One part of the modern narrative of life, or the official account of things, unequivocally states that all of us direct and control our own lives, and that only we are responsible for our own life choices. This false adage represents another modern lie on top of a dung heap of fabrications, all fully drowned within an urban sewer of deceit.
Most humans live under the tyranny of the job. First, we have to maintain our dignity during the arduous search for work. If we happen to find a job, then we have some new and important requirements within our lives in order to hold the job. We regularly travel to and fro from the job for most of our daily lives, and finally, it is necessary to sacrifice the majority of our precious time for the job. We must structure our complete existences around the said job: the hours we wake up, clean and dress, eat our meals, prepare for sleep, and plan our outside job activities, such as family commitments, friendship activities, and alone leisure times.
If we must leave, or quit the job, then the system instructs us to give verbal or written notice to the higher-ups inside of the work hierarchy. In the case of a firing, then we have to start at plan zero all over again. We cannot mention the previous employment, which becomes a dead time, and we must slay our honor to the brutality of the job market. Most of us job beggars become dishonest and wary of the whole employment market miasma.
If we have bills and debts to pay, and especially raising a family, we often stay working at jobs we hate. All this ‘responsibility’ implies that we are beholden to some cruel higher power. What is this malevolent higher power that forces us to work for most of our lives? What has coerced us to do the public and personal humiliation of the ‘job search,’ and to sacrifice our minds and bodies for such a political economic parasite, which bites and sucks out our youth, time and energy?
It is not the job itself that causes such pain. Our contemporary, global, monopoly capitalist system, which we all must survive under, represents the culprit forcing us to bow our knees and do remonstrance before the Almighty Job.
The job has existed as the unnamed, societal need for all of us to live without government hassle, such as urban homelessness, destruction of our personal property, eating rotten food or undernourishment, exposure to the elements, dirty clothes, health problems, fines, physical beatings, imprisonment and in some cases, police murder.
If we want to live unmolested from the violence of capitalist society, then we must sacrifice the majority of our lives for the job, or for work – or for doing some labor, so that the owner can make a profit off of us, and never have to worry about holding a job, nor sacrificing him or herself for the job search ever again.
Not all of us live ball and chained to the job dynamic. A few people on earth do not have to worry about finding a job, laboring in harsh conditions, or performing the work search nightmare. These special, economically free people all have a common backup: surplus capital, or diverse holdings in money-making schemes, such as high performing stocks, bonds, dividends, payouts, benefits, bonus packages, and deep bank accounts.
This group further divides into three distinct sections. The first group represents the owners of various private properties, such as multiple residential and commercial units in an urban center. This particular group lives off of rent or usury. The renter pays an exorbitant percentage of his or her salary, and yet never gets to own any real property. The dead money from the renter’s hard work goes straight to the profit of the landlord and ensures the renter’s protection racket for shelter, cooking food, cleaning-toilet privileges and privacy.
The second group denotes the owners and major shareholders of companies and corporate entities where they regularly partake of annual dividends and corporate executive pay-bonuses. These people do not work much either, except attend lots of meetings, travel to different offices and send e-mails or letters to each other and to the various subsections under them.
The third group represents the familial descendants and legal beneficiaries of the deceased wealthy. They live from inheritance money, or as trust fund people. All of them own lots of surplus money, which allows them to live extravagantly. They do not do any work at all, but engage in their own pet projects. Some live for sports activities, such as sail boating or skiing. Others prefer art collection, such as art gallery ownership or art investment selling, while a specific subgroup enjoys the delights of world travel, such as gourmet eating across the globe or visiting primitive tribes in far out areas.
The most well liked subsection of this group represents the female celebrity jet set that engages in excessive fashion buying and attending decadent parties. A few others simply become rich drug addicts, often preferring cocaine or heroin.
All of these wealthy mobs tend to own nice, spacious homes and apartments, and there is ample space between the large homes, or the apartments have thick walls between them. Their neighborhoods are safe and pleasant to look at, and there is often a gated security force always on duty, or doormen and elevator men making sure that poor lowlifes don’t venture near the building. This class of persons often eat out at expensive restaurants, and they travel on their whims whenever they feel like going somewhere. They can afford to purchase fine clothes, new cars, new gadgets or whatever else suits their fancy. Most importantly, they can enjoy their lives securely knowing that they don’t have to ever sweat the job hustle or the youth killing service of labor.
