41 votes

Popular subreddit r/antiwork goes private after Fox interview

Many of you might be familiar with the popular and massively growing antiwork/work reform movement that found a home in the r/antiwork subreddit. Well, recently, the founder of the subreddit was invited on Fox news for an interview and it went about as well as you could expect (We shouldn't support r/Cringetopia) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUMIFYBMnc

Sub is now private, an offshoot called /r/WorkReform has been launched and everyone hates the old mods now.

137 comments

  1. [15]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    As an aside can we not link to cringetopia? That comment section is pretty blatantly transphobic and bigoted. Other threads on that same sub discussing this issue had highly upvoted comments with...
    • Exemplary

    As an aside can we not link to cringetopia? That comment section is pretty blatantly transphobic and bigoted. Other threads on that same sub discussing this issue had highly upvoted comments with slurs like trap being thrown around and not just to describe the situation that fox news set up, but a clear jab at the mod's gender identity.

    34 votes
    1. [4]
      psi
      Link Parent
      Might as well link to the /r/subredditdrama thread instead, as that's essentially what this post amounts to. [Megathread] r/antiwork goes private after fox news interview debacle

      Might as well link to the /r/subredditdrama thread instead, as that's essentially what this post amounts to.

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Unfortunately, SRD is not much better in that regard. OOTL at least does a half decent job at banning bigots.

        Unfortunately, SRD is not much better in that regard. OOTL at least does a half decent job at banning bigots.

        13 votes
        1. [2]
          psi
          Link Parent
          Ah, sorry, I didn't realize that. I remember SRD leaning center-left, but it's admittedly been a while since I left reddit.

          Ah, sorry, I didn't realize that. I remember SRD leaning center-left, but it's admittedly been a while since I left reddit.

          6 votes
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            Any big subreddit that doesn’t whitelist comments is a shithole

            Any big subreddit that doesn’t whitelist comments is a shithole

    2. [7]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Solid point. Full interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUMIFYBMnc

      Solid point.

      Full interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUMIFYBMnc

      4 votes
      1. [6]
        Apos
        Link Parent
        Am I missing some context? I didn't think the interview was that bad. They didn't defend the movement that well, but those were pretty soft questions and I don't see how it could "tank the whole...

        Am I missing some context? I didn't think the interview was that bad. They didn't defend the movement that well, but those were pretty soft questions and I don't see how it could "tank the whole movement and set them back 10 years"? The mod didn't come off as an extremist and seemed to have a positive outlook?

        12 votes
        1. [4]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          Yeah it seemed not very much of anything when I watched. The two main narratives are "fox news are experts at obliterating opposition interview guests" and "mod did a terrible job" and both are...

          Yeah it seemed not very much of anything when I watched. The two main narratives are "fox news are experts at obliterating opposition interview guests" and "mod did a terrible job" and both are only kinda present? The interview wasn't that hostile, to be honest. First two questions were kinda bad faith-y and loaded but neither were that bad, and the rest was pretty fluff-esque, the "where do you work", "what would you want to do instead" kind of question.

          I don't think the mod did that bad of a job either. I think the answer to the first question was okay - not great, and pretty rambly, but not terrible. The second one was worse, but mostly because of the first soundbite ("I think laziness is a virtue"), I think the rest is ok, if very bland.

          It was pretty short, too, and both parties rambled quite a bit, so there wasn't much actual interview. I'm quite surprised it caused such a big blow up.

          10 votes
          1. [3]
            DrStone
            Link Parent
            My understanding is that originally /r/antiwork was truly anti-work, but the recent momentum is more behind work reform, with a push for far more reasonable hours, better conditions, truly livable...
            • Exemplary

            My understanding is that originally /r/antiwork was truly anti-work, but the recent momentum is more behind work reform, with a push for far more reasonable hours, better conditions, truly livable wages, etc. Bettering the lives of people working grueling jobs, multiple jobs, being treated like garbage just to barely scrape by. The average person, not just conservatives, are likely to take the "anti-work" label at face value (much like "defund the police"), which does not lead to a charitable interpretation; one of lazy, entitled people who want a comfortable life with as little effort as they feel like putting in. It's important to show that the concerns and movement are legitimate, that it should be taken seriously, and that it's not about a free ride.

            The top mod and founder of /r/antiwork, the one everyone would assume is the closest thing to a "leader" or at least intimately familiar with with the movement and its motivations, is given the opportunity to step into then national spotlight to discuss such an important topic. You'd expect someone to at the very least clean up, dress in their Sunday-best, get their location in order, and have a few solid answers prepared around their weakest points in case the come up. You know at the very least they'll be literally side-by-side with the image of someone in a suit/dress in a professional studio. Instead, you see someone who fits the worst assumptions almost perfectly. Unkempt hair, wearing a hoodie, fidgeting in the chair and looking anywhere other than the camera, poorly lit and somewhat cluttered room. Poor first impression. Starts well enough, talking about reducing work people are effectively forced to do, missteps with a "laziness is a virtue" soundbite. Then completely undermines credibility by talking about how they already work only 20-25 hours a week, as a dog walker, at 30 years of age, would still like fewer work hours, has no real ambition beyond that, and likes the idea of teach philosophy (of course).

            It so perfectly falls apart and fits the stereotype that it could be a scene from an awkward-comedy. The interview has "shown" to outsiders that the movement is a joke after all if even the top figure comes off like that. I'm seeing people in the movement distancing themselves, at best moving to (hopefully better run) splinter groups, at worst dropping it completely from their public discussion.

            23 votes
            1. Apos
              Link Parent
              Thanks that makes sense. I checked /r/WorkReform just now and I see that they also didn't handle the aftermath very well, banning a lot of people and then going private. Also I could imagine that...

              Thanks that makes sense. I checked /r/WorkReform just now and I see that they also didn't handle the aftermath very well, banning a lot of people and then going private.

              Also I could imagine that if I have bad conditions at work or I feel exploited, I don't want to work less because of laziness.

              I was subbed to /r/antiwork for a while maybe 2 or 3 years ago but it was so doom and gloom that I eventually unsubbed. It's interesting to see that the movement evolved.

              2 votes
            2. Marian_Rejewski
              Link Parent
              Being moderator of an online forum doesn't make a person a leader of the thing the forum is about. I hope nobody would think the moderator of /r/HillaryClinton was a leader of Hillary's campaign,...

              The top mod and founder of /r/antiwork, the one everyone would assume is the closest thing to a "leader"

              Being moderator of an online forum doesn't make a person a leader of the thing the forum is about.

              I hope nobody would think the moderator of /r/HillaryClinton was a leader of Hillary's campaign, or that a moderator of /r/The_Donald was a leader of the GOP.

              1 vote
        2. bkimmel
          Link Parent
          Yeah. I said the same below. If I came away from it with any kind of "impression" it was the Fox news host badgering someone fronting a position that doesn't seem that unreasonable... mocking her...

          Yeah. I said the same below. If I came away from it with any kind of "impression" it was the Fox news host badgering someone fronting a position that doesn't seem that unreasonable... mocking her for wanting to be a teacher... trying to funny but not really getting off the "petty/mean" square.

          TBH I've seen trained politicians do a lot worse. I don't see what all the fuss is about.

          5 votes
    3. raze2012
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There isn't exactly some "neutral" sub on reddit nowadays. It's been posted in funny, bikinobottomtwitter, dank memes, SubredditDrama (probably regular Drama as well). I doubt it's relevant enough...

      There isn't exactly some "neutral" sub on reddit nowadays. It's been posted in funny, bikinobottomtwitter, dank memes, SubredditDrama (probably regular Drama as well). I doubt it's relevant enough for news or politics tho. Best you got is Videos linking directly to the interview.

      The sub was private until very recently, so there was no direct source to point to. Cringetopia just happened to be the first post to blow up since that's where one frustrated poster unfaily banned went.

      The only place I'd truly trust is r/MuseumOfReddit, but by design you can't submit a story there until it's been 6 months.

      3 votes
    4. [2]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      It was just the first link that I had on hand. Sorry bout that.

      It was just the first link that I had on hand. Sorry bout that.

      5 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        No worries and thank you for apologizing :)

        No worries and thank you for apologizing :)

        3 votes
  2. Seven
    Link
    Rule number one is you never, ever debate with fascists. Astonishing naïvete from the mod team here.
    • Exemplary

    Rule number one is you never, ever debate with fascists. Astonishing naïvete from the mod team here.

    29 votes
  3. [19]
    UntouchedWagons
    Link
    There was absolutely no point to doing an interview with Fox News no matter how virtuous your cause is.

    There was absolutely no point to doing an interview with Fox News no matter how virtuous your cause is.

    40 votes
    1. [18]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Mod sees clips, probably those exclusively posted to reddit, of Fox anchors getting "owned" by people they are interviewing. Sees themselves as the exact same as those that have come before, think...

      Mod sees clips, probably those exclusively posted to reddit, of Fox anchors getting "owned" by people they are interviewing. Sees themselves as the exact same as those that have come before, think they will be given softball questions that they've already formed in their head and have responses that would get them gilded on the sub.

      They fail to realize, the internet is not real life.

      19 votes
      1. [17]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        I find it kind of disgusting how many people on the internet and on Tildes are spending a lot of effort to blame someone who was pretty clearly manipulated or focusing their efforts on talking...

        I find it kind of disgusting how many people on the internet and on Tildes are spending a lot of effort to blame someone who was pretty clearly manipulated or focusing their efforts on talking about how they are at fault.

        How about we place the blame where it belongs, on the manipulator, Fox news? I find it particularly atrocious that the anchor who reached out asked for that specific mod amongst the mod team. I'm guessing they did some background work on who would be the best guest to have on. I find it rather interesting that the choice amongst all of the potential mods was someone who has labeled themselves as trans and autistic.

        20 votes
        1. [7]
          sniper24
          Link Parent
          What manipulation? It was basically a softball interview, the interviewer just let the mod talk. They embarrassed themselves.

          How about we place the blame where it belongs, on the manipulator, Fox news?

          What manipulation? It was basically a softball interview, the interviewer just let the mod talk. They embarrassed themselves.

          22 votes
          1. [6]
            Thrabalen
            Link Parent
            The only "manipulation" was that which every media source uses: they vetted an interviewee for a specific result.

            The only "manipulation" was that which every media source uses: they vetted an interviewee for a specific result.

            7 votes
            1. [5]
              sniper24
              Link Parent
              Vetted? They're the top mod. Who else are they gonna ask for?

              Vetted? They're the top mod. Who else are they gonna ask for?

              8 votes
              1. [4]
                Thrabalen
                Link Parent
                They wouldn't have asked for anyone if they didn't think the interview would go in a way that doesn't benefit them. That's just how media works. In this case, it worked beautifully.

                They wouldn't have asked for anyone if they didn't think the interview would go in a way that doesn't benefit them. That's just how media works. In this case, it worked beautifully.

