The Workplace


The workplace is a microcosm of differences. In this forced setting where everyday people find themselves in the “Fittest survives” atmosphere; individualism and self-fishness are the norms. The greatest motive is to secure power and to crush the competition in order to become the star of the company, or an organization.

Because, there are bills to pay, and everything on the planet costs something; work implores us to succumb to its cycle of debt and the psychosis that follows that. We have to go to work, because the idea of work is a decided truth stemming from the conclusions of our predecessors. 

Let us discuss the existence of labor and the motivating factors of why the workplace exists.

Labor is a practice from many generations of people facing the same economic reality. Work is tied to capitalistic ideas and those driving forces support the payer-payee model. Healthcare, education, and basic necessities are tied to one’s needs,  and participation in the working world is mandated to pay for those essentials.  

Going to a doctor’s appointment demands some form of payment from the patient. Obtaining a certificate, or degree needs’ funds, and putting food on table on a given day depends on available funds. Additionally, the 9-5 mentality, or the independent contractor status signifies the relationship between financiers and businesses, to landlords to renters. 

The global economic system defines this reality for human beings from the day they enter the world to the moment they exit. It is the same payer-payee system that runs continuously to satisfy the ideology of capital. This economic conclusion is in place and reminds us that we must work to feed, to clothe, and to house our bodies.

Human beings do not want to go to work on a given day, but the rent is due at month’s end, and the mortgage, the car-payment, and basic necessities constrict human beings to a monetary cycle. It is the paying of financial obligations, which are motivating human beings to take the stress of work, and to exist in a professional environment where competition and rogueness are celebrated. 

Ask a working class person about their love for work, and reasons why work creates imbalance and stress will be the feedback. The truth is that working-class people spend more time at work than taking care of themselves and their loved ones. Furthermore, that system unleashes economic injustices such as people being overworked and underpaid. Reporting to a job is more of a sacrifice than a desire. A sacrifice for children, parents, grand-parents to have food, shelter, and clothing may be the sole reason why human beings cuff up the guts to punch the clock.

Dreams of better Days:

Because labor is forced upon us and we have to report to work in order to pay bills and feed ourselves; we should not allow this way-of-life to dominate our dreams and aspirations. Dreams saturate the mind with ideas while instilling the beauty of hope. 

The balance between career and life can be difficult to accomplish because living in this life is an expense account of its own. We work because work allows us to pay rent, afford the car and house note, and to have disposable income. 

Still, work is not just a physical activity; it is mentally draining to be confined to a routine of a job that does not even pay a livable wage. It is psychologically damaging to have to report to work daily, nightly, weekly, and yearly only to realize that another person is reaping the benefits.

Still, the working class should not simply succumb to capitalistic greed that is proving that the system in place enriches a few while damaging many more lives. The working class must recognize that the financial problems, which are common in their lives, are harsh conclusions for many more and on a global scale. 

The organizational chart within a business shows how the system of capital works. It is a system of imbalance and cruelty, and it fails to uplift families on a global scale. This chart shows a  hierarchical goal where a few sit in positions atop while the majority overfeeds their schemes. This is true within an organization, a business, and even Governments.  

I am reminded of my favorite reggae song by Jamaican artist, Busy Signal, called “Dreams of Better Days.” In the song, the artist sings that we crave a higher grade. Everyday people desire simple, modest ways-of-life, but are struggling to secure that. If and when that is secured, the fluctuations in money reminds them that they can lose their hard-earned tangibles in no time. 

I am referencing the song, because I, too, dream of better days for me and my son. As a single mother, I still work to ensure that we have a car, a home, and food. I know that countless women and their children are also facing this harsh reality where securing balance seems more illusionary than reality-based. There are also fathers who work tirelessly to provide for their families as society has placed the strongest burden on them to deliver economic success.

The system of capitalism affects all members of the family. It divides the family, too. It was Dr. Amos Wilson who said that for capitalism to be successful; it has to divide people from their cultures- and-traditions to reach its profit-focused agenda. 

Better days can be in the works once we, the poor-and-working class, conjoin in the same way as unions. Better days can come forth when that collaboration comes with the intent to examine capitalism, connect its doings to the global family, and work to present a 21st century method that doesn’t reduce the dignity of human beings. Yes, there is opportunity to create better days, but this must happen with greater humanitarian effort and intention. 

Great Resignation: Perspective

Human beings have always sought ways to advance themselves and their environments throughout the Earth’s evolutionary phases. From our creative minds and our physical abilities; the creations of machinery in major cities and countries materialized.

Different advancements were imagined until they became tangible resources to be used by multiple generations. Human ingenuity cannot be questioned due to sprawling infrastructures including roads and rails, advanced technological devices, and the man/woman powers which are the driving forces of those innovations. Also, the Sciences continue to answer questions about the cosmos, the Earth-land, vegetation, and waters, as well as biological conclusions concerning the genetic make-up of human beings.

Collective efforts were needed to ensure that ideas would become actual designs to assist in bettering social conditions. 

