Jobs are a primitive notion, here’s why:
At some point we have to ask ourselves where our priorities lie?
We are living a very different reality today than we were a few months ago. The virus outbreak is wreaking a lot of havoc on already stressed society.
Why do we cling to the religion of man-made economics even though it creates nothing of value and has proven time and time again that it is beyond unstable?
Perhaps, up until this point never in your life have you ever imagined yourself homeless or without food but now, within just a few weeks time, these thoughts have become very real to you.
We’re in the midst of a very unusual time. A turning point. While this is a very stressful time it is also a time to observe the world around us; to see it for what it really is. I encourage you to use this time wisely. Instead of sulking over the loss of a job and the potential doom of the “economy”, use this time to think long and hard about what those two things actually provide for you and us as a society.
Are they really tools for social progress or a ball and chain that keep us tethered to the ways of the past?
Take a moment to separate the reality of our world from the abstracts that we live by day to day.
Never forget that the resources needed for survival exist and that it is merely a mismanagement of those resources that restricts us.
When we approach problems realistically we can better prepare ourselves both mentally and physically for whatever challenges our species may face.
There are so many questions that people should demand answers for yet people seem oblivious as to what questions to ask.
Have you ever questioned the rituals, traditions, and bizarre belief systems of this society?
Why is it culturally acceptable to blame the individual players that are so greatly rewarded by this trade game yet so taboo to question the game itself? Everyone admits that a small percentage of people on earth “own” all the “wealth” inherently creating large levels of inequality. Yet, so few are bold enough to ask why.
I truly do not understand the stigma attached to this subject.
People watch television marathons based on murder, drug use, rape, and drool over “contact sports” where people pound one another’s faces in yet most get super uncomfortable if you dare mention that our trade based system is the source of most problems.
I say let’s pick the topic apart, dissect it so we can understand it at its core. How else do we ever expect to fix the problem if we can’t openly discuss and honestly address it?
Have you ever asked why we have to “earn the right” to basic human necessities and what violence this causes or why the common term “earn a living” is part of our vocabulary?
Why would any human have to “earn” the right to live on a planet orbiting in infinite space that belongs to no one? The earth has been in existence for billions of years before any human appeared, so how could any person have the arrogance to claim any type of ownership of the land and resources that the earth produces?
The story of trade
Since we sapiens emerged on this planet our brilliant imaginations have led to many awesome, life changing creations. Many of these creations and our ability to work cooperatively are responsible for our survival as a species. We imagined stones into tools to hunt and forage; fire into a power source; we created the arts and music, landed on the moon, created the internet and so on.
However, on the flip side, there are times when our imagination can get in the way of progress if we get too fixated on a notion that doesn’t really suit us.
We went from being hunters and gathers, wandering the earth and scavenging for food to domesticated creatures that formed tribes around specific areas that produced valuable resources. We used barter to exchange services and goods but once we created a scale of value assigned to an item or service based on supply and demand we needed a different type of trade that would simplify the process
Poof! Now money, another primitive, restrictive concept is invented.
“HEY!! Wait just a damn minute! … money is very necessary to human progression! Money makes the world go round!!”, you exclaim
Um, no. Actually, the sun’s gravitational pull on the earth does 😉
Ahemm… as I was saying…
At this point, tribes were forming everywhere and they agreed to go along with this story because it seemed to be a good method to move resources around the globe. One geographical area might be better for growing wheat, while another may be close to the ocean and allow for access to fish and the ability to create ports, and so on. So now trades could take place on a global level.
There’s a problem with this though.
The tribes that had control of the items in greater demand began to get the upper hand on others.
The imagination of some got so out of control that even within tribes those that had more money than others started claiming ownership of land and creating laws. This notion of ownership caused tribes to become territorial and create borders. Transporting goods safely from tribe to tribe involved “taxes” paid to border patrol. Armies were developed to seal and protect borders and sometimes invade other tribes. Businesses were formed to handle trades which required labor and even slaves and this involved coercion and force.
This type of society based on trades created an ethos that we still live by and the cultural lag of this mentality is evermore present today.
What was once meant as an efficient way to distribute necessary items around the world quickly led to kings who could summon a dozen slaves, 2 elephants, a lion, a dancing bear and your baby brother and have it all delivered to his doorstep with the drop of a bag of gold.
