Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘antiwork’

How Jobs Crush Your Soul

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Recent reading here has included John Muir, whose works I had not picked up for decades. In one passage, he describes how repetitive labor destroys humanity and makes them vengeful:

As for the shepherd, his case is still worse, especially in winter when he lives alone in a cabin. For, though stimulated at times by hopes of one day owning a flock and getting rich like his boss, he at the same time is likely to be degraded by the life he leads, and seldom reaches the dignity or advantage—or disadvantage—of ownership. The degradation in his case has for cause one not far to seek. He is solitary most of the year, and solitude to most people seems hard to bear. He seldom has much good mental work or recreation in the way of books. Coming into his dingy hovel-cabin at night, stupidly weary, he finds nothing to balance and level his life with the universe. No, after his dull drag all day after the sheep, he must get his supper; he is likely to slight this task and try to satisfy his hunger with whatever comes handy. Perhaps no bread is baked; then he just makes a few grimy flapjacks in his unwashed frying-pan, boils a handful of tea, and perhaps fries a few strips of rusty bacon. Usually there are dried peaches or apples in the cabin, but he hates to be bothered with the cooking of them, just swallows the bacon and flapjacks, and depends on the genial stupefaction of tobacco for the rest. Then to bed, often without removing the clothing worn during the day. Of course his health suffers, reacting on his mind; and seeing nobody for weeks or months, he finally becomes semi-insane or wholly so.

Jobs reduce human beings to functions, where being the proprietor of a farm or business involves multiple functions and a sense of responsibility, not obligation. The healthiest society may be one where each person owns something, if only as a serf paying rents to a lord, and is guided to make it succeed as a whole, instead of being placed in charge of a single function which rapidly becomes repetitive.

How To Survive Working For The Sex-Starved Cobra

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Most people who are fairly academic and who steer themselves towards a White Collar Office Job will have it easier. I think this is unfair. But I also don’t give a rat’s rear-end. I got my White Privelege Visa the old-fashoned way. I studied my ass off. If you want it easy like me, join me in solving for the oscillation of a circular membrane using Legendre Polynomials.* At least I had it easy until I got the wife, the mortgage, the kids and then had to work for The Evil Sex-Starved Cobra Boss for a five year stretch.

The house, the kids, and usually even the lovely wife were delightful additions to my previously minimal and basic existence. The downside of all this is that it tied me down. Then the Sex-Starved Cobra got assigned to be my supervisor. I couldn’t just pop the rip-cord and ditch the job and apartment. I was there and I didn’t have an escape hatch. The weaselly little SOB had me where he wanted me, and used the position to humiliate me in every endeavor.

The problem was this. He had fallen very badly from grace in his previous office and was given the position over myself as a somewhat soft crash-landing. His initial problem arose from the fact that he fvcked under the flag-pole.** He then promoted his loathsome little hoochie-hole far beyond her level of competence, spent far beyond his financial means, fathered two children, and then had his best buddy explain…

You see, she was porking two other guys on the side and was in an existential dilemma deciding which of her cabana boys she intended to dump him for when she monkey-branched like the thot that she truly was. He then, regrettably remodeled himself as a man after the chisel-wielding (((divorce attorney))) from Hell. So what did his ex do? Sent him to work to make all her alimony payments. That, along with the personal bankruptcy filing and the forced sale of his home and the hostile custody arrangement involving his two kids had him looking for someone’s ass to rip into like a grizzly bear. And that turned him into the shining piece of humanity that I then spent the next five years working for/job hunting under.

Getting physically cucked makes a man ultimately insecure to the core. You can no longer master yourself and therefore can’t lead others without malice in your heart. It didn’t help that I’ve managed to remain a workout fanatic pretty far into my middle ages. I never tried to wield Golic’s Hammer on his ass, but it was unspoken every time I stepped into his office. He, meanwhile was getting his stomach stapled because he had been digging his grave with the fork, knife and spoon. He hated watching a man two years older than him walk into his office with a a set of clothes that properly fit.

I remember one time this woman I was buddies with anyway innocently flirted with me while he and I were meeting with her. He was completely vile and hostile to me for the next three days. He threatened not to sign a leave slip so I could go to the eye doctor. I asked him how it would look if I had to go up the chain of command just to get my frikking glasses checked. Not professional on my part, even if I say so myself, but I was ready to choke the bastard.

