The Myth of Work Vs. The Reality of Abuse

ProductionVia Modern Mythology:

In the wake of yet another collosal political and social disappointment, I’d like to touch on an issue which, frankly, could be the topic of a book. And it’s a book that, if it hasn’t been written already, should be written. It needs to be written, and more importantly, it needs to be talked about.

Every culture has myths about work. What is acceptable for an employee or employer, what the nature of that relationship should be. It is in the benefit of the employer to have myths throughout the workforce that tie their very identity and sense of self worth into how well they meet that employers demands, and if there aren’t forces in place, either enforced through government oversight or the unionization of the workers in some configuration, these myths can run rampant. There is, after all, a word in Japanese for working one’s self to death. (They also apparently have a word for eating one’s self to ruin. But that’s another story.)

(Matt Damon speaks out on the importance of teachers):

This process is not inherently good or bad. As I said in the chapter on initiation in The Immanence of Myth, the prescriptive nature of indoctrination may sound ominous, but many of us know what humans become when left to be feral creatures. They can hardly be called human, at all.

However, this process can still break down in any number of ways. And I believe many of you will agree, it has broken down in a fundamental way in the United States, and it is getting worse.

(Rest of article.)

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  • Anonymous

    It isn’t just about work, it’s about fundamentally changing how society is organized. We are still building on top of models that assume great scarcity of resources. That is simply not the case when it comes to basic essentials, especially here in America. Society must be organized to reflect the present reality, which is that we simply have more humans than there are jobs to do. This is not to say that a large segment of people should be allowed to become indefinitely unemployed, as they already are, instead it is to say that we need to redefine employment and how we allocate our resources entirely.

    The guaranteed basic income is one strategy. Ensuring that everyone, regardless of boom and bust cycles will be “socially secure” as long as they prudently manage their basic income. Another would be to simply guarantee food, shelter, medicine, and clothing without a direct monetary benefit. A third solution would be to offer guaranteed employment or training possibly in conjunction with or without other solutions. This is not socialism as nowhere am I suggesting that the means of production be owned by the State, only that the basic survival of ALL be guaranteed by the State while allowing free enterprise to function with regulation.

    As long as we have a system where one MUST enter into unfair employment to live or shame themselves by signing up for means tested welfare programs, then we will have a system where one party is not entirely willing in the agreement. Work should be voluntary, but HIGHLY encouraged and rewarded along with creative pursuits that lead to greater innovation and cultural development.

    Of course, there are plenty of other solutions that are probably better, I just offered these off the top of my head as examples, the core argument I am trying to make is that society needs to be fundamentally changed in respect to work and what it means to be productive, how resources are allocated, and really the definition of poor. It starts with education and teaching people to be moral and productive without the threat of poverty or prison.

  • MoralDrift

    It isn’t just about work, it’s about fundamentally changing how society is organized. We are still building on top of models that assume great scarcity of resources. That is simply not the case when it comes to basic essentials, especially here in America. Society must be organized to reflect the present reality, which is that we simply have more humans than there are jobs to do. This is not to say that a large segment of people should be allowed to become indefinitely unemployed, as they already are, instead it is to say that we need to redefine employment and how we allocate our resources entirely.

    The guaranteed basic income is one strategy. Ensuring that everyone, regardless of boom and bust cycles will be “socially secure” as long as they prudently manage their basic income. Another would be to simply guarantee food, shelter, medicine, and clothing without a direct monetary benefit. A third solution would be to offer guaranteed employment or training possibly in conjunction with or without other solutions. This is not socialism as nowhere am I suggesting that the means of production be owned by the State, only that the basic survival of ALL be guaranteed by the State while allowing free enterprise to function with regulation.

    As long as we have a system where one MUST enter into unfair employment to live or shame themselves by signing up for means tested welfare programs, then we will have a system where one party is not entirely willing in the agreement. Work should be voluntary, but HIGHLY encouraged and rewarded along with creative pursuits that lead to greater innovation and cultural development.

    Of course, there are plenty of other solutions that are probably better, I just offered these off the top of my head as examples, the core argument I am trying to make is that society needs to be fundamentally changed in respect to work and what it means to be productive, how resources are allocated, and really the definition of poor. It starts with education and teaching people to be moral and productive without the threat of poverty or prison.

    • Mr Willow

      Excellent!

      That really ties in to what Damon was saying in the video: People become teachers because they want to teach. So should it be for all professions. 

      I really think the reason people have so readily accepted this idea that “people just don’t want to work” is because there are large portions of the population who absolutely loathe what they do. There is very little sense of fulfillment, accomplishment, or joy in having at least half the jobs people can find. And what’s worse, people are pressured to not necessarily find a job that they enjoy, but just to find a job to make money to appease society. 

      What most don’t realise is that if someone is truly passionate about the work that they do—whether it be teaching, construction, something related to medicine, or carpentry—they will most assuredly do a better job than someone who is either indifferent to the task in front of them or is loath to perform it. 

