I had a conversation with a younger person the other day, we were talking about the concept of Wage Slavery, and how most people don’t really conceptualize their lives in that context, but that it does apply to many, (and in recent years more and more) of us.
He had an interesting take on it, a difference in how he saw it that I hadn’t ever really seen, and that was that we are SELLING our lives to someone when we go to work for them. He saw that more in the case where someone joins a long term type of job, like a corporation or a law firm, any kind of job that is a long term, possibly even life long commitment.
The point for him was that if most people saw the work that they do to earn money in this light, they would immediately begin to question whether or not they were getting fair value for essentially selling your life to someone else, and whether that is a good use of your life.
Now obviously most people aren’t thinking of it in those terms, and as obviously there’s a clear need to have money in our society in order to function within it, as without money you’re going to have a pretty rough time eating and keeping a roof over your head, tho alternatively you could go live in the woods somewhere scrounging for food like Davy Crockett and wrestling bears if you’d rather.
So thinking about your career in THOSE terms, that you’re selling your life, essentially so that someone else can become even richer, that’s a really clear way to look at the value you derive from working in that way, and I think it’s pretty good discussion to have with yourself.
Money, being the man-made fiction that it is, has no ACTUAL value, only the percieved value society has assigned to it, and we all sort of “agree” to assign it that value and operate under that agreement.
But what happens to the other values that make up the experience of being human? Like, what’s the money value of watching your child being born, or the “value” in dollars of a sunset, or hearing your child’s honest clear laughter, or any number of feelings and experiences that are the essence of being a human? While society has a tendency to rate ALL of our lives in terms of dollars, I don’t think any of us would say that there’s a money number that makes sense in those contexts.
So why are we only valuing what we do as work in that way? Are we only experiencing our lives in one way by using that metric as the main way to measure our lives? What about all the things that we can’t attach a dollar figure to?
I think it’s a good point to consider when we go to work for someone else and sell them our lives…
Either it’s just Trump self-aggrandizing, or it’s the #TyrantClass giving us a choice between who they want (Hillary), and someone who *appears* to be a populist, but whose presentation is basically insupportable in any factual way, it just articulates a right-wing under-informed rage at the *actual* inequities that we ALL face, but in a totally self-destructive and emotion based way.
In either case, Trump is a farce. A distracting and VERY DIVISIVE farce, but a farce nonetheless.
The problem is that in his articulation of that rage, he very adroitly focuses that rage on completely inappropriate and ultimately guiltless parts of our society, by using preexisting prejudices and fears and tying them in with childish delusional 14 y/o answers that could never work in the real world, but have GREAT appeal to the lower instincts of racism and prejudice and fear in some segments of our society.
And the problem with that is simple….by unleashing this tsunami of Ignorant/Stupid/Angry into the ballot box, we could actually get a result that no one credits right now, and that is to elect another Hitleresque leader onto history who is empowered to behave exactly as he said he would, and he begins to repeat a particular part of human history, taking us ALL down a dark tunnel into another time that is a sewer of the worst parts of ourselves.
By putting these horrific consequences out of their minds, and only focusing on the parts of his messages that resonate for them (the Fed, Central Banks, Mexicans taking our jobs, terrorists, vague and otherwise conspiracies of varying magnitude, etc etc…), those who vote for him based on these single issues disregard the other very powerful and also popular views that he holds; the undeniable racism, the ridiculous “solutions” to alleged “problems” that things like a Giant Wall would “solve”, bombing places in the world until they basically stop “bothering” us, and a whole host of ludicrous solutions that appeal to a part of humanity best left in the caves of our not very ancient human past….which is where they belong.
This Willfull Ignorance, this choice to only focus on the little flake of Fool’s Gold in this giant pile of excrement, THAT is childish and foolish. But that is EXACTLY what this farce plays to, that 14 y/o need to fix the “One Big Thing” in some simple bar-parking-lot-fight kind of way, whatever the cost is attached to it.
These folks who succumb to this better hope they don’t get what they ask for. For those of us who understand what is happening here, you people terrify us, because we can see that you BELIEVE in it, and that is truly frightening, because we have learned from history that this kind of thing can become real and profound, very quickly.
When I see otherwise fairly rational friends of mine, whom I know to be decent people, falling prey to this, I know it’s real, and it’s profoundly shocking and scary to me.