Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Houellebecq On The Emptiness Of “Careers”

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

This one has been making the rounds, but, it serves as an observation that modern life leaves nothing for the future especially in careers:

Children existed solely to inherit a man’s trade, his moral code and his property. This was taken for granted among the aristocracy, but merchants, craftsmen and peasants also bought into the idea, so it became the norm at every level of society. That’s all gone now: I work for someone else, I rent my apartment from someone else, there’s nothing for my son to inherit. I have no craft to teach him, I haven’t a clue what he might do when he’s older. By the time he grows up, the rules I lived by will have no value—he will live in another universe. If a man accepts the fact that everything must change, then he accepts that life is reduced to nothing more than the sum of his own experience; past and future generations mean nothing to him. That’s how we live now. For a man to bring a child into the world now is meaningless.

Jobs make you into a robot. Aristocracy makes each person have a place without being equal. One does not work at all, but the other mostly works. Even when it fails, it is better off that its alternative in the long term.

Instead, we get the standard human behavior: a compromise, more aimed at reducing risk to the present tense than creating something positive in the future tense.

Jobs are jails. Democracy is slavery. Socialism is control. Until we overthrow these things that “seem” good but are actually toxic, we are doomed to live among our own failures.

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

Affirmative Action Reveals Its Extortionate Nature

Monday, May 1st, 2017

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, diversity hiring has run into a snag: women and minorities leave jobs more frequently than others, and tend to blame the workplace for creating a hostile environment:

Women, blacks and Latinos are far more likely to quit jobs in tech than white or Asian men, according to a new report by the Kapor Center for Social Impact. The Oakland nonprofit commissioned an online survey by the Harris Poll, which asked 2,006 people who voluntarily left tech jobs in the past three years about why they quit. It found women were twice as likely to leave as men (alternative link), while black and Latino tech workers were 3.5 times likelier to quit than white or Asian colleagues. The most common reason they gave for their departures was workplace mistreatment.

Either all of these businesses are allowing “workplace mistreatment,” or as is more likely with human beings, people have figured out how to work the system. Affirmative Action means that competition for women and minorities enables them to get much higher salaries and be promoted beyond their actual qualifications. At that point, the winning move is to change jobs for more money and a new title.

In addition, these workers have a get-out-of-jail-free card, which is that if they claim mistreatment, companies will not criticize them because lawsuit dynamite has been created. This means that for them to make amazing money, all they need to do is get hired, and after a short time, claim mistreatment and move on to the next job, from which they can effectively not be fired.

Diversity has wrecked the West because by assuming that companies and individuals are in the wrong when something does not work out for a woman or minority person, our government and courts have created permanent entitlement positions which are being exploited because it is economically sensible for workers to do so. This raises costs, which are passed on to the consumer, and penalizes productive workers.

Civilization Space

Friday, February 24th, 2017

In the movie Office Space (itself perhaps a riff on the Michel Houellebecq book Whatever which came out a few years before it) the protagonist summarizes his working career to a psychologist with the following words:

So I’m sitting in my cubicle today and I realized that ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So it means that every single day you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.

Jobs are jails for a number of reasons. They are based on appearance, so everyone shows up regardless of whether there is a need or not. There is no purpose, because the task is defined by law and perceived demand, not necessity. At jobs, the dysfunction of other people comes out in the form of competition, with those who are most obedient and care least about efficient and meaningful use of time winning. And jobs are a form of control, or herding equal/interchangeable humans toward quasi-achievement by doing the same things in a mob assault. Jobs are spiritual death.

Then again, so is living in the post-collapse West.

Collapse is not an event. It is a process. It starts with slow corruption of what seems like an irrelevant detail, which is the first sign that vital knowledge has been lost, which in turn means that incompetents and neurotics have seized power. It slowly infiltrates everything, like a bacterial infection seeping into different tissues, because it corrupts language to pre-load all of the terms we use with the assumptions that rationalize collapse, like egalitarianism and tolerance (which equalizes good and bad). Then it becomes malignant as it turns those rationalizations into affirmative values, and actively reaches out for ever-increasing degrees of insanity as a means of distracting from the gaping void ahead.

In the West, each year is worse than the year before it. The changes are subtle, but they never reverse. So it means that every single year that we are here is the worst year of our lives.

The root of the problem is the thronging herd. Any time one person makes a change for the better, like Donald J. Trump or Nigel Farage, the herd creates an equal and opposite reaction in favor of degeneracy and pretentious false good things. The herd is composed of individuals, and individuals value breakdown of society because it makes individuals proportionately more powerful and camouflages their personal failings amidst a background of social chaos. But because such thinking requires denial of the role that nature, natural mathematical order, and civilization play in enabling the individual to not just act but act realistically and toward qualitative improvement, we refer to that thinking as hubris or solipsism. It is a pretentious overinflated sense of self-worth.

