Careerism means participating in a commonly understood competitive point scheme to achieve an arbitrary definition of victory, awarded with ritualistically significant tokens of achievement. In other words, a sport.
We should not think of ‘anti-oppression work’ and ‘everyday work’ as distinct activities: nothing changes in the ‘everyday systems’ that do the oppressing until these activities merge into one.
“Do what you love?” Perhaps the ultimate triumph of capitalism was convincing us that we should all find and define the purpose and meaning of our lives in our employment.
What do religions, comic books, fashion, politics, entertainment, academics, and sports all have in common?
They are shared. They are the platforms and lexicons of our conversations. They are ways of knowing and being known.
The sports commentator and the preacher offer interpretation. The foreign policy expert, the talking head, and the opinion-maker — they are all like the weather we live in: they provide the prompts, cues, and insights to narrate our discourse. The exploits of the hero and the controversies of the politician shape the substrate of our informal conversations.
What do religions, comic books, politics, entertainment, academics, and sports all have in common? They are languages. They are the domains where we achieve rank and status. They give us ways to know each other, opportunities to predict the future together, spaces to analyze the world collectively, and opportunities to demonstrate our expertise to one another.
They allow us to be known by what we know.
What do religions, comic books, fashion, politics, entertainment, academics, and sports all have in common? They provide the ground for what it means for a group of us to define ourselves as ‘us.’ It’s not they are all the same thing — but they all share something in common.