      To your point concerning growing populations: I saw a clip in some documentary a few years ago with George W. Bush sitting on a stage with a woman who was trying to express dismay at the fact that she had to work three jobs in order to support herself. W’s response? “Only in America, right? I, mean, that is just fantastic!” with his big goofy grin. 

      What!? No, that’s awful because it both demoralises the woman because she has little time for leisure or repose, and it is bad for two other people who now don’t have jobs. 

      If we are to have the system we have now, with a shrinking job market in reaction to a growing population, then I personally think that part-time employment for everyone would be a way to combat unemployment. Employers hire three different people (or so) for the same position, and they all trade out during the day. It would provide more people with employment, while not making them feel so crushed by their workplace surroundings (especially if it involved being in a cubicle for any length of time). 

      Ideally, though, I would like people to be able what they enjoy doing, and thus do it properly, producing a quality product.

      • MoralDrift

        I like the idea about part-time workers, I’ve heard one way to accomplish that is to lower the 40 hour per week overtime schedule for hourly workers in certain fields. It could be a very good solution at least until we get around to the fundamental changes. It definitely could get sticky in some areas as it might do more harm than good but especially in service sectors this could work very nicely. Heck, it might even improve service as fresh workers are more friendly.

        One additional thought, although it would probably never happen here, someone remarked to me the other day how much better they would work if they had longer breaks, maybe something like the siesta. There is just so much pressure to work and take the smallest break possible especially in fast paced service jobs, removing that constant sense of rush and the guilt associated with wanting a break would go along way towards a happier workplace.

    • Hadrian999

      so how would you propose filling the lowest of the low jobs without the threat of poverty, I don’t see anyone choosing scrubbing toilets, collecting garbage, harvesting crops, or any of the other necessary but backbreaking or disgusting jobs that would need to be filled. how would you allocate private jobs in the guaranteed employment scheme?

      • MoralDrift

        Good questions. One solution might be to dole those jobs out to those without a current job or better yet give these types of jobs to young people. Possibly some kind of scheme where the older you got certain jobs you would not be placed in as experience and seniority rose.

        As far as working with the private sector, obviously some of the jobs would have to be public make-work type jobs but as far as getting people into private sector jobs thats where the guaranteed training part comes in. Ask local employers looking for workers what skills they need, those who otherwise qualify except for lack of skill would be trained to perform the jobs. Obviously I’m way oversimplifying.

        EDIT: just to add, the incentive for those without a job to take a crummy job offered them would be higher than it is now. Instead of working that job while still falling behind, they should be already current on necessities and that crummy job should allow them to actually IMPROVE their life. Currently accepting that type of employment is enough to keep one fed but not out of poverty

  • lizard

    I dont want to work, I just want to bang on the drums all day.

  • lizard

    I dont want to work, I just want to bang on the drums all day.

  • Mr Willow

    Excellent!

    That really ties in to what Damon was saying in the video: People become teachers because they want to teach. So should it be for all professions. 

    I really think the reason people have so readily accepted this idea that “people just don’t want to work” is because there are large portions of the population who absolutely loathe what they do. There is very little sense of fulfillment, accomplishment, or joy in having at least half the jobs people can find. And what’s worse, people are pressured to not necessarily find a job that they enjoy, but just to find a job to make money to appease society. 

    What most don’t realise is that if someone is truly passionate about the work that they do—whether it be teaching, construction, something related to medicine, or carpentry—they will most assuredly do a better job than someone who is either indifferent to the task in front of them or is loath to perform it. 

    To your point concerning growing populations: I saw a clip in some documentary a few years ago with George W. Bush sitting on a stage with a woman who was trying to express dismay at the fact that she had to work three jobs in order to support herself. W’s response? “Only in America, right? I, mean, that is just fantastic!” with his big goofy grin. 

    What!? No, that’s awful because it both demoralises the woman because she has little time for leisure or repose, and it is bad for two other people who now don’t have jobs. 

    If we are to have the system we have now, with a shrinking job market in reaction to a growing population, then I personally think that part-time employment for everyone would be a way to combat unemployment. Employers hire three different people (or so) for the same position, and they all trade out during the day. It would provide more people with employment, while not making them feel so crushed by their workplace surroundings (especially if it involved being in a cubicle for any length of time). 

    Ideally, though, I would like people to be able what they enjoy doing, and thus do it properly, producing a quality product.

  • Anonymous

    I like the idea about part-time workers, I’ve heard one way to accomplish that is to lower the 40 hour per week overtime schedule for hourly workers in certain fields. It could be a very good solution at least until we get around to the fundamental changes. It definitely could get sticky in some areas as it might do more harm than good but especially in service sectors this could work very nicely. Heck, it might even improve service as fresh workers are more friendly.