                7 votes
                1. [3]
                  sniper24
                  Link Parent
                  They could have said no, they could have sent someone else, the mod could have had a shower and a haircut before. This is an embarrassing fuck up

                  They could have said no, they could have sent someone else, the mod could have had a shower and a haircut before. This is an embarrassing fuck up

                  18 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Thrabalen
                    Link Parent
                    Which is exactly my point, the only thing Fox did is exactly what you would expect anyone to do... pick the interviewee that best helps make the point that supports your agenda. That they ran face...

                    Which is exactly my point, the only thing Fox did is exactly what you would expect anyone to do... pick the interviewee that best helps make the point that supports your agenda. That they ran face first into a rake factory just made it that much easier for them.

                    6 votes
                    1. raze2012
                      Link Parent
                      While I'm sure they reviewed their career, I doubt they found dirt on their camera quality/mannerisms and hygiene and cleanliness of their room. You may have a point in that they were looking for...

                      While I'm sure they reviewed their career, I doubt they found dirt on their camera quality/mannerisms and hygiene and cleanliness of their room. You may have a point in that they were looking for low hanging fruit, but in this case the fruit not only fell from the tree, but rolled into the kitchen and and jumped right into the fruitbowl.

                      15 votes
        2. DrStone
          Link Parent
          Take it with a grain of salt since the subreddit went private and apparently had a lot of locked/deleted threads, but I'm seeing numerous account that there were poll(s) and discussion(s) before...

          Take it with a grain of salt since the subreddit went private and apparently had a lot of locked/deleted threads, but I'm seeing numerous account that there were poll(s) and discussion(s) before this that were overwhelmingly against doing the interview, but this person - the top mod and subreddit founder - did it anyway.

          I may have missed it, but neither their gender nor pronouns are mentioned in the interview, and their appearance (with that video quality) isn't going to raise any flags for most viewers, so I don't think them being trans was much of a factor in Fox's selection.

          14 votes
        3. [5]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          How were they clearly manipulated? If I do something voluntarily, I am to blame for doing such a thing. No one forced me to do so, nor would I ever think I can speak for the subscribers of the...

          I find it kind of disgusting how many people on the internet and on Tildes are spending a lot of effort to blame someone who was pretty clearly manipulated or focusing their efforts on talking about how they are at fault.

          How were they clearly manipulated?

          If I do something voluntarily, I am to blame for doing such a thing. No one forced me to do so, nor would I ever think I can speak for the subscribers of the large subreddits I moderate and have moderated. Rosa Parks wasn't the first black woman to sit at the front of a segregated bus, she was the just the first marketable one to do so. If you're going to go for an interview that will be seen as you representing a group of 1.6M subscribers, you put the best candidate forward.

          How about we place the blame where it belongs, on the manipulator, Fox news? I find it particularly atrocious that the anchor who reached out asked for that specific mod amongst the mod team. I'm guessing they did some background work on who would be the best guest to have on. I find it rather interesting that the choice amongst all of the potential mods was someone who has labeled themselves as trans and autistic.

          Source?

          8 votes
          1. [4]
            Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            The obvious manipulation is the what you quoted in the second half of my reply. As for the source, the information comes from the mod in question. If you need a second backing of the now deleted...

            The obvious manipulation is the what you quoted in the second half of my reply. As for the source, the information comes from the mod in question. If you need a second backing of the now deleted comment, it's referenced in this mashable article

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              They asked for the top mod which just so happens to be the longest serving mod, most active mod, and appears to be the mod with the oldest account. Top mods being requested is the norm when news...

              They asked for the top mod which just so happens to be the longest serving mod, most active mod, and appears to be the mod with the oldest account. Top mods being requested is the norm when news agencies have asked for interviews. I see no evidence of manipulation.

              15 votes
              1. [2]
                Gaywallet
                Link Parent
                Source? That's not how it's phrased in the link I provided or the mashable article.

                Source? That's not how it's phrased in the link I provided or the mashable article.

                6 votes
                1. AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  Source for what? They're the top mod, most active (or at least most visible) mod when looking at actions taken, have the oldest account of the mods listed for the sub. It'd be questionable if they...

                  Source for what? They're the top mod, most active (or at least most visible) mod when looking at actions taken, have the oldest account of the mods listed for the sub. It'd be questionable if they asked for the 20th mod down specifically.

                  16 votes
        4. [3]
          raze2012
          Link Parent
          At the end of the day, they can't make someone go on camera. Unless the moderator in question got a huge payout from Fox to do this despite their best interests and were specifically told to come...

          At the end of the day, they can't make someone go on camera.

          Unless the moderator in question got a huge payout from Fox to do this despite their best interests and were specifically told to come in completely unprepared, I don't see the "manipulation" that can occur. The community very much did not want to have the mods represent them but the mods did so anyway.

          I find it particularly atrocious that the anchor who reached out asked for that specific mod amongst the mod team.

          They were the head mod at the time. and Fox (based on the head mod's words) apparently reached out to the modteam as a whole. It was the team's choice (again, not the community at large) to send in the head mod to do this interview that the community did not want.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            Thrabalen
            Link Parent
            That's not 100% accurate. They apparently reached out for that mod by name, because she had done other on-camera interviews (for a YouTube channel, I believe.)

            That's not 100% accurate. They apparently reached out for that mod by name, because she had done other on-camera interviews (for a YouTube channel, I believe.)

            3 votes
            1. raze2012
              Link Parent
              I did in fact forget that part of the comment, thanks for the correction. Accprding to the head mod., Fox asked for them specifically, but there was deliberation on if that was a good idea on the...

              I did in fact forget that part of the comment, thanks for the correction. Accprding to the head mod., Fox asked for them specifically, but there was deliberation on if that was a good idea on the mod team,

              https://i.imgur.com/6FjEfY2.png

              It's really hard to tell if that was intentional or coincidental, however. They were the head mod, so even a well meaning interviewer would simply scan the mod list and say "can we talk to X". It's one of the easiest ways for them to pretend they care about the interviewee

              But there certainly can be malice. Just lucky malice where they dug dirt in the same way and found their equivalent of a gold mine on the first strike

              5 votes
  4. [2]
    Grzmot
    Link
    I honestly just feel bad for the mod in question. Made a mistake on public stage and is now paying for it dearly.

    I honestly just feel bad for the mod in question. Made a mistake on public stage and is now paying for it dearly.

    27 votes
    1. Fiachra
      Link Parent
      Yeah, it must be a nightmare. Beyond every public speaker's worst fear.

      Yeah, it must be a nightmare. Beyond every public speaker's worst fear.

      7 votes
  5. [5]
    Greg
    Link
    On the plus side, the new sub has better branding from the name alone. That plus the very clear lesson of "don't go on Fox news unless you're Don Draper levels of convincing" are both probably...

    On the plus side, the new sub has better branding from the name alone. That plus the very clear lesson of "don't go on Fox news unless you're Don Draper levels of convincing" are both probably good for the cause.

    22 votes
    1. [4]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      More palatable maybe, but only by cutting off the more radical parts of the movement and watering it down.

      More palatable maybe, but only by cutting off the more radical parts of the movement and watering it down.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Greg
        Link Parent
        I don't think that's necessarily the case, or at least not guaranteed to be so until the dust settles and we get to see what the new sub looks like. I think a big mistake on the left in general is...

        I don't think that's necessarily the case, or at least not guaranteed to be so until the dust settles and we get to see what the new sub looks like. I think a big mistake on the left in general is making the messaging maximally aggressive even when the actual cause is arguably less so, when in fact the exact opposite would be more effective. Look at how successful the far right is at couching incredibly extreme policies in more palatable language, for example.

        That said, given the option, I'll take a watered down success over an ideologically pure failure. I'm not saying those are necessarily the only choices, but if and when they are I'm a begrudging pragmatist.

        15 votes
        1. frostycakes
          Link Parent
          I mean, seeing as how WorkReform is pushing anyone who isn't pro-capitalism out, it's already the case. Plus it looks like their top mods are two major bank employees and a self-proclaimed CFO, so...

          I mean, seeing as how WorkReform is pushing anyone who isn't pro-capitalism out, it's already the case. Plus it looks like their top mods are two major bank employees and a self-proclaimed CFO, so it's fair to call this a watering down.

          I mean, look at this shit, that's just depressing. Actively excising and excluding the radical parts of the movement that actually, you know, push for real change instead of picemeal "reforms" that are palatable to the capitalist class.

          9 votes
      2. raze2012
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure if the "radicals" in this case had any particular plan, however. The sub for the last few months was more of an offshoot of r/hailcoporate where you vent about your cruddy job than a...

        I'm not sure if the "radicals" in this case had any particular plan, however. The sub for the last few months was more of an offshoot of r/hailcoporate where you vent about your cruddy job than a worker's movement.

        5 votes
  6. [13]
    stu2b50
    Link
    I transcribed the interview for reference, since there's a fair amount of talk about it but I don't know how much actually refers to it and how much is just telephoned from person to person at...

    I transcribed the interview for reference, since there's a fair amount of talk about it but I don't know how much actually refers to it and how much is just telephoned from person to person at this point.

    Q: Why do you like the idea of being home not working but still getting paid by corporate America?

    A: Yeah, there’s some misconceptions about the movement. We’re a movement where we want to reduce the amount of work that people feel like they’re forced to do and so we want to still put an effort want to put in labor but we don’t want to necessarily be in a position where we feel trapped, y’know, you just quoted from office space where that person feels very trapped in their job. I think we’re calling for a society where there’s less of that. But yeah absolutely people still want to do things they just want to do things where they feel rewarded and they feel like they’re in a good spot in their life and that their job respects them and stuff like that. You know, there’s varying—

    Q: So Doreen, you’re not being forced to work—this isn’t slave labor—you’ve applied for a job, you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions of the employment and you know you can walk away from that job at any time and quit, so I don’t understand really what this is about. Except, it sounds like maybe people are just being lazy? Are you encouraging people to be lazy?

    A: So I think laziness is a virtue in a society where people constantly want you to be productive 24/7 and it’s good to have rest. That doesn’t mean you should be resting all the time or not putting effort into things that you care about.

    Q: What do you think is like a good work day? How many hours is a solid work day in your ideal society?

    A: I mean I think as much as people want. I personally work, I have like a 20-25 hour work week which I think is fairly good. So I would like less work hours.

    Q: And what do you do, Doreen?

    A: I’m a dog walker.

    Q: A dog walker, okay. And how old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?

    A: Sure, I’m 30.

    Q: 30, okay. And is there something you want to do besides being a dog walker? Do you aspire to do anything more than dog walking, or is that kind of your pinnacle?

    A: I love working with dogs, if I had to do this the rest of my life I wouldn’t be super complaining. You know, dogs are wonderful animals. But I would love to teach, to work with people

    Q: What would you teach, Doreen?

    A: Philosophy, mainly. Critical thinking, that kind of thing

    Q: Well, I would love to take your class, Doreen. I would just be taking notes the whole time and you know what a professor is very similar schedule than something that you’re imagining so I think that might actually work perfectly for you. Listen I think this might not be the greatest idea, but who am I to judge. To each their own, it’s a free country. Not everything’s free, but it is a free country. [Chuckle] Thank you so much Doreen. You have to pay the bills.