Then he started stocking the office with his old cronies from his days of being a bigshot. At that point, none of the rest of us got to know what was going on and had to start reporting to his detestable flunkies. They’d hang out in his office and shoot the shit all day and if you came in they looked at you like you didn’t belong in the frat house. Every now and then, these sleazy catamites would stroll around and look at what was on our computer screens or ask us how our projects were coming. I had an ongoing joke with Brad, the dude who sat in the cube next door.

Brad: “Are you being paranoid again?”

Me: “Yep, but am I paranoid enough?”

Brad: “Probably not.”

And that’s how it is when your office has its own Stazi. That’s how it is when they ask you to construct a $40 billion cost estimate and then defend all of its assumptions and mathematics while not trusting you enough to sign your medical leave so that you can get your frikking glasses checked. The experience made me less of a decent person to others around me. I was usually mad as hell. I drank way to much to make that bastard die out of my brain when he wasn’t around. The only positive externality occurred when I ran or attacked the gym. Oh yes, I set PRs.

And he knew good and well that I was trying like heck to get away from him. He sabotaged me on recommendations. He was very good at wording things that sounded good on the surface but were absolute career poison pills to have on any sort of an eval.

“Is generally personally responsible and usually maintains a professional bearing and appearance.”
“Can be brilliantly effective and mostly cares intensely about his work.”

I had to challenge his evaluations and start asking him, “When was I not motivated? In what ways have my appearance and bearing appeared unprofessional?” He would back down and reword it in a less poisonous manner when I called him on his passive-aggressive bullcrap. When you work for a human ball of pissed-off insecurity, you have to constantly stand guard against his efforts to tear you down and degrade you for the sake of his own personal validation.

He eventually married another woman. Older than him and adorned with “tramp-stamp” tattoos. He couldn’t even go to his church to marry her. He had her knocked-up with twins less than four months after the broom-jumping. From what I gleaned, they were already arguing about two months after the bundles of joy were born. The positive aspect of that is that he backed off of people and stopped screwing me on job recommendations. An old friend from a prior project upped me in big way and got me out of there.

So we now reach the part of this whole 5-Year Jerry Springer episode where the perv ringmaster with the microphone asks, “What can we all learn from this?” Here’s what we can take away.

1) People like The Evil Sex-Starved Cobra Boss From Gehenna are less stable that decent, ordinary humans. They do great damage, but they burn against the friction of reality like a meteor flying through the sky. The will probably chill out or burn out before you do. You can bite your tongue and ride them out.

2) You have to protect yourself at all times. The key question Brad asked me in his joking, but not just kidding sort of way was “Are you being paranoid again?” What that meant in plain English was “Is your guard up?” You have to read every line of every paper, document or email a person composes involving you. They are evil. They will backstab you and sabotage you. They will hate you for being there and resent you for being sane and therefore trying to leave.***

3) Avoid ever reminding that sort of person of what they truly are? Do not show them up and stay quietly humble. Avoid contact with them and anyone stupid, or evil enough to spend a lot of time with this individual. Nobody honest or likeable will actively seek to spend time around this man socially. Consider it a litmus test. If they act like they admire the Cobra Boss, you can not trust them any further than you could projectile-crap them.

4) Re-connect with professional friends in your line of work. If you try to job hunt, this man will assassinate you with passive-aggressive faint praise. You need someone’s word to countermand whatever this guy says about you over the phone to a perspective employer. Also, find ways to sharpen your skills through work projects. This SOB will not let you attend any really useful professional training. You have to train yourself.

5) Separate a heck of a lot of yourself from your work life. I got better at brewing beer. I taught a group young kids about the Bible and helped coach the heck out of two Little League Baseball Teams that my boy played for. I blogged more than rational human beings should be permitted to blog. These things gave me an outlet to contribute to the world. A man at my age and phase of life I had to go outside myself and believe I could give something back. It sure wasn’t happening down on the cube farm.

6) Remember God is more important than bullshit at work. Your prayers won’t always be answered. God will sometimes say “No” until he and you are ready for what comes next.

7) Think carefully before you take that Kierkegaardian Leap and assume the burdens of fatherhood, matrimony, home ownership and a career path. These things give you a lot and can be very fulfilling. They can also tie you down and leave you vulnerable. Just like I was vulnerable. Do better than I did at sorting out your life in a way so that you can pick up stakes and leave when you get trapped like I did. This is one area where MGTOWs might even have a point.


*Come and Git Some! (You’ll have mathematical understanding of why Keith Moon could play the hell out of drum set.)

** – Boned a woman who worked for him. Life lesson: Keep income and pooney-tang in seperate categories.

*** – If that sounded totally jacked up, that just means you read the sentence correctly. Bravo on the reading comprehension.

