well, what
if you get a kid, how are you going to
feed that kid? Like what like yeah, how are you
going to keep him in a house? Like how not
even just if you have a kid. But like, yeah,
you people die in our society when they do not
have access to adequate resources. And the only way to
have access to adequate resources is to be born rich

(27:51):
or to work. Those are your options. Yeah, this is
why without without robust mutual aid and a commitment by
a lot of people to try to make sure that
a lifestyle is sustained ball outside of you know, this system,
Like it's not impossible, but it's somewhere along the line
there has to be input. I mean, yeah, like we've
we've been talking about Yeah, we've been talking about antiwork
as like as kind of like a broad hopeful like

(28:13):
future goal in some other you know, post scarcity, well
not not post scarcity, but like it's post like a
post crumbling, post kind of collapse future. But I think,
you know, for us now, as you know, the Antiworks
is about people now, right, the Antiworks episode, It is
not about a future world. I think the anti work
now is like an alternative to the obsession with living

(28:36):
your life with the goal of a career. Yes, it's
about trend you know, it's it's like a project to
radically reframe the how we think of work. And leisure. Um,
it's like like like like a cognitive antidote to like
the that's like this culture of like hustle and hard
work which is like taken over our minds and and
and our time. So it's like for for those who

(28:58):
can't just resign from their jaw for whatever reason, whatever moment.
The anti work is about like thinking of this movement
as like the antithesis to the mainstream capitalist hustle culture.
You know that that includes like slacking off more, finding
ways to waste time, possibly even finding ways to steal
or scam your boss. I I've I've read certain certain
alleged ways of doing this inside the Anti Work for days,

(29:24):
but where they got it from? But yeah, no, but
like you no, like there is you know, like ways
to like scam scam whatever corporation you work for. Right
that that there's been examples shared in the anti right
in the Anti Works, I brut it. So you know,
it's about actually like finding, you know, making sure that
you hate your work because you should, and then figuring
out how to live your life with that in mind.
And I think what one of the really hard parts

(29:44):
about this is for people who like kind of like
their job people who are like you, who like either
like their job or think it's like kind of important
or like they're special to have it, right, it's like, oh,
you're like, I'm lucky to have such a good job,
because like, when you're stuck in that mindset, you can
often put in like a lot of extra unpaid labor
because you think it's important because you're like, oh, no,

(30:05):
this is worth doing because it's gonna have some like
benefits to the world. So you end up like putting
in actually more work that you you don't actually get
paid for, and like it's about trying to like kill
that instinct as well. So that's a whole, a whole
way to think about like working, because like we're gonna
be stuck. A lot of people are gonna started doing
it for for for a while. So how can you
kind of reframe what we do on the job and

(30:25):
how kind of jobs live in our minds when we
are at home. And I think the best thing about
what you've said, in my opinion, is the idea that
like this is not the importance is not on whether
or not this this causes everyone to stop having to
work immediately, Like whether or not it leads to you know,
directly to Like, the measure of success of this movement

(30:48):
isn't that nobody ever has to work again. That's a
that's a long term goal. The measure of the success
of this movement is that people accept in mass that no,
the American dream as it's sold to people is not
a good thing too. It's not a thing. To aspire
to work is bullshit, and we should aspire to a
society that doesn't do it. It's getting back, honestly, like

(31:08):
it's getting back to some of the ship that people
were talking about in like when The Jetsons was on TV,
the idea that like, well, with labor saving devices, the
like a hard work week will be four hours and
like that's the way life will be for everybody, and
like um, and the it's the acceptance that like, no,
a better future involves me not having it. No one
having to spend forty hours a week of their limited

(31:31):
human life working at a fucking sonic or like listening
to some middle manager brate them for not answering phones
fast enough. Um, that doesn't exist for any human being
in a world that is achievable and better than the
one that we live in. Like convincing people of that
and getting that to be widely accepted. Is I think
what I think what is what I would consider the

(31:52):
terms of victory in in this particular struggle kind of
moving on from this side of things into like the
Great designation and the other kind of things that people
are doing. So um, in August alone, four point three
million Americans voluntarily left their jobs um and the rate
of people quitting increased to a a decent a decent