As this story unfolds, we see where humans detached the value of necessary life systems and began to prioritize the value of things that are of zero value in terms of the health and wellbeing of our society.
…and thus, a completely deranged value system was born.
This value system is what then gave birth to some thing we call consumerism. People are taught to buy things they don’t need simply based on their perceived value and social status.
We use consumerism as a tool to keep our trade game operating.
Back in 1929 when the Great Depression hit people starved to death because the stock market crashed. The resources needed to provide for everyone on earth went unchanged yet people died on a large scale because they couldn’t get access to the basic necessities. What was our society’s response to that?
“Let’s apply science and technology to arrive at decisions that best suit everyone on planet earth.” No way!! That’s waaaay too logical.
Instead they decided to pump more into the very economy that put them in such a terrible position in the first place.
Let’s make consumerism a way of life and create more jobs!! …and round and round we go.
Ever since then we have been conditioned to believe that consumerism is what will fulfill your dissatisfaction from life. Kinda like a bunch of hamsters in a wheel, the more we consume the more we need to work and the more we work the more dissatisfied we feel and thus the more we consume.
In reality, the constant comparisons that come from a consumer based society causes a competitive “need” to outdo your peers by displaying you wealth in the form of an expensive handbag, pair of shoes or a diamond ring, etc. Leading others to feel the “need” to engage in materialism as well and this causes a ripple effect throughout society. It is a myth that being rich will make you happier. Studies show that real happiness comes from altruism and living a life with purpose and meaning. (Source) This also causes us to choose items based purely off of the “beauty” of the design rather than its ability to function.
In addition, maximum efficiency is the enemy of our current trade-based ”economy“. Efficiency in design would cause this consumeristic society to implode. If items were designed to the best of their ability, you wouldn’t “need” to buy the latest gadget that in reality is no better than previous version. This is what’s known as “planned obsolescence”.
Our society also teaches us that the negative effects of this consumer based system are normal. As if waste, crime, war, competitive behavior, poverty, ecological destruction, resource overshoot, etc are natural processes of the universe.
This is why the majority in our society have a very unhealthy outlook on life; why most tolerate so much unnecessary violence such as extreme deprivation.
Why do you think we have a social system that views war as a necessity and healthcare as a luxury.
Or the fact that roughly 2% of the 7.8 Billion people who are born on this planet are homeless and another 20% lack adequate housing, while the largest tribes in the world produce houses that no one will ever occupy. (sources 1, 2, 3, 4)
Almost 24,000 people starve to death every day! EVERY FUCKING DAY! Yet, in contrast there are around 924 million obese and morbidly obese people in existence. (Source)
6.2 million children under the age of 15 die each year of preventable causes. (Source). Meanwhile we as a species spend $716 billion dollars and counting on advertising yearly.
Advertising provides absolutely no value to the progression of society yet we prioritize it over human lives. Not only that, advertising is by far one of the most invasive tools this system has created. All of your data, your entire internet history from the entry of your first search is now “owned” by some corporation. Your privacy is completely violated just so some companies can turn a quick buck by using your data to constantly shove personalized ads in your face.
The global climate crisis is something that demands our immediate attention yet most people don’t really seem to understand the basics about it or even really seem to care about it at all and in the same breath 3.4 billion people around the world tune in for a month long sports event called the World Cup. (Source) That’s almost half of the world’s population!
We cannot continue to restrict access to food, shelter, healthcare and subject people to war-like conditions and not expect to see negative outcomes like crime, theft, robbery, murder, etc.
The resources exist!!
The job force
I know that this one is a big no-no, but have you ever questioned the validity of the job force?
I mean the fact that it’s called a “job force” is very telling, right?
I know it’s difficult for some of you to wrap your mind around living a life without a job. I understand. We get so emotionally attached to these jobs because they are such a huge part of our identities. We devote all of our time and energy to them. Your job title determines where you are placed in the economic ladder of this society. Therefore affecting how others perceive you.
Jobs give us money, which gives us access to the things we need and want. Without a job in this society you are pretty much fucked. So, I can see why it is tough for a lot of people to separate reality from fiction here. The stress and anxiety you are feeling while struggling to pay rent, a car payment, school loans, credit card bills or whatever else bullshit this society has imposed on you is very real.