Intellectually Hard Work Versus Work By The Pound

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Jobs are suicidal. They make people frustrated, because most of the job is playing politics and doing make-work. They show us the worst of other people, sleep-deprived and under stress, as they act out personal pathologies but must be tolerated because “getting along” is more important to the control structure than quality of results.

Part of the problem with jobs is that they focus on conscientiousness, or following a “responsible” procedure, and almost not at all on inspiration, contemplation or direct action to achieve non-repetitive goals. This rewards the lower intelligence people and punishes those who are more intelligent and aware, but correspondingly, less prone to repetitive tasks.

Our modern science has indirectly discovered this truth — known to the ancients, and the basis of their caste system and aristocracy — through the conscientiousness paradox:

In individuals, high levels of conscientiousness are associated with health, well-being, and productivity. One might therefore be tempted to assume that countries with high average levels of conscientiousness would enjoy high levels of societal health and prosperity, as a country is the sum of the people who inhabit it. However, one would be wrong. Research comparing countries on personality traits has largely found that countries with high average levels of conscientiousness tend to be poorer, less democratic, and to have lower life expectancy compared to their less conscientious counterparts.

It helps to have a (brief) definition of conscientiousness from the same source:

It’s a fundamental personality trait that influences whether people set and keep long-range goals, deliberate over choices or behave impulsively, and take seriously obligations to others.

A paradox indeed: third world societies are more diligent. However, there is another wrinkle which was not first understood. Further research on the topic may clarify the “conscientiousness paradox”:

The most important finding concerned the differences in correlations between self-report and observer-rating conscientiousness scores with IQ. The former was negatively associated with cognitive ability, while the latter positively. The analyses of the conscientiousness facets revealed, that in regression models three components of conscientiousness predicted national intelligence. Specifically, achievement striving and deliberation were negatively associated with IQ, while dutifulness was in a positive relationship with cognitive ability. Interestingly, this pattern was the same in self and observer rating scores.

This shows us another axis: “dutifulness” versus “conscientiousness.” Dutifulness is related to task, and would include getting all the details right according not to a memorized set of steps, but what is called for on a case-by-case basis. Conscientiousness instead is going through those steps, regardless of how much they apply in a situation. It is a strategy of rote memorization and labor by the pound.

Ancient peoples recognized the difference in mental outlook between the castes. Some are designed to handle hard and unpredictable problems and think about their long term consequences; these have dutifulness more than conscientiousness. Others need to hammer on repetitive tasks and do the usual procedure roughly the right way every time.

This difference corresponds to the differences in r / K reproductive strategies that separate low IQ and high IQ populations. The smarter tend to focus on a smaller set of offspring and invest more into them; the rest have more offspring, and hope that some will survive.

In nature, as in life, everything is a mixed bag and always in flux, but not always in change: the same patterns appear over and over again because they are logically efficient, sort of like a permanent algorithm for life itself. In this way, every population consists of an unequal group, with some specialized toward some tasks more than others, to make this flux work toward constant upward pressure with an internal balance.

This means that r- and K-strategy people will exist in the same society. Much like conscientiousness, r-strategy breeding — based on producing the most offspring possible — is common among third world populations and lower caste European populations. A sensible approach is to have the higher-IQ work on what their minds reward, and everyone else work on what they can excel at.

Higher-IQ people need more free time to indulge the laziness that supports their mode of thinking, while lower-IQ people need steady occupation of the mind, followed by more free time than they have now in order to indulge the more social pleasures they pursue.

By denying these needs, we have crippled our intelligent and forced our more conscientious thinkers into positions where they apply inflexible rubrics to varied problems, producing the kind of blockheaded results we see in politics and society. Only through reversing this process can we again have quality of life for our people, and better leadership.

In Praise Of Leisure

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Modern society is based on the worker. Leftists harp on worker equality and want to send everyone to a job; mainstream conservatives (blight) parrot the same old tired dodge about waving the flag, going to church and working hard.

We might ask instead why jobs are so important. They provide income, but so does having a trade or business. Mostly, they are useful for turning cities into human factories where raw material is educated, indoctrinated and then sent off to do repetitive tasks, most of which are either not useful or for unnecessary business activities designed to signal the necessity of the personnel involved.

In other words, jobs are a method of control. They keep the population from engaging in rebellion by both making them dependent and giving them a sense of place and an activity to keep them occupied during the day. Perhaps that is why they refer to job titles as “occupation.”