    20 votes
    1. [5]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      As a foreigner, I'm curious. Do people in the US talk like this as a joke/allusion to 1984 or are they genuinely using this sort of language?

      I wouldn’t be super complaining.

      As a foreigner, I'm curious. Do people in the US talk like this as a joke/allusion to 1984 or are they genuinely using this sort of language?

      4 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        A more typical example might be "I wouldn't be super worried about this happening." It seems informal and it's not how I'd say it in writing. There's no intended connection to 1984, though I can...

        A more typical example might be "I wouldn't be super worried about this happening." It seems informal and it's not how I'd say it in writing.

        There's no intended connection to 1984, though I can see how you would think that.

        9 votes
      2. [2]
        stu2b50
        Link Parent
        No, it’s not plus good doublespeak, “super” is almost a filler word in this case, like an “uh” or “um”. Exaggerated for text, it was spoken more like “…I wouldn’t be suuuuppppeeerrr (here, person...

        No, it’s not plus good doublespeak, “super” is almost a filler word in this case, like an “uh” or “um”. Exaggerated for text, it was spoken more like

        “…I wouldn’t be suuuuppppeeerrr (here, person is thinking of next things to say) complaining.”

        9 votes
        1. Thrabalen
          Link Parent
          Pretty much an intensifier similar to "very."

          Pretty much an intensifier similar to "very."

          5 votes
      3. LukeZaz
        Link Parent
        I hear it rarely, but this definitely isn't the first time. Hard to speak to how serious it is, because I didn't know of any connection between it and 1984 until you said something, but if I had...

        I hear it rarely, but this definitely isn't the first time. Hard to speak to how serious it is, because I didn't know of any connection between it and 1984 until you said something, but if I had to guess, I'd assume it's being said genuinely.

        8 votes
    2. [3]
      tvl
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Honest question: what exactly is so controversial about what she's saying? She seems to be making the point that it generally sucks to work long hours for low wage, and that this situation makes...

      Honest question: what exactly is so controversial about what she's saying? She seems to be making the point that it generally sucks to work long hours for low wage, and that this situation makes people unable to flourish and enjoy the things they love learning about, like philosophy. Would Socrates have existed if he had to work a 40 hour week at a food place in order to not starve? It doesn't seem like she's asking for something ridiculous here.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        I don’t think you are being malicious but the mod in question uses she/her pronouns.

        I don’t think you are being malicious but the mod in question uses she/her pronouns.

        7 votes
    3. [4]
      KapteinB
      Link Parent
      Anyone know what line the host quoted from Office Space?

      Anyone know what line the host quoted from Office Space?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        vord
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I mean, collectively quoting Office Space is a pretty good idea for conceptualizing the concept of antiwork. Even the earliet proponents were referring to work as in the "Bullshit Jobs," which...

        I mean, collectively quoting Office Space is a pretty good idea for conceptualizing the concept of antiwork. Even the earliet proponents were referring to work as in the "Bullshit Jobs," which don't really do anything for society other than let people have jobs. Anybody thinking of going to college to work in an office job should watch Office Space.

        The one speech in particular is probably the referenced one:

        It's not just about me and my dream of doing nothing. It's about all of us. I don't know what happened to me at that hypnotherapist and, I don't know, maybe it was just shock and it's wearing off now, but when I saw that fat man keel over and die - Michael, we don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.
        --Peter Gibbons

        7 votes
        1. KapteinB
          Link Parent
          Sounds to me like the host was quoting the film, not the guest. Has anyone here seen the full episode? Or have we all just seen this one short interview out of context?

          A: Yeah, there’s some misconceptions about the movement. We’re a movement where we want to reduce the amount of work that people feel like they’re forced to do and so we want to still put an effort want to put in labor but we don’t want to necessarily be in a position where we feel trapped, y’know, you just quoted from office space where that person feels very trapped in their job. I think we’re calling for a society where there’s less of that. But yeah absolutely people still want to do things they just want to do things where they feel rewarded and they feel like they’re in a good spot in their life and that their job respects them and stuff like that. You know, there’s varying—

          Sounds to me like the host was quoting the film, not the guest.

          Has anyone here seen the full episode? Or have we all just seen this one short interview out of context?

          1 vote
      2. onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        It’s not a direct quote, by any stretch, but there are a couple scenes that relate to the themes being discussed. There are a couple scenes where Peter mentions how his high school guidance...

        It’s not a direct quote, by any stretch, but there are a couple scenes that relate to the themes being discussed. There are a couple scenes where Peter mentions how his high school guidance counselor would ask a probing question to help with career advice. This YouTube clip has the relevant scenes stitched together.

        2 votes
  7. [3]
    Merry
    Link
    Full disclosure, I never subscribed to /r/antiwork or any of the adjacent subs. I never felt like it was a productive sub to take part in. I have an IRL friend who was a frequenter of that sub,...

    Full disclosure, I never subscribed to /r/antiwork or any of the adjacent subs. I never felt like it was a productive sub to take part in. I have an IRL friend who was a frequenter of that sub, but ended up getting fired from his job because when we went WFH, he decided to build a Python script that would keep his Teams status to show as available even though he was sleeping until 11 AM everyday. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much a leftist but from what I saw on the subreddit and comparatively to my friend, it just didn't make sense as a productive place to direct my time and energy towards.

    With that said, the reaction is way overblown in my opinion. The only thing that seems to have changed from yesterday to today, is the internet mob feeling self-righteous to tear down an already flawed person for making a mistake. The Fox News audience wasn't going to be swayed, the people who have a negative perception of /r/AntiWork would not have had their mind changed, and the people who feel that we do need reform in the way we conduct work/business are still not being heard by the people who would be open to listening. And making posts bullying this person isn't going to change it either. In reality, people are consuming this drama like a Netflix series and inflicting harm on a real person that exists in this world because they made a mistake.

    So I don't know about all this, except that I think the whole situation is sad and I don't want to be near it with a 10-foot pole. I just wish people could act more on the principle of not saying anything if you don't have anything good to say about someone, rather than tearing someone down personally for some internet points. Nothing about this situation is kind. If people don't want to associate with /r/antiwork, just unsubscribe. That's all that it would take.

    19 votes
    1. calm_bomb
      Link Parent
      I don't know what you got from that sub, but it wasn't (lately) about not doing work - it was more about people trying to be better and refusing to do something they weren't supposed to. I never...

      I don't know what you got from that sub, but it wasn't (lately) about not doing work - it was more about people trying to be better and refusing to do something they weren't supposed to. I never saw a post in there (as I said, lately, because I got posts in my popular links) supporting cheating at work or things like that.

      6 votes
    2. raze2012
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I have so many questions that you likely can't (and probably shouldn't if you do know) answer. but wow. Fortunately my company has relatively flexible hours. It would suck missing the daily sync,...

      he decided to build a Python script that would keep his Teams status to show as available even though he was sleeping until 11 AM everyday.

      I have so many questions that you likely can't (and probably shouldn't if you do know) answer. but wow.

      Fortunately my company has relatively flexible hours. It would suck missing the daily sync, but having a late start a few times here and there woudl be fine as long as I get work done.\

      With that said, the reaction is way overblown in my opinion. The only thing that seems to have changed from yesterday to today, is the internet mob feeling self-righteous to tear down an already flawed person for making a mistake.

      I think the point of frustration here isn't that the interview convinced people one way or another, it's that the mod team as a whole betrayed the trust of the sub, a sub that has very much been vocal about not wanting the mods to represent them as some leader of the movement. Despite that they scheduled interviews anyway and the worst possible result occurred. I don't doubt there's been a ton of undeserved harassment, but having posts like the one linked removed and users banned is very much the behavior they seek to correct in managers who do the same.

      Moreover, the sub is back up now and the mod statement seems to amount to the fact that they are STILL going to consider interview ideas, and that 4 were already performed. https://old.reddit.com/r/antiwork/comments/sdwd28/statement_rantiwork/

      I can understand the frustration if you were a community member who genuinely believed in the mission of the sub.

      5 votes
  8. Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    Here’s to hoping that the new sub doesn’t lose the anti-capitalistic roots of its predecessor, but I am not optimistic.

    Here’s to hoping that the new sub doesn’t lose the anti-capitalistic roots of its predecessor, but I am not optimistic.

    13 votes
  9. [35]
    Thrabalen
    Link
    I've been a follower of r/Antiwork for a while and, well, their heart's in the right place. But some of the more vocal members are super radicalized. Got into a discussion where I was downvoted...

    I've been a follower of r/Antiwork for a while and, well, their heart's in the right place. But some of the more vocal members are super radicalized.

    Got into a discussion where I was downvoted for saying that a small business owner shouldn't split their profits equally among his stockers and cashiers. Never mind that the owner's the one staying up nights figuring out inventory, and dealing with loans, and socking away their share in case, you know, a two year pandemic sucks the vitality out of the economy.

    I'm sorry, I hate greed... but the person assuming the majority of the risk should get a bigger piece. That just plain makes sense to me.

    13 votes
    1. [22]
      Seven
      Link Parent
      I never get the "assuming risk" argument for a defense of capitalism. Does exploiting workers for profit suddenly become ethical because they're taking a risk? Or, to use a metaphor, would child...

      I never get the "assuming risk" argument for a defense of capitalism. Does exploiting workers for profit suddenly become ethical because they're taking a risk? Or, to use a metaphor, would child labor be okay if the person profiting off of it "took a risk"?

      13 votes
      1. [5]
        Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        Let's look at the example I was using, a single property with a single owner. A store, let's say, with a cashier and a stocker. In that scenario, the owner has their name on all of the loan...

        Let's look at the example I was using, a single property with a single owner. A store, let's say, with a cashier and a stocker. In that scenario, the owner has their name on all of the loan documents, does all of the "after hours" work (that is, inventory, ordering supplies, etc), and if the business incurs any unexpected expenses, is the one whose pocket the expenses will come out of. Does the stocker or cashier honestly deserve the same share as the owner? Because if the business goes belly up, those employees will walk away and look for a new job, while the owner will most certainly be on the hook for a massive amount of debt, likely more than they'll be able to pay without total bankruptcy.

        Workers should be well taken care of, they should be paid more than minimum wage and should get good benefits, but they should not be de facto partners in the business.

        12 votes
        1. rosco
          Link Parent
          I'm a small business owner and I think there are some misconceptions. I agree with part of your premise, loan risk is a big thing and does warrant a larger share of the profits. However your...

          I'm a small business owner and I think there are some misconceptions. I agree with part of your premise, loan risk is a big thing and does warrant a larger share of the profits. However your points on:

          does all of the "after hours" work (that is, inventory, ordering supplies, etc), and if the business incurs any unexpected expenses, is the one whose pocket the expenses will come out of.

          I don't often do the after hours work. If you have a logistics manager or a technical lead that will often fall into their responsibilities at work. As for unexpected expenses, we have a company account that bears those costs and they come out of final profits. The model we employ is granting all employees equity in the company so when those costs are incurred they are shared by everyone (granted those with more equity take a larger hit). My partners and I view the company account agnostically from our own personal finances.

          Does the stocker or cashier honestly deserve the same share as the owner?

