Written By: Codaius
Today, during the rising action of the Coronavirus pandemic, you have bands of patriotic Americans across the nation protesting the lockdowns in effect to help slow the spread of a chaotic virus. All so that they can go back to work. Signs held high read “Land of the Free!”, “We want to work!”, “My business is suffering!”
After all, they’ve bills to pay, and mouths to feed. In these trying, uncertain times, their source of income gives them a sense of security that they are sorely lacking from their supposed leadership. In a more innocent world, they would be commended for their sense of duty. In fact, these types truly view their employment as duty. It’s what they pride themselves on. Duty to what, though? Their families, or the economy? Their future, or the returns to their loan-lender? The line is not so clearly defined in this age of aimless mass consumption.
Can you blame them for this pride? It’s all they’ve ever known. It’s one of the last things the working class is allowed to have pride in!
I know these people. To them, it’s work or starve. But if you ever need a favor from them, they’ll be happy to lend you a hand so long as you’ve got a hot meal and a cold beverage for them afterwards. If someone in their community is affected by a debilitating illness, they’ll happily pool money together in a fundraiser to benefit that person. Sadly, it’s a rare sight these days.
Having grown up in the depressed Rust Belt, where 32k a year is considered a “good” job, where employers offering you mandatory 70-80 hour weeks on a job is something they believe to be desirable, the thought of public welfare to these people is accompanied with disdain and disgust. They’ve worked hard to survive and stay above water in this economy. These folk know who is a bum and a leech, and who shows up and gets dirty every day.
…even if it’s only for scraps.
Americans are known at home and abroad for being slavishly devoted to the grind. So much so, that they have developed their own sort of economic Stockholm syndrome. Independence is the workers pride and prime directive, and it has been weaponized against him!
These workers will condemn socialism to the highest order, even as their bank accounts are bled dry from missing one bi-weekly paycheck. While the people are feeling the pain of the paycheck-to-paycheck economy, their leaders are blaming others for their economic plight.
Instead of demanding basic financial security from the government they’ve been forced to feed their entire lives, the people are presented (yet again) with two false options: risk their lives, and the lives of their families by going back to work, or banging the drums of war against China.
The working class has become the nearly-exhausted piggy bank for both the dregs of society and the elite driving it. They are sandwiched between two parasites eating at them from both ends, and the only defense they can muster is to stay shackled to that time clock lest they lose everything they’ve slaved to keep.
After all, it’s all they’ve ever known.
Working is not political advocacy.
“We need to reopen the economy” so sayeth the millionaire talking head, so that his stock portfolio stays beefed up. From the other end of his mouth he reasons that one $1200 check is enough for a family to survive on for eight to ten weeks. The small business assistance is drained by malicious millionaire opportunists, and the rest of Americas Mom-and-Pop shops are on their own. As the Fed injects trillions into the stock market at a whim for Wall Street, the worker is supposed to cry out “send me back to work!”
Most of the populace is shackled to a lifestyle that revolves around juggling bills and cycles of debt, constantly salivating for the next payday. We The People endure this immense economic stress year after year after year, but do not call it tyranny because there’s always the possibility they’ll make it out of debt one day; there’s always the weekend to look forward to; there’s always that week of vacation you’ve got lined up a few months from now.
For a country that likes to tout ad nauseam about how it ended slavery, it sure is suspiciously content in this modern version of it.
Yet the thought of handouts from a system they’ve paid into their whole lives is equated with weakness and failure. The discontent and frustration we have with this lifestyle is constantly manipulated against us.
“Don’t demand the money back you’ve been gouged for! That would be socialism! Also, we’ve bailed out a bunch of large companies with your tax dollars without even demanding they hire American. When they go back to being profitable the CEO’s will reap the profits and change nothing. What do you mean you object to this? These people create jobs! You do want OUR economy to flourish, don’t you?”
Never is there a mention of giving us back what we are greatly owed. Nope. In this country there are only winners and losers, and you best keep grinding to be a winner, chump!
This country is a capitalist’s wet dream.
What is your reward for a lifetime of servitude to this system? Your once bustling communities are hollowed out and festering with maggots. Social cohesion is at an all time low. Citizens are at each other’s throats. The system happily taxes our communities, but has abandoned them to rot in numb graves, with needles in their arms.
Nothing ever seems to change course from an ever-downward slope to ruin.
The system watched as we suffered their offshoring of our factories and industries under the guise of “the free market.” Don’t worry, they’ll set up some suicide hotlines for you, as they drop off droves of immigrants into your neighborhood to “work the jobs you Americans just refuse to do!”
Yet again, our leaders put the market before the people, and the Coronavirus has been free to enter our country and ravage our people, because the stock market needed to continue soaring. Now that their greed has made us suffer, they abandon us.