(32:15):
record high of like a two point nine percent, according
to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. So and this this, this,
this has been a growing trend. You can look at
like I think June was like a like a little
under four million. August was four point three. It's like
it was, you know, it's it's ramping. I I don't
know what if. I don't know if we have data
for September or October. Yet this was the most recent

(32:35):
one I could find. UM. So yeah, like it's stuff,
stuff is, stuff is going up. People are because because
people are like a big part of the antibo. It's like, yeah,
if your job sucks, you can quit it and probably
find another one that pays better. In decent time, especially
especially especially right now, Like right now, if your job
is really terrible, you have a decent chance of finding

(32:56):
a better one. Um. This wasn't the case like two
years ago. Um, it is the case that at this moment,
so a lot of the anti works SPB and it's like, yeah,
quit your job, like say funck you to your boss
and leave because if they're being shitty then they don't
deserve to have you. Um. So resigning has been been
a big part of this, and there has there has
been attempts at other kind of organized stuff and this

(33:19):
kind of falls into in my opinion, this kind of
falls into the same kind of traps as sole internet
organizing kind of always does. So the big thing that
they're organizing for is called Black Friday Blackout, which is
about kind of trying to get everyone to as many
people as possible to not work Black Friday, um and
not buy anything on Black Friday. Um So, like a

(33:40):
post from the subburnt here is like spread the word
call in sick if you're forced to work black on
Black Friday, spend time with your family instead, remain at
home and participate in your favorite activity on Friday November.
Talk to your family and friends about about your work
life struggles, pass up flyers, join our slash anti work. Um,
so this is you know, I think this kind of
falls into the same like you know, general strike organized

(34:02):
online stuff that we talked about before. How kind of
like a lack of like real like in person solidarity
and like non internet you know, networking and organizing results
and stuff like this just you know, like proposed like
one day strikes or actions that are ultimately kind of
non effectual, right, Like they can be like a good
symbol sometimes, but like you know, they're not. It's it's
it's not. It's not really gonna matter that much, even

(34:23):
even if it works. Well, what I think it'd be
cool if literally no store was open on Black Frida
because everyone quit. Yeah, that would be rad. But that's
that's not I don't that's not gonna really happen. Um,
it would be fun if it did, but like realistically,
it's it's not, it's not gonna happen. And there is
people on the sub who also point this out. There
there there there was there was a reply to this
post that was like, oh, look, another online call for

(34:45):
a general strike with no union support whatsoever. Don't worry y'all,
this one's this one is definitely gonna work. Um, So
it's like, yeah, like there's a lot of people in
the sub also recognize that like without like actual like
organizing support um and in person stuff and you know,
networks to support people will on like you know, lengthy strikes.
These types of things are kind of are mostly symbolic

(35:05):
actions that will have you know, in the end, little
little impact. Um. They may make you feel powerful as
you're doing them, which is you know, which is good.
That is a lot of activism is actually just just
about you feeling powerful in that moment um. But you know,
as as an end goals, remember it's important to be

(35:25):
remember to think like it's not it's that this isn't
you know, this isn't gonna reach whatever anti work utopia,
which I I know people people organizing it aren't thinking that,
but you know, it's it's it's important to keep this
within context of like the limits of even of of
online organizing. You know, so a lot a lot of
people like recommend you know, focusing on organizing your own
workplace and community, um, discussing you know, discussing having discussions

(35:50):
with with unions kind of in in your area. Um,
and yeah, a part of part of, part of kind
of the part of the reply to to this original
like a black Friday blackout post that that someone that
someone wrote was was seriously though, I would love for
an actual gent general strike to kick off. But these
online calls for general strikes, it's no union involvement, no demands,

(36:12):
no supports for strikers of any kind, no nothing whatsoever
beyond social media hashtags, don't do anything. Focus on organizing
or workplace any community discussed with unions which might be
sympathetic to what criteria, uh, what criteria they might need
from such a drastic action. There's a lot of unions
on strike right now, so if there ever was the
time to kick one off, it's now. Most general strikes
in the past started off with specific strikes that started

(36:34):
pulling in other union unions and solidarity than anything else.
Focus on that and we might get somewhere. I think.
Is it's a decent Is a decent advice for the
people who are really dedicated onto this kind of like
general strike thing is Yeah? That is? That is? That
is um, pretty pretty good advice in in my opinion,
I want to see something kind of briefly just in

