A Letter from Anticapitalist Santa

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Grief_and_sadness

(This is an update on All I Want for Christmas is the Downfall of Globalised Late Capitalism, which was performed at Forest Fringe this August and on Facebook thereafter. The work continues.)

* * *

Dear kids,

I have bad news. Unfortunately, Santa will not be dropping the downfall of globalised late capitalism down your chimney this year. Due to labouring under neoliberal working conditions, despite Santa’s attempts at reforms, hir elves have not successfully spent the £25 budget in time for Crimboween this year.

This means that unless the revolution is delivered by a different all-loving and all-powerful solstice spirit, or unless you make it yourselves over the next week, globalised late capitalism is expected to persist until at least the 25th of December 2015.

The elves regret this lapse. There are many reasons. The elves’ work on this Winteaster gift is completely unfunded and voluntary, driven out of passion and interest only, with the result that fulfilling the project kept falling down to the bottom of the elves’ extensive To Do List, deprioritised in favour of things that paid, or things with externally-imposed deadlines, or things where for whatever reason the social and interpersonal imperatives were somehow stronger. The elves have also been working very hard throughout the year, usually for longer than 40-hour weeks, and when December came around the prospect of yet more work seemed crushingly impossible, which resulted in the elves taking enforced unpaid sick leave on an ad hoc basis, surfacing from their snuggly blankets only to meet the most essential of deadlines.

To make matters worse, it’s very clear to the elves that these problems — underfunding, deprioritisation, overwork and exhaustion — are themselves precisely conditions of globalised late capitalism, the very things the elves’ work was supposed to eradicate in time for Hexmas! This led the elves into a downward spiral of anxiety regarding their planned Santerval presents. The conditions of globalised late capitalism were making it hard to finish their Christentine’s Day shopping, which meant they felt guilty about continuing to perpetuate the conditions of globalised late capitalism, which meant they felt even less able to do the shopping, which meant they felt guilty about the guilt, and so on. They also acknowledged that this bodilily inscribed anxiety spiral mandala was itself a form of trauma inflicted by, again, globalised late capitalism.

Therefore, while the elves are sad that the revolution will not be delivered down your chimney this Jolliday Season, they are not going to apologise for it.

However, it is not all bad news. The elves are fully expecting to complete their work after the holidays, before spring arrives. This more realistic schedule will also allow the best part of a year for the presents to take full effect, making it that much more likely that globalised late capitalism will fall in time for Solszaa on the 25th of December 2015. The shopping will be filmed. The presents will arrive.

Yours, in revolution and love, as the darkest night of the year approaches,

Santa and the Elves xxx

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