But to a realist, jobs are only useful insofar as they achieve something necessary. Otherwise, people need time to become whole people — the opposite of factory people — by having the time for contemplating life, interacting with family and friends, exploring culture and really, just bumbling around and engaging in the pleasures, pitfalls and most of all, learning experiences of life.

Jobs destroy our souls.

Consider what jobs are designed to minimize, the development of intelligent people into people with depth so they can apply that intelligence instead of frittering it away on entertainment, workplace politics, shopping and alcohol:

New research seems to prove the theory that brainy people spend more time lazing around than their active counterparts.

Findings from a US-based study seem to support the idea that people with a high IQ get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time engaged in thought.

And active people may be more physical as they need to stimulate their minds with external activities, either to escape their thoughts or because they get bored quickly.

Jobs are designed to interrupt thinking. Not only are they repetitive, driving people into a stupor, but they are filled with interruptions and based on social behavior instead of functional, goal-driven behavior. It is more important to act as a good employee than to achieve the objectives of the business.

This keeps people compliant, which grants security to those above them, which is a tactic found in most dictatorships and third world countries. When people are busy and worried, they leave the power structure alone, which is what it wants, because it is addicted to power for the sake of power itself; this is the opposite of an aristocracy, which sees power as a means-to-an-end of achieving the best possible society and through it, the best possible life for individuals, each according to his own level in the hierarchy of natural ability.

Feudalism was more honest. It gave people roles, and then granted them most of their time to spend on life itself. They were lazy, maybe; they may have wasted much of that time on wine, women, food and song, but even those became more advanced as a result. Even so, their excess time led to more moments spent contemplating existence and finding comfort in it.

More intelligent people tend to be “lazy” because they spend more time thinking. This enables them to broaden their thinking and consider the “big questions” such as human purpose and the nature of the universe. That thinking contributes to the “reflective” nature of Western Civilization, where each thing had purpose toward a much broader and intangible goal.

True Minimum Wage

Friday, May 19th, 2017

It is the considered editorial opinion* at Amerika that work, yea verily, doth suck. It kills the soul and sucks the marrow out its bones. It keeps you in your shaved monkey pen, off the streets and out of trouble for eight to ten hours of the day. It kills time. In the words of The Great Henry David Thoreau; this wounds eternity. Please be friendly and don’t wound eternity.

Another aspect of work is that it is both randomly and deterministically unfair. It is randomly unfair because you can prepare all day long for the interview, the sales pitch or the bigshot briefing and then get railed by the nefarious forces with which Murphy rides to war. The game never ends when your whole world depends on the turn of a friendly card.

Work also sucks because the deck can be deterministically stacked against you. Ask the Asian American High School Valedictorian applying to Harvard what I mean by that. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how hard you work how badly you want it. If you are not the Government’s kind, then you succeeding, you getting ahead, you affording that dream home, or you bringing home the bacon to momma has a disparate impact and must be prevented.

Afterall, no matter how hard you bust that @$$, ¡YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT! The pathetic, envying socialist grubs will never let you enjoy the just rewards of your efforts or achievements. They hate your guts for having that will to power and that drive to succeed.

Do well at work and the ankle-biters will tax you, defame you, steal your ideas and work products and then drive that shiv hard between your vertabrae. The Post-Modern workplace is the vile, hive-infested anus of Amerikan social interaction. Work is where they tell you to do your d@mn job and then secretly fear and detest you if you are better at it than them.

And finally, after all of that, the economic world we live in is governed by unpitying, unbreakable laws that care as much for your existence as gravitation or the natural environment of The Great Plains. You are nothing in the economic world, just as you would be quickly obliterated if you were dumb enough to hike the surface of the moon in your Bermuda Shorts. And if you make like a weedy Dungeons and Dragons nerd and roll to disbelieve it gets worse. Way worse.

In an industry notorious for its “tight margins,” restaurants in San Francisco are closing their doors in record numbers thanks to the minimum wage hike. The minimum wage in San Francisco now stands at $13 per hour for low-skilled workers. Compare that to the $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage, or even the rest of California, which is at a $10.50 per hour minimum wage, and you can already start to see the problem.

There is a simple economic law here. You set your own minimum wage. It is based on your own skills and abilities. If you can’t get it done, they aren’t paying you for nothing. Senator Lieawatha approached it as a social problem and even wasted the time and electrons of the US Senate to ponder why the US Minimum Wage wasn’t $30/hour yet.

She needed to approach it as a sort of statistical mechanics problem instead. Within any given population, different members will have different personal characteristics. These characteristics will determine their suitability to the world of work. This will drive each individual to some minimum wage they are worthy of being hired at.

