How to Quit Your Corporate Job and Start a Revolution*
(*Quitting the job was the easy part. Starting a Gandhian-style non-violent overthrow of the kakistocracy? Not so much. If you have ideas, inquire within.)
I have felt compelled to start a blog with this title for a few years now. I suppose the reasons have to do with keeping my own sanity as much as anything else. Watching what has happened in the United States, and around the globe generally, over the last few years has been alarming and infuriating. Like so many people, I find myself searching for explanations and dreaming up arguments to change the hearts and minds of people who, for whatever reasons, are perfectly OK with the present march over the cliff. The cliff does not exist they say and so we must keep marching on patriotically.
Maybe the world does not need another blog. The world might be better, and the pace of this rapid cliff-ward direction slowed some if we abandoned this Internet nonsense altogether. Maybe we should give it back to the scientists and academics who can actually accomplish useful things with it, and go back out into the real world. I know that will never happen and so one must reach people where they are.
And as far as actually changing things, persons more articulate and better informed than I have made all of the best arguments as to why we should abandon our present course. If they could not persuade the masses, far be it from me to do it. But I will be driven forward in the project by the therapeutic value of letting the words, the debates, the conflicts, the conflagrations, and the wars raging inside my head find a more peaceful resolution on the printed page.
Though the topics of this blog will be mostly political, in keeping with the title, it will very much be a memoir of my experiences over the last several years in which I have been trying to do just what the blog title indicates. I left my comfortable corporate salary in 2012 so that I could: 1) not lose sleep at night regretting my contribution to injustice and the destruction of the planet; 2) feel like I was at least somewhat in control of my daily existence and destiny; 3) support people in my work who might have a shot at actually starting a revolution; and 4) dispense with a couple of hours of commuting every day.
Over the course of these last few years, I have learned a lot, or at least I think I have. To support myself, I decided when I left my job that I would start a business providing information technology services for non-profits, activist organizations, and small businesses. One big lesson has been that working for organizations that are not of value to corporations, and especially organizations that work to undermine the tyranny under which corporations have us living, is not very profitable. But, that should not be a surprise.
When I started my business, I envisioned providing more general IT services, such as setting up accounting systems, but just about everything, including accounting systems, are cloud-based now. Hence, I turned into a web developer and that is how I have been paying my bills the last few years. Therefore, I expect that I may digress into technical topics now and then, though usually it will be connected in some way to this blog’s political themes. WordPress, for one, is something that should be in every activist’s toolkit. Hence, I will be writing about that frequently.
And there are a lot of indications, as we have all seen over the last few years, that this technology that we thought might be so wonderful has been most damaging to our political processes and our society generally. As one who has worked in the tech sector in various capacities for over thirty-five years, I have some opinions about all of this that I plan to share in future postings.
One of the goals of this blog is to be primarily autobiographical. When I have tried blogging before, I found it easy to fall into the trap of simply regurgitating whatever I had recently read. I will probably inevitably and sometime necessarily still do that. But, I hope by steering toward my own experiences, readers will find something unique and interesting, or something that resonates with their own experiences.
The other goal I have is to be explicit about when I’m presenting something that is “fact”—meaning it is verifiable and corroborated by multiple sources, and deemed to be a reflection of actual reality—and when it is opinion, speculation, or BS. This assumes that we can always tell the difference. I will always aim to do so but sometimes I can’t. In fact, relating those cases where I’ve been fooled will probably be another rich source of material for this blog.
If nothing else, I hope that by relating my experiences over the last few years, and about various events of my life, I can shed some light for those considering taking the same path, and also learn from others who have made choices similar to mine. Though rejecting the comfort of the standard corporate existence, whether be your job or your diet, is often not an easy course to take, I will frequently urge others to take it. Our very survival may depend on more people doing so. Please join me and millions of others in the revolution of values.