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Thinking and Discharging - About Work and Unemployment

I've been unemployed for as long as I've been Co-Counselling and then some. I've lived solely on the dole much of that time. I'm now deciding to get a hand with discharging the bits of distress that, for all my good intentions and unpaid work, have kept me stuck and struggling to take full responsibility for my own income.

Harvey Jackins reckons unemployment acts like a 'dredge for powerlessness.' I think I know what he means. I've also noticed that powerlessness is a major theme in most workers' attitudes toward unemployed people, in the phenomenon of unemployment, and in work itself under capitalism.

Exclusion from rational work is, I believe, as grave a hurt as confinement in oppressive jobs. The capitalist system needs to keep many people divided from each other, stuck in either of these situations, and starved of resources, in order for it to stay in place and keep reaping profits.

Unemployed people are living evidence of the inability of capitalism to organise people and resources to meet everyone's needs. We unemployed have the least confusion about the need for a society which supports, trusts, and encourages everyone to do their own best work in relaxed, loving conditions. Because we have so much great thinking about how to arrange such work, we are well placed to lead society out of the mess created by capitalism as it disintegrates. (Imagine the power inherent in the fifteen percent of the world's population who are now unemployed or underemployed. Imagine all workers inspired to demand fully human conditions and the resources to create them!)

I see people's internalised oppression and restimulation about work and unemployment as major, dischargeable obstacles to creating a new, human society. In the wide world these get in the way of organising effective alliances between workers and unemployed people. Let's get together in counselling and clean this up. Let's love what we do and love each other whatever we do!

Rowan White
Brunswick, Victoria,
reprinted from the newsletter of the Melbourne, Australia RC Community

Last modified: 2020-07-01 09:06:00+00