Mike Rowe has a “Sweat pledge” he launched not long ago. I’m working on a full response to Mike Rowe’s reactionary, anti-working class rhetoric guised as pro-working class rhetoric. In the meantime, I’m posting the first draft of our No Sweat Pledge.
No S.W.E.A.T. Pledge
(Slavery Will Eat Away Temperament)
1. I believe that it is wrong to look down upon others that may live in another place. I do not think I am better than others because of their lineage or their nationality. It is the character of a person that I judge and not their nationality or ancestry.
2. I believe that all people are entitled to life and liberty. All humans are entitled human rights and structural inequality is wrong. We have a duty as a society to provide equal access to opportunities for all individuals.
3. I believe that having a job in order to live in this society does not define me, or those around me. The occupation of any individual does not necessarily reflect that person, even if they have a bad job. Until all persons are guaranteed equal opportunity and access to all positions of employment, I accept that sometimes people have to take jobs they dislike. I accept that there are jobs that exploit the worker and these are “bad jobs.” I also accept that, in a capitalist system, all employees are exploited by their employers.
4. I will do my best to follow my passion. I will also accept others that follow their passion, as long as their passion does no harm to others. I recognize that it is a wonderful thing for a person to be able to sustain themselves whilst doing something they enjoy. I will also not resent others who are able to do this whilst I may not have that opportunity.
5. I deplore debt but understand that it is often the inevitable result of capitalism. I will never look down upon those who are indebted in a system that privileges the wealthy. I accept that debt is often a means to an end. I also accept that debt is relative. Even in this society, debt that is lower than income is not a problem.
6. I believe that everyone has the right to be given basic safety precautions. Employers that do not provide safety for their employees are directly responsible for any harm that comes to those employees. Any employer that knowing risks the lives of their employees, or does not adequately protect their workers from harm, has committed a crime against those workers.
7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to do the best job possible. I also accept that a person with a bad job should not care about being distinguished, as this job is just an effective means of survival and does not define them as a person. If people do not wish to be distinguished in their job, I understand it is because they do not feel valued by their employer.
8. I believe the most horrible sounds in the world are the cries of the oppressed and the screams of the disenfranchised. I will always complain for them and with them. I will never rest until these sounds cease. If someone complains about the complaints of inequality and oppression, I will politely ask them to silence their complicit approval of suffering. I also accept that all oppressed people have the right to complain about their oppression. I will never remain silent, or even give tacit approval, to any form of discrimination. As long as any other human being is being denied liberty, I am not free. Their cries are my cries.
9. I believe that education should be available to everyone and that anyone who seeks it should be able to obtain it. I believe that education should be free for those whom seek it. I also believe that an educated population is a better population, but I also think adults should be free to choose their educational path. I also understand that self-education is not always the best and the accumulation of knowledge through generations is one thing that makes humans quite unique.
10. Even though I may feel I am uniquely a product of my own choices, I understand that many are subjugated to a lack of choices due to forms of discrimination and/or oppression. I will never blame someone else for being a victim of discrimination or oppression. I will also continuously stand up for those whom have had their choices limited.
11. I understand the world is not fair, but that does not mean we should not strive towards a more noble goal with a more equitable system. I do not resent the success of others and I do not resent the cries of the oppressed. I also understand that when those things that are unfair are human constructs, there is no reason not to believe that we cannot alter them to be more equitable.
12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices when they are able. Some people choose to work their butt off. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to only work hard for a noble cause. I will never work hard to make someone else profit from my labor.
On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements are a direct response to a narrow worldview. I promise to never willingly sweat for a person exploiting me.