The contractual relationships we enter at work—be it waged at McGill, or unwaged, say, at home—obscure our needs and desires by forcing us to individuate. The agreements made presuppose and thus enact our individuation: We cease as mere bodies and become subjects, employees, (or employers), "on" and identifiable by symbolic title and class, asinine impulses to recognize or be recognized in tow. Our roles come with fantasies and imaginary futures to buy into at the expense of our bodily instincts; we rationalize and endure difficult presents through self-possessive narrative. Wages themselves—symbolic power under capitalism—contribute to our differences of class while denying us the concrete ways in which we connect, or don’t, as what we are prior to them and other abstractions.
The less time we spend at work, the more time we have for ourselves. This is to say, the less time we spend working for the reproduction of the world’s managerial class at McGill, the bastion of white supremacy that it is, the more time we have for the reproduction of who we are, on our own terms. We should probably just refuse and abolish involuntary wage labour altogether, not to mention the institution as it stands. A precedent-setting $15 minimum wage on campus could become a means by which more of us can afford to live less precariously, find the time to assess our needs, and plan accordingly.
Those around in 2011 will remember the We Are All McGill event staged after riot cops brutalized a hundred students in front of the James Administration building. It’s not that we are all McGill, obviously; it’s “fuck work and fuck McGill,” for all of us.
This blog is an initiative of the 15 and Fair McGill Coalition. Curated by MM and MB. This post written by guest blogger Lady Goop.