I would like to propose that the first Tuesday of September be declared “Dead Labor Day.” I think we all should acknowledge the victory of Capital over Labor in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The victory of corporate personhood over persons. The victory of debt-based fiat finance over everyone else. We built that.
Labor, in the sense of doing real work making real stuff or providing real services for non-corporate real people, is almost dead. Modern capital, unrestrained free enterprise, has almost sucked us dry, sucking more and more jobs from the economy. Unions have been reviled, weakened, co-opted, destroyed. The dwindling number of people doing real work are generally ill paid and looked down upon. Just ask a teacher. Ask the immigrants who harvest and prepare our food. Ask the people who take of the elderly in the warehouses for dying. Et fucking cetera. The rest of us either have no job at all or are ourselves partially vampirized minions like Renfield in Dracula, feeding flies to spiders, spiders to birds, on the grovel for a cat. Confined to the cube farm like inmates in an asylum. We want more life. A bigger cat.
“Making” has become a hobby. An accessory to the lifestyle. Cosplay with tools. Very few of us are doing, as Gary Snyder put, the common work of the tribe. In this twilight in which we find ourselves, labor is fetishized, not celebrated, even on Labor Day. Let us remember that on Dead Labor Day.