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Higher or lower pay, aren’t we all corporate slaves?

Higher or lower pay, aren’t we all corporate slaves?

From the literal meaning of the word “corporate slave”, it is easy to see the self-deprecation, fatigue, exhaustion, and trolling contained in it. Young people who have lost their work-life balance while being underpaid and exploited are now the reality for most of us.

Gen Zs and millennials were (once again) at each other’s throats after a debate about fresh graduates’ starting salaries came up. A Filipino Twitter user questioned why people are “sh***ing” on Gen Z for demanding a higher starting salary. Higher or lower pay, aren’t we all corporate slaves? so maybe fight against worker exploitation and oppression instead?

Capitalism is a Shithole

As globalization increases and the movement towards conscious consumerism grows, we should examine how these companies treat their labor force.

It’s a well-known fact that the starting salary in the Philippines is within the range of P18,000 to P20,000, not a liveable wage. In this fluctuating economy, that 20k will only go to rent, bills, and groceries and you won’t be able to save for emergency funds or investments.

All of us can argue about this and may possibly have some things and thoughts to say on the matter. But that starting salary is not acceptable as we are all trying to make ends meet. Capitalism treat labor solely as a commodity, reducing workers to mere factors of production. This objectification can disregard the intrinsic value and dignity of individuals, potentially leading to the devaluation of human needs and well-being.

Some millennials, however, are still pushing the narrative that everyone has to experience having a measly salary, climb up the hierarchy, and then earn what they deserve. But that’s not really applicable anymore. Just because they went through it, doesn’t mean they have to villainize the generation that’s fighting for a decent pay.

And don’t you think we should all hold the oppressive forces accountable for the cultivation of this toxic mindset? The companies that still give low pay to fresh graduates “just because” they’re just starting. Those institutions favors worker exploitation for their own gains. And the state for failing to protect worker’s rights.

Hustle Culture

“You gotta hustle for what you want otherwise you don’t want it enough.” #grindneverstops #sleepisforlosers #hustlehard

You’ve probably seen these hashtags and ‘inspirational’ quotes hogging a good part of your feed on social media. In recent years, one term that has been constantly screamed out and shoved down our collective throats is ‘hustle’. The pressure to always be doing, moving, creating, and achieving and to always be on your A-game of productivity is constant. 

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Capitalism finds its way into our own personal lives and innermost thoughts. Market capitalism’s main aim is to generate profit and therefore capitalism incentivizes production. Production and profit become the main focus and we, as individuals of the system, fail to see any value in tasks that lack a tangible, productive outcome. That’s why we feel guilty taking a break.

I think the emptiness produced by watching a rigged globalized system deliver homogenization on a massive scale — one way to think, one way to work, one way to conceive of profit, one way to impose a brand, one way to (not) drink at lunch, one way to eat at your desk, one way to be healthy, one way to deliver a gentrified urban neighborhood — has been dystopian, to say the least.

Who’s the real enemy?

All this in-fighting among ourselves is actually what the Capitalists want to see. Corporations are taking advantage of poverty stricken people both domestically and abroad and paying them just enough to barely survive. Most multinational corporations move to “third-world” plants like the PH due to the less restrictive labor laws and cheap labor. These billionaires accumulated so much wealth through exploitation, and that’s a fact. The state must also be held accountable for its negligence to safeguard our rights.

After all, the workers are the backbone of the economy. So take a break, take some rest. It’s a revolutionary act already.

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