Attentive obsessives will have noticed that I didn’t post anything last week. It’s not that I didn’t write anything. It’s not that I was enjoying the long weekend, to the extent that I could while coping with the heatwave that made my region of California a triple-digit hellscape, and couldn’t be bothered to post anything or plain forgot about it. No… Couldn’t be that…
The reason that I didn’t post anything, or do anything, and that nobody should have been doing anything, is because last Monday was Labor Day. No one should do any kind of work or do anything that involves money in any way on Labor Day. Yes, there are exceptions when it comes to works of passion, doing work that you enjoy and find enriching. However, even that should be avoided if it somehow leads to money changing hands. In the case of my posting anything, I wasn’t feeling passionate that day, and I know that the platforms I post on have some method of monetizing the work people post on them.
There are people, as well, who do not have any choice in the matter and must work on Labor Day. These are exactly the people for whom Labor Day exists and whose being cheated out of the holiday should be considered a crime. While it is good that white collar workers, workers in government jobs, and generally those with union representation, get off on Labor Day, it is an affront to common sense and an insult to the history of the labor movement that much of the labor class, those in low-paying jobs with little or no power, are not able to observe the holiday and take the day off.
The way that Labor Day is predominately celebrated by our society is with sales. While disgusting, it is in keeping with the general behaviors of the capitalist class, to take a day meant to honor the American Labor Movement and pervert it by stoking consumerism with discounts, which of course means that those who work low-paid sales and service jobs not only have to work on Labor Day, but work harder to meet the demands of their employers and the deal-hunting hordes. It is a “fuck you” from the capitalist class to the labor class, to the labor movement, to the notion of organized labor, and working people in general. People literally died fighting for the rights of workers to have protections, the right to organize, to have fair wages, the right to not be abused and worked to death by employers.
We have a lot of meaningless or undeserved holidays in this country. I mean, Presidents’ Day? Who actually gives a shit about the presidents? They’ve mostly been garbage and unworthy of celebration, and part of living in a so-called democracy, where leaders are meant to be regarded as public employees and not royalty, is that we shouldn’t have to worship or lionize them. The labor movement did a hell of a lot more for the majority of people than any president ever has. Not that the labor class should have to work on President’s Day either, or any other holiday, but Labor Day is actually a day deserving of respect and honoring one of the handful of respectable parts of our history, and laborers being forced to work on Labor Day is particularly egregious.
That is why I don’t take part in any sales, do any kind of shopping, or do anything involving the exchange of money on Labor Day. First, because no one should have to work that day, least of all working class people in groceries, department stores, and Amazon warehouses. Second, because no one should profit on that day, least of all the capitalist class that exploits the working class and grows fat on the work of others. If you haven’t observed Labor Day in this way, I encourage you to do so in future. I know that the next one is now 51 weeks away, but that means you have more time to prepare, and engage in commerce any day other than Labor Day.