The twist of the knife is that these mega corporations, which the economy (and our borders) was kept open for, are begging for multi-billion dollar bailouts.
Is this the “great” American economy we keep working for? This economy that treats us like second class citizens?
There are no great works, or public projects, for us to work on. The only wars we can fight are on behalf of those who hate us, and the only rights we get to fight for are those of foreigners!
You want advocate for your own interests as a member of the White working class? -HERESY!
A system that facilitates this is illegitimate, yet is exactly what happens when a people surrender their nation wholesale to capitalism -to the grind. This has nothing to do with “free enterprise” or “entrepreneurship!” This is the soul-crushing monopolization of people as working units, and it’s working as intended.
When the market is your god, eventually it will come to the conclusion that it needs to sacrifice its devotees for the greater good (higher profit margins).
This is the economy you want to risk dying for, White man?
This is the economy you want to lose time with your loved ones over, White man?
How could you act against it? After all, it’s all we’ve ever known!
In every factory, job site, or shop I’ve ever worked in, no matter how hard you strove for success, you’re nothing but a number. Production continues to soar upward along with your workload, but never reflects on your paystub.
“Great job for the hard work this year, gang! No bonuses, but here’s a coffee mug with our company logo on it as a ‘sincere’ thank-you for your hard work!”
Don’t like it? Tough shit. There’s a massive pool of desperate workers scratching at the walls to get your position. Be grateful you have a paycheck!
Americans across the country know this feeling; it’s the feeling of being conned. Jipped. Jewed. We’re raised under the impression that if we dig a little deeper, work a little harder, that it will pay off!
…for your employer’s bottom line, perhaps.
When does this end?
“We need to strike and organize!” But we’re too scared to lose everything. “Be grateful you have a paycheck” they tell you as they collect their production bonuses.
“We need to demand more from our unions!” But they’re silently complicit. “Be grateful you have a paycheck” they tell you, as they collect your dues.
For countless Americans, the reality is that we’ll grumble and return to work following New Years to start Q1 production.
After all, it’s all we’ve ever known.
It’s a microcosm of the position the White working class finds itself in this nation. “Where’s our representation?” we ask our politicians after we elect them. “Be grateful you have freedom” they tell us, if they acknowledge us at all.
If there’s one thing that defines this nation, it’s that its people work so hard that they work themselves into their own graves. Women entrust the care of their children (if they ever have them) to strangers, because if they don’t spend their time on the clock, they’re not going to get that life-changing promotion! Tradesmen trade their health for a pension they can collect when their broken bodies can go no further. In the murk of decades of wage stagnation, workforces are rife with alcoholism and drug abuse, as their constituents try to cope with their increasingly meaningless mortality. Workers always looking towards the brief windows of respite on the weekend, to be spent on feel-good debauchery, before sulking back to the grind.
This isn’t what life is about. People can’t live their lives in weekend episodes.
Now, with this quarantine, these hard working Whites are getting a taste of life outside the grind. It took a pandemic to get actual quality time with our families. It took a pandemic to have the time to get those projects around the house done. It took a pandemic to give us this moment of respite, an opportunity to look at the world around us. It took a pandemic to see people walking around the neighborhood again. It took a pandemic to give us a glimpse of what lively American communities used to be.
We lost ourselves in the rat race of achieving the American Dream.
In the chase for that carrot-on-a-stick dangling before our eyes, we went from Working to Live, to Living to Work; all the while those in charge sold our nation out from beneath us. They sold our nation to a global economy, and the lives of millions of our people with it.
What Americans are starting to realize, is that their suspicions of abandonment are true; as the bills pile up, and the debt collectors dial their numbers.
We worked ourselves into a second class citizenship.
Damn it, White man! It’s time to take a long, hard look at what we are “working” towards! We weren’t put on this Earth to increase the GDP! We exist to do more than contribute to an economy! We were meant to live! And this certainly is not LIVING!
We cannot bear to work for this system that actively conspires against us any longer!
Don’t demand to go back to work. Demand your government give you back what’s long overdue. “Fuck you, pay me!” truly should be the rallying cry of the working class.
Don’t feed the leviathan of usury. It will never let you free of its chains of debt. Its very existence depends upon it. Let the beast feel pain for once in its life!
Let it feel YOUR pain by starving it!
To the White working man who feels this undeniable pain, I say to you: It’s time to work. After all, it’s all we’ve ever known. Except this time, work for YOUR future. Work for YOU!
It’s time to spend your time and efforts building something that you and your children can prosper from. Quit sacrificing for a country that no longer exists. We must rebuild the nation and communities that were sold out from under us, and we must steel ourselves against the conditions that allowed these parts of our collective spirit to be shackled to an economy that hates us.
Pick up a shovel and put on your gloves. It’s time to build the foundations of a real future for our people, and boy, do we have a lot of work to do.
After all, it’s all we’ve ever known.