By: Jenn Vicious
Jenn Vicious is the radical community’s Agony Aunt, providing life coaching and social etiquette answers for radical cultures. Need poly, kinky, or queer dating advice, need to to know what to wear to court or a family function (you know, one you have to look “respectable” at), want to understand what to and not to say in some contexts, ask Jenn Vicious.
How do I balance a corporate software job and identifying as an anarchist? My vies is that if I’m going to be a wageslave, I want the best hustle possible. I’m looking to leverage my skillset as best I can, but I kinda feel like a sell out because I know that I’ll be making much more than most my friends while working in an environment thats pretty fucking antithetical to my beliefs. What say you?
I believe that most (if not all) spaces created under capitalism are antithetical to my beliefs. But my values don’t crumble or cease to exist when I enter those spaces. If they did, they wouldn’t be very useful values.
It’s like when you go out to eat. You could be the capitalist d-bag who bosses people around disrespectfully and leaves a shitty tip. Capitalism gives you the space to do that, and even encourages it by labeling the worker there to help you as “your server.” But as anarchists, I hope that we talk to restaurant workers with respect and treat them as equals (and leave good tips). And I hope that you do that for whoever might be below you in your new corporate food chain (but don’t tip them, that might be awkward).
Making more than most of your friends doesn’t suck. Buying into the capitalist game: showing off the fancy new toy you bought to use for a week and then throw away while your friends struggle to pay rent, wondering what people are complaining about and why they don’t just pick themselves up by their bootstraps, now that would suck. But I think I speak for a lot of anarchists when I say that there are a lot of times when we wish we knew someone making some money. When a buddy gets arrested and needs money for a lawyer, an infoshop needs help paying their rent, or an eco-defense campaign needs to buy some u-locks, you can step up and help out. That’s awesome.
The important thing is that now that you aren’t on the shat-out side of capitalism, don’t forget what a beast it is. You are starting to see some of the benefits capitalism can offer people of a certain class, but remember what it is taking from you and from other people in the world. And don’t forget the things that are truly important to you.
And, as long as you’ve got a good hustle going, feel free to drop a bit of your excess in my tip jar. Mutual aid!