Each year, the people know more words and less critical thinking; the art and culture shows more flesh and flash but less aptitude for evoking a feeling of the significance of life and its meaning. Each year, the leaders are more polished and less able to respond with anything but clichés to the inevitable stream of repetitive events. The quality of everything declines where, as if to compensate, the quantity surges, meaning that we get a whole lot of nothing important at all. Most of our hours are wasted on nonsense, from jobs that do not need doing to bureaucracy, lines, glitches, and constant incompetence.

Western Civilization lies adrift in the throes of entropy, or the inevitable decay which — unless countered by an organizing force — reduces all things to an equal lowest common denominator. This state, known as “heat death,” consists of an equal distribution of energy among those granular units, meaning that every action yields roughly the same benefit, which means that choice has become irrelevant. This is the state the human mind secretly desires because in this state, there is no social status hierarchy or right/wrong. Everything is equally right and wrong, meaning neither. There is no way to screw up, or to be seen as worth ostracizing, because everything is accepted and so nothing is worth anything. Time slows to a crawl, and the world becomes grey and listless like a miscegenated race.

If the Alt Right has a mission statement, it is this: restore Western Civilization. We, unlike the herds of denial-bound daytime TV watchers, recognize that The Fall has occurred. We know we have to bounce back or we will simply fade away like Elvis. And because we are people who value ourselves, we desire the meaning that comes from a good and noble fight, and have staked our claim on being those who raise this civilization from the ashes — but not all of its people, because some or most must go elsewhere — and make it greater than ever before. If you ever wished for meaning and purpose to life, there they are, right within your grasp.

Careerism Ruined the White Race

Friday, October 14th, 2016

job_incarceration

Since the 60s, when women began working, jobs have been the death of everything good about our race.

Because of jobs, white men are:

  • Required to circumcise their faces via shaving

  • Required to wear gay sailor suits

  • Required to be cooperative and sociable and not raise their voices or tell anyone to shut up

  • Required to be submissive to some boss figure even if they could easily kick his ass

We also have this diseased and disturbed culture here in Amerika where your job is your soul. It comprised the entirety of your identity. I am not me, my person, everything I have worked for my whole life to develop into, no, I am a doctor. That is all anyone talks to me about ever. My wife is expected to sit at home alone and take pride in the fact that her absentee husband is a doctor whereas the next house down, the wife’s absentee husband is merely an engineer or something. It’s a an excremental overload.

…And white women:

  • Are required to raise their voices and be assertive and opinionated far past their natural inclination

  • Are told that they are superior to mothers at home with children

  • Are promoted in exchange for sexual favors

  • Are encouraged to be promiscuously flirtatious yet cynical in sales environments

Both genders:

  • Are expected to be at work by default. Family or personal time is treated like visitation rights in a prison.

  • Are subjected to crippling thought control. It isn’t the government who boots down your door and drags you off for wrongthought, it’s Twitter, Facebook and the media who censor you while everyone else fires you and refuses to hire you or do business with you ever again.

  • Are expected to support diversity, equality and other pleasant insanities because anything else is turning away customers.

  • Are basically told who to vote for by their office crowd. They are forced to coexist with people they otherwise would hate and incorporate them into their social life, thus in the name of keeping the peace gradually adopt their political leanings. If they openly support the “wrong” candidate they are ostracized and later fired.

  • Are subject to the abuses of petty tyrants above them who are angry that they are also enslaved.

  • Need holy jerbs to make sure we can afford lots and lots of stupid shit, like gigantic houses that are shrines to the weak, flabby men and fat obnoxious women that live there, and piles of electronic shit that boils down and concentrates the natural and pleasurable experiences of being alive, so that when we are home for all 5 minutes we are not chained to our desks, we can rapidly consume high doses of extra-life to make up for lost time. We go on reddit and look up pictures of all of the puppies and kitties we did not pet and pictures of all the great landscapes we did not travel to.

  • Cannot simply accept that the modern lifestyle is unjustifiable and a total waste of their lives and potential, so they defend it, Stockholm Syndrome style. If you point out how much of it is totally sick and wrong, they say you are just bitter because you could not succeed.

  • Have no time to properly examine life and think anything through, discover philosophy and religion, or ask themselves what they are doing in life, why, and whether or not it is any good (or if it should be improved or replaced with something different). If the Buddha was born today, he’d have worked in a call center and never had time to think about what happiness is. Instead of sitting under a bodhi tree, at best he’d have looked up pictures of trees on his phone while he takes a dump on his lunch break.

