Cross stitch pattern of the rose symbol of Democratic Socialists of America. Download the PDF here: Democratic Socialist Pattern
Grid Size:63W x 78H
Design Area:4.50″ x 5.43″ (63 x 76 stitches)
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As I’ve started on my journey to actually understanding politics, I’ve had to take some time and look inside at what I really believe and why. I am still making progress and I’m sure that my political views will change over time, but I feel like it’s important for me to get down on paper what the world looks like to me now, and try not to think of how awkward the thumb on the DSA logo looks. Like, seriously guys, no one spotted that?
There are people who would say that a hierarchy is an important part of being human and that some people are inherently more deserving to be on top than others. For me, I see this kind of thinking as a rationalization of the way society is structured rather than an explanation for the cause of hierarchies. When I DM a D&D session with my friends, I am still a member of my friend group even though I have different responsibilities. We all share the same goal of having fun together. Even in a setting where fun isn’t the goal, there doesn’t have to be a hierarchy. When I did my game jam, I was the team leader, but all of my teammates and I were working towards the same goal of completing a game while struggling to get enough sleep. At the end we presented as a group and everyone was listed in the credits. There was no doubt in my mind that if we were to sell the game then we would all get an even share of the profits. I contrast that with a hierarchical structure. A boss’ goal in a company is to make money and appease the demands of shareholders and clients. An employee’s goal in a company is to survive long enough to get a paycheck and leave. The goals are very different and I think that a company would do better if the concept of managing a team was uncoupled from special treatment.
Actually, I feel like a lot of special treatment is connected to arbitrary actions. Having a lot of money gets you special treatment even if the way you got it was harmful. Being a judge gets you special treatment even if your rulings are dangerous. Enforcing laws gets you special treatment, even if you kill innocents. You don’t need to have any skill in doing these things in order to be on a higher brick on the pyramid. And when I think about it, these things are arbitrary and we could just as easily say that janitors, scientists, and mothers should get special treatment.
But I’m not going to say that.
Because that plays into a conservative narrative, that if we don’t protect ourselves then we are going to be replaced and then we will be the ones getting subjugated.
The idea that no one needs to be a slave doesn’t make sense to them.
And a group of people sharing the same goals is not some candyland pipe dream. Starbucks has an employee stock purchasing plan to help employees invest in the company. Employees then have a monetary interest in Starbucks doing well. Companies like WinCo are primarily owned by the employees because they own more than %50 of the company’s stock and have more say in decisions because they literally are the shareholders. There are even worker cooperatives that look on the outside like any other business but they are owned and managed completely by the people who work there. These are real companies with real people working in them. And, yeah maybe some businesses have external restrictions that make it so that the cooperative model doesn’t fit well, but I’m saying that most businesses can and should be worker owned and that there are a variety of options as to how a business can go about it.
And what I want to say is that the world could be better, but our current system doesn’t want it to be better.
The people who are at the top of the hierarchy have a vested interest in convincing everyone that the hierarchy is good and natural so they can stay at the top. You might think that people who defend the hierarchy are greedy and want to get one over on the little guy, and yeah there are people like that, but from what I’ve seen, regular people defend the hierarchy not because they really think they’ll be billionaires one day, but because they think that they are already part of the top and have something to lose. Let me tell you something you already know. If you are reading amateur political essays on a cross stitch blog, you are not part of the top. But a lot of people can’t see their actual social status. They’ll watch shows and read headlines that say that America is the best country in the world and they’ll wear American flag T-shirts and revel in their high status, when in reality we are all just as worthless to the system as the immigrants the media tells us to fear.
No one wins.
Not even the top, because they live in a world bogged down by the very hierarchy they defend, a world where they can’t find employees with the skills they need because they are living on the streets, a world where workers do the bare minimum to keep getting paid, a world where processes are inefficient because the employees have no reason to share their optimization ideas with their bosses, a world where clients can hear the customer service voice and know that no one they talk to is sincere.
If you expand workers’ rights, business would be better, but those at the top are too scared of losing privilege that they aren’t willing to admit that the system is broken.
Maybe not everything Bernie Sanders has to say is perfect, but he’s the closest to what I’m going for.
And if you’re a Republican then I’m thinking Bill Weld seems pretty chill. He’s got a nice Libertarian streak and is pro LGBT even though he won’t admit it on his website.