Submitted by zoom_zip in antiwork

can we create some kind of collection of practical reclamation advice? real tangible ways for people to reclaim their lives from the tyranny of work in a contemporary context. a lot of the texts on the subject bemoan the existence of work but offer very little in the ways of how to claim back what's left of your life from the perpetual meat-grinder of capitalist existence. there's always a lot of reasoning as to why work sucks, but short of dismantling capitalism in its entirety, the opportunities to escape don't seem to exist. after all, we all need money to live, right? so in some way we must always engage with the system in order to survive. without having some amount of start-up capital or privelege to access a large amount of land, most people couldn't just find a space to start growing their own food, quit their jobs, and be self-sustaining.

obviously there is a vast spectrum of people in different countries/contexts/etc. who are caught up in the cycle of earning to live, and the opportunities for how they might be able to break out of that--even partially--are going to be wildly different. maybe to the point where the question is already too large and too complex to really tackle.

but the point is, we don't want to work, yet the solution is so radical that it practically feels like speculative fiction. just destroy all of global capitalism. so short of that, what are the practical things we can do now to continue being able to live while also creating a more tolerable existence as we wait for the system to crumble. are there steps we can take to start phasing out work and replacing it with the things we actually want to do?

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bloodrose wrote

We need some sort of modern diggers movement. A right to live on land without having to pay for it. De-privatizing of land.

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aaaaargZombies wrote

co-operation

Everything is more expensive as a single person. The same tasks done for one person aren't much more work to do for many people. I'd rather spend a couple of hours cooking something good one night a week than 30mins cooking something crap every night of the week. Also If I've cooked someone else will do the washing up so I can relax. If someone else cooked a nice meal that I got to eat with other nice people of course I don't mind washing up, especially If we all continue talking and hanging out while I do it.

mutual aid

You build a network or people who you just help if they ask. You offer help if you see they need it. And you ask if you need it. Someone asks you to drive them somewhere because they don't have a vehicle so you do it. Your van needs some welding so you turn up at a friends workshop and they talk you through the basics and you do the work in their car park. Your shit at spelling so your housemate offers to proof read your essay. Your computer breaks but someone has a pile of old laptops and they install a fresh OS and give you one.

If you can access things you need without money you are less dependent on work.

skill-sharing

I guess that's what your asking for here.

Inspiration from the past

In the UK there used to be a number of things you could do surrounding benefits. While Job Seekers Allowance was an arduous and humiliating way to make £70 a week, Working Tax Credit was entirely unscrutinized and paid £50 a week so long as a you did a tax return each year declaring £0 profit for you "business". Although very little money seeing as you didn't need to do anything for it you could stay in your squat all day with out fear of someone evicting you while you were out, or just go hitchhiking and eat out of bins. Many Anti-roads camps were sustained by this. As well as musicians and artists.

One of the least scrutinized benefits was housing benefit because although technically paid to poor people, it was mostly used to pay off the mortgages on the investment properties of extremely wealthy people. Because it could only be used against rent and not a mortgage there wasn't much risk of poor people getting their hands on it. But, if you and a group of friends were to register a business, apply for a loan on the basis of being a landlord, take that loan and use it as the deposit for a mortgage to complete your business plan. Well now, the state is buying you and your friends a house.

Activism

The guise of protest is often a useful tool of the squatter. Look at la ZAD after the building of the airport was canceled the moral support from the wider community began to fade and the protesters suddenly became squatters again. The less achievable the goal sometimes the better.

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This is a great topic and I'm interested to hear what others have to say.

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