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Social Justice

We are all slaves

We have everything we need to live comfortably within the reach of our hands and wallets. We can choose what to eat, what to discard, what to wear, and what to drive. We can visit places where they’ll feed us and entertain us. We have medication available for almost every health “problem” we could ever imagine. We live happily sedated, without fear of death, without any immediate danger. The price we pay for such comfortable and easy lives is our freedom. We are all slaves of the financial system: born into it, without many chances to escape, we give our liberty away for the dollar. For the piece of paper with a number printed on it. How is X dollars worth X amount of bread? It’s just a piece of paper, is it not? Or not even that… just a number on an ATM screen. Bank money, without cover in actual, material things. Born into a certain family, we have no choice for eighteen years but to adopt the lifestyle of our parents. We inherit their debt, but in turn we get to go to college where we can learn unnecessary, meaningless things. Not all of us are going to be space explorers and great physicists. Most of us will end up with worthless desk jobs. Having a job is neither the natural human state, nor is it our duty in any way. We think we need jobs, because of how we’ve made the world. We’ve built everything on something that’s not even real – money, a completely fictional exchange system, where we receive material things for digits. Here’s 60 George Washingtons, give me that video game. We kill for money and die for money, because how else can we call it, when war casualties – actual living soldiers – are each assigned a monetary value? Your husband died? Here, take this check, get a new one! Birth, school, job, retirement, death, burial. Everything comes with a price tag. And when you don’t pay, they come and take away all your possessions, because you failed to produce enough pictures of George fucking Washington, the slave owner. That’s one scary double pun, ain’t it.

We live easy, comfortable lives, with hot running water, pizza deliveries and Ferraris. In exchange for having nothing to worry about, we give our freedom – the financial organizations above us can do whatever they want with us, and we have to obey. Gotta make them payments!

Wait a second. There is no law that says that you have to have a job, that you must work for somebody in exchange for money. We toss around the word freedom quite a lot, but what does it really mean? In bare essence, regardless of what it means to you personally in your own interpretation, freedom is a state in which only human will determines how they’re going to provide subsistence for themselves. That’s raw freedom – survival how we wish to survive. Some might think that we as a society are past that, that we’ve evolved above survival for the sake of survival. I’m not so sure. They say we ought to be proud of what we as a species have accomplished in our brief history here on Earth. What is that, exactly? The fact that we’ve raped this planet and pillaged it for its resources? Or the fact that we’ve invented weapons of mass destruction, capable of killing millions of people in a second? That’s not great, it’s just really, really stupid. We weren’t even smart enough to control population, and now the world is overpopulated. As a civilization we’ve only mastered one thing, and that thing is masturbation. Physical, financial, and finally mental, emotional masturbation. We jerk off with money, buying shiny things. We jerk off with “love” to make ourselves feel good. We do nothing else.

Think of it this way – why is there always a monetary value attached to everything? History (depending on where you live…) will probably tell you that money is a great invention, because now we can put precise value on our work. For example, if I’m a blacksmith, I can say one hour of my work is worth $50. It’s supposed to be easier than saying that a kettle made by me is worth 10 kilos of raw pork, and it gives us some solid basis for pricing both our work and our product. Be that as it may, with barter you can’t really trade when you have nothing to offer. With money, on the other hand, you can get something for nothing, if you sign some papers that say that you can have the money, but if you don’t pay it back, the bank will make you homeless, and worse. So all the time people like you and me get tricked into taking more loans, getting new credit cards, and then when they realize this laptop or this Mercedes are worthless garbage – the bank is there to take the item away, together with their freedom. Why freedom? Because it’s a chain reaction: being in debt forces you to work more than you normally would. Your personal freedom has been violated, but you signed the paperwork, so you practically gave your freedom away to a bank. Do I need to go on, or are you getting the picture?

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Here in the so called Western World we’ve also become so proud and otherwise hollow that we categorize people by their yearly income. We even have special brackets “from-to”, we put people in them and that’s supposed to give us an idea about who they are, excuse me, what their net worth is. So next time you see your buddy Steve, your friend of twenty years with whom you had a near death experience in a car crash, who helped your family when you were facing some tough times… Make sure your friend Steve is in the same goddamn yearly income bracket as you. He’s gotta be, since he’s your friend, right? Do you see where I’m going with this? We don’t value people for who they are any more, or for what they’ve done. We put fucking numbers next to their names and that’s how we’ve made this society work. The fact of the matter is that things like income, race, gender, education level, job title only matter when we agree that they do in front of our peers. You have to agree that those things matter in order to be subject to them. Remaining in a modern Western society equals that very agreement, and by living amid these so-called social laws and ladders you willfully agree to be governed by them. Refuse to live in a society and those things automatically stop applying to you, because if you remove yourself from that context, those things simply cease to exist. And, remember that you don’t have to physically abandon your society to live outside of it. It’s all in your head.

There are tribes both in South America and in Oceania who willfully and in total awareness rejected “civilization” when it came to them. They chose not to have electricity introduced, not to use gas-operated machines, forgot the combustion engine… why? Because they were very much aware, that with civilization comes money, and money is not just a way to pay for things. Money is in fact a world order, it’s the way society is organized. It’s money. It’s money that determines that a family should have a “breadwinner” with the best paid job. Without money, the breadwinner would just go hunting, or trading their product for some food. It’s money that determines that couples should marry, because sure, they so love each other, but there’s also tax reasons, loan credibility, etc. It’s money that puts some of us higher on the social ladder than others, regardless of the quality of person we are. In the modern world, all inequality is based on money and how much of it people have. The primitive tribes knew that and didn’t want to change their social order. The only way you can deal with the white devil is money or death.

Of course, being born without civilization and then being introduced to it is one thing, and being born in the West and rejecting civilization and its ways is another. Most people will say that it’s too late for them and that they’ve become so accustomed to all the technology and ease of life that they would have a zero survival chance without all those modern things. Those people are wrong. Life begins outside your weak fucking comfort zone, how’s that for a rather true cliché?

We can’t save this world, not any more. We can only save ourselves. There are people who live outside of society, outside of civilization even. There are still places in the world where you can do that, but you’re gonna have to learn how to live without your TV and your precious iPhone. You’re gonna have to learn how to survive -30 degree weather with windchill twice that number. You’ll also need to learn how to love every second of it, how to have an affair with frostbite and a date with wolves and bears every once in a while. Kill your own food. Chop your own wood. Build your own fire. Maybe even make your own clothes. Learn how to do these things and you will forever be free from the oppression of money, and sooner or later, even governments. It doesn’t matter who’s got the most expensive car. Who can bring harvest the most meat in a day, that’s the relevant question. Complete, absolute freedom is possible only after rejecting what modern society is built on. The price of such freedom is hardship.
The Land of the Free is where the roads don’t go.

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Written By

Magda Wintar were born and raised in the Central European country of Poland. Being a neutrois musician, novelist, and researcher, they chose to reject the society which constantly discriminated against them and bought their own forest, on the edge of which they now live. Magda spend their days writing, and composing music - the kind of music you need to put your hands in the earth to understand.

2 Comments

2 Comments

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  2. Patrick L. Bertlein

    September 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Not only does this idea lack any originality (never heard of Fight Club?), but how does this article match the bio description of “and bought her own forest”. If you BOUGHT a forest, that took money. You either worked, or you have rich parents. If the former, change your article to “be a slave and buy your freedom!” or if the latter it possibly could be “you are born into slavery (unlike myself because my parents are rich).

    Either way, nice try.

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