          No, but I think they deserve a share. They are a critical part of the business, and even though they replaceable (until recently), their labor is part of what is driving profits.

          Because if the business goes belly up, those employees will walk away and look for a new job, while the owner will most certainly be on the hook for a massive amount of debt, likely more than they'll be able to pay without total bankruptcy.

          Sure, and the stocker/cashier are now out of work and without a livelihood. As you point out right now it's easy to get a job, but let's look back to the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was laid off and no one was hiring. Unemployment often isn't a great prospect for them either. Also, if the business goes belly up that is often due to choices by the owner, not the employees, so their is some agency the owner retains that the employees do not.

          Workers should be well taken care of, they should be paid more than minimum wage and should get good benefits, but they should not be de facto partners in the business.

          I think we largely agree, workers need more protective rights. I think we just differ that I believe employees should get equity where they work. You can do it with traditional standards, 4 year vest/1 year cliff, and keep the equity low enough to maintain profitability (0.1-1% depending on seniority) while still compensating the workers fairly. You can also do profit sharing without legacy equity which might be a good option for things like restaurants and grocery stores. There are many ways to more equitably split profits, we just don't consider them in our hyper-capitalist system.

          8 votes
        2. [3]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Incorporating would be a good idea before taking that much risk, so they can only lose what they put in. It’s still a substantial financial risk if it goes to zero.

          Incorporating would be a good idea before taking that much risk, so they can only lose what they put in. It’s still a substantial financial risk if it goes to zero.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [2]
              skybrian
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              There are businesses where this is possible (little investment needed) but often it's better to raise money from investors than to spend your own. Edit: also, if an employer wants you to put your...

              There are businesses where this is possible (little investment needed) but often it's better to raise money from investors than to spend your own.

              Edit: also, if an employer wants you to put your own money into an "investment," that would be a big warning sign and asking you to do it as a condition of employment is probably illegal. Only the founders have to do things like that.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  Productivity doesn’t matter if the business didn’t even open yet. Until there is revenue, the money needs to come from somewhere. This depends very much on how much money the business needs to get...

                  Productivity doesn’t matter if the business didn’t even open yet. Until there is revenue, the money needs to come from somewhere. This depends very much on how much money the business needs to get going. Some businesses can be immediately profitable, or close to it, with little funds. Others (like manufacturing) can’t.

                  Even within an industry it’s going to vary a lot. Apparently some restaurants bootstrap with less money (maybe starting with a food truck) while others require several hundreds of thousands of dollars just to open.

                  Some investors will offer better terms than others. “Angel” investors might put money in with few strings attached, but not every business gets those.

                  4 votes
      2. [16]
        papasquat
        Link Parent
        That's not a very good metaphor... Adults voluntarily working for you in exchange for a paycheck is very different from exploiting children

        Or, to use a metaphor, would child labor be okay if the person profiting off of it "took a risk"?

        That's not a very good metaphor...
        Adults voluntarily working for you in exchange for a paycheck is very different from exploiting children

        9 votes
        1. [15]
          Seven
          Link Parent
          How voluntary is it if we need to work for basic things like housing, food, and healthcare? Work is rarely truly voluntary, there is inherent coercion in the system.

          How voluntary is it if we need to work for basic things like housing, food, and healthcare? Work is rarely truly voluntary, there is inherent coercion in the system.

          9 votes
          1. [14]
            papasquat
            Link Parent
            Well yeah, people work because it's in their best interests to, which is why people do anything. They don't have to work for you specifically though. To use another metaphor, eating McDonalds is...

            Well yeah, people work because it's in their best interests to, which is why people do anything. They don't have to work for you specifically though. To use another metaphor, eating McDonalds is voluntary despite having to eat food to live; there are hundreds of other places you could eat also.

            1 vote
            1. [8]
              Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              People work because they have to. They might like or enjoy their job, or derive value from their jobs, but they are still forced to work. What happens if I choose not to work?

              people work because it's in their best interests to

              People work because they have to. They might like or enjoy their job, or derive value from their jobs, but they are still forced to work. What happens if I choose not to work?

              11 votes
              1. [7]
                papasquat
                Link Parent
                They don't have to. No one literally pushes you into your job and forces your arm to push buttons on your widget maker every day. You choose to go into work, because you want money that lets you...

                They don't have to. No one literally pushes you into your job and forces your arm to push buttons on your widget maker every day. You choose to go into work, because you want money that lets you afford clothing, food, and housing.

                You could live on the street or in a shelter, but those things suck, so working is the better option; ie; it's in your best interests.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  hungariantoast
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I don't really know how else to say it: the choice between working a job you hate or being homeless is a coercive one. I think you and I can agree that no person deserves to go without water,...

                  People don't have to drink water. No one literally shoves a tube down your throat and forces you to guzzle until you are satiated. You choose to drink water, because you want to be hydrated and not die.

                  You could just not drink water, become dehydrated, and die, but dying tends to suck, so drinking water is the better option; ie; it's in your best interests.

                  I don't really know how else to say it: the choice between working a job you hate or being homeless is a coercive one.

                  I think you and I can agree that no person deserves to go without water, without food, or without shelter, all of which are necessities for life. Can we also agree a person should not be forced to work a job in order for their basic necessities to be met?

                  14 votes
                  1. papasquat
                    Link Parent
                    I think the issue is a lot more complex than you're making it out to be. For one, starting with the definition of "should". I mean, I can agree that none of us should have to work, as in, it would...

                    I think you and I can agree that no person deserves to go without water, without food, or without shelter, all of which are necessities for life. Can we also agree a person should not be forced to work a job in order for their basic necessities to be met?

                    I think the issue is a lot more complex than you're making it out to be. For one, starting with the definition of "should". I mean, I can agree that none of us should have to work, as in, it would be nice if that was the case, it would be a lot better if we could all just not have jobs, but maintain the same standard of living we currently have or better. That's not really a realistic course of action though. We could maybe try to make work as efficient as possible, but market dynamics already do a pretty good job of forcing that drive onto private companies. We could just lower everyone's standard of living, forcing people with 2,000 sq foot houses and yards to live in housing tenements, eat cheaper food, stop driving cars, stop eating out and so forth, but that's obviously not going to be a popular policy decision for the vast majority of people. Most people would rather have jobs than take such a big hit to their lifestyle. There's no way for most people to just not work without either of those things happening.

                    With the luxuries we currently have in the first world, and the standard of living we enjoy on average, most people have to work. It's just a plain requirement for the economy to function, for restaurants that people enjoy eating at to keep operating, for packages that people enjoy being able to get to keep getting delivered, for trash to be picked up, etc. If there was some way for all of that to be done without most people working, that would be great, but there isn't.

                    Because of those realities, I don't think I can agree that people shouldn't be forced, or at least highly encouraged by economic realities to work if they are able to. Do I think people should die if they can't work? No, obviously not, and I think most people agree with that, which is why public funding for food stamps, public housing, and soup kitchens exist, but I also don't think that barring a condition that makes working impossible, a comfortable life should not be possible without a job. Can you call that coercion when basic reality necessitates that decision? Who is the one doing the coercion?

                    If you were to strip away all of the monetary systems, support structures, political considerations, of modern life and put a man on a farm without any outside support, is the fact that he needs to work the land or hunt and forage in the forests in order to survive to survive coercive? If so, again, who is doing the coercion?

                    2 votes
                2. [2]
                  Micycle_the_Bichael
                  Link Parent
                  No one literally forces me into a job. They just make it so I need money for food and shelter and the only way to get money is to work. And if I don't have food or water I'll die. But also I'm not...

                  No one literally forces me into a job.

                  They just make it so I need money for food and shelter and the only way to get money is to work. And if I don't have food or water I'll die. But also I'm not allowed to grow food on public land, I'm not allowed to hunt on public land without a license, I'm not allowed to live on public land. If I attempt to do any of those things I am at the whims of the police on if they decide to arrest me or not. Saying "I don't want to partake in society" is impossible without violating laws regardless of if I want to partake in the society who made them or not. So my options are "Work, jail, or die".

                  8 votes
                  1. papasquat
                    Link Parent
                    Who is the "they" making you need money for food? If you had some supply of food and water of your own, someone wouldn't be able to stop you from eating and drinking it. The issue is that you...

                    Who is the "they" making you need money for food? If you had some supply of food and water of your own, someone wouldn't be able to stop you from eating and drinking it. The issue is that you don't have any food or water, and you need those things to survive, so working is your best option.
                    You're right, that there's no more land available on the 21st century, it's all owned by someone, so yeah, you can't just clear cut national parks to plant crops on them. I don't think that's a proposal that anyone is actually in favor of though.

                    That's basically been the human condition for basically all people all throughout history though. Before society, human beings and animals had to hunt and graze for food. After agriculture we had to work the land for food, after the industrial revolution, we had to do things that farmers valued in order for them to grow our food for us, and so forth, adding more and more layers of abstraction until we get where we are today. There's never been a puppeteer deciding that this is the way things should be though. There are of course, powerful people with their thumbs on the scales making it so that they get more than they deserve, but there's never been someone consciously designing a system that says human beings need to work to survive, that's always just been the baseline reality, and it still holds true.

                    3 votes
                3. [2]
                  rosco
                  Link Parent
                  When you make panhandling, sleeping rough, and vagrancy illegal, yeah you pretty much have to. Out of curiosity are you closer to benefitting from coercive work systems (ie. do you own a large...

                  When you make panhandling, sleeping rough, and vagrancy illegal, yeah you pretty much have to.

                  Out of curiosity are you closer to benefitting from coercive work systems (ie. do you own a large company or franchise) or are you closer to being negatively impacted by them (ie. do you work for an hourly or salary wage)? I always find it interesting those who would benefit from workers protections and profit sharing still echo the messages of those working against their personal gain.

                  7 votes
                  1. papasquat
                    Link Parent
                    I'm salaried, but I wouldn't say I'm "negatively impacted by coercive work systems". I get money in exchange for doing something that most of society perceives as valuable. It's not good or bad,...

                    I'm salaried, but I wouldn't say I'm "negatively impacted by coercive work systems". I get money in exchange for doing something that most of society perceives as valuable. It's not good or bad, it's just a fact of the world. Some people could argue that I'm not paid enough, that I don't get enough vacation, and that I'm being exploited, other people would argue that I'm overpaid, I have a cushy job, and I take too much time off. All of those things are relative matters of perspective though. The actual fact that I have to work to maintain a comfortable lifestyle is just an obvious, axiomatic truth for the 99.9999% of people who weren't born extremely wealthy. It's not good or bad in the same way that gravity isn't good or bad. Will there be a way, one day, to counteract the effects of gravity? Sure, maybe. That would be nice too, but we're currently bound to it in much the same way we're bound to work.

                    3 votes
            2. [5]
              Seven
              Link Parent
              Look into the concept of "food deserts." Sometimes there aren't hundreds of other places to eat, and McDonalds is by far the cheapest option. Just like work, it's not always voluntary.

              Look into the concept of "food deserts." Sometimes there aren't hundreds of other places to eat, and McDonalds is by far the cheapest option. Just like work, it's not always voluntary.

