Furious Friday: Wage theft

I feel like anger is unfairly denigrated in our society. We’re encouraged to be positive all the time, and told that anger is energy that could be better directed towards things like trying harder to succeed within neoliberalism, the best of all societies.

Fuck that.

Anger is a valid response to a huge portion of what goes on in the world. I’m angry that industrial chemicals known to be harmful are in my blood, even though I’ve never agreed to that contamination, or even lived near the factories responsible. I’m angry that the forests I wandered in my youth are suffering, and that species with which I worked will be extinct within my lifetime. I’m angry that my fantasy of being a mediocre science fiction author in a seaside cabin in Maine has been made all but impossible by the relentless greed of capitalists, and the rising seas and unstable climate chosen by a minority of my elders. I’m angry that my fellow humans are brutalized and scapegoated for problems they had no hand in creating. I’m angry that my brother’s children will never know even the illusion of a stable climate. I’m angry that the wisdom I received about the ancient rhythms of the natural world is no longer valid, because those rhythms have been destroyed.

And that anger is fucking valid. A better world was possible, and it was stolen from us, not by older generations, but by a tiny fragment of those older generations, whose vile work is continued by their heirs.

Humanity may have a long future – I’m doing what I can to make that the case – but even if we have a future, one simple fact remains: The future we were promised has been stolen from us. Lifetimes of happiness, love, and labor have been erased to provide obscene and useless amounts of wealth for a tiny-minded minority, fundamentally incapable of understanding the greatness of humanity, or the beauty of the world they seem intent on destroying.

No amount of “curse” words or obscenities can adequately express the rage within me, so I mostly focus on other things. On trying to make a world that – if I’m lucky enough to die of old age – will fill me with hope, instead.

But for now, anger is part of what drives me. It’s part of how I remember what’s important, and what fights are not worth my energy. It’s bad for me, I think, but it’s a part of me that cannot be removed while I live, or while the world is the way it is. I can only hope that enough people share my rage, and will be driven to do the work we need to build something better.

And so, let me share with you one of the many reasons for my anger, presented by Second Thought:

Those lauded as “job creators” – the people who we are told exemplify the best qualities of Capitalism – are stealing from the workers whose labor gave them their wealth. Being richer than most of humanity isn’t enough for them; they seem compelled by their greed to steal from even their worst-paid workers.

You should be angry.

Are you?

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