Is Existential Sorrow Compatible with Socialism?

I don't wanna work. The mere thought of a "working life" makes me want to kill myself. I'm not kidding — it's not that I don't feel like it or would just rather laze around. The mere thought of waking up every morning knowing that I'll spend my day toiling mindlessly in some office or factory makes me sick.

I want to spend my life modestly enjoying what I truly love: reading, writing and watching avant-garde films. All I need is a tiny one-person apartment, a computer with access to the Internet, bread and water.

Just because I do not want to obey does not mean I want to command or control, though. I don't want my tranquility to come at other people's expense — I'm not a misanthrope hating on "normies" and wishing them ill. If anything, I feel immense sorrow for them. When my neighbor rides the train everyday to work with a smile on his face, I cannot help but be reminded of the soldier departing for a senseless war "la fleur au fusil" (as the French say) never to return to his family, his friends and his passions.

I wouldn't have any problem whatsoever with whatever I do end up producing going to the community, though. I do not seek wealth, status, influence of anything like that. If I somehow ended up finding a miraculous cure for AIDS or coming up with a clever labor-saving device, I wouldn't want anything in exchange. Just have everyone benefit from it with no strings attached and leave me alone.

Is there a place for people like me under socialism?

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You don't want to work under capitalism, friend. You would have no trouble to work under socialism I would wager, because in socialism you do not work to generate profit, but to engage yourself and be helpful to your community, a fulfilling practice. No one would be forced to work to generate a profit and if the luxury is there no one even would have to work to keep society going, praise be automation. So yes, there is a place for you under socialism.

From an existential viewpoint, how is sweeping the streets from 9 to 5 everyday for decades different under socialism from what it is under capitalism?

If you don't want to contribute but have your needs provided for by others, how are you better than Porky?

Better pay, don't have to keep doing it forever if you don't want to.

Also OP you could just go to film school or something, except you'd actually be able to make films at the end of it.

Sweeping won't necessarily ever be a "fun" job, but it would be way better when done under socialism. Also, you probably wouldn't have to work from 9 to 5 either. Technology and automation have made and will continue to simplify the amount of labor necessary to accomplish a task. A big idea that socialists are tinkering with is the idea of a four hour work week. With the amount of goods we currently have and are able to produce at a swift pace and the increase in population it would be entirely possible to have low level laborers only work for four hours a day and still have their needs met.

Imagine that instead, you get up work from 8 to 12, and then have the rest of the day to keep on doing what you're doing. Hell, if you get into movie making you might even find a job there instead and then you won't have to sweep.

1) you would not have to work from 9 to 5
2) you would not have to sweep the streets
3) it is different in that you would receive the appropriate pay to compensate you for your labor and it would not go to the street sweeping company providing you with the means of production

Porky extracts vast amounts of wealth from the worker and constantly work to undermine the possibility of a world in which he is not the undisputed master. He seeks to exploit and with its fruits refine the tools of that very exploitation.

I don't. But it's true that I technically didn't work for what little I get — and therefore do not really deserve it. That's why I have conflicting feelings.

A better pay doesn't change much when it comes the existential dread such toil fills you with.

That would indeed be a big step in the right direction — the less work for everyone, the better. But it doesn't solve the problem: you still give up a significant chunk of your life over to something you have no control over.


When you own the means of production you can bet your ass you have control over it.

Then don't get a job sweeping the fucking street or go to your doctor for some xanax, it's not like the work week would be anywhere near as long as it is and you could even make those avant garde films you love so much. If your anxiety is that bad in a European socialist state you'd probably be able to get signed off on the sick anyway.


>Wake up at 6:30 to enjoy some alone time before it happens.

I concede you made me laugh. But you get my point: "sweeping" is just a placeholder for anything someone simply doesn't like to do.

You only own it in a very abstract sense. In practical terms you have no control over it; you can't take 'your share' of capital and destroy it or take it with you and go wank somewhere. It's communal property in a way that no member of the collective is an owner in actuality.

Stasi agents. Gestapo was for the Nazis.

The thing is, millions of people are perfectly fine doing whatever gets food put on the table, and will be happy playing their part no matter how small as long as they can have a quiet life. If it fills you with such existential dread then find something you want to do and do it. The Soviets had peasants running the country, being sent up to space and leading their culture in film and art.

They say 1 in 20 people worked for the Stasi, but what they don't tell you is 20 out of 20 did the sweeping.

Become an antinatalist.

Realise that reality is a cold and horrible place and that no one needs it or wants it and can only ever be forced into it. Human existence is constant deprivation. Life is suffering, tedium and misery with a brief and fleeting moments of happiness.

There has to be some skill of social value you have. I mean, if this passage isnany indication, you could be a writer (try checking that out as a job, OP, get some extra cash) or any number of other non menial professions. But to answer your question, no, I don't think socialism can tolerate NEETdom very well if it's going to be very successful.

And that's what I don't get. The very thought of "being fine" with "whatever gets food put on the table" mortifies me and I can't fathom how other people can seemingly stand it as if it were nothing.

The USSR was ruled by bureaucrats — certainly not the workers and peasants themselves.

Those were exceptions. The vast majority of Soviet citizens worked long days at unrewarding jobs like in the West.

I certainly don't plan to ever have a child — not solely because I don't want any, but also because I know I wouldn't be a good father and this would lead to even more suffering for every party involved.

I doubt my writing would be relevant to anyone's interests — they're not good enough to warrant people's attention, let alone earn me a living.

There is always the FALC version of communism, which Oscar Wilde described back in 1891:

As for the notion of wanting to be a socialist but also wanting to spend most of the time alone pursuing your personal interests rather constantly participating in group activities, Zizek describes something like this:

…how is this incompatible with a socialist/communist society? Some people, like me, enjoy working in technology and general engineering and I would be perfectly happy doing that my entire life. There are more than enough people like me that it's probably fine if you aren't one of us and enjoy doing the things you would find more fulfilling like reading, writing and watching films, comrade.