Posted by PintofStout on August 20, 2008
I experienced major disillusion yesterday. Part of the illusion I was holding was borne of supreme confidence and hopeful expectation (and probably logic not encountered in the structured corporate environment). How foolish of me! The hope of a great leap ahead in compensation and professional expansion was just too much to not latch on to, I guess. The position laid out, and the process of actually creating the position, was so compartmentalized that one would need to already hold the same job to fit, like a good cog in a machine. Of course carried to an absurd conclusion, those cogs in the corporate mechanism have no ability to expand or evolve, but only to fit in their rightful place as they were manufactured to.
After viewing the situation from a new distance, am I disappointed that I don’t get the opportunity to be a cog? Surprisingly, yes. There were many benefits to occupying the cog slot. In the smaller machine I currently find myself, I feel more like a whole small engine, rather than just a single gear. I make up the entirety of the machine, but the throttle is in someone else’s hand. If my current position were translated into the larger machine, I would actually fill multiple cog positions, and lubricate it with my thinning vitality as well!
The environment of most employment today is quite disgusting to an individualist with a deep-seated scorn for needless hierarchy and redundant structure. The potential for individual achievement, growth, and success is blocked at every turn by the very structure that purports to facilitate it. The growth that is built into the system isn’t the growth of the individuals within it, but of the expansion of the system itself, often at the expense of the individuals. Achieving success above or outside of one’s designated position is promptly claimed by the occupiers of that position. Changing positions is hindered by strict definitions of position and a belief that advancement and growth to that position is impossible if not from the proper blood lines or through the highly structured and quite rigged education process. Education – in the academic realm; not necessarily in the trades – is simply another component of the corporate structure.
The feedback loop between academia and industry is obvious to any who care to examine it. The employer part of the structure requires a certificate (a receipt for funds paid) from the education portion of the structure. To get that receipt, the student gets a watered down version of education that is prolonged for as long as possible. When finally bled dry of funds, the receipt is given only to find that the “education” is still inadequate (especially if one continues to pay education costs – that’s one lesson definitely missed!) for the needs of industry and all the requisite skills are then learned on the job. The net monetary gain from it all is almost always negative, even taken over time. The exorbitant costs of shitty education – in both wealth and time – cannot be made up very often. Take, for example, most MBA programs that cost the students anywhere between $10K and $30K in order to get a crackerjack degree as common now as the common cold. In order to achieve this “higher knowledge” of business, one is required to make one very bad business decision to invest in something with no hope of paying off. The student would have better odds playing the lottery!
Awareness of the nature of this shell game doesn’t preclude one’s participation in it, unfortunately. Besides corporate industry and education, there are many branches of this ancient structure. All the branches and parts work toward the same end, which is control. Control of people through control of choices, wealth (or the worthless paper that passes as wealth), and the direct or indirect control of actions. There is a price to be paid in order to escape that we are “educated” to fear and not desire; we wouldn’t want to live outside our culture now, would we? Instead, we continue to be the fuel expended to progress the structure while another class of people fight to man the helm and reap the rewards.
I’ll leave this with a quote from Edward Abbey, that sage of the southwester deserts, that I found at Wally Conger’s blog: “Never before in history have slaves been so well fed, thoroughly medicated, lavishly entertained. But we are slaves nonetheless.”
Yes, thank you for the shit.
This entry was posted on August 20, 2008 at 11:38 am and is filed under Agorism, Blogfood, Left Libertarian, Philosophy & Politics. Tagged: corporations, education, metaphor, slavery, work. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.