Artificially setting the minimum wage above the level of any percentage of this population will eventually tend to exclude them from the opportunity to consistently work. The businesses that would have previously hired them will either go under or replace human capital with robots or more efficient processing. At that juncture, the minimum wage for anyone in the working population below that artificial cut line will equal $0.00.

So we should hate the workplace. You are not just a slacker or a Leftard for feeling that way. You should hate war too. Particularly when they use live ammo. Your feelings are totally rational. On to question two: So what?

Let that question marinate in your minds and work towards developing the post-work society. We are going to get there eventually. I recommend we travel a different path to that destination than the one being undertaken in Venezuela or North Korea.


* — To the extent that we tolerate such things at Amerika

Displacement Of The Home

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

The primary commandment of those who want control is “thou shalt have no gods before me.” This means that heritage, culture, caste, religion and even family must die.

As part of that crusade, the forces of modernity have launched people on a radical campaign of individualism designed to remove them from the family unit, as well as culture and heritage.

We can see this manifested in the transition from home-based living to society-based living, as exhibited in the preferences of newer generations:

Today’s young buyers are looking for more efficient spaces that are just large enough for their needs. Many would prefer to be close to work, cultural amenities, and fun bars and restaurants.

“[Millennials] believe that they live outside the home—that could mean a coffee shop, bar or restaurant, or a park,” says Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics, a marketing firm in Austin, TX.

This is part of the process of externalization that is the oxidation caused by civilization; it has two parts, a tendency to offload the consequences of personal actions as socialized cost, and a preference for delegating value decisions to the herd.

As a consequence of living more out in the world, people never become separate from their programming. They have television and media, but they also have friends, who repeat what they saw on the TV as if it were wisdom.

The group feels confident with this arrangement, but even more the individual does. By following their externalized programming, they guarantee that they are never wrong, because they have followed the will of the group.

In addition, the minimization of home allows them to live without permanent connections. They have a crash-pad to sleep in, and everything else they need is provided by paid services, leaving them only with jobs as their lifeline.

Is it surprising that a worker’s revolution has reduced everyone to a worker, and minimized everything else about life? We have become tools of our own system, unable to stop the runaway spiral of its presumed success.

Modern Society Is Destroying First World Peoples

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Most conservative writers will not accept the fact that European decline is the product of modernity; that is, the modern lifestyle and the future it offers us turn people into self-destructive, sadistic, controlling, passive, deferential and retributively oblivious agents of destruction.

This applies to all first world peoples; the existential misery is strong in Japan as well:

This finding, part of a survey of 540,000 15-year-olds in 72 countries, indicates a worrying pattern throughout the world: Advanced economies have lower levels of well-being than might be expected from their material prosperity and freedoms — particularly among young people.

…Related to this, it was also clear that the top countries for well-being tended to be emerging economies. It may be that perceived opportunities for expansion has a positive impact on well-being. Meanwhile, in advanced economies like Japan’s, there may be a dimly discernible sense that the economy has “peaked” and that there is little room to advance.

…Japanese teens reported that “working hard/helping myself get on in life” was their most important value — and more chose this than in any other country except South Korea (also low in the well-being stakes).

Japanese teens were also the least likely of all 20 countries to think that making a contribution to wider society was important. It is easy to see how these beliefs, in combination with a lack of opportunity, could produce a pessimistic state about one’s chances of leading a successful or meaningful life.

In other words, what makes teens miserable is (1) being in the current first world (2) believing that they must join the system and (3) having Leftist beliefs.

The most interesting point is that despite its material wealth, the first world crushes people by forcing them into a lifestyle with several crushing problems:

  • Jobs are jails. Workplaces are showrooms for bad human behavior; competition is based on appearance not competence or efficiency; self-important sociopaths get ahead while the competent and decent are left behind; all but a few jobs are non-essential and because of individuals competing for attention and to justify themselves, composed of make-work and pro forma activity.
  • People are insane. Under intense pressure, with none of the social order that nurtured them in the past, and suffering through a time that is existentially miserable but physically comfortable and therefore cannot be criticized, people have become ugly in the spirit and mean in their treatment of one another.
  • Sexual degeneracy. People are whores because egalitarian sexual practices encourage having few standards. This means that the chances of a life-long bond are greatly diminished, and that people can expect sexual competition and one-upmanship to be the rule. Those who are not having sex all the time are written off as losers.
  • Consumerism. Low-quality, low cost, high margin disposable products fill our shelves and litter our streets. Very little lasts, and the constant mania to have new stuff and pursue entertainment or other consumption makes people into hollow zombies with nothing to talk about who deny any deeper connection to life itself.
  • Ugliness. Our architecture consists of boxes, our homes are filled with plastic, modern art and pop culture are reductionist garbage, graffiti and vandalism and advertising cover every surface, filth is ever-present, public messages are snarky and cruel, and even people themselves are being twisted into bloated, greedy, snarling, beige race mutts who look like nothing from the past.

