Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go ♪ ♪ ♪
Posted by PintofStout on January 12, 2006
Usually this feeling encroaches on our blind bliss of disconnection in the spring or summer when the weather is suitable for just about anything, except skiing, sledding, or building snow forts; the feeling of despair at having to spend another whole day inside our respective offices, our respective cubicles, our respective prisons. The very anticipation stings the psyche and blemishes our shiny excitement for life. Recently, it has been happening now, relegating cabin fever to second string depression with only darkness to sustain it. These lovely days at this time of year only makes the feeling worse because it is so unexpected; a gift from fate and Mother Nature and the hope of some escape, only to be dashed by our culture of slavery.
Slavery is not too harsh a term for our job culture. We’re pumped full of booze and surrounded by shopping malls and retail of all kinds. Kept happy by our consumption and kept enslaved by it as well. It is hard to determine the cause and effect here: Do we consume to brighten our lives filled too full of work or do we fill our lives too full of work so that we can consume? I would wager the answer is perceived differently by different people, yet at the core would be the same. I don’t know what the answer is, do you? As Edward Abbey keenly observed, “Never before in history have slaves been so well fed, thoroughly medicated, [and] lavishly entertained. But we are slaves nonetheless.”
Who are the masters of us slaves then? Is it multi-national corporations? The government? Some international conspiracy involving Jews or Masons? It is not the Masons, so far as I know; besides they just control the weather which has nothing to do with our slavery. (What the hell are they up to these days, anyway? Fifty in January?) So that leaves corporations and government (can you tell the difference between the two?). Well, there is no difference because they are one in the same. Who makes laws governing the behavior of and structure of corporations? Who puts those people in positions to make such laws? In fact, corporations as we know them today are a creation of government. While we wouldn’t tolerate (I hope not, anyway) corporations arbitrarily taking large parts of our pay, government has the perceived legitimacy to do so. Government is also the arena where these large corporations battle each other for the spoils of the harvest (just look at farm subsidies or any subsidies). These are our masters, the drivers of our toil and deceivers of our perceptions.
Public schooling is a phenomenon of the industrial revolution with a scary history and philosophy. Not meant to educate (much), but instead to indoctrinate compliance with government control and authority and meaningless, arbitrary hours under such authoritarian conditions to better prepare us to produce for the masters. We are schooled to become good compliant workers and subjects. That is the starting point for our enslavement. We aren’t getting kidnapped and bought and sold physically. No, that is too easily detected and resisted. Our enslavement is done in our own minds; much more discreet and harder to fight. As with most things, the methods get better with time and adjust to challenges and obstacles.
So you work for Such-and-Such, Inc., a company too small to be in cahoots with the likes of multi-nationals and government? No matter; they work for the masters, too. How do we cast off such a yoke? The master is so powerful and vast…apparently. Ask yourself, “How did the master become so powerful and resource-rich?” The answer is by our labor. They produce nothing of value; only fear of non-compliance. If we all ceased to work and produce in a fashion within the reach of these leeches, the parasite that is our master would shrivel and die (though not without some fight for its life, no doubt). Any authority the government has is gained through the illusion of legitimacy. We gave them the power. If an organization without such legitimacy were to act as government acts, we call it organized crime because they are invading the turf the government has established a monopoly on. But they both extort money (pay us or else), murder (some on larger scales than others, but does that change anything?), and protect their turf with threats of violence. The difference is the illusion of legitimacy. So with that illusion, government becomes the front man for the master class. If the corporations acted like government we would revolt against them (I hope), because no such illusion exists for them.
Why is it that we measure our success by how much of our time is spent working or holed up in an office somewhere? The longer you work the more money you make if you’re a wage slave. If you are a salary slave, the time spent holed up is the chain tethering you the giant weight of your increased responsibility and usually higher pay. We hold ourselves to this measure of success because the indoctrination works. We judge ourselves by how much we produce (for the master, of which we get a token), and we identify ourselves by our least defining personal characteristic; our job. When someone asks, “What do you do?” do you answer with your job or with something else? I think it is about time we stop defining ourselves by our jobs and who can be the best slaves.