    One additional thought, although it would probably never happen here, someone remarked to me the other day how much better they would work if they had longer breaks, maybe something like the siesta. There is just so much pressure to work and take the smallest break possible especially in fast paced service jobs, removing that constant sense of rush and the guilt associated with wanting a break would go along way towards a happier workplace.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Anyone who “works” for someone else, especially corporations, is working within a totalitarian system. Employees have no vote when it comes to policy, administration or working conditions. All employees serve at the pleasure of the dictators and must obey the PTB in order to keep their jobs.

    In Western societies “democracy” serves as a cover for totalitarian practices. Surprisingly, most Homelanders know this but don’t seem to care enough to change it.

  • BuzzCoastin

    Anyone who “works” for someone else, especially corporations, is working within a totalitarian system. Employees have no vote when it comes to policy, administration or working conditions. All employees serve at the pleasure of the dictators and must obey the PTB in order to keep their jobs.

    In Western societies “democracy” serves as a cover for totalitarian practices. Surprisingly, most Homelanders know this but don’t seem to care enough to change it.

    • StillAtMyMoms

      Here, here, Buzz.  I second that.  Hence my screen name.  *joke drum roll*

    • Redacted

      Thus, Unions. Even Political Parties.

      Both have been co-opted for the time being, and indeed probably forever. However when an organism stops struggling, it starts dying.

      • BuzzCoastin

        To me unions are an attempt to democratize corporations.  At least they offer a chance to vote on union policy and modify corporate policy, which is why they are so strenuously resisted by corporate dictatorships.

        Homeland political parties have become clubs for those who share similar policy values, but ultimately the elected “officials” are subject to the monied interests of their corporate sponsors. The elected become the pawns of dictatorships thereby giving credence to corporate dictatorships.

        This system is already over, but its afterimage continues to persist thanks to media hype.

  • Hadrian999

    so how would you propose filling the lowest of the low jobs without the threat of poverty, I don’t see anyone choosing scrubbing toilets, collecting garbage, harvesting crops, or any of the other necessary but backbreaking or disgusting jobs that would need to be filled. how would you allocate private jobs in the guaranteed employment scheme?

  • Anonymous

    Good questions. One solution might be to dole those jobs out to those without a current job or better yet give these types of jobs to young people. Possibly some kind of scheme where the older you got certain jobs you would not be placed in as experience and seniority rose.

    As far as working with the private sector, obviously some of the jobs would have to be public make-work type jobs but as far as getting people into private sector jobs thats where the guaranteed training part comes in. Ask local employers looking for workers what skills they need, those who otherwise qualify except for lack of skill would be trained to perform the jobs. Obviously I’m way oversimplifying.

  • Anonymous

    Here, here, Buzz.  I second that.  Hence my screen name.  *joke drum roll*

  • Anonymous

    Here, here, Buzz.  I second that.  Hence my screen name.  *joke drum roll*

  • Anon

    mostly there has been only one system, power that wants more power through corruption, and sheeps being backed against a wall

  • Anon

    mostly there has been only one system, power that wants more power through corruption, and sheeps being backed against a wall

  • Anon

    mostly there has been only one system, power that wants more power through corruption, and sheeps being backed against a wall

  • Anonymous

    Thus, Unions. Even Political Parties.

    Both have been co-opted for the time being, and indeed probably forever. However when an organism stops struggling, it starts dying.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    To me unions are an attempt to democratize corporations.  At least they offer a chance to vote on union policy and modify corporate policy, which is why they are so strenuously resisted by corporate dictatorships.

    Homeland political parties have become clubs for those who share similar policy values, but ultimately the elected “officials” are subject to the monied interests of their corporate sponsors. The elected become the pawns of dictatorships thereby giving credence to corporate dictatorships.

    This system is already over, but its afterimage continues to persist thanks to media hype.

  • 93_Qing

    Matt Daaaamonn

    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

  • 93_Qing

    Matt Daaaamonn

    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

  • 93_Qing

    Matt Daaaamonn

    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

  • Happypedro

    BRAVO, Matt Damon! BRAVO! So great to see thinking, aware people like
    you speaking up. Read John Taylor Gatto, Alfie Kohn, Michael Parenti,
    Derrick Jensen, Amy Goodman, Kalle Lasn, and you quickly realize a lot
    about what real learning is. As Noam Chomsky says, “Education is a
    system of imposed ignorance.” Type in “Sir Ted Robinson Changing
    Education Paradigms” and to get a quick sense of what’s going on. It’s
    awesome to see Matt is a meta-cognitive thinker. CreativeLeisureTime .
    Blogspot. Com

  • Happypedro

    BRAVO, Matt Damon! BRAVO! So great to see thinking, aware people like
    you speaking up. Read John Taylor Gatto, Alfie Kohn, Michael Parenti,
    Derrick Jensen, Amy Goodman, Kalle Lasn, and you quickly realize a lot
    about what real learning is. As Noam Chomsky says, “Education is a
    system of imposed ignorance.” Type in “Sir Ted Robinson Changing
    Education Paradigms” and to get a quick sense of what’s going on. It’s
    awesome to see Matt is a meta-cognitive thinker. CreativeLeisureTime .
    Blogspot. Com

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