These add to a society that no one with an IQ of above about 115 wants to live in, and yet because the vast majority of people are oblivious to these things, those of higher taste and intelligence are voted out.

High-IQ groups are the most susceptible to both Leftism and existential misery because they are the most prone to self-doubt, for the simple reason that they are aware of more ways in which they could be wrong, have longer memories and tend to be more aware and better at self-criticism.

In pursuit of the ultimate lifestyle, while our leaders drool over power and obsess themselves with death, the people of the first world have doomed themselves through a utilitarian approach to existence — arising from democracy — that favors the crassest and most simplistic of our tastes, creating a repellent and alien world in which we are miserable in our souls.

Work Has Spiritual Value Only When Its Goal Has Meaning

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Damon Linker at The Week makes a powerful argument against Universal Basic Income (UBI), which in his view, deprives people of the spiritual importance of work:

If the idea had merit, it might make sense for the left to push the case, regardless of its immediate prospects. But the left should do no such thing — because a UBI would not address (and would actually intensify) the worst consequences of joblessness, which are not economic but rather psychological or spiritual.

When a job is lost, the economic hardship is real and requires a response. Unemployment insurance, food stamps, and the other programs that make up the safety net need to kick in. By all means, let’s strengthen these programs and add some new ones to help out. But they need to be temporary, a bridge to a new job — not because there’s a serious danger of the person falling into dependency on the government, as a Republican might suggest, but because a person who falls out of the workforce permanently will be prone to depression and other forms of psychological and spiritual degradation.

He is half-right, which is the best level of accuracy to have if you want your idea to get out there far and wide. A half-right idea can be debated constantly in every pub and classroom because the bad is bound up with the good, thus every person has something to praise and something to attack. It evokes audience participation well.

The correct part is that a UBI would — like socialism, and what is a UBI but backdoor socialism? — destroy personalities by giving people a life without purpose. The incorrect part is that this purpose can be found in work; in fact, work detracts from purpose, which is why almost everyone in our worker’s paradise is miserable, lonely and pointless. At least, most work is this way.

What type of work provides purpose? Work is a means to an end, and that means that the nature of work depends on its goal. No one feels bad when laboring to do something that improves civilization. This provides even more of a lift than “helping people” which usually means helping those who cannot or will not help themselves. If what we do gives to all, from this day forward, it feels good.

Naturally not every job can do this directly. Some must grow the food, stock the grocery stores, fix the sewers and so on. As long as these people can believe in their civilization and its future, this work becomes joyful. But a McJob in a cubicle? This contributes to nothing and gives no sense of meaning.

Those of us who are “antiwork Conservatives” have realized that work is a substitute for purpose in most people in the West. They face existential questions they cannot handle, so they rush off back to work… a distraction like television, wine, video games, sex, shopping and sports.

Work in itself is a substitute for the real thing, which is achievement. People feel achievement when they contribute to something that is more than temporary. When you give your time to make a civilization great for the future both near and distant, you feel this sense of achievement. Just attending a job does not give this feeling, although most people simply rationalize it as having done so because they want to feel like their lives are meaningful, in inverse proportion to how meaningful they actually are.

This is why, instead of a UBI, Amerika suggests an exchange of UBI for jobs that need doing but are not profitable. This would be a great way to reverse our civilization freefall into consumerism and democratic make-work activities.

Economic Theory Cannot Replace Cultural, Social And Political Theory

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

We know that economic change is upon us. It will be driven by two factors: increasing automation and decreasing government, which essentially made itself into one of our bigger industries in the West, distorting the market to near-collapse levels.

At that point, the question arises: what do we do with all of our people to ensure they can make a living? There are three obvious solutions: ignore them and allow natural selection to work it out, subsidize them with the Leftist Universal Basic Income (UBI), or a hybrid which involves rewarding some with new types of careers.

We should first look at the problems of what happens in the most convenient case scenario in which we have neither scarcity of objects nor a lack of money to fund these people. This however will fail because what drives people to work is relative to what they have, and is propelled more by expression of the self than by practical needs, as William Nava writes:

The “work” that wants to be abolished is labor done in pursuit of something else, i.e. not for its own sake. Since we wouldn’t do it for its own sake, this is work that we don’t really want to do.

