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10/16/11

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Is Work a Prison Sentence?

Here is the argument started by a poster on Above Top Secret (doctornamtab):

Yeah we need jobs. As much as we need a prison sentence. I hate jobs. Not just my job - its actually pretty sweet. But the effect of the job itself is what makes jobs such an awful nuisance to modern man. 
So here's where we find ourselves in this Great Repression or whatever the media is calling it. People are out of work. But the jobs they're applying for are precisely the problem. People talk about the housing bubble. What we have is an employment bubble. Its popped. We have no more room for useless jobs. But we have people who need that job in order to secure food and shelter. So what, precisely, is the problem? That we have people out of work or that these people need work to get food and shelter? 
Is unemployment even a problem if work wasnt intimately tied to food and shelter? Can we change the world for EVERY single worker in the world if we break the bond between work and food, between slaves and masters? 
Why am I upset at jobs? Because we don't need them anymore. If we think of how jobs came to be we realize that the work of our very survival needed to be distributed because, lets face it, life was hard when a horse and plow are your greatest technological innovations. If we all shared the work of survival it'd make a better life for everyone. Makes sense. I dig it. But now less than 1% of the US population grows food for the other 99% PLUS many other countries. I"d say the days of horse and plow are over. 
All recently created jobs are fulfilling artificial needs. The fastest growing industry in the past decade was the financial industry. Completely false and outside our realm of human needs. All jobs created since the 80s are like smoke. They're here for a little while, hanging in the air, but soon they dissipate. They're not sustainable because they're based on artificial, socially created "needs" like an HDTV, 401K, computers or fashionable clothing. The employment bubble burst long, long ago. We've created an entire economy on articifially created needs and ghost jobs, military spending and financial mathematic acrobatics. Now we're wondering why we're unemployed, hungry and angry? 
We're in this situation, not because of lack of jobs, but because there are TOO many jobs. We're OVER employed. We have more jobs than we have needs. The illusion prevailed until oil prices and a weakening dollar cause us to reevaluate our purchases. Maybe we didnt need a new truck this year. Maybe we dont need to go to Disneyland. And now the economy is scaling back because the poor dont have enough money to maintain the illusion. 
We're in this problem because we never really faced the problem: that our jobs simply provide us with money to buy food and shelter. At the end of the day, thats all that matters. Our survival, which is wrongly tied up with our jobs. 
So for a long time we've been creating jobs that are basically useless to us, survival wise. We're creating people with useless skill sets. I proofread financial statements - useless, utterly useless outside the rules of my particular society (America, 2011). The idea that jobs have some important social function is simply NOT a reality for most people. And the world only needs so many doctors, police and firefighters. So what are the rest of us to do in our useless, pointless jobs that merely exist to make some rich guy more money? How do we free ourselves? 
Well we could start by realizing that jobs turn our bodies into a debt that we must work to repay. Our hunger, our biological need for a warm place to sleep is used against us.. Our own bodies, our very own biological processes, are used as leverage to FORCE us to work. This is the truly sinister purpose of jobs. Slavery, dependece on the system. Its all about food. Ok lets start from the beginning. We used to work like this: 
work ---> food and shelter. This is commonly called slavery. Probably came about with the first farmer. Why farm it all himself when he can just pay other people a small amount of his crop, do nothing and still make it through the winter? 
Now we work like this: 
work ---> money ----> food and shelter. This is commonly called a job. We all know how these work. 
Now what has happened since the abolition of slavery? We've inserted a middle man (money) between us and our access to basic life necessities like food and shelter. So really, we just have slavery once removed. We're only ONE simple step from true slavery, the smallest step possible by the way. Not only that but our lives are even more controlled by the tyrrany of currency. By eradicating slavery we've actually made ourselves EASIER to control through work and jobs because if one controls the money one controls the labor power of the entire society. But we KNOW that. So why do we continue this charade? The illusion of choice. 
We also have the illusion of choice at our jobs. We think we're free because we get to pick our favorite flavor of slavery. But that doesnt change the fact that we all NEED jobs to live, to access basic life necessities. If you gave me three bowls of dog sh*t and told me I had to eat one to get food and shelter then yeah, I'm gonna eat the least sh*tty pile of sh*t. But that doesnt mean we're enjoying it or that we even had a choice. This is the sinister conspiracy to turn your hunger, your need for a warm home, into a debt that we MUST work to repay all the while convincing us that working at our sh*tty jobs was our choice. They want to make it seem like theres some greener pasture at some other company. They want us to believe the problem isnt with work in general but your workplace specifically. That its only YOU who dont like your job and YOU picked the wrong job. 
One last point and then I'm out. Prisoners. These people BREAK the law, are a danger to society, yet they get free food and shelter day in day out and dont work a single day. Now, if we can provide three meals a day, air conditioning and cable TV for PRISONERS, the murderers and rapists, why can't we provide it for all of us. We have plenty of food, remember 1% of the US farms for 99% of the rest. We have plenty of homes. Look down the street, how many are empty, for sale? How many people own TWO, THREE homes? We can provide food and shelter for all. Its there. We've simply been convinced we don't deserve it. 
Most people will read this and think I"m anti-labor or some sort of anarchist. Actually its quite the opposite. I"m so pro labor that I don't even think workers should be working. Shorter hours, benefits? Cmon, lets put our energy into something transfomative. If AFL-CIO is gonna fight a fight why not fight to reduce people's dependence on jobs instead of INCREASING people's dependence on jobs. Being pro-labor and fighting to get people "good jobs" and all that crap is like teaching a man to fish and giving him fish. Getting ONE person ONE job doesnt free ALL of society from jobs. It actually reinforces the exact system the AFL-CIO and pro-labor activists claim to fight. 
So over the next year when you hear campaign speech after campaign speech touting "JOB CREATION!!!" and "We're gonna put American back to work!" dont cheer like the mindless slave. Realize that to cheer on "job creation" is to cheer on our own slavery. We need a basic standard of living for all Americans regardless of their employability. Regardless of the useless skills they can offer a corrupt economy.
Follow this popular debate happening over at the ATT message board.  

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