Shelter in Place: Day 20

Hello friends and my one nemesis, (You know who you are! How can you forget the Plains of Gathalax where your stole the sword of shadows from me??)

I am doing well today.

A slight update on my current economic status: this afternoon, everyone in retail is having a group meeting with HR. After that I have no work scheduled. I am not a betting person, but I have an educated guess as to what the meeting might be about.

I knew this was coming. I’m honestly very grateful for the weeks I still had a job and was being paid. With shelter in place extended through at least May in the Bay Area, I didn’t really expect to maintain my employment as the world’s first virtual barista. (Even though I offered multiple times to make coffee for my co-workers through their screens.)

Now seems like a fine time to bring up my Patreon account again. For those who don’t know, Patreon allows me to share my fiction with my patrons who then pay me money. I  (usually) post about one short story a month. It’s the best way to keep up with my fiction if that’s something you’re interested and able to do. It starts at $1 a month because I’m not good at marketing myself. Here’s the link.

And shout-out to all my amazing patrons! I can’t tell you the number of times your contributions have made the difference between me making rent or not, having money for groceries or not, purchasing a really fancy hat or not. (Not that last one, but I felt the need to lighten the mood.)

Because I don’t like talking about myself (I love it!), I’m going to talk instead about my difficulties with capitalism as a system. I read the book “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn at the impressionable age of 15, and it got me to start thinking about institutions not as constant and immutable, but as human created and sustained. In particular, the section about the agricultural revolution stuck with me – the change of humans as a species from living within ecological constraints to flouting those constraints. The line drawn from agriculture through to an all-encompassing reliance on capitalism.

Not saying we need to return to a hunter-gatherer society, because 1) the environment has been so drastically changed that it would not sustain us and there would be chaos 2) I am not going to survive in that sort of a system for longer than it takes to find poisonous berries.

But what I hate about capitalism is the flattening of humanity, the flattening of the natural world, the flattening of art and creation to a dollar sign. My life quality is determined by how much money I make. Every action in my life is rated on how well it conforms to the production of capital.

Capitalism has contributed to every act of injustice perpetrated since its initiation: slavery, genocide, poverty, institutionalized racism, war.

It is a broken system that does not improve the lives of those living under it.

Once again, I don’t know what the alternate system of survival will look like. I only have my brain and it is a limited one. I gain hope from thinking about smaller communities working together, but I run into the wall of what happens when people act as people often do?

I don’t know the answer. I only know that capitalism is inherently corrupt, and right now it is on the verge of collapse.

So in my (likely) jobless state, I will be wracking my brain for solutions and sharing all my half-baked ideas in writing.

As ever, thank you for reading. Thank you for thinking. Thank you for caring.

All the love,

LAF

One thought on “Shelter in Place: Day 20

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