…One might object that, given automation, people won’t generally have needs that require unpleasant work. But, just as our standards for value and necessity go up, so do our standards for what counts as unpleasant work.

…To abolish work, you also need to abolish aspirational culture. In other words, you need to abolish the tendency to labor toward perceived progress at the expense of comfort and pleasure.

In other words, what makes work “work” is that it is not done for its own sake, but as a means to an end. In doing so, we also become a means to that end as workers. The Leftist solution is to make everyone a worker so that none may rise above the rest, but in turn, this creates misery by diluting the experience of work into one of tedium and frustration.

The point Nava makes is that if we give everyone comfortable apartments, enough groceries and medical care, they will no longer be content with this minimum. In fact, they will start to view as we today view living in a van down by the river. People will want houses, and if not that, bigger houses and bigger cars.

This is not universal, of course. Some are happy with very little as they pursue the life of the mind or the spirit. The vast majority however will continue as they are today, which is happy with their jobs because (1) they do not know what else they would do to keep themselves occupied, (2) they want to buy lots of new things, and (3) they like the social role and group that it grants them.

In addition, non-material problems arise with this. People who are skilled in leadership will find themselves desiring to be in power the instant they view someone else screwing up. Those who are really good at a specific task will want to take over from others who they see as bungling.

Shortly hierarchy will return and with it competition, and so work will be re-invented. In that sense, there is no escape from work; however, the question remains about whether we can improve work and make it meaningful, recognizing that for most people, jobs of some kind will be what they desire.

Nava continues:

The trouble with this is that rich lives require personal growth and development, which is a dialectical process. It only happens through a dance with those major obstacles that compel us to challenge, build, and ultimately transform who we are. Ask any successful (or generally happy) adult, and they will tell you that they owe their success and happiness to the adversities they have had to overcome. The same goes for society at large: social and economic progress result from tons of really not fun sacrifice by millions of individuals. To oppose the unwanted in principle is therefore to oppose growth.

It might sound like I’m calling suffering a virtue. Why don’t I go all the way? Shouldn’t I be calling for mass torture and abuse, so as to facilitate “growth and development”?

My answer is simple: the value of suffering is bounded. Certain amounts of suffering call on people to develop themselves and live richer lives. Greater amounts break people, and impede them from living full lives at all. The “appropriate amounts of suffering” vary from person to person, and circumstance to circumstance, of course. But, very generally: limited amounts of suffering within otherwise supportive environments tends to bring out the best in people.

On one hand, we have the emptiness of office jobs for most upper-half-of-middle-class people, which is a civilization-ending problem because existential despair drives them crazy.

On the other hand, we have the need for some kind of jobs to give them something to do, because both doing nothing and thus being no one, and having the bare minimum, will enrage these people with another kind of existential craziness.

What would they have done 200 years ago? Most of them would be running independent businesses or farms, but because of the lower cost of living caused by fewer expenditures to government, they would spend more time managing investments and with their families than strictly on work activity.

Think of it this way: if you were out sailing in the middle of the ocean, and suddenly an island the size of England rose from the seabed thanks to a volcanic explosion, you would claim it as an independent nation and move in two million of your friends. One way to maintain order would be to give each person some land, from forty acres at a minimum to the average person, to a few hundred for the promising, to millions of acres for those you want to rule this nation and curate the land they control.

Everyone would have some utility to their land. Some would farm it, others would keep it natural, and still others would use it for industry. The end result would be that each person would have something to do, which gives them both a role and a chance at a source of income above the minimum, represented by the forty acres as subsistence farming.

This shows us a fundamental truth of civilization design. We know that socialism fails because it rewards mediocrity and encourages dependency, as well as fostering a criminal culture of externalizing costs to the social group. However, capitalism itself is not an answer; it is an economic system, and we need also cultural and political functions to our society.

In this case, we are going to have to act against economic currents in order to establish a society which is existentially rewarding so that our people do not die out, and we will need a strong culture and set of values to enforce this, as well as a political structure like aristocracy which will not interrupt society for its own gain as democracy has done.

Unnecessary Work Blights Modernity

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

make-work

A friend of mine once observed that most of his cell phone bandwidth was caused by automatic downloads of updates to applications he never used. He cannot get rid of them because they are part of the default installation, and so removing them leads to them re-installing themselves.

Why, one might ask, do we have constant updates to just about everything? The suits have an answer: for security, or better performance. And yet, these applications are rarely used, and with each update, they grow bigger and lose focus on whatever it was they did originally.