(36:54):
general about general strikes, because I think we've talked about
it a lot on here, but they're really really hard.
I mean, there there, there's there's an example, like and
like just to just to get a picture of like
how how actually hard it is to pull off. There
was there was one in Sudan in in summer nineteen
and you know, I mean this is this is in
the middle of the revolution, right, the the Sudan is

(37:18):
incredibly highly organized, as incredibly miility, and people have been
like you know, I mean, people like the like the
chance in the street is like you cannot kill us,
were already dead, like you know they and you know,
and and it's the whole revolution is being led by
the Student Professional Association, which is an association of like
seventeen trade unions. Right, so this this is a population

(37:40):
that is enormously better organized than like anything really that
exists in the US. And you know, in in the
middle of the summer of the army opens fire and
starts killing protesters, and so they call general strike and
you know, the turnout is massive, right, they have millions,
millions upon millions of people show up to the strike
and on day one, it's success, and then on day

(38:01):
two of the strike, people start having to pull out,
especially people in the in formal sector, because even with
the level of organization they have, they can't support everyone.
And by about day three, most of the strike is
collapsed because even even with levels of organization they had,
even with you know, the coordination, even with the fact
that they're in the middle of revolution, they just they
couldn't support particularly people in the informal sector. So this

(38:22):
stuff is really really really hard, and yeah, it is
even it is definitely hard. Yeah, like even even highly organized,
highly motivated people who are you know, like literally willing
to fight to the death will lose. And that's that's
something that you have to sort of keep in mind
when you're talking about this, because a lot of people

(38:43):
are more focused on kind of their individual resignations, finding
other ways of making money, and just slacking off at
work in general, because those are a lot a lot
easier than trying to organize a general, a mass general
strike right now. And I think one of the really
optimistic things about this whole anti work thing, including including
the sub run, is that it has made some big
executives kind of nervous um there was a fantastic article

(39:06):
by Yahoo Finance. Now by fantastic, I mean funny for me.
You know, they did not think it was as funny.
Um about they talked with like the Golden Sacks CEO
of and uh and they pointed to the anti work
subredit of being what was the what was the phrase, um,

(39:27):
a long run risk to to labor force participation? Good?
This is see that that When I first read that
in the article, I just like flashed to my head
in my head to that scene from Starship Troopers where
Neil Patrick Harris puts his hand on the brain bug
it goes it's afraid. Yeah. Yeah, he said, uh, we

(39:53):
see some risk that workers were elected will elect to
maintain out of the workforce for longer, provided they can
afford to do so. U of pretty pretty good stuff
and I think stuff and everything it's worth mentioning that
hasn't been talked about very much? Is that? So this
is actually kind of working in some sense, Like the
last few months general, last few months particular have seen

(40:15):
basically like the highest levels of wage increases that we've
seen in decades. So you know, like, yeah, we haven't
overthrown capitalism yet, but like if you can keep quitting
your job, keep quitting your job at at your regular job,
work less, keep doing it, it's working. Yeah, this is
stuff I wish we need to in the future. I
would like us to be focusing more on stuff like that,

(40:37):
like this that is legitimately, as you point out, Chris,
there's a lot of reasons to be very optimistic about
about some of the numbers that we're getting from what
is happening to labor right now. Um, and it is
important as we all like right now we're all miserable
because we're sweating through the written house case, it is
important to talk about stuff like that that like, yeah,
some ship people is doing is is hitting the home.

(41:00):
Some motherfucker's have found the glowy vulnerable spot on the
Boss Monster and it's it's yeah, it's just not working. Yeah.
Like again, as we started the series with, like yeah,
general Strike is is kind of the best available solution,
um or a path to a solution that I can find.

(41:20):
Um But anyway, uh what what what what what? What?
I think I think that that does it for us today?
I know, Chris special special like sequel stuff happening. Uh
so tune in tomorrow. For our and like like all
of the best sequels, this one will be directed by

(41:43):
James Cameron Um. So we're all very excited to bring
our pal James onto the pod, to bring our pal
James and the reanimated corpse of Stan Winston Um. It's
going to be amazing, So check it out by everybody.
It could Happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.

(42:05):
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool zone media dot com, or check us out on
the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you
listen to podcasts. You can find sources for It Could
Happen Here, updated monthly at cool zone Media dot com
slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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