              3 votes
              1. [4]
                papasquat
                Link Parent
                Again, it's a metaphor, and one that applies to 95% of people in the US. There are very few people for whom mcdonalds is literally the only option, and there are very few people for whom the job...

                Again, it's a metaphor, and one that applies to 95% of people in the US. There are very few people for whom mcdonalds is literally the only option, and there are very few people for whom the job they're currently working at is the only place that they could work, with the exception of things like H-1B visas.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  hungariantoast
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  Please keep in mind that, while the availability of jobs grows and shrinks at various times, the ability to go unemployed for more than a few weeks is out of reach for most people. Now you might...

                  Please keep in mind that, while the availability of jobs grows and shrinks at various times, the ability to go unemployed for more than a few weeks is out of reach for most people.

                  Now you might think "well those people should just budget better and live below their means" and sure, that's not terrible financial advice. However, it ignores the reality that for most people, wages are still too low, rent is still too high, college is still too expensive and almost always requires taking on debt, etc.

                  No amount of budgeting or living below their means is going to enable people to go weeks without a job, potentially upending their lives, and damaging their future financial prospects for years to come.

                  So, the constant need to be employed, to be making money, means that people cannot spend as much time looking for jobs when they are unemployed. It means they cannot be as selective about the job they want to work. It means they are more subservient to their boss, who could fire them at any time.


                  Also, as of 2016, 7.43% of the United States lived in a food desert. That's 24,000,000 people. If they were a state today, they would be the third most populous state, just ahead of Florida and just behind Texas.

                  Food deserts are a significant issue for the United States no matter how you measure it. An issue for social justice. An issue for public health. An issue for the economy.

                  7 votes
                  1. [2]
                    papasquat
                    Link Parent
                    I know what you're saying, and I agree with it, but the problem with arguments commonly made by communists/anarchists and all other manners of far leftists online is that they take a problem was...

                    I know what you're saying, and I agree with it, but the problem with arguments commonly made by communists/anarchists and all other manners of far leftists online is that they take a problem was can all acknowledge exists, and immediately ramp it up to 1000 and make far reaching black and white statements based on that ramped up problem.

                    Yes, worker protections are terrible in the US, yes, many people would struggle greatly to find a new job if their current job wasn't meeting their standards, but the statement "work isn't voluntary" doesn't follow from that. Maybe there's a small portion of people that literally, absolutely, could not switch jobs under any circumstances without dying, but that's not the case for most people, and pretending that it is and that because of that, working for a specific company is by and large coercive isn't accurate. It's extreme hyperbole used to make an argument against market based labor.

                    Arguments like that are very often used as evidence that our system/capitalism/market economies are inherently flawed and should be completely gutted for some other sort of economic system, instead of just... working on fixing the problems directly. Like, if, say, 10% are virtually stuck in their jobs, programs designed to help people with job mobility (government subsidized re-training, unemployment benefits, paid severance) would address those issues directly. To say that all businesses should be mandatory co-ops though? It's not a workable solution, and it doesn't even directly address the issue being brought up.

                    It's a problem that bothers me with a lot of leftists. Communism is the goal, bringing up the problems it would supposedly solve seems to be the afterthought that are brought up after the fact to justify it. We can just say many Americans don't have job mobility, rather than "work isn't voluntary."

                    3 votes
                    1. meff
                      Link Parent
                      Thanks you've actually articulated something that's bothered me heavily as well. The rhetoric always seems to hold the end-goal of world socialism in mind, not the actual complaints of people...

                      It's a problem that bothers me with a lot of leftists. Communism is the goal, bringing up the problems it would supposedly solve seems to be the afterthought that are brought up after the fact to justify it. We can just say many Americans don't have job mobility, rather than "work isn't voluntary."

                      Thanks you've actually articulated something that's bothered me heavily as well. The rhetoric always seems to hold the end-goal of world socialism in mind, not the actual complaints of people struggling.

    2. [7]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      this is definitely true of some small businesses, but I don't think this can be taken as a rule that applies across the board for all small businesses. don't the employees have loans too? many,...

      Never mind that the owner's the one staying up nights figuring out inventory

      this is definitely true of some small businesses, but I don't think this can be taken as a rule that applies across the board for all small businesses.

      and dealing with loans

      don't the employees have loans too?

      many, perhaps most of them if we're talking about the US, have student loans.

      does this hypothetical small business require a college degree for any of its job postings? what percentage of its employees have ever taken out a student loan? what percentage of employees are still paying student loans off?

      does this business pay well enough that a hypothetical average employee can afford the local cost-of-living and have enough left over to repay their student loans?

      and socking away their share in case

      so, the business makes enough in profit that the owner is able to put some of that money aside for a rainy day.

      shouldn't the employees get paid well enough that they're able to do the same?

      8 votes
      1. [6]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [2]
          TheRtRevKaiser
          Link Parent
          So I'm not a business owner by any means, but I would think that most business owners would be incorporated as an LLC or something similar which, in my limited understanding, would mean that they...

          So I'm not a business owner by any means, but I would think that most business owners would be incorporated as an LLC or something similar which, in my limited understanding, would mean that they wouldn't be personally by liable for debt incurred by the business either, right? They would probably have to sell of any assets owned by the business and the business would go bankrupt, and obviously they would lose any personal money invested in the business, but they wouldn't usually be on the hook for those millions in debt, right? Isn't that the whole point of incorporating a business?

          Again, I'm not an expert so I may be missing things, and I'm certain there is lots of risk and work put into starting a business, but I don't think that most people are going to be millions in the hole unless they've been pretty imprudent about taking out personal loans to prop up the business, or they're doing business under their own name instead on incorporating.

          8 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            It might not be millions but running up your credit cards starting a small business isn't unheard of. You have control over your spending but it's high risk. Raising money from friends and family...

            It might not be millions but running up your credit cards starting a small business isn't unheard of. You have control over your spending but it's high risk.

            Raising money from friends and family is also fairly typical, though maybe not a good idea if you want to keep your friends.

            Raising money from employees isn't done as far as I know, and would be a terrible idea. If the business fails you don't want people to lose both their job and their investment! This is putting too many eggs in one basket.

            Instead we see startups giving employees company stock without putting money in (really as a form of compensation for their labor).

            What often happens with startups is that the "real" investors (who put money in) get preferred stock and the founders get common stock. The difference is that if the business fails, anything that's left after paying off loans goes to the preferred investors.

            For startups (not regular businesses) as a founder or employee you risk spending your time on something that fails, but you still get paid. It's a better deal than many business owners get when they don't have access to investors.

            7 votes
        2. [3]
          Greg
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I've started one business entirely solo and one as a partnership, as well as being closely involved with several startups over the years, one of which is my current full time role. I'm in...

          They don't hold a fraction of the responsibility the owner does and the fact that people are trying to argue otherwise shows me how out of touch with what it takes to start a business random internet denizens are.

          I've started one business entirely solo and one as a partnership, as well as being closely involved with several startups over the years, one of which is my current full time role.

          I'm in agreement that owners hold more responsibility, and I wouldn't want to imply otherwise. I'm just saying that extra responsibility doesn't necessarily mean their overall situation comes out worse off.

          A company failure is generally incredibly unpleasant, stressful, and expensive for all involved - and I'm not trivialising that or minimising the owner's emotional investment. What I am saying is that there's financial compensation for that responsibility, and that compensation can provide a cushion that the employees lack.

          Maybe it's just too big a gulf between UK and North American systems - the idea of being personally liable for even a five figure amount, let alone millions, is something I'd call wildly irresponsible if you did it over here; I'd be surprised if the creditors even allowed you to play with numbers like that if they weren't wrapped in an appropriate legal entity. But then setting up a limited company takes ten minutes online and doesn't have significantly more complex tax requirements than running the same business as a sole trader. Personal bankruptcy also shouldn't be any where near on the table - if the company goes bankrupt, your losses are what you put in.

          Perhaps it's a different enough business culture and legal framework that we're talking at cross purposes, I don't know, but your points sound as alien to me as it seems like mine did to you.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. Thrabalen
              Link Parent
              This exactly. I made the argument that the bigger risk means that the owner should receive more compensation, and it was deemed worker exploitation.

              This exactly. I made the argument that the bigger risk means that the owner should receive more compensation, and it was deemed worker exploitation.

              3 votes
            2. Greg
              Link Parent
              It's a big meandering thread for sure! By the time I came into the conversation there was already a tangent going on around company failure and who gets hit hardest - for me this whole bit has...

              It's a big meandering thread for sure! By the time I came into the conversation there was already a tangent going on around company failure and who gets hit hardest - for me this whole bit has been about the impact of things as they currently are, before even getting into thinking about how they could or should be changed.

              2 votes
      2. Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        They should, yes, hence my saying they should be well taken care of and with good benefits. But they should not be equal to the owner. That money that they put aside isn't just to cover their...

        so, the business makes enough in profit that the owner is able to put some of that money aside for a rainy day. shouldn't the employees get paid well enough that they're able to do the same?

        They should, yes, hence my saying they should be well taken care of and with good benefits. But they should not be equal to the owner. That money that they put aside isn't just to cover their personal expenses, but the business' as well, which are going to be much greater than that of the individual, whether owner or employee. Rent for a retail space alone is going to be significantly higher. If a business can't operate for an extended period of time (like a lockdown), that money's going to have to come from somewhere. If it comes from an additional loan, that's even more debt and monthly costs for the owner.

        4 votes
    3. [5]
      Thrabalen
      Link Parent
      As an aside to this whole discussion, I just had someone tell me that when a business goes under, the employees have it worse than the owner.

      As an aside to this whole discussion, I just had someone tell me that when a business goes under, the employees have it worse than the owner.

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        Greg
        Link Parent
        That's very situationally dependent, but I can see where they're coming from. By no means true in all circumstances, perhaps not even most, but a decent number - and that's just assuming closely...

        That's very situationally dependent, but I can see where they're coming from. By no means true in all circumstances, perhaps not even most, but a decent number - and that's just assuming closely held companies rather than counting external investors as owners.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          Thrabalen
          Link Parent
          Every post I've been talking about has been about small business owners. Like, a single restaurant, store, or bar.

          Every post I've been talking about has been about small business owners. Like, a single restaurant, store, or bar.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Greg
            Link Parent
            Yeah I figured as much, that's why I was ruling out external investors. When I said closely held I was imagining 1-3 people with a stake. It's an interesting one - both the owner and the employee...
            • Exemplary

            Yeah I figured as much, that's why I was ruling out external investors. When I said closely held I was imagining 1-3 people with a stake. It's an interesting one - both the owner and the employee are out of a job at that point, but the owner has likely invested money into the company which is now lost, so at the most immediate level the owner could be said to be worse off.

            It gets interesting if you start digging, though: maybe the owner has already more than recouped that initial investment from salary or dividends even though the business didn't turn out to be viable in the long term, for example. Maybe they totally lost a $20k investment in the business but still have $80k equity in their home while the employee is a renter facing eviction. Maybe they're more able to weather job loss in general as a function of paying themselves enough to be more financially stable. Or maybe they're not - maybe everything they had was in that business and they and the employees are in an equally shitty situation.

