Or Is Your Manager Just An Obnoxious Tyrant Trying to Dominate and Control You?
Workers Work, But Only Bosses Boss
The majority of people work, and that means that the majority must take orders and obey some kind of boss. It might be some impersonal array of supervisors, or it might be the owner of the business. Maybe it's just a manager, who organizes the business for a single individual who owns the workplace. Or, it could be an entire management team, responsible to a corporate board, who in turn, were elected by tens of thousands of shareholders. The person in charge of your work could by a very definite human being, or it could be the average of the majority votes from thousands of faceless investors. But wherever you work as an employee, you will have a boss, or someone on top of you giving you orders.
The defining aspect of the relationship is that of authority: a single person, or a group of persons, demands that you do something, and you do it. The result is necessarily submission toward what is demanded of you, and you accept this just to get your paycheck. Recognition of authority, attentiveness to commands, and even predicting your master's needs, this is the basis of employment, no matter how low or how high. We may not all be servants, but servitude is the common element running throughout every job.
As a worker, you must work, and this means paying attention to your supervisor's endless flow of details and descriptions. It means understanding that a significant portion of your day is just being told what to do and doing it. And it means keeping this understanding within your mind five days every week, fifty-two weeks every year, until you're old enough to retire. The best years of your existence are spent being in the emotional position of a child, until you are used-up and spent. Obedience -- that is the constant basis for all Capitalism.
The Standards of Living, the Conditions of Work
You're obedient for your wage, or your salary. Essentially, you obey the tyrant of your workplace because you depend on the money. You depend on a piece of paper that gives you permission to part of society's collective wealth, though with great restrictions and limitations. This is what keeps you obedient to an earthly boss: your dependence on the productions of the earth, from food to shelter to the amusements of social interaction. You don't just work for your wages. You work for the things your wages can buy, or your standard of living.
The conditions of your work, then, are built upon your dependency of society's goods. You accept submission to a lord of the workplace in exchange for the right to live at a decent rate of existence. Your dependency on what humans can produce when working together is what establishes your chains to the workplace. To the single individual, aware of the others, the acceptance of these terms is a logical response to these personal desires. But this is until you feel the pains of domination by someone probably less honest and less hard-working than you.
Everyone needs things to live, no matter how idealistic you want to be. And how you live, the quality of your life, from the softness of your bed to the number of books you have, all of that depends on how much you earn. What you decide to plan for eating is standardized by how much you expect to be paid. Whether or not you have enough money left over after work to learn and educate yourself depends on that simple phrase take-home pay.
There's No Time Like Working Time
Just like your standard of living, the amount of free time you have to yourself is decided by your workplace. Most people would accept their working hours being halved, on condition of doubling of the pay. The take-home earnings would remain the same, while freeing up a good portion of time for the worker. The lowness of your pay, though, dictates that you need to give more of your time to your boss. More of your moments are to spent taking orders and interpreting the will of some workplace tyrant, rather than being free to your own impulse and desire.
How much time you have for laying out in the sun and reading, relaxing and enjoying the company of friends, or for simply following whatever desire comes up -- this is determined by the terms your boss offers. Not only is pay so low that working less than the standard eight-hour day is difficult, but most employers refuse to hire anyone who only works two-hour or four-hour days. Personal time, whether it's for rest or for recreation, for a hobby or for an art or for a form of music, that is sapped by the terms of your subjection. Not only must you submit to orders, but this submission is the basis that excludes you from the material and time needed to indulge in society and culture.
People can feel validated and justified in their existence by their work, but it is not the end-all of being. An individual's true nature needs liberty to realize itself. The inner parts of their mind that have not been developed enough, the strivings of the soul that haven't been given free expression -- these are parts of the mind that decay under the subjection of work and rot under the monotony of long work hours. There is no way for individual development when all of the attention and time of each worker is on the orders of their master. Those good parts of the mind cannot be truly developed unless they are willing to disregard all borders and restraints.
Individual Self-Rule is Only Possible in a World Without Bosses
Does your boss do anything for you? Yes, they perform a thousand functions they consider essential, from taking the profit that would've been your pay to only allowing you to work obscenely long hours. But have they ever done anything for you? Have they ever done anything that lifts you up out of your miserable standards of existence, into one where you are dependent upon nobody but yourself? Have they ever provided the means that will allow you to fully develop and be rewarded for your unique individuality and personal ideas?
Their lifestyle is paid for by the dividends of your sweat and blood. Their bank accounts are filled by the terms of your subjugation and control. Their right to the world is your obligation; their control over industries is your responsibility. You are the laborer, and you produce everything needed in the world, but you will have no decision in controlling how that social wealth is distributed or the terms in which the workplace is managed. Your obedience to an earthly tyrant, the miserable wages you're paid, and the time you'll never get back in this life -- these are the things that all bosses will do for you.
You will only be free when these three conditions are lifted off of you. When you don't take orders, when you don't depend on others for your standards of living, and when your whole day isn't spent in building the castles of the aristocracy -- then you will be free. That doesn't mean becoming a boss by climbing to the top over the skulls of your friends. That means organizing with all members of the working-class to build a world where every worker manages their own terms of work. That means building a world without bosses, without orders, without subjugation. The world without bosses is only possible through Revolution.