The coronavirus pandemic has brought global capitalism to a screeching halt. A system which seemed like it would never stop has finally been brought to its feet by a disease that has forced its physical manifestations like factories and vehicles to stop.
However, capitalism has influenced our lives in many more ways than our easily perceptible. Even though it might seem like its external apparatus has stopped, the presence it has in our lives has not ceased to exist. Some might even say the capitalist influence on human conscience has deepened in these desperate times.
A glaring example of that is an obsession with productivity. This is one of the strongest bi-products of capitalist society.
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The biggest ideological battle that Capitalism won over the years was to establish productivity as the topmost human value. For the corporates to be able to gain the maximum amount of profit, the employees are expected to be as productive as possible. Obviously, productivity and its fetishisation was one value that Capitalism wanted to inculcate into us.
That’s where human beings started deciding their worth based on how productive they were. Leisure time began to be seen as criminal. In that scenario, when the COVID-19 pandemic came, all of us were left with a great deal of free time on our hands.
However, our capitalist conditioning still refuses to leave us. Many of us are facing serious mental health issues which range from anxiety to depression just because we feel that we are not able to make our days productive enough.
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Of course, in a profit-oriented capitalist society, constituents are oblivious to things like the mental health of people. As long as you’re not being productive, you’re worthless. This is particularly difficult for women and people living in abusive households who generally have way more hoops to jump over than others.
That’s where the role of feminists to counsel these groups becomes important. As an ideology, feminism, as opposed to capitalism, understands the individual contexts which dominate the lives of people. In that scenario, being productive under all circumstances is not just impractical but also foolish and harsh.
Let’s all together leave the rat race and start giving more time to ourselves.