Happy Ending: Elevators are capitalistic oppression

Elevators must go

Clinton+Raymond%2FDaily+Collegian+%282010%29

Clinton Raymond/Daily Collegian (2010)

By Marl Tarx, Revolutionary

Editor’s Note: The following column is satirical. It is meant for humorous purposes. All interviews and individuals are fictitious.

A spectre is haunting the University of Massachusetts, the spectre of stairs. Comrades, come, it is time for us to break the chains of our oppression and finally free ourselves from these bourgeois capitalist inventions known as elevators.

Elevators are simply a symbol of liberal capitalist greed: a cold, empty metal prison, designed to transport us from one floor to another. The liberals argue it is more efficient and saves us time; of course they see it as such, it allows them to extract more labor value from us, in lesser time.

Oftentimes in this cold metal box, one will be trapped with complete strangers and forced endure this awkwardness for what feels like an eternity.

Contrast this with stairs, which truly allow us to reach our full potential and calling as communal beings. While traversing a building via stairs, one may stop at any moment and take in their surroundings, which are constantly changing. Perhaps the view is not the most exciting, but such is life under liberal, elevator-centric capitalism (under a socialist utopia, however, a variety of scenic vistas would be available to the traveller).

Secondly, while travelling a staircase, there may be chance, momentary encounters with other wayfaring wanderers such as you walking in the opposite direction. Such encounters between folk in the midst of their journeys hearken back to ancient times when tired, weary travellers would meet on highways, converse and share stories. In such a hyper-individualist regime, moments like this allow us to hope, if only briefly, that we may one day experience the kind of camaraderie and brotherhood our ancestors felt.

These momentary encounters are also saved from the awkwardness of an elevator ride due to their brief nature, saving you from having to stand next to the person you made out with at Alpha Sig the night before, awkwardly trying not to acknowledge each other. Of course, this situation gets infinitely worse when she gets off the elevator with you, knocks on your neighbour’s door, and says “Hey babe!” and walks in, but that is neither here nor there.

I am familiar with the common liberal retort to my argument; they seek to paint me a hypocrite. “Oh Marl, if a world without elevators is so good, why don’t you go live in one then, and see how good it is for yourself?

Well, my liberal friend, for this past semester, I have done just that. And I am thrilled to report that it was an extremely positive experience.

Of course, comrades, the liberals will point out that I only had two flights of stairs to walk and that I still only managed to do so with a great deal of loud complaining, panting and wheezing. Ignore them comrades; they simply fail to see the glorious truth of our ideas!

Let me also add, the revolutionary act of fighting against elevators has deep roots in our community. Why, comrades, do you think the elevators in Southwest only stop at certain floors, even though by definition the elevator shaft literally must go through every floor. It is literally not possible to design an elevator that goes to the 21st floor, without also going through the 20th floor. Do you think it was simply sheer incompetence and bumbling stupidity on the part of the designers? Do you think it was done out of malicious intent, only to visit cruelty and suffering upon the student body? Do you think it was some combination of both?

No, comrades, it was actually a defiant act of revolution by our ancestors in the communist tradition. Those brave men and women, many years ago, who constructed seemingly idiotic elevators did so with a view to destabilize liberal elevator hegemony by making them objects of ridicule.

And their efforts have been successful, but now it is up to us to further the cause. We must never stop, we must never surrender. The proletariat, have nothing to lose but our cold metal prisons. Students of UMass unite!

Marl Tarx can be found huffing and puffing up to the top of the DuBois library.