After two months of commuting, droning, and working a useless job, I have congealed into a blob of nothingness. I have yet to write or to be happy. I find myself feeling empty working and feeling even more empty not working. Hence, I have become the alienated laborer who only values him or herself by the money made from his or her labor. Because of this thought, I find myself rereading Marx on the train and during breaks at work just to let myself know that these feelings have been around for years and years and will continue to be around for the years to come.
Along with these feelings of seemingly endless feelings emptiness, comes the dreary drive to save, save, and save some more. These feelings of anguish and panic are fed by news of the broken housing market, the impending recession, and, as the NYT’s puts it, “America’s Obsession with Debt”. In short, I feel that if I do not work and save all of what I have earned, I will fall behind and become a person who is a drain on society or, worse yet, an example of someone addicted to excess. But this need to work and this need to be alienated by labour is an excess in itself. I simply accepted alienation labour and its result, money, as a means to free myself:
“Political economy hides the alienation in the essence of labour by not considering the immediate relationship between the worker (labour) and production. Labour produces works of wonder for the rich, but nakedness for the worker. It produces palaces, but only hovels for the worker; it produces beauty, but cripples the worker; it replaces labour by machines but throws part of the works back to the barbaric labour and turns the other part into machines It produces culture, but also imbecility and cretinism for the worker” (Marx).
But because of all this, I sit in anticipation of teaching jobs this coming Fall hoping to break what alienation I have experienced this summer, hoping to live so below my means that I can earn enough that the culture of the classroom and its adrenaline rush become my “works of wonder”, “palaces”, and “beauty”.