            If I had to guess, I'd say that most single business owners are a little more financially stable than their employees even in the face of business failure. It's a very bad situation for both parties, and the emotional hit on the owner will be extremely tough, but the odds are that they're in a marginally safer financial position as a function of higher general income. At worst, their situation is as bad as that of the employee - it seems rare for the owner to come out worse off than the employee in absolute terms, even though their loss is often greater because they started with further to fall.

            9 votes
            1. Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              One of the many purposes of government is to provide safety nets and invest in what the people consider worthy endeavors such as education and infrastructure. A thriving small business community...

              One of the many purposes of government is to provide safety nets and invest in what the people consider worthy endeavors such as education and infrastructure. A thriving small business community is something the government already actively invests in and if we are worried about whether someone would be not well off by trying to start a company on better terms with the employees as has been suggested by this movement, perhaps we should ask the government to do a better job providing a safety net for entrepreneurs to create a business on equitable terms without absorbing too much risk. I don't think there has to be a tradeoff between an equitable work environment and risk because we have a system (the government) which can be designed to absorb the risk and distribute it.

              5 votes
  10. [2]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    That is probably the best outcome possible. The word "antiwork" will always attract lots of hate, both from those who read it literally and those that pretend to do so. Edit: looks like they agree .

    Sub is now private, an offshoot called /r/WorkReform has been launched and everyone hates the old mods now

    That is probably the best outcome possible. The word "antiwork" will always attract lots of hate, both from those who read it literally and those that pretend to do so.

    Edit: looks like they agree .

    10 votes
    1. elcuello
      Link Parent
      Yeah it gives me "Defund the police"-vibes.

      Yeah it gives me "Defund the police"-vibes.

      4 votes
  11. [7]
    onyxleopard
    Link
    I only heard about r/antiwork here on Tildes. I saw some interesting discussion about the anarchic and anti-capitalist ideas and how it was a bit of a “big tent” movement. I have to be honest that...

    I only heard about r/antiwork here on Tildes. I saw some interesting discussion about the anarchic and anti-capitalist ideas and how it was a bit of a “big tent” movement. I have to be honest that it all sounded a bit idealistic to me.

    I had to dig a bit to find the Fox News interview clip (the top YouTube search results were all reaction videos or editorial videos—YouTube seems really terrible at surfacing clips of current events shortly after their occurrence). I watched it. My reaction wasn’t as bad as the reactions I’ve seen around Reddit.

    The thing that really gets me is that, as I understand it, Doreen is an unpaid mod and founder of a not insignificant subreddit. Supposedly it had >1m subscribers before going private? Like, dog-walking gig or aspirations of teaching aside, moderating a sub like that is just as much work as a part-time or maybe even full-time job. Reddit’s model of exploitation is even worse than the corporations that pay below living wages. AFAICT, Reddit mods just get compensated in access to ego tripping power.

    Anyway, it’s very weird to me that no one seems to recognize the difference between work and a job. The only kind of person who could afford the time and effort to spend on being an effective moderator and building a large subreddit would necessarily also not have other large time commitments. It’s too much work!

    I don’t even think the Fox interviewer nor Doreen were aware of that irony. Being a Reddit mod is totally thankless work that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s almost oxymoronic to consider that moderators of a community whose anarchic ethos is concerned with worker exploitation would participate in such an inequitable occupation.

    I also wish the web would not jump on an individual such as Doreen and tear them down. They may not be a good spokesperson or even a good person, but no one deserves the mob reaction that has been ignited by this public appearance.

    10 votes
    1. [6]
      simplify
      Link Parent
      I think, maybe, the issue people have is the hubris of this mod to go on national television and presume to speak for an entire movement of people, and to do in such an unpolished and unprepared...

      I also wish the web would not jump on an individual such as Doreen and tear them down. They may not be a good spokesperson or even a good person, but no one deserves the mob reaction that has been ignited by this public appearance.

      I think, maybe, the issue people have is the hubris of this mod to go on national television and presume to speak for an entire movement of people, and to do in such an unpolished and unprepared manner. If this mod was slick and smart and charismatic, there wouldn't have been a problem. But this mod lacked self-awareness, perhaps was driven by ego, and showed themselves to be the caricature that Fox News already presents as the face of this movement--a lazy, entitled millennial. That's why people are angry. I can't say I don't blame them. It's embarrassing to people who want to be taken seriously.

      I think if you go to the media and purport to speak for 1.7M people, you better be prepared to accurately and articulately represent them, but also be prepared for what happens when you don't.

      9 votes
      1. [5]
        onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        This is part of the problem with a movement centered/organized on a platform such as Reddit. Maybe Doreen shouldn’t have tried to be a spokesperson for the movement. But, there is no unified...

        This is part of the problem with a movement centered/organized on a platform such as Reddit. Maybe Doreen shouldn’t have tried to be a spokesperson for the movement. But, there is no unified structure in the movement to decide on such PR decisions. It is as much the community’s fault for not vetting the r/antiwork mods as it is Doreen’s hubris, IMO.

        1 vote
        1. [4]
          raze2012
          Link Parent
          From what I heard, there was some communication on the ideas of interviews to the community, and the community was extremely, overwhelmingly against the very idea. It being done anyway to what was...

          From what I heard, there was some communication on the ideas of interviews to the community, and the community was extremely, overwhelmingly against the very idea. It being done anyway to what was probably the worst possible news site to talk to seems to just be adding insult to injury.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            onyxleopard
            Link Parent
            But this is the problem with a community whose structure is informal. Nobody stopped her, so now the movement may fracture and reform around a new subreddit. But, there’s nothing about the...

            But this is the problem with a community whose structure is informal. Nobody stopped her, so now the movement may fracture and reform around a new subreddit. But, there’s nothing about the structure of an online community like a subreddit that will prevent individuals from going rogue like this. Grassroots organization can be powerful and effective, but there is a risk of a lack of hierarchical structure when your movement is both anarchic and diverse in its constituency.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              raze2012
              Link Parent
              Nope, that's the biggest issue with online communities, and why they very rarely seem to step past being a niche group on the internet into a true force for change. I've looked at various...

              But, there’s nothing about the structure of an online community like a subreddit that will prevent individuals from going rogue like this

              Nope, that's the biggest issue with online communities, and why they very rarely seem to step past being a niche group on the internet into a true force for change. I've looked at various communities over almost a decade and I still don't have a good answer to this.

              The problem is very hard by itself, but the structure of reddit makes it especially hard to get any hierarchy. Mods aren't elected nor otherwise receive power based on priority, it's a "first come, first in power" system, and then other moderators are chosen based on those others' whims.

              But I'm not saying a democracy is an answer either; Reddit is anonymous by nature, so how are you going to verify candidates? How do you hold them accountable if they betray their promises? What if no one is bothering to be elected (we're talking about unpaid labor to forward an anonymous blob of usernames into action after all)? These answers need to at least be considered before proposing a reasonable solution.

              7 votes
              1. meff
                Link Parent
                The problem I've seen in a lot of online communities is that there's little philosophy or doctrine involved. Most of the communities originate around shared feelings and not shared ideas. Feelings...

                The problem I've seen in a lot of online communities is that there's little philosophy or doctrine involved. Most of the communities originate around shared feelings and not shared ideas. Feelings are irrational by definition, and while perfectly valid (we are human after all and our feelings define our experiences) don't often reflect a shared reality. r/antiwork from what I can tell (I'm not a member so take my words with some doubt) is unified by people and their feelings of resentment for their jobs. Some folks are motivated by anti-capitalist political doctrine, some around reform for labor rights and labor organizational rights, some by left market anarchism, and some who are simply interested in the place of collective bargaining for North American labor. This diverse group has no real focus; most of them simply hate their jobs and the shitty situations they find themselves because of the lack of labor rights and awareness.

                I think this is a good time to either form a proper umbrella group to advance the rights of labor in North America or for the community to split into philosophically cohesive groups which can effectively advocate for and agitate toward change.

                7 votes
      2. Removed by admin: 4 comments by 2 users
        Link Parent
  12. [9]
    piedpiper
    Link
    When I watched the video my take was that she did a good job answering the questions and the interviewer was being disingenuous. He obviously wasn't coming into this with an open mind, and despite...

    When I watched the video my take was that she did a good job answering the questions and the interviewer was being disingenuous. He obviously wasn't coming into this with an open mind, and despite that the woman seemed calm and answered his questions confidently and honestly.

    I read a lot of comments on reddit saying it was "cringey" that she's a 30 year old dog walker and only works 20 hours a week. What is wrong with that? They seemed to be pretty happy about their job. People are so judgmental.

    And then there are so many comments about how they looked/dressed, how they had bad lighting and were swaying back and forth in their chair and not looking into the camera. So? Not once did any of that cross my mind when I was watching the video. People are just looking for anything to try and attack this person.

    The way this whole thing blew up and people are picking it apart it so gross. I feel bad for this person. I don't think they did anything wrong. I don't thing they deserve to be ripped apart. If anything I think they did fine and this is so overblown. I just hope they aren't suffering mentally from this whole thing. I know if this were me I would feel pretty shitty about being the focus of so much negative attention, and I don't think she deserves that at all.

    10 votes
    1. [6]
      Thrabalen
      Link Parent
      It's never going to look good when, during a pandemic where healthcare workers and supply chain workers are stretched to and beyond their breaking point, you go on TV and complain about working...

      It's never going to look good when, during a pandemic where healthcare workers and supply chain workers are stretched to and beyond their breaking point, you go on TV and complain about working twenty hours a week. That's where the issue lies. It came off as a little entitled.

      7 votes
      1. [5]
        piedpiper
        Link Parent
        I don't think that's a fair framing of the video at all. Also, you don't know how difficult their life is. This is what I mean, people are so judgmental. It's weird you bring up essential workers...

        I don't think that's a fair framing of the video at all.

        Also, you don't know how difficult their life is. This is what I mean, people are so judgmental.

        It's weird you bring up essential workers being stretched thin. Isn't that an example of what they are talking about? I mean, maybe you missed that because the interviewer didn't really seem to care about that and just focused on asking them questions about their personal life.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Thrabalen
          Link Parent
          People asked why the backlash, and I'm explaining the surface optics of it. I largely agree with the cause: humans were not made to toil 8 hours a day doing work that is, inevitably, meaningless....

          People asked why the backlash, and I'm explaining the surface optics of it. I largely agree with the cause: humans were not made to toil 8 hours a day doing work that is, inevitably, meaningless. If on even days Bob is paid to deliver widgets to Jim and Jim is paid to deliver thingies to Bob, and on odd days Bob is paid to deliver thingies to Jim and Jim is paid to deliver widgets to Bob, sure they're employed, but it's all meaningless. And the human mind chafes under meaningless toil. But the delivery, the pitch, has to be as good as the message, or it's not going to get heard.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            piedpiper
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I think you should go back and read my original comment. I didn't ask "why the backlash?". I don't need you to explain the "surface optics" to me. Again, if you read my comment I watched the...

