Save the roses for socialism

Valentine’s Day isn’t the same under capitalism. Democracy at Work explores why capitalism hurts our love lives, and how cooperatives can create a healthy environment for love to grow.

Love is in the air, or so we are told to believe. And how does it manifest? Cheesy cards? Heart shaped doodads? Slave-made chocolate? Yeah, no thanks…

All this marketing is making a mockery of love while capitalism is making our relationships more difficult to keep up, by squeezing us at work, in our wages, and in the cost of living. At d@w, we’re going to imagine what all kinds of love- for our families, friends and flings- could be like in a democratic economy that is run for the people, not the profits of capitalists. 

With the help of our talented content creators, Democracy at Work explores why capitalism hurts our love lives, and how cooperatives can create a healthy environment for love to grow.

In the typical workplace today, the boss will say “Oh, it’s nothing personal. It’s just business.” As employees, our presence in collective work becomes simply a transaction: our labor for a little bit of cash. But in a cooperative, the owner-operators share a democratic enterprise. Each of us becomes more meaningful to each other as friends and true teammates.

In today’s capitalist workplace, the bottom line takes top priority, with worker’s feelings and relationships in the backseat. Our true friends are the people we spend our precious free time with, where we are not paid and where we actually lose money (by not working or spending our paychecks on commodified activities). But that doesn’t have to be true! In a cooperative society, there is true friendship with others at work because there is a deeper reason to be close with one another. And to enjoy leisure outside of production, a cooperative, if possible, pays its own staff higher wages and reduces working hours because they have a good reason to: the same people who cut the checks are the same people who receive them. 

Removing our friendships, and our workplaces, from transactional relationships can be a major positive development in an economic democracy. Our relationships with co-workers, neighbors and romantic partners would develop in the context of a cooperative society. In a society based on cooperation, not competition, we can all engage in the “radical” act of seeing our friends when we want to, empathizing with others, staying in bed on the weekends and keeping our relationships out of the marketplace of leisure. 

On this Valentine’s Day, capitalism’s demands and conditions disrupt our love and relationships. The exploitation of employees leaves us without the time, energy or knowledge on how to love each other best.

But on the other hand,
our love disrupts capitalism. If you’re reading this message from Democracy at Work, then you believe we can create a better economy and social life for our love. A cooperative organization of our resources gives us less reason to hate each other via war, racism and bigotry, and more reason to love each other in the process of building economic democracy.

It’s because of our donors that we can continue sharing our positive visions for a democratic economy. Together, we can wholeheartedly support the Democracy at Work mission with new events, media and more initiatives to come. Consider donating to d@w to support this message. Thank you for your support.

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