The companies force us to have them. The applications force updates. And then, the cycle begins again. At each iteration, the phone works more slowly and has less space because of the increasing bloat.

This process resembles most of the work in the West now, which is unnecessary, pro-forma “make-work” created by the management structure.

A company decides it needs an application. Its business managers make the right deals to get it included with an operating system. Then, a manager is appointed to develop the application. She hires programmers, and because the higher-ups have imposed unrealistic requirements and limited the budget, cuts corners.

The resulting application is bad, but that is good. Otherwise, the manager could not get more money approved. More money comes in, but she must demonstrate it is necessary, so she hires more people. Now these people need reasons to stay employed, so she begins introducing feature creep.

At first, the changes are to improve obvious non-functional parts of the app. However, the really big fixes have to wait, because those are hard and could go wrong. Instead, the team focuses on window-dressing and adding unnecessary function to cover the buzzwords of the day. This is why all apps connect to the dying Twitter platform.

The incentive is on the manager to invent nonsense “needs” that will keep her team employed, and break the app so that future updates are needed. They add Twitter function, but now email does not work. They fix email, but now Twitter does not work. On and on, to keep the project alive long enough.

Long enough for… what? For the manager to declare victory and get hired elsewhere. The project now passes to a new manager. In the eyes of upper management, the app is a success, so his job is to do essentially nothing. This means that he can add new features, as long as they are not used, because that way, he cannot be wrong.

The higherups look down and approve.

Five years later, the app — say, a weather update or address book — is the size of an operating system in the late 1990s. Huge parts of it either do not work or work so badly that no one uses them, which means that no error reports come in and these parts are on that basis judged to be a success.

At this point, The Peter Principle kicks in. Any manager who is good enough to fix this app will cause conflict by pointing out that it has major problems, needs an overhaul, and by implication, that past shining progress reports were nonsense and bloviation.

Management cannot have that. Instead, they appoint people who are easy to control, so that higher management jobs are not at risk. This means that the person overseeing the app now is incompetent, or of such limited options that he will never rise above this point. His goal then is to never touch the important stuff, and focus on the unimportant.

At every level of our society this process repeats. The idea of “accountability,” which is the notion of responsibility reduced to appearance to others who do not understand the process, ensures that any action with risk will result in a firing, but the usual incompetence and mental laziness will make a thriving career.

If you wonder why every aspect of our society seems to be simultaneously glitching, this is why: people are risk-averse due to accountability, and simultaneously motivated to address trends and buzzwords, which means that the essential task of any product is just about forgotten.

People tolerate it until another option becomes available because complaining is like screaming at a wall. The complaint form does not have the right options, or it goes to fifteenth-tier technical support, which can only make a note in the complainer’s personal file which no one else ever sees.

On top of this, our society has piled burdens. Regulations consist mostly of paperwork requirements, so the team spends most of its time on that. Fear of lawsuits means that rigorous processes exist for every change to anything, so most changes are never attempted because they are both risky and mind-numbingly tedious.

Add to this unions whose goal is to ensure collective reward, which means that the incompetents get rewarded and cannot be fired, right along with the competent ones. This drives the competent away because they cannot exercise their skill, which is fixing things, because fixing things endangers management and unions.

Then we throw in affirmative action. A company can be sued for not hiring a woman or minority, so when the choice involves one of those, they always hire. This pads the rolls with people who, it is discovered after they are hired, have only one competence, which is being from a protected group. They now cannot be fired.

Further, women in the workforce tend to focus on details at the expense of the whole. They will ensure that every single aspect of the non-working function to the non-working app is precisely as demanded, and spend all of their time on that, while ignoring the basic fact of its dysfunction.

In the meantime, workers are bored out of their minds because their tasks are incremental. Management and regulations love this because it separates everything out into little boxes which can then be managed directly, instead of through a chain of command or organically, like by seeing what works and keeping only that.

This fosters a Soviet-style bureaucracy onto the free market. Our fear of job instability leads to something worse, which is useless jobs, which are then more unstable because when the time comes to cut, who cares if the app gets lost — they can farm it out to India for the useless updates, save money and duck unions, lawsuits and regulators.

The workers, like panicked monkeys hearing a leopard cry in the night, demand more unions and regulations. Management approves because these make business more expensive for the little guy, which makes blatant incompetence less likely to get displaced.

It all goes on like this, a sick circus of people wasting their irreplaceable time with useless activity, until the economy collapses. Then everyone gets fired, things get reshuffled, and they can start the process all over again.

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