In all of the ways that Capitalism extracts surplus value from the production of the Worker, one of the most devious and manipulative is the imaginary “unskilled labor”. These are the jobs that, supposedly, anyone could fill – custodian, line cook or server/bartender, ditch digger, etc. Jobs that don’t really require any special expertise are dubbed as “unskilled labor”, and these jobs are ridiculously low-paying. There’s a catch, though – there is no such thing as “unskilled labor”.
That's when I discovered Marx. All of a sudden, everything started to come together for me. My previous life, before fatherhood, was one of miserable detachment from anything meaningful and worthwhile, and it was a reinforcement of my White Privilege and a demonstration of Toxic Masculinity (I still have a lot to make up for in those areas). I realized that even my philosophical "enlightenment" of fatherhood was nothing special either - just a softer and more empathetic version of myself embracing Liberalism and feeling good about myself for feeling bad for marginalized people, but still doing nothing to change any of that.