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Bait and Switch

“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.” ~Richard Buckminster Fuller

I grow weary of the implicit assumption that it’s perfectly ok to demand that all humanity be forced to trade labor for survival. I thought the whole point of consciousness and technology was to transcend nature’s ant-like hamster wheel.

The ultimate point of machines isn’t to simply change the character of our servitude, but to eliminate it. We didn’t invent the plow simply to trade the hunt for the chore, the chore for the wage. There is more possible here than a market full of slaves competing for the most desirable whip.

The only things which should ever be enslaved are those things which are incapable of experience, and make no mistake giving in to the notion of universal conscription, even if conditional, is enslavement.

There is already a shortage of useful actions as a result of technology. Whole fields have already been more or less replaced.

Everything is getting easier, and the culture has yet to face the simple fact that eventually there won’t be enough needed tasks to go around.We have 3 basic choices. Mass culling/population control, mass unemployment/deception/delusion/regression, or mass profit sharing.Yes there will always be some things that need doing. The answer here (as usual) is more freedom and more compassion.

The exact opposite of the islander (http://underlore.com/islanders/) position.

Busy work, or refusing to face the fact that jobs as we think of them are finite, are not the solution. If we’re just going to make up jobs to create wage then why not skip the middle man and give everyone wage and let creativity and ambition fill the gaps?

Because our culture is ruled by the terminally greedy/stupid/delusional/sadistic/psychopathic that’s why.

“Would it feel right to have others doing all the work for you for nothing in return? I know I wouldn’t.”

There are a lot of subjectives/assumptions in that question.

Without asking a few of my own to nail it down I’ll just answer this way:

No, so long as all the “others” are being paid ethically for doing “all the work.”

Now making a different set of assumptions my answer would be: Well if I felt bad then I would go find a use for myself. But isn’t it better to give me the real choice than it is to try and force me?

This is also more efficient by the way, because it “takes money off the table” which as Dan Pink tells us improves my productivity, especially in creative areas, which are growing in importance almost by the minute.

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

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Imagine you’re on an island. On this island the population is 100. To support them 100 tasks per day must be completed. That’s 100% employment.

Now, imagine someone on this island (the professor?) builds a device that does 25 of those tasks. Is it right to starve the 25 newly unemployed people so that the professor can grow rich off the proceeds of his device? That’s capitalism, and how it responds to surplus labor and innovation.

IMO though he yes does obviously deserve recognition and reward for inventing the device, he does not deserve that reward at the expense of anyone else. He deserves it only as a larger cut of the net cultural profits without any externalizing of cost.

The assumption is made that additional tasks for the obviated workers can be found. I’m saying there aren’t always additional tasks, and I’m also saying that even if there are, people shouldn’t be forced to find or invent them on pain of deprivation/austerity so long as a minimum level of support is possible.

Not as charity, but as a human right to a slice of the pie your ancestors earned via the building of the culture, a slice which is your human birthright.

For the record: Forced employment for all eternity is slavery, and I’d rather die than be a slave. If force is attempted not only will I die, I’ll hurt the system and anyone acting as its agent on my way out.

With regard to me the system has two choices, pay me my birthright sufficient to live in peace and health, or kill me. Currently my parents are choosing to pay on the culture’s behalf. Not counting the food card, the cost of which is divided amongst the population.

Further, had my system been in place, or something like it, I’d have been able to save up all this time and start my own business. Poverty is self fulfilling. So is wealth. The islanders in people like me create a self fulfilling prophecy. They say I’m lazy and don’t deserve pay because I don’t have “a job” but their denial of initial resources is exactly why I can’t create what they would call value with my life.

Basically capitalism as it stands incomplete as it is, is the cliche ignorant islander telling the starving Somali farmer to get a job because they refuse to even offer a loan citing the farmer’s unemployment as a bad credit risk, never mind the fact that a loan in itself is already exploitative.

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Addition: The concept of minimum wage is already an effort to redistribute wealth conditionally based on contribution. If you eliminated minimum wage, wage slavery would become not just a problem but the standard condition of life for 99% of Americans.

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

 

Updated: August 27, 2013 — 10:15 pm
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