In addition to being a ‘professional anticareerist’ working on two non-fiction book manuscripts, I am a freelance copywriter who is available for writing, copy critique, proofreading, e-mail interviews, and project consulting. Rates, terms, and references available upon request.
Contact: D. JoAnne Swanson
Email: radical.unjobbing at gmail dot com
Update, February 2018: I have just launched The Anticareerist as a newsletter at Substack, and I will be releasing new issues there regularly. You can subscribe to receive new issues directly to your inbox. Paid subscribers also receive draft excerpts from On The Leisure Track.
A sampling of previous references to my work:
“Most of us want to be useful and do work that uses our gifts, but the system we have now makes that difficult, if not impossible. Certainly there’s no shortage of work that needs to be done, but a lot of it is unpaid, and there aren’t enough paid jobs to go around even in the best-case scenario. So why try to shoehorn everyone into paid jobs? An unconditional basic income could free us up to do necessary work – and enjoy greater leisure time too – without anxiety about paying for our basic necessities.”
~ D. JoAnne Swanson
Interviewed by Lucy Purdy, “Work Less, Play More,” Positive News, 25 March 2015.
Work less, play more
Lutz, Tom. Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
Cited as founder of Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery at whywork.org, p. 28.
Work In Progress (February 2018):
- Is Nothing Sacred? On ‘Doing Nothing’ and Leisure as Resistance
In a culture held in thrall to the Protestant work ethic, and in which it is difficult to survive without selling our hours to employers, too many of us have little or no room for true leisure. Women often struggle under the structural violence of economic and cultural pressures as they contend with the need to support themselves financially and carry a disproportionate share of emotional labor, caring duties, and other unpaid work – or face consequences if they refuse. De-centering wage labor by making space for leisure and self-care – and refusing to feel shameful about it – can be a vital form of resistance to a culture that enforces productivist values and extracts emotional labor from women at every turn. It can also be a path toward right relationship with the Earth and the divine; from an ecological standpoint, ‘doing nothing’ can be far more responsible than having a job. Unconditional basic income and a wide-scale balance in emotional labor are keys to building a culture of leisure that is truly inclusive.(Extracted and revised from an in-progress chapter of the same title from On The Leisure Track.)
- USA, Land of Suffering With a Smile: Emotional Labor and American Job Culture
You must suffer to earn money. You endure your job and pay your dues like everyone else, to prove you’re worthy of subsistence in the eyes of capital. And you must do it in the proper way: silently, while performing “positivity.” It’s not enough to be structurally exploited by the need to sell your hours to employers so you can survive. It’s not enough to conceal your misery about it, either. You must also express gratitude for your job. After all, it could be worse. You’re lucky to have a job at all! If you speak up about your suffering, you risk being branded as “difficult” or “entitled” – a complainer who deserves their fate.This is what passes for a work ethic in the USA: the logic of the abuser, writ large.It’s also one of the reasons people on benefits are so frequently denounced as “lazy” or”mooching off the system”: they have managed to escape the suffering of the wage laborer, or so the story goes. The message behind this is: You should suffer, like everyone else. The vitriol directed at “laziness” reveals how much Americans hate their own jobs.The expectation that we paste on a smile and present as “positive” is just one of the many insidious ways affective labor is extracted from Americans in service of capital – while preventable suffering and structural violence continues on, largely unacknowledged and unaddressed. This pattern can be seen everywhere – from stressed-out (but smiling!) retail workers to the way strangers ask us a perfunctory “how are you?” and the only socially acceptable answer is some variation on “good” or “fine…” Perhaps all this is not too surprising for a country in denial about the fact that it was founded on colonialism and genocide, but still.Laying the blame on individuals for structural problems is a time-honored ideological tradition in the USA. D. JoAnne Swanson provides an eye-opening tour of the land of suffering with a smile.(Extracted and revised from “Do What You Love, Lazy Bums Who Refuse to Work, and Other Lies of Job Culture,” an in-progress chapter from On The Leisure Track.)