For thousands of years of history, all civilizations having had strong social class differences and hierarchies, and have also displayed this class of people. Labor comes from the Latin, ‘laborem,’ which implied hardship, toil, exertion, pain and fatigue. The term was a negative one and it is still negative to this day. Our English word of work came from the Old German, ‘verk,’ which implied everything from physical exertion, to defecation, to a quick sexual act. During thousands of years of world civilization, the people who have had to exert themselves, suffer under hardship, toil and endure unending pain – were the slaves. The people who did not work while enjoying their leisure time – became the elites.
Human history adds another absurd anecdote between the working slaves and the elites of leisure. Most of the arts of human civilization, such as philosophy, religion, sciences, language arts, martial arts, weapons, plastic arts and architecture, birthed from the elites’ use of leisure.
Priests did not work, neither did the warrior class, nor did the ruling classes. They still avoid work to this day. The savvy politician has underlings to rewrite and twist the laws, the general has inferior officers to direct the enlisted slaves, and the administrator or corporate executive delegates the workload to the salaried managers, while owner board management barks orders to the worker ants.
From this unjust system that birthed human civilization, the elites developed a crass ideology in order to mentally control the slaves, and still defended through all religious dogmas and societal institutions. This ideology consists of the dignity of one’s labor, one’s occupation transforming into a main part of one’s personal identity, and the hard work ethic. All three of these strictures are base lies. The absurdity of these lies resides in the fact that the people who have never done any real work have also been the same people to propagate such nonsense. The lazy bums of leisure have dictated the game to the slaves – and it has worked marvelously throughout human history.
In no other country has it worked so completely as inside the Amerikan Empire or the United States of America. Many Americans hold great interest in the lives of wealthy socialites and celebrity trust funders that have never worked a hard day in their lives, while they spit out venom against street beggars and welfare bums because they don’t hold a job.
In no other country does one see so many media liars blaming the unemployed for their unemployment. These low paid lowlifes often berate the unemployed for their lack of job networking, bad resumes, their ugly appearances, etc. Yet, nobody calls these people out for their own perversity in hiding the nature of global monopolistic capitalism.
Politicians in both political parties curse the poor and unemployed regularly. They continually fulminate against them in the media, demand more prisons to warehouse them and more cops to murder them, and they even skew welfare and housing laws to harass them incessantly.
Meanwhile, global monopoly capitalism offers less and less employment as the number of administrators and corporate executives increases. Not only do the number of elites increase for a few selected people, but their payouts also increase substantially.
I noticed this as a working graduate student-assistant inside a typical American university. The university administrators did almost no work except attend meetings, corporate functions, and send out e-mails. They simply delegated the actual labor to their subordinates. The administrators ultimately controlled the governance, the purse strings and the hiring. They all made six figure salaries and almost none of them taught any classes. Under them were the sports coaches, then the well-paid professors in the professional schools, next the tenured professor managers, and finally, the rest of lowly paid servile staff. A regular university course charged the same amount of extortion rate money, whether taught by a tenured full professor making 80,000$ per year, or by a part-time wage slave with a master’s degree only making 750$ per fourth month course.
This wonderful American university system functioned under legalized fraud. But this fraud now defecates its excrement in all of society’s institutions. The higher up the elite, the more twisted and perverted the profits become. The worst part of this fetid scam is that the 1% have not stopped berating us about networking opportunities, job creation, the importance of a college education, and most ominously, creating a hard work ethic. These lazy cheats, corrupt bosses and pathological liars still hassle us unceasingly. Is there any person of courage left to publicly expose them for the hypocrites, liars and criminals that they are?
The English philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote a wonderful essay critiquing the terrible lies on the benevolence of work and on the even more destructive, hard work ethic, called ‘In Praise of Idleness.’ Russell was also a member of the English aristocratic class, so he understood the life of idleness quite well. In his essay he succinctly described the job and hard work system: ‘the morality of work is the morality of slaves…’So we must work in order ‘to live,’ modern society tells us.
As Anarchists let us forsake the lies of society and the work ethic. We can fight back in the ongoing Class War, and embrace both our way of life and coming deaths, always working towards our own honor and our own freedom.