There’s Nothing Honorable 

Working Class - Essay 6 (2019).jpeg

“What being a socialist means is... that you hold out... a vision of society where poverty is absolutely unnecessary, where international relations are not based on greed... but on cooperation... where human beings can own the means of production and work together rather than having to work as semi-slaves to other people who can hire and fire.”

- Senator Bernie Sanders

 

“To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It's not about winning and losing. It's about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge. It's about embracing the pain that you'll experience at the end of a race and not being afraid. I think people think too hard and get afraid of a certain challenge.”

- Summer Sanders (Olympic Champion)

 

I’ve worked a lot of jobs but gods damnit I hate working.

Janitor, Clerk, Fry Cook, Housekeeper, Floor Technician, Security Guard, Maintenance Technician, Painter, Window Washer, Sandwich Artist, manager, supervisor, and I’m sure other things I don’t remember.

I can't keep a job. I don’t mean I get fired from jobs, that’s happened exactly once, and it was trumped up bullshit I tried to sue over. But since I live in one of the strongest “Right to Work” states in the nation that effort was DOA.

That said I’ve had 5 different jobs since 2015 and two this year alone. I just quit my current job a couple of days ago and have been feeling a lot of guilt. Not about that job, or any other in particular, but because my wife has worked hard at the same job since 1995 and I am a complete loser when it comes to keeping a day job.

Before you start in on me about being “Lazy” or some such bullshit let me educate you. Except for the three years, I took off when my son was born (if you ever have the opportunity to do it I say jump on it. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made) I have ALWAYS held down a “Straight” job.

We good?

Alright then, on with the rambling.

I’m a writer, it’s all I love to do. My whole skill set is bent toward being a creative person, but I acknowledge and accept that it’s the rare society that supports creative types and allows them to flourish. Maybe one day that will be the case, but for now, at least in the United Corporate States of America, it’s not that way.

There is real honor in hard work, dedication, loyalty, and doing your best.

There is nothing honorable about doing a bullshit job for bullshit wages in a bullshit setting for bullshit employers. It’s all bullshit.

By and large, Americans are wage slaves. Once we get a job, we are either stuck there due to benefits and entitlements being attached to said job, or we are destined to hop from miserable job to miserable job hoping against hope that the so-called American Dream isn’t dead in the twenty-first century.

News flash, unless you’re already rich, it is.

America is a Capitalist nation. Not one hundred percent mind you. We have a few remnants of the old mid-twentieth century social safety net, but for the most part, those protections for the poor and working class are dead and buried.

Is capitalism bad?

Pure, unfettered capitalism is one f the most dangerous economic philosophies ever developed.

Is communism bad?

Pure, unfettered, communism is one of the most dangerous economic philosophies ever developed.

I’m a Democratic Socialist.

 

Democratic socialism (also known as evolutionary socialism) is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of a decentralized planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists espouse that capitalism is inherently incompatible with what they hold to be the democratic values of liberty, equality, and solidarity; and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realization of a socialist society. Democratic socialism can be supportive of either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism.

 

Why am I writing about all of this?

I’ve interviewed for seven jobs in the last week and have been offered all but one. I’ve turned down 4 because they were all paying, I shit you not, less than ten dollars an hour. I finally asked HR person how she could justify such a low pay rate, and she told me (not a direct quote) “there’s the door.” I told her the people she represents are what was wrong with America.

I suppose I’m also trying to justify to myself that quitting these jobs wasn’t wrong despite being raised to keep my head down and push through. When I was a kid (holy shit does that makes me feel old), a single person working in a factory or equivalent job could support a family of four in a comfortable working-class lifestyle. Children of the poor and working class could attend public trade schools, colleges, and universities without amassing crippling debt and subsequentially enter the job force with a degree enabling them to command a better salary and benefits.

Those days are dead as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

In these dark days, this is how it goes.

Poor parents, no matter no hard they work, raise their children on the knife edge of poverty. They are forced to send them to our underfunded schools and deny them basic healthcare for lack of good (if any) insurance. There’s no money to send those children to college or trade schools which means the children must either work low paying jobs trapping them in a cycle of wage slavery or take out MASSIVE student loans with extraordinary interest rates and once they graduate they are also trapped in a cycle of wage slavery. In America, the Mega-Corporations and the Uber-Rich hold all of our leashes, and it’s just getting worse.

We are all miserable.

We are all beaten down.

The rest of the developed world doesn’t live this way.

This isn’t right people, this isn’t us.

 

 

- Josh (05/09/2019)

Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!