Yet, all those bills and the debt you are drowning in are merely figments of our imagination. The ONLY thing that gives them validity is our agreement to honor them. It feels real because we are all thrown into this vicious, fast paced cycle. If you don’t go along with this false reality then you will be thrown out on the street, starving, deemed as unfit and cast out of society… and those are very real things!
Depending on the tribe you belong to, conditioning begins at a very early age when you get thrown into the “educational” system. You must go along with this story or you will face punishment. For instance, in some tribes, if you don’t attend school, likely you and your parents will face ridicule, be fined or maybe even arrested or you may be sent to a juvenile detention center. (Sources 1, 2)
Think about it, we go to school not for actual educational purposes that involve the real world but to prepare you for your future job.
Parents don’t usually ask their children what genuinely interests them or what they’re passionate about. Instead most people in your life will ask you that dreaded question “what career would you like to prepare for?”
Like a person in their teenage years knows what stupid job they want to be imprisoned by for the rest of their lives.
Instead of encouraging young people to be curious about the natural world we encourage them to seek a profession that will bring them material wealth. To get the car that will make their friends envious or the house that will outdo their neighbors.
Don’t you think that is a lot of pressure to put on a young developing mind that still depends on their parents for nurturing and protection? Why would we implant such harmful thoughts into their brains making them feel this constant need to show their worth through such worthless things?
Can you see how this type of mentality causes stress, anxiety, depression for a lot of people at a very young age? (Source)
Whenever I have these discussions with people in person so many tell me they would be bored without their job. The school system and job force have completely ruined people’s ability to be inquisitive.
The lack of curiosity is more than evident under these circumstances.
Albeit, these aren’t ideal conditions. A lot of people are suffering right now.
However, no one should ever be sad about not having a job nor should you feel “bored” when you have time to think. If anything this should be a kick in the pants to motivate you to do something and become proactive.
Read, write, learn, explore – there’s a whole universe of mysteries out there!
I have actually seen people post a lot about missing their jobs.
I can guarantee you no one really misses their job.
You are in a vulnerable position right now, you face a lot of uncertainties and your comfortability and security are now in question. You are seeking something that will just make you feel “normal” again.
Well, let me ask you, were you ever really at a point where you truly felt satisfied and secure in this society?
You may miss the social aspects of a job, the comradery, the feeling of belonging to a group with a common goal, working cooperatively, the friendships and connections you develop with people at these jobs. Especially since we are all in quarantine and socially isolated from one another.
You may also miss performing certain skills and tasks that you are good at or enjoy doing at these jobs.
However, that skill that you may love gets exploited day in and day out when you work for a living. You are forced to repeatedly perform the same task over and over again. Killing your mind, body and “spirit”.
Mentally you become stressed because you might be given deadlines that are impossible to meet, or you’re doing the job of multiple people, you constantly have to juggle too many tasks at once and so on. You have to deal with demanding customers, clients and bosses. You get burnt out.
Maybe you spend all of your free time at this job or work more than one job and it’s still not enough to pay your bills.
Now ask yourself, do you really miss that job?
Some of you may say:
“jobs lift people out of poverty and those who are poor must not be working hard enough. If they’re poor it’s their own damn fault…!”
This is such a huge myth. The truth is the labor market is completely unfair to the majority of the people on earth. There is a sliding scale of “value” for human labor in this system too.
No matter what occupation you take in this society you need to contend with others for the same role. Many factors go into determining your income like your education level, your skill set, and even your geographical location (Source)
Of course, in our backwards society we place the highest value on labor roles like athletes, movie stars, musicians, advertisers, lawyers, politicians, businessmen, stock traders on Wall Street and so on because those jobs, despite their lack of value in the real world, bring in the most money.
In fact, we have so many unnecessary jobs today just so we can keep this “economy” in tact its embarrassing.
We have “influencer marketers” who can make a living just by taking pictures of themselves wearing and consuming specific items if they have enough followers on Instagram or YouTube. We have people who buy and sell bitcoin. Which, by the way, “mining” Bitcoin wastes an incredible amount of energy. Annually, it takes 2.55 gigawatts (GW) of energy to harvest this digital trade of numbers. This is the same amount of energy the whole country of Ireland consumes! (Source) People stand on street corners and spin signs. The list goes on and on.
Those in positions such as food production, factory/warehouse, construction and other physical labor have less demand because a lot of people are capable of performing such tasks. Therefore employers are able to exploit their employees with low wages, long hours, no health benefits. Thus increasing inequality and abuse.
