There is a fundamental problem with striking. We are not needed anymore. It is not saying we are useless, however human labor has been steadily decoupling from production since around the 1970’s.
What this means is that the value of human labor is declining. A strike is no longer effective because it has lost the value it used to have.
I’m in software, I realized after a few years doing it that it’s essentially professional problem solving. Programs are just instructions to solve a problem. Hell the very thing you create is often referred to as a “solution”. Pattern recognition and abstraction are key.
I mention this because I approach social problems in the same way that I approach solving anything else. I have discovered that the same patterns that lead to bad software also lead to bad social policy, and more applicable bad counter social policy. People get caught up in what is, they get afraid that a new system will be wrong. So instead the compromise is endless baby steps that wind up being endless patch work. After years of patching but never really addressing things you have a giant mess of nothing works.
Striking is a solution that worked in the past and this is true. Basing your actions on the past is good up until the point where its not. That point comes when things change. Look at how much the world has changed in the last 25 years. Think about human history. Up until about the last 100 years any human born would rarely see technological change in their lifetime. You may see one or two new things, or be born into a time of unusually high activity, but for your entire life the tools known to humanity would be fairly consistent. It is only within the incredibly recent history that this has changed. Our technology now outpaces our social change by magnitudes.
This is crucial to thinking about how change must also change. This new status quo is not wrong, or right it just is. You can’t fight it. We can’t make human labor valuable again. It’s up to us to look forward and see the new opportunities the past generations can’t understand.
Striking had power because human labour had value. Currently humans have a different power and that is buying power. Markets stopped becoming about what people wanted a long time ago. Once the notion to spend spend spend really began driving the economy in the 50’s-60’s it became more and more about controlling market share, not about providing goods and services. Markets are created if you can somehow create them. Not exactly based off of “demand”.
So since we don’t have value in production we have to organize our attack around our financial value. I’ve been thinking a lot myself about how to tackle this and instead of a work strike we should do a debt strike.
With a labour strike you stop working. With a debt strike we stop paying. It’s a lot like a bubble burst but conscious. Right now the big corporations keep going based essentially on Americans being able to buy things. Americans can’t buy things if the economy is broken. The economy relies almost entirely on massive personal debt right now. The issue is that if one person doesn’t pay things back they can be severely taken to task for it legally.
That doesn’t change the fact that the economy is resting on that debt. So if at the end of the day the economy is threatening our society more than the collapse of the economy is threatening us. Wouldn’t it make sense for us to usher in the collapse? And if the only real reason we all have to keep paying is because the rest of us also pay back. Then we actually have a lot of fucking power in our payments.
So instead of a labor strike we bring about a debt strike. Organize around 15% of the population to suddenly stop paying anything all at once and there are 0 options for them. They cannot lock all of them up for that, they can’t fight them, there is no occupation of space. We simply force the drying up of the exchange.
Absolutely crucial to this would be bringing about new institutions. No need to ask permission. Just begin organizing under new banners and ideas. I firmly believe that our best solution to todays politics is to go with a wiki model. Corruption plagues our democracies, but for the first time ever we have a way for people to organize information with complete transparency. If every single one of us could have a say just like on wikipedia. It would change everything. Begin using the amazing tools and powers we have to simply live outside of this madness.
We cannot make change without offering people new options, the old ways don’t die because people destroy them. People simply begin living in new ways. If we can make those new ways more available to everyone then we can hasten the destruction of the old.
My personal current plan is to finish this mental health game I’m working on, and then use the meager funds to begin a tool library and development of open source wiki governance software. Where people can organize everything about a group of people with complete transparency. Sure there will be corruption still but we would at least see it.
But if you want to strike, lets do a debt strike and send this thing crashing down.
And it’s interesting that this sort of talk would get you put on lists. Because I care more about people than the status quo. By