            I think you should go back and read my original comment. I didn't ask "why the backlash?". I don't need you to explain the "surface optics" to me. Again, if you read my comment I watched the interview myself and that's not what I got from it.

            Your opinion is obviously in line with a lot of others. I just don't agree with it.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              Thrabalen
              Link Parent
              People asked why the backlash. You asked the above. They're the same question. When you're in an interview, you've got to stick the entrance on your first take, because 90% of your audience is...

              What is wrong with that?

              People asked why the backlash. You asked the above. They're the same question. When you're in an interview, you've got to stick the entrance on your first take, because 90% of your audience is only going to remember the surface details, because they've largely formed their own opinion and they're looking for either validation or refutation. First impressions count.

              5 votes
              1. piedpiper
                Link Parent
                Not the same question. It helps if you read the whole comment: I don't see how being a 30 year old dog walker working 20 hours a week is cringey. The rest of your comment is irrelevant, but if...

                Not the same question. It helps if you read the whole comment:

                I read a lot of comments on reddit saying it was "cringey" that she's a 30 year old dog walker and only works 20 hours a week. What is wrong with that? They seemed to be pretty happy about their job. People are so judgmental.

                I don't see how being a 30 year old dog walker working 20 hours a week is cringey. The rest of your comment is irrelevant, but if you're implying that would give you a bad first impression then I think that speaks more negatively about you than her.

                First impressions count.

                Again, read my comment. She didn't give me a bad first impression. I disagree with you.

                5 votes
    2. an_angry_tiger
      Link Parent
      Yeah it seems that way to me the more I see about it. I read the transcript and it seems....fine? Nothing that stuck out as particularly bad. I came across a screenshot of the interview and it...

      Yeah it seems that way to me the more I see about it. I read the transcript and it seems....fine? Nothing that stuck out as particularly bad. I came across a screenshot of the interview and it looked.....fine? It wasn't a professional studio setup or anything, but it's not any worse than some of the zoom interviews I've seen on Canadian news. The more details I learn about this the more I'm wondering why this is a thing that I keep hearing about, there's a potential war brewing in Ukraine (yeah I know it's whataboutism) and everyone's talking about some redditor giving an interview on fox news.

      3 votes
    3. meff
      Link Parent
      From my reading, the reason people are angry is because they think this person "stole" their movement. The original mods were leftist anarcho-communists and anarcho-socialists. The majority who...

      The way this whole thing blew up and people are picking it apart it so gross. I feel bad for this person. I don't think they did anything wrong. I don't thing they deserve to be ripped apart. If anything I think they did fine and this is so overblown.

      From my reading, the reason people are angry is because they think this person "stole" their movement. The original mods were leftist anarcho-communists and anarcho-socialists. The majority who came to inhabit the sub were more moderate reform-minded folks. Then this mod went on a public TV interview and pushed her more radical position. Reading the sub, people feel used; they feel that the mods used the enthusiasm of the more moderate base to advocate for a more radical position. The anger came afterword.

      From reading the drama yesterday, I do think people were tearing into Doreen too much, in really petty ways at that. But a lot of pretty negative things came out about her (regarding female rape and sexual assault). There was also lots of suspected sockpuppeting by suspected alt accounts of Doreen. Some folks in the sub dug into the posting history of other mods, and it was fairly checkered as well. I'm not affiliated with this movement, but there's certainly a lot of skeletons in the closet from what I can tell.

      3 votes
  13. [7]
    bkimmel
    (edited )
    Link
    Not the greatest performance I've ever seen in front of an interviewer, but after reading the comments here I expected to see some kind of catastrophic implosion and I just don't see it: She got...

    Not the greatest performance I've ever seen in front of an interviewer, but after reading the comments here I expected to see some kind of catastrophic implosion and I just don't see it:
    She got her talking points for the cause across in a way that doesn't seem completely unreasonable.
    She kept her composure for the most part.
    The Fox News anchor was antagonizing, but I don't think scored any hits I would call more than "catty".

    She could certainly do with some training re: how to present herself and her ideas... But I don't see the meltdown I was expecting after reading all the takes.

    9 votes
    1. [6]
      autumn
      Link Parent
      I believe the person being interviewed (Doreen aka Abolishwork) goes by she/her pronouns. This thread repeatedly refers to her.

      I believe the person being interviewed (Doreen aka Abolishwork) goes by she/her pronouns. This thread repeatedly refers to her.

      6 votes
      1. [5]
        bkimmel
        Link Parent
        Thank you for catching that. Fixed it.

        Thank you for catching that. Fixed it.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          bkimmel
          Link Parent
          Wait, though.. the text reads And it looks like Kimezukae (who is Doreen?) wrote that? So does Doreen prefer he/him? I'm happy to edit it either way to avoid misgendering Doreen.

          Wait, though.. the text reads

          Who's /u/Kimezukae ? Why did he do interviews?

          And it looks like Kimezukae (who is Doreen?) wrote that? So does Doreen prefer he/him? I'm happy to edit it either way to avoid misgendering Doreen.

          1. [3]
            autumn
            Link Parent
            Doreen and /u/Abolishwork are the same person. She was booted off the mod team after the interview. Here is where she defines her preferred pronouns:...

            Doreen and /u/Abolishwork are the same person. She was booted off the mod team after the interview.

            Here is where she defines her preferred pronouns: https://www.reddit.com/r/antiwork/comments/scw3yp/comment/huai4jb/

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              bkimmel
              Link Parent
              Ah thanks. Don't see why she was booted, like I said - she didn't come off that bad to me and I've worked around media trainers for a while. Was she polished? Certainly not. Maybe not the person...

              Ah thanks. Don't see why she was booted, like I said - she didn't come off that bad to me and I've worked around media trainers for a while. Was she polished? Certainly not. Maybe not the person they wanted as the "front" for the group so maybe as a breach of message control that's warranted... but based solely on the performance in the interview I don't think she did anything that damaging, to be honest.

              3 votes
              1. raze2012
                Link Parent
                I don't want to comment much on that since it's VERY speculative at the moment, but apparently some less flattering information came up from people who scanned their facebook page sometimes during...

                Don't see why she was booted

                I don't want to comment much on that since it's VERY speculative at the moment, but apparently some less flattering information came up from people who scanned their facebook page sometimes during the r/antiwork downtime (I don't know how or when that could occur, but it's out there if you really want to dig into the sub comments).

                1 vote
  14. Flashynuff
    Link
    This antiwork drama is yet another great example of how Reddit's strictly heirarchical moderation system is flatly unworkable for large, active communities. It doesn't scale at all. Frankly I'm a...

    This antiwork drama is yet another great example of how Reddit's strictly heirarchical moderation system is flatly unworkable for large, active communities. It doesn't scale at all.

    Frankly I'm a little shocked that a moderation team that self-described as anarchist / anarchist leaning did not recognize this as a problem or implement steps to address it. How are you going to build a movement that seeks to abolish work and the unjust heirarchy of the boss if you're not practicing those ideals yourself? If the top mod can turn off the subreddit whenever they want, what community do you have, exactly?

    And look what happened: whatever movement was there; whatever momentum they had; all gone or funneled into a WorkReform subreddit that is literally just tamping down the radical demands. The history of the Left is littered with similar groups that put their stock into individual leaders only to splinter and disintegrate when those leaders inevitably fuck up.

    8 votes
  15. Fiachra
    Link
    That sub has had such amazing momentum and been so widely known, it'll be such a shame if it loses that by splintering into two or more parts. All they had to do was stay the course dammit.

    That sub has had such amazing momentum and been so widely known, it'll be such a shame if it loses that by splintering into two or more parts. All they had to do was stay the course dammit.

    5 votes
  16. [14]
    vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    Calling what tries to be a "work reform" with the name "antiwork" is as insane as calling for "police reforms" with the slogan "abolish the police". Don't people have any idea of strategy anymore,...

    Calling what tries to be a "work reform" with the name "antiwork" is as insane as calling for "police reforms" with the slogan "abolish the police". Don't people have any idea of strategy anymore, or is hyperbole the only way to make anyone organize?

    Or do they really mean these things?

    5 votes
    1. LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      /r/antiwork was probably a good name for it, at least before it became huge. The waters kinda got muddied after a bunch of folks joined and the sub took off, but from my understanding it harbored...

      /r/antiwork was probably a good name for it, at least before it became huge. The waters kinda got muddied after a bunch of folks joined and the sub took off, but from my understanding it harbored a fair chunk of communist and anarchist sentiment and was somewhat far-left in general. Until the boom in subscribers, I think it was probably fair to say that the users of the sub were pretty anti-work; i.e., they were against work being a necessity to live at all.

      That said, I didn't pay any attention to the sub myself until it exploded, so this is all second-hand stuff I've heard. Take it with a grain of salt.

      13 votes
    2. [10]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The subreddit was originally about being literally anti-work, disbelieving in and undermining the necessity to have a job in order to survive, to be coerced into a hierarchical job system that...

      The subreddit was originally about being literally anti-work, disbelieving in and undermining the necessity to have a job in order to survive, to be coerced into a hierarchical job system that makes you subservient to bosses. It's a pretty common idea in left-wing politics.

      However, over time and with rising popularity, the overall vibe of the subreddit changed more towards "work reform" than anti-work. I think that's unfortunate, because while "work reform" is certainly good and desperately needed globally, it is inadequate. The ultimate goal should not be "less terrible work", it should be no work at all.

      I guess that the subreddit got millions of people thinking about the current global problems with work is a win at least.

      /r/antiwork is actually a great example of how radical ideas become diluted as they get more popular, but nonetheless at least still carry some benefit, even as the aspirations of the idea become "softer".

      Personally I think /r/antiwork was an overall good thing, and if a more liberal subreddit and idea replaces it but still pushes the idea of work reform, then that's still a win. I personally remain as someone who is literally anti-work though, both within and without a capitalist system.

      9 votes
      1. [9]
        Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        I do have a serious question for people who are literally anti-work... where do goods and services come from in your vision of the world?

        I do have a serious question for people who are literally anti-work... where do goods and services come from in your vision of the world?

        7 votes
        1. [8]
          hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I wouldn't have time to give this a detailed answer until later today, so I will just say that goods and services don't exist because of any specific economic framework. Fundamentally, with and...

          I wouldn't have time to give this a detailed answer until later today, so I will just say that goods and services don't exist because of any specific economic framework.

          Fundamentally, with and without capitalism, "anti-work" means to me that everyone can essentially be "self employed" and do the labor they want to do, because they want to do it, and not be coerced into working some job because it is necessary for them to afford to purchase basic necessities like water, food, and shelter.

          So goods and services still exist, they would just ideally be made or performed by people who wanted to do so.

          Ideas like universal basic income are interesting. It seems like a useful and perhaps practical way to let anyone do the work they want (or no work at all), and survive with at least their basic needs fulfilled, without immediately upending capitalism.

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            balooga
            Link Parent
            So as I see it, there are two relevant, overarching categories of goods + services: Goods + services that people want to possess or use Goods + services that people want to create or perform for...

