Translated from French, “qu’ils mangent de la brioche” means “let them eat cake.” Dated some time in the 17th or 18th century, the phrase is a reference to ‘a princess’ expressing disregard for her peasants starving and needing bread.
In the 21st century, the cake is not only a lie, but it’s poisonous.
Every miserable, soul-crushing aspect of our lives is, in one way or another, a byproduct of the virulent rot that is capitalism, which is entering its natural transition into harsh, unsympathetic totalitarianism.
Obvious economic hardship abound aside, there is a devastating psychological toll being taken on everyone but the most greedy, opportunistic and cold-hearted among us.
Have you noticed how bad the “feel-good” stories are getting? I’m sure you have. Throw a rock and you’ll hit a mainstream “news” source publishing a “heart-warming” piece about some minimum wage worker in their 80s (or older), thanklessly and heroically endangering their own life for pocket change during a pandemic. (*cough* they don’t want this, they have no choice and consent is being manufactured by the media *cough*)
Even the “inspirational” mantras we’ve had to tell ourselves to preserve our own sanity deprive us of all the good things about being alive, like community and collaboration. The things that feed our souls, that bolster our senses of self-worth, are being infantilized by a misery-industrial complex bent on keeping the fat cats in their ivory towers shoveling their faces and sneering down at the rest of us with unwarranted contempt.
“Stop caring what other people think,” because if you don’t, the abject cruelty that has become commonplace in this sick system will kill you. You’ll be bullied to death, like innumerable members of the LGBTQ community. Even a 9-year-old boy was pushed to the point of taking his own life by the racists in his school. But yeah. This is fine. Not barbaric whatsoever, when literal children are offing themselves. Just learn not to care, because that’s totally healthy in a fucking civilization where people are supposed to work together.
“Keep hustling, even during a pandemic,” because if you don’t, you’ll end up homeless and starve, or at the very least lose your job and insurance and receive substandard healthcare that is an embarrassment to the rest of the developed world in the event you get sick while you’re out “grinding” and being pitied by people abroad, whose governments are paying them to stay home because they don’t hate them. Not to mention those who have the capital here will show you no pity; to the contrary, they will judge you for having so much less than they do. Because if they ever had to suffer at any point in their lives, so should you. Never mind that they could buy a house at 25. Never mind that, if adjusted for inflation, minimum wage would’ve been $18.85 by 2016. Never mind that $3.2 trillion dollars were printed out of nowhere in an attempt to rescue a stock market that’s no longer representative of the economic health of the country anyway. Never mind that the military receives $750 billion a year to wage imperialist wars on struggling underdeveloped nations while its own eats itself alive. Never mind that both parties could end all of this with the click of a pen and outright refuse to. No, your situation is all your fault, so “suck it up, buttercup.” Just like that 7-year-old selling lemonade to pay for her brain surgery, because the alternative would be “socialism” here in the grand ol’ land of fucking “opportunity.” Let’s hope she gets good surgeons like they have in Cuba.
“Let go.” “Stop being a pussy.” “Pull up your bootstraps.” “Quit complaining.” “Emotions bad.” “America good cuz freedom, can do no wrong.” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Whether it’s on a framed photo of a guy on top of a mountain or not, it’s all the same shit. Accepting the unacceptable; accepting enforced peasantry and bootlicking ultra-nationalism; the same brand that breeds terrorists and death regimes, just star-spangled.
And no matter how harsh and unforgiving your work conditions are on top of it all, don’t you dare snap! Don’t have a meltdown in the break room, or you’ll end up in somebody’s Instagram story, because in a digitally archived world where everyone sells their identity to the highest bidder, your every mistake is forever. Don’t even vent to your supposed “friends,” because they’ll look down on you even as their own lives fall apart, having been trained to think that way, like good little capitalists. Despite the ever-increasing harshness of absolutely everything, don’t you ever let your poker face down, because your life will be ruined for it. You think it can’t get worse? Oh, it will. Just try being a human. See what you get. Watch the social media rats feed on the disembodied corpse of your own life in real-time. If you’re one of the really unlucky ones, a cop that believes in “sink or swim” eugenics will see your so-called “mental illness” as weakness and shoot you right there on the spot.
There is one word to describe what is becoming of our society: psychopathic.
It sure as shit isn’t “freedom,” and if you think it is, you’ve been gaslit into another dimension.
As for those of you who are feeling it, you are not crazy. You are a human being deserving of far more compassion and love than you are receiving. Hell, maybe you are crazy, but you know what? “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
And I know more of you are feeling this than ever. I see it all over my timeline. I hear it in phone calls. I read it in texts. People I thought were made of concrete are struggling right now. Turns out “voting blue no matter who” didn’t magically fix everything after all.
But hey, you’re doing your best.
So try not to let the bastards grind you down. But if they have, don’t add insult to injury by beating yourself up for it.
This is not what “normal” is supposed to be.
Vladimir Lenin once famously said, “fascism is capitalism in decay.” And that’s what this is. This is capitalism reaching the height of what it can reap and exploit before finally just resorting to full force in the form of fascism, like it has so many times before. The term may have been popularized by Mussolini and Hitler, but the idea is as old as civilization itself; merciless militaristic imperialism built on the backs of a growing, engineered class of serfs. It’s the stuff that makes world wars, and not much else.
And there is nothing wrong with you for hating it, no matter what those who would benefit from it—or have been conditioned to believe they would—think of you for it.
Fuck toxic positivity. Let them like the cake. You don’t have to. In fact, you shouldn’t. Liking the cake is dooming us all.
Bite the hand that feeds you.