The greatest irony, though, has been the blatant thievery within that collectivism that robbed many of their means to live healthy lives. Within that profit-themed system from which many must find a niche- many examples of unfairness can be seen. The late intellect, Dr. Walter Rodney, wrote in his book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, that, “Man has always exploited his natural environment in order to make a living. At a certain point in time, there also arose the exploitation of man by man, in that a few people grew rich and lived well through the labor of others.”

A more defined work week concept came into fruition due to hard-working people who protested due to being terrorized with long hours with low pay. Others were forced into slavery to be complete objects to their masters; thus, enduring hard labor while existing in the uncomfortable conditions. As a result, families would suffer from multi-generational socio-economic disparities, which are still plaguing them even today.

Why Quit?

The word, observation, comes to mind when I see many workers leaving their jobs for something else. The word, experience, also enters in my mind when I see the influx of people who are choosing to travel, to move, and/or to take a mental-break from work.

If asked about their decision to go to work; many would say that financial obligation is the primary reason. When asked what would replace work if those fiscal constraints went away- many would say that peace-of-mind would saturate them. 

Simply speaking, the global world’s population has grown weary from the constant pressure to compete for work with other citizens. Many more are recognizing the power structure of capitalism and the injustices it imposes on the global world. For too long, the system of capital has been the reason behind global wars, environmental disasters which are becoming more frequent, and a labor market that fails to give everyone a stable job with a livable wage. 

American linguist, Noam Chomsky, once said that, “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” The majority of people in the global world are confined to a model with  “costs and risks” while the venture-capitalists overfeed from their hard work. There is a cost for every aspect of the working class’ existence and every action is pre-determined by the availability of funds. Even the job market is overly soaked and securing a job can be risky as well, since competition is the theme.

Freedom from harsh economic expectations is certainly worth exploring since financial demands can become daunting. Capitalism has exposed families to the worst financial setbacks, and the resignees of “The Great Resignation” are responding to its imperialistic projection. Its constant need for resources and cheap labor motivates a class-divide that is responsible for the categories of rich and poor. This resignation from employment is a refuge to avoid the mental-and-physical hardships which were experienced by previous generations.

Work demands one to be present both mentally and physically coupled with the repetition of reporting daily-and-weekly to work. That redundancy deprives one from facing their personal obligations. Sacrifices are made to maintain a career while working to keep a family afloat with ever-changing financial decisions. 

It is worth mentioning that human beings are not afraid to work, but they are against futile work. Human beings aim for betterment in every aspect of life, but many times, the work they are hired to do, fails to give them desirable outcomes. Furthermore, a structure like capitalism- labor abuse is rampant and workers face unstable job prospects.

Work is meant to give workers solid conditions such as being able to buy-and-keep a home, and have the monetary means to create, and to uplift families and neighborhoods. These factors are important in the strengthening of the human mind, soul, and body. Human beings need a sense of belongingness to measure their well-being and esteem. 

          Some History:

The history of capitalism and workers is dismal. Its record is troubling and concerning. Capitalism is violent and it thrives destruction of people and their environments. Human beings are leaving their professional posts, because capitalism is disrupting their happiness in the same way it caused discord within their families’ storylines. They are exiting en masse to avoid further damage to their family settings.

To understand the reasons why many are leaving their jobs/careers; analysis must supersede opinions. A search into the past would show how slavery and servitude existed, and how capitalistic imperialism dominated the different parts of the world.

Some of the world’s most influential intellectuals such as Dorothy Day, Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party people, and Karl Marx  have voiced an opposition to capitalism. These individuals expressed caution about capitalism because they were seeing its nuances compared to the capitalists who failed to examine the details. Together, these activists would draw analysis based on the events of their times.

Day and the members of the Black Panther Party citizens reacted to oppression in their neighborhoods by starting organizations. Dorothy Day and a friend, Peter Maurin, created a newspaper called, The Catholic Worker, in the era of the Great Depression. The aim of the movement was to highlight injustices from poverty to racism and work toward “social justice.” 

The Black Panther Party’s organization was in-place to fight off the history of racism-and-capitalism in America. Together, they operated soup kitchens for African-Americans to have a safe-place in different cities. Their 10-point program was created to provide opportunities away from the harsh capitalist and racist policies of white Americans toward black people.

Karl Marx has provided the world with a cause-and-effect examination of capitalism. Marx reported on the effects of capitalism in Europe and the inhumaneness of workers. Marx’s philosophy showed the workers life during the production phases and their relationship to the capitalists. Marx theorized that exploitation was the dominating factor that would contribute to more problems. His work would become the prototype for the former colonies of Europe who attempted to erase the capitalistic agenda that was entrenched in colonialism.

Final Thoughts

The world is experiencing a system that is rogue and disruptive to livelihoods as well as the natural resources in Nature. Capitalism is responsible for income inequality and the poverty that follows. Because of its presence, human beings are forced into social contracts where their worth is measured by monetary means. All their efforts to improve their lives are faded by its demands for profits.

It is understandable that millennials and the generations thereafter are in search of something that is different from their predecessors. Their actions are directly related to conclusions about personal-and-work life and the environmental factors which are impacting them. These individuals are choosing joy and peace-of-mind over the narcissistic tendencies of venture capitalism.