Bad Metaphors

People like to say dramatic things for effect; I don’t suppose anyone thinks too deeply about what they’re saying in any given conversation, and metaphor is largely how we describe and communicate experience. However. When something that would be even a stretched analogy is implied, or outright stated, to be essentially the same thing, it can get offensive.

Like slavery.

No, white, able-bodied, cisgendered, employed, first-world, male – participating in capitalism is NOT THE SAME AS SLAVERY and yes, I meant it when I said you were an asshole for saying it was. Yes, there are people today who are currently enslaved, no, they are not slaves to ‘the man’ or ‘the system’, they are enslaved to other (reprehensible) people. They have no autonomy. Their bodies are used by the (disgusting) person who thinks they can own another person for financial gain. Not to mention the systemic enslavement of Africans in the US from the 1600s to late 1800s.

To say that your having a job in a capitalist society is actually the same as slavery except, you know, with your mind rather that your body is vomit-inducingly inaccurate.

Having children (which, incidentally, you don’t) doesn’t mean you are obligated to work, and even if it did, to compare your ‘obligation’ to set up IT systems is not the same as an enslaved person’s ‘obligation’ to be raped, or to be beaten, or to work at a grueling physical task for no money and little food for hours on end, for days, months, years on end. An enslaved person does not have five weeks of paid vacation per year, or weekends, or a house in the suburbs.

Yes, capitalism can be oppressive. You might be employed by a jerk. You might be ineligible for government support that would allow you to support yourself and any children to a particular standard, and unable to work a job that pays enough to do the same. You might hate your job.

This is not the same as having no choice.

I repeat. This is NOT the same as having NO CHOICE.

Here: a blueprint for an autonomous, off-the-grid commune. Go live off the grid. No one will stop you. Which is the material point. Capitalism will not hunt you down and thrash you within an inch of your life for choosing to do something else.

Incidentally, this also holds true for the grotesque misusage of the term ‘rape’.

No, having to pay tax is not the same as being ‘raped’ by the government. Paying a lot for your new jeans is not at all like rape. Someone viciously mocking you, also totally not like rape. Strip mining vast swathes of the planet is a bit more like rape than those examples, in that the planet cannot give consent, but then, it is a rock with ecosystems on it, and we don’t normally consider rocks as having thoughts or feelings or consciousness which might require consent before doing stuff, so, therefore, still not really like rape at all.

So knock it off.

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