NFTs and the Antiwork Revolution

NFTs are radical. They’ve already reconceptualized markets as diverse as education, fine art, and wine. Perhaps, if we push for it, infusing the NFT world with antiwork ethic can benefit more workers?

knack ·  · 05/10/22 ·  3 min

Antiwork and near-death experiences led me to the friendly shores of NonFungible.com and NFTs.

Like so many Americans, I’ve worked myself to death. Only literally. In 2012, I found myself in either the intensive care unit or emergency room multiple times due to years of overwork combined with poor access to healthcare. The doctors’ message became increasingly clear even in the gray haze of exhaustion and pain: quit work or die. And so, like many sensible Americans have done in recent years, I quit work.

I clawed back into life after over six years of being bedridden. A big part of my emergence from bed was furthering my education. After finishing a graduate degree in English, many job opportunities presented themselves. Nearly every job offered a path back to death-by-work. Creating in the world of NFTs felt like the opposite. Here’s what I saw: opportunity for creative, autonomous, meaningful labor that encouraged me to combine my diverse identities, work experiences, and educational background.

The opposite of what the late great anthropologist David Graeber called a ‘bullshit job’. Ask any American from multiple minoritized backgrounds how rarely such a chance arises. You might think of an unicorn extending its paw in welcome and inviting you to a world-wide party that you get paid to attend when you want to, where you want to, how you want to.

NFTs’ Contribution to Antiwork

NFTs are radical. They’ve already reconceptualized markets as diverse as education, fine art, and wine. Perhaps, if we push for it, infusing the NFT world with antiwork ethic can benefit more workers like myself. While NFTs are property and many antiwork advocates oppose property, what leverage do we have against governmental and transnational corporations without it? Consider NFT-based transactions and labor as a step toward antiwork ideals. 

Do you want to end the toxic work culture that pervades the United States and countries like it? 

  • Move away from top-down governed capitalism that’s as transparent as a bank vault’s walls. 
  • Demand publicly viewable NFT contracts that will facilitate fair wages for all workers and minoritized groups in particular. Oversight is built into them because the contract is hosted on-chain in a cryptographically secure public ledger. 
  • Participate in grassroots organizing without any question where the resources have gone for a workplace that’s built for those who do the labor at least as much as those who control capital. 

To the NFT Opposition and Skeptics

Many r/antiwork members have voiced absolute opposition to cryptocurrency, and by extension NFTs. Some of their claims are justified. 

Cryptocurrency and NFT whales do exist. They have an outsize influence on the NFT market . They equate crypto and non-fungible tokens as a mere extension of capitalist control without considering the potential for labor negotiation and thus a life more committed to our own interests rather than those of the state and their corporate liaisons. For them, anything less than a full tear-down of anything resembling capitalism is failure.

For those r/antiwork members who are skeptical, limitless educational opportunities await. Read about the artists, the theorists, the latest applications, then act as you see fit. To do otherwise is only to indulge fear and ignorance. NFTs and crypto have more potential if we dig into them rather than staying in the relative (dis)comfort of what’s come before. Read our articles about non-fungible tokens and crypto. Send us questions on our Discord. We want to learn from you and make community with you.

Choosing your Antiwork NFT Office

And for those who value a meaningful life in work and beyond, I’m writing to you this morning. I can hear four birds’ songs float in the mountain air six feet beyond my desk. My cat greets me for more belly rubs. While this is not antiwork in the sense of the absence of work, it is the presence of a life well-balanced where my priorities, my meaning-making comes first.

Read more about Antiwork: 

Need help understanding the NFT ecosystem? Explore the NFT Academy
#NFT Adoption
#NFT Revolution

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