            Fundamentally, with and without capitalism, "anti-work" means to me that everyone can essentially be "self employed" and do the labor they want to do, because they want to do it, and not be coerced into working some job because it is necessary for them to afford to purchase basic necessities like water, food, and shelter.

            So goods and services still exist, they would just ideally be made or performed by people who wanted to do so.

            So as I see it, there are two relevant, overarching categories of goods + services:

            1. Goods + services that people want to possess or use
            2. Goods + services that people want to create or perform for others

            If you make a Venn diagram of those categories, they'll overlap a lot. Absolutely there are people who find food production, water treatment, or construction fulfilling, and there are also people who want to eat that food, drink that water, and live in homes. Perfect.

            But what about the non-overlapping areas? Particularly the one for stuff people want but no one wants to provide, because it's disgusting or dangerous or labor-intensive? Many of these could be considered essential as they relate to sanitation and civic infrastructure. Without them our overall health and quality of life as a society would suffer.

            I think it's a reasonable statement to make that the profit motive pulls both Venn groups into closer alignment with each other. It creates fulfillment (or a close enough approximation of fulfillment) in occupations where there would otherwise be little to none.

            Whenever the topic of work reform comes up I feel like this is the elephant in the room. I'm not making a complicated argument here, but I have yet to hear someone in the anti-work position offer a compelling, non-handwavey response about the important work that no one is intrinsically motivated to do.

            9 votes
            1. hungariantoast
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Writing like that, for me at least, undermines any sense of genuine curiosity in the rest of your comment. If you have a point to make, make it. If you have a question to ask, ask it. Please don't...
              • Exemplary

              Whenever the topic of work reform comes up I feel like this is the elephant in the room. I'm not making a complicated argument here, but I have yet to hear someone in the anti-work position offer a compelling, non-handwavey response about the important work that no one is intrinsically motivated to do.

              Writing like that, for me at least, undermines any sense of genuine curiosity in the rest of your comment. If you have a point to make, make it. If you have a question to ask, ask it. Please don't handwave at me about how other "anti-work people" have failed to live up to your expectations. At least give me a fair chance to respond to your questions first.


              In the current popular model of capitalism, if we ignore coercion for a second, people are incentivized to work jobs by, as you said, profit. Perhaps you have heard the saying "oil trash with oil cash"?

              There's no reason, in a capitalist system with work reform or universal basic income, or even in a non-capitalist system, that there would no longer be incentives for people to do things they otherwise might not be interested in.

              The difference is that people will not feel coerced into doing jobs they don't want to do, out of threat of starvation or poverty.

              So in a country with universal basic income, someone might be incentivized to be a dishwasher at a restaurant, a job I know from personal experience is not very fun, because it will earn them a little bit of extra money.

              Someone like my friend's father, might be incentivized to step into a paper mill boiler every day and use an actuating hammer to pound off layers of contaminants while dressed in protective clothing with giant headphones on his head, because it pays enough money to send both his kids to college debt free.

              So this is my answer: regardless of whether it's through a capitalist system or not, in an "anti-work world" the nasty jobs people normally won't want to do will still get done because there will be incentives, not coercion, that convinces people to do them.


              If you actually want to learn more about anti-work ideas, some excellent places to start:

              13 votes
            2. Micycle_the_Bichael
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I would say @hungariantoast gives the best answer here but I wanted to add some quick bullet points of my own. I'll try to flesh them out in more detail and add more sources after work. Jobs under...
              • Exemplary

              I would say @hungariantoast gives the best answer here but I wanted to add some quick bullet points of my own. I'll try to flesh them out in more detail and add more sources after work.

              • Jobs under capitialism and jobs in an anti-work society don't need to look anything alike because the overall goals are different. The former cares about maximizing profits and minimizing costs, the latter focuses on worker satisfaction and community well-being. How many jobs suck because workers aren't given the equipment necessary to safely/sanitarily do them? How many jobs would be fine to do for 3-4 hours, but suck after doing them for 8? How many jobs only suck because of how little pay or respect are given to the workers despite the importance and difficulty of the labor?

              • Not all things that are jobs today need to be single-person jobs. For example: say no one wants to clean the toilets at work. Instead of it being one person's job to clean the toilet every day, why not instead have everyone at the company have to clean the bathrooms for a day on a rotation schedule? If you've got 52 workers, that means you're doing the job once every month and a half or so, 5 times a year. It won't work for all tasks at all places, but lots of "shitty" jobs can be made way better by not having to do them 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, every week.

              • There are other ways to motivate people and for people to benefit beyond currency. Some people enjoy the shitty jobs and will do them. But lets say no one likes them. Some people, like myself, don't mind doing shitty jobs for others. I was the go-to person for cleaning up poop, vomit, and trash at work because I didn't mind doing it and I knew others would appreciate it. It turns out I got benefits for that even though I didn't ask or want anything in return. Some who appreciated it would do some of my work for me, or at least help me to make the task quicker and easier. Some viewed me in a more positive light because I was willing to bite the bullet and do something so they didn't have to. That gratitude from the community will be enough for some people. All of those were factors in me continuing to do those jobs because I felt valued. You can also work out better benefits for those who work jobs others don't want to: a bigger house, a house located somewhere more where that person wants to live, priority in access to scarce goods (after everyone's needs have been met). Maybe because you do x you get a reduced rate or taken off of the schedule to do y. I can't tell you what it will be because in the end its going to be between the individual and their community to decide.

              I have yet to hear someone in the anti-work position offer a compelling, non-handwavey response about the important work that no one is intrinsically motivated to do.

              I'm responding to you as an anarcho-communist, my answers might be different from a socialists or communists (hell, even a bunch of anarchists will disagree with me). You're going to get a lot of handwavey responses because of the core anarchist ideology. I can't tell you what the future would look like because I don't think its up to me. Anarchism is, at its core, hyper-individualistic. I can't tell you how a community will organize because it is up to each community to decide what will work best for them given the resources they have, the skills of the individuals of the community, and how each individual member of the community thinks the community should function. Unlike capitalism, there isn't an end with anarchy. There is no static state where things are "done". As members move from community to community, as resources and skills changes, as tech advances, as ideas succeed and fail, society will evolve as well.

              10 votes
            3. MimicSquid
              Link Parent
              My assumption is that the jobs that are difficult or unpleasant would be compensated more highly in order to draw people to do that work. If everyone is comfortable enough that the additional...

              My assumption is that the jobs that are difficult or unpleasant would be compensated more highly in order to draw people to do that work. If everyone is comfortable enough that the additional compensation is not needed for the purpose of escaping penury or suffering, I don't imagine that there would be as many issues with it.

              4 votes
          2. [2]
            vektor
            Link Parent
            Maybe another valuable effect of UBI or other work reform could be an increase in worker-friendly automation: We see a lot of jobs that could be automated substantially with some investment, but...

            Maybe another valuable effect of UBI or other work reform could be an increase in worker-friendly automation: We see a lot of jobs that could be automated substantially with some investment, but that investment isn't being made because low-wage workers are so available and cheap. If they become more expensive, automation becomes more viable. As long as the fruits of that innovation are distributed fairly (i.e. UBI or other welfare for those made redundant, funded by taxes and reduced prices of goods), this would be a good thing.

            5 votes
            1. skybrian
              Link Parent
              Yes, this is generally true of having higher wages. Something like grocery stores going to self checkout would be less likely to happen in a country with low wages, because the investment wouldn't...

              Yes, this is generally true of having higher wages. Something like grocery stores going to self checkout would be less likely to happen in a country with low wages, because the investment wouldn't pay off. For more expensive forms of automation, this would be even more true.

              UBI would tend to increase wages by giving workers more bargaining power.

              5 votes
          3. Thrabalen
            Link Parent
            On the subject of UBI, I am in 100% agreement. In fact, we're reaching a point where UBI isn't just a nice idea, it's going to be a necessity. As the number of people on this rock increases as...

            On the subject of UBI, I am in 100% agreement. In fact, we're reaching a point where UBI isn't just a nice idea, it's going to be a necessity. As the number of people on this rock increases as well as the amount of automation, there just won't be enough jobs for the whole "work to justify your existence." If this is the goal of Antiwork, I applaud the effort, but too often I see the Antiwork movement summed up exactly as was portrayed in the Fox interview: "Laziness is a virtue."

            2 votes
    3. Micycle_the_Bichael
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yes we do. Or at least did before the sub exploded in size and got the message deluded. There's a reason the anti-work sub had in its about section a note that it was anti-capitalist and linked to...

      Or do they really mean these things?

      Yes we do. Or at least did before the sub exploded in size and got the message deluded. There's a reason the anti-work sub had in its about section a note that it was anti-capitalist and linked to anti-work writings by anti-capitalists (if memory servers correctly it was mostly anarchists and communist writers but its been a while since I looked).

      7 votes
    4. raze2012
      Link Parent
      Anti-work, or refusal to work is a real philosophy/economic model whos origins goes back centuries. It is however, completely different from work reform. I imagine people unaware of this in light...

      Or do they really mean these things?

      Anti-work, or refusal to work is a real philosophy/economic model whos origins goes back centuries. It is however, completely different from work reform.

      I imagine people unaware of this in light of the Great resignation simlpy saw a bold, striking title and attached to it, as was the case of reddit for the last few years focusing on content that mocks other individuals or companies. And it becomes what all large subs tend to become: less of a movement, and more of a hotbed of entertainment.

      I wish I could be surprised by the phenomenon. But well, I wouldn't be here if this was a one-off situation

      7 votes
  17. skybrian
    Link
    Here's an interesting framing of what happened: /r/antiwork: A Tragedy of Sanewashing and Social Gentrification Though anarchists probably won't go for it, I think ideological coherence probably...

    Here's an interesting framing of what happened: /r/antiwork: A Tragedy of Sanewashing and Social Gentrification

    Though anarchists probably won't go for it, I think ideological coherence probably requires stronger gatekeeping than they had and maybe more explicit social rules about who is in charge?

    Consider something like r/AskHistorians, which has strong moderation and is explicitly a little hierarchical in the sense that historians (who answer questions) are considered higher status than the people who ask questions. There is also blogging, where the blog author(s) are explicitly the owners of the space. It's about their writing, their beliefs, and others participate as guests.

    Reddit moderators have higher status, but often in a limited role, and without explicitly making r/antiwork about their political beliefs (like a blog) it's susceptible to ideological drift. This makes moderators vulnerable to the argument that they are non-representative of the group. (Which is true, because membership is uncontrolled and it changed.)

    It's essential and proper in a democracy for the group to be able to get rid of unrepresentative leaders, but without any control over group membership, maybe it's not so great for an online community? Particularly one that's about something other than majority opinions.

    Instead of having the power to change the leadership, the group members should have the right to fork (start another community).

    4 votes
  18. skybrian
    Link
    Edit: I removed “spontaneously combusts” from the title because it seemed a little clickbaity in a “Reddit drama” sort of way. (I don’t usually edit other people’s titles. I hope that’s okay!)

    Edit: I removed “spontaneously combusts” from the title because it seemed a little clickbaity in a “Reddit drama” sort of way.

    (I don’t usually edit other people’s titles. I hope that’s okay!)

    10 votes