Dream, but don’t dream the wrong dreams

I saw that “So you want to be a journalist?” video that is currently making the semi viral rounds and also read the several posts/comments about it, mostly from journalists or journalism students. The video pains a bleak picture. However, I could probably (well, if I had any graphic skills above creating a jpg with a memegenerator template) create a similar one for every other profession or skill set out there. So, you want to be a doctor? So, you want to be store owner? I could go on and on listing.

However, here’s what these funny, little videos don’t tell you: our current capitalist system operates by telling us that we should dream. We should aspire to being better than we are by choosing a vocation we love and embracing it to the full extent of our will. You are told that if you study or prepare yourself in what you love, eventually, through hard work you will succeed. You will earn a living doing something that makes you a better human being (and happy to boot!). But there is a caveat to it: you will rarely set the rules to this game. You can choose what you want, but the laws of offer and demand (which are almost always in someone else’s hands) determine your employability. You might love being a journalist (to use the example prefacing this post), but “society” (and yes, there is a huge heap of sarcasm in my use of the term in this context) deems that journalists are no longer needed so, tough luck, buddy. Now you are buried in a mountain of debt and spent the last 5+ years training for a profession that is no longer wanted. Now you are cheap labor. The system that encouraged you to dream big can now make use of your dreams for almost nothing.

We think we are dreaming when in reality, we are the little sheep counted and kept as inventory by the dream owners. We could also re-think the ways production and distribution of the means of production works, but they never tell you that when you are fifteen and exploring your future. Instead, we are told to dream big. Someone else will cash on your future nightmares.

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