Ideology includes these little stories that eat away at us. These falsehoods that we have picked up from the dominant culture, that are reflected, though not created, by the media. They are the words that we use to chastise ourselves.
“You are not productive enough”
“You are a bad person for not living up to your potential”
“You do not work hard enough”
“You are a worthless blight on society if you do not have a job”
“You should have achieved a certain career status by your age”
“You can make a difference if only you tried hard enough”
“You could be as rich as them if only you were a better person, if you had the intellect and the motovation”
Most of us do not need rulers to tell us what to do, to make us behave in a manner that is advantageous to their class. We just do it. There are no real Kings and Queens anymore anyway, there is a global system, and we all keep it going, not that we have a choice, not that any individual action on out part can change the system. But, we all, to some extent, buy into the ideology that keeps it going, and we suffer under it’s weight.
The question every child is asked by friends, teachers, and relatives.
We are all trained by this very question to believe that we are our career, that our role as a worker is our role in life and that each of us must choose a single career path and that is what we are. When we grow up, rather than being a person, a human being, we will become a job.
This is a problematic and harmful for all concerned, but particularly for those who, for whatever reason, grow up to be a person who sits on the couch in their pyjamas all day eating cheese toasties. (Okay, so I do other things as well, but I don’t have a job)
The reason is neither here nor there. I am sick of explaining myself in an apologetic manner as to why I have dropped out of the labour market.
My point is that it has made me into a kind of illegitimate person. A person without that crucial identifier, when I meet new people and I am asked what I do, I freeze, I have no acceptable answer and I need to provide an explanation for my life that seems so absurd.
I know fully well that it is bullshit and I have learned, at least rationally, to not to let it bother me.
In a world that is obsessed with personal identity, that demands that the individual categorise themselves and thereby legitimise their every desire or action from their gender and sexual preference, to their eating habits, I am certainly not lacking in terms to describe myself.
BUT, I am not my labour, I am not my job. If I was, I wouldn’t exist.