Migrant workers play a big role in this as well. If a group of people move from an area that has no jobs to a say, a city that offers lots of jobs they will likely take less pay than the people already living in that city.
Although slavery is labeled as illegal in every country on earth we now have more slave than any other time in human history. Look at developing countries where most people are in poverty. These people get exploited the worst.
Modern day slaves are a hidden part of this job scheme. In order to produce cheap goods for our consumerist society, cheap labor is needed. Again, those who live in poor countries are the most vulnerable, especially children. Many are sold or traded by family members or are trafficked and coerced or maybe born into it and doomed for life. These slaves perform a range of tasks that are dangerous and strenuous. They are abused in so many ways that is completely unthinkable just so the western world can blindly consume and keep the “economy healthy”.
According to the World Bank the only way for us to truly eliminate poverty is to share the wealth and give access to basic necessities. (Source)
SHOCKER!! Who would’ve thunk it?!
Another harsh reality to consider, every day, all over the world people commit suicide for job related reasons. These are jobs that could either be automated or completely eliminated in a saner society. (Source) In Japan, where people commonly work 80-100 hours a week they invented a word – “karoshi” that translates into “death by over work”. People literally die from brain strokes, heart attacks and again, suicide because they’re so exhausted. (Source)
Here’s a glimpse inside the notorious “Foxconn City” campus in china:
Even if a human has a high skill level…
…and is clever enough to create something beneficial to humanity, that person has acquired that skill from someone else. They didn’t completely dream it all up on their own. Usually a good idea comes from another good idea and someone has built upon that or in a lot of cases, humans are replicating patterns or systems found in nature. Look at how nanoscience/technology work.
Therefore, no human being has the “right” to own or enslave other humans or restrict the “fruits” of our society.
Work vs. Jobs
Jobs generally do not bring people joy. Work on the other hand can be quite enjoyable and rewarding. A lot of people confuse work with jobs, but there is a huge distinction between the two. People argue all the time that we need jobs because humans would never get anything done without them but that is simply not true.
Lots of people all over the world perform tasks without being coerced into doing so and without pay. Doctors without Borders is an amazing example of volunteers from around the world who help others and save many lives with zero trades involved. Look at Wikipedia. Many people anonymously write, edit, fact check, and maintain the website. Think of all the neighborhood volunteers; this amazing group of People; the scientists who assess reports for the IPCC; parents; firefighters; people who write online reviews; people sharing content to social media and YouTube; open source movements; me spending hours a day researching and writing this article; and so on…
How can we downplay the incredible amount of work that gets done by an estimated 970 million people?(Source)
Utopia or reality…?
Technologically speaking we’ve completely eliminated the need for jobs and trade long ago. The Industrial_Revolution allowed us to produce goods on a large scale, things like cars and other commodities. System theorist Buckminster Fuller popularized all sorts of concepts such as “spaceship earth” which is a global perspective, recognizing that ALL humans must work together in harmony with nature as we are just one component of it. Fuller realized we could use large scale production more efficiently. We could accomplish large tasks with less and less materials to the point where it wouldn’t require any new resources to maintain the original level of output. This is called “ephemeralization”. This would vastly reduce waste and we could spread the “wealth” more evenly amongst humanity. He also realized once things became so efficient we wouldn’t need human labor roles anymore.
Today we can localize food production and provide enough for everyone on planet earth while eliminating waste and environmental pollution, especially with the addition of automation, requiring little to no human labor. Currently we have methods of tracking all the water sources on earth. We can combine that with methods that remove salt and minerals from saline water and other purification methods so that no human on earth should ever be without access to clean drinking water . We can use operating systems that aren’t owned by anyone and that won’t collect your data. The Internet of things allows computers to communicate with one another. Many people are already using this technology in the form of home security or thermostat devices. If this type of technology were to be used on a large scale for smart cities we could manage many different tasks like transportation, health care, energy management, environmental monitoring and soooo much more. We can also incorporate blockchain technology to help store loads of data in a decentralized way.
A Universal Basic Income is kinda where we are headed at this rate and while it is helpful it is not a complete solution as that money will find a way to funnel back to the top in a trade-based system.
Again, it’s all about REAL efficiency and being smart, making the best use of the finite resources on planet earth and above all making everything Trade-free.
I can’t stress that enough. All the technology in the world can’t save us unless we get rid of trade itself.