And of course, all of this is coercive, it is stuff you endure “…Or else we’ll fire your ass.”

The worst thing about jobs is they know they have you by the balls. They know that you are dead without their jerbism, in today’s society where not being a jobber means ostracism and homelessness, so they heap petty abuse on you knowing you will never rebel. The higher career, the worse the people it attracts.

…And there you have it.

Jobs have physically and spiritually neutered the white man and made shrewish, loud mouthed whores of the white woman. Being an impotent career slave has become synonymous with whiteness now. Every white man does it, and every nonwhite who starts acting career slave-like is accused of “acting white.”

There is truly a chicken-egg relationship between the moral, spiritual and physical decay of the white race and jobs.

Society and the race will only ever be good again when something other than careers rule it.

I mean, that is the truth, isn’t it? You do not spend sixty hours a week carefully obeying every command of your democratically appointed leaders, you spend it doing what your career wants you to do. Your career tells you how to dress, who to talk to, how to talk to them, what to do with every little bit of your time, when you are allowed to see friends and family, when you are allowed to eat, shit and sleep.

Politics are a hilarious, impotent little distraction: your career is your god and your master.

Make-Work

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

make-work

This is a typical event for the modern consumer:

He needs a service — given that there is great confusion between “want” and “need” — so he signs up for it. He then finds out that it does not work with his existing technology, a common type. There is a work-around: he can use another gadget, but it will be so cumbersome as to render the whole process inefficient.

He goes to the website of the service provider. There are separate websites for sales and service. He logs into sales, then goes to service, where they ask him for a customer number. He has not been given one. For this reason, he cannot login to the service he needs to explore other options, although by looking at what others have written, he can see those do not really exist anyway.

This leaves him scratching his head in wonder. Why is it that the service is so bad, and yet still popular and profitable? Does the company know its website does not work? Why do they not provide the service on the type of gadget he has, just as many hundreds of millions of others do?

Our society retires people because after forty years of observation, they know the workplace jive too well. The people who are advanced to the top are the Hillary Clintons of the world: good at the type of questions they ask in school, smugly self-serving and ready to justify their actions in terms of good intentions.

Let us look at the company that our hypothetical consumer has encountered.

At the top is a businessman. He knows he has a product that people will buy, and they buy enough of it that he can afford to hire a bunch of idiots. He hires idiots because they will not threaten him and take his company from him. He does not care about the quality of the product.

Below him are chattering women and flabby men. These are the middle management layer. Their job is to neurose. For example, when they considered expanding their service to another type of gadget, the people here Did The Right Thing, which was to send off for an exploratory study, a consultant, a feasibility study and a prototype. They hired many people out of the office and generated eighteen metric tons of memos, reports, studies and white papers.

They will not make the service for a new gadget because their experts tell them that it is a bad idea. The experts make money by being contrarian, or telling people that what is true is what is contrary to obvious common sense. The people in the business want to avoid taking risks, but since any action is a risk, this means they want to avoid action. Instead they want to spend their time on the process of being at a job, instead of trying to achieve anything.

To keep the process of the job alive, they will insist on the most mind-numbing tedium possible. They will call many meetings. They will have paperwork requirements for every activity. Every task will become formalized, awash in process and procedure, and will reference at a least a dozen books stating the obvious. To do even a simple task will take months.

For example, they will eventually roll the service out for the other type of gadget. After the exploratory and feasibility studies, the planning and budget meetings, the buy-in by all of the divisions, the marketing and legal sniffover, and then soliciting for bids and choosing vendors, it will take them a year to get the process started. Then, because no one will have thought about the practical dimensions, half of the necessary decisions will be unmade. It will take another five years of back-and-forth between the company, its vendors, and its internal meetings to even get a prototype ready, and at that point, the market (and our hypothetical consumer) will have all but moved on.

The point of jobs is that one must rationalize. The worker must be at a job, so that is good. Then they must succeed at the job. Herein is the problem of equality that guarantees that all jobs will be make-work: when all people are equal, no one is considered for his unique abilities, and so any failure is considered “equally” independent of what he was trying to achieve. This is why the do-nothing working who never does more than just act out the process of the job will always be promoted, but someone who takes a risk by attempting something more than just acting out the process of the job may get fired.

After a few years, the only people left at jobs like these are those who are fascinated — downright excited! — by tedious and inconsequential make-work, or work activity designed to show conformity to the process of the job and therefore, “good work” according to other minds hampered by egalitarianism observing them. They drive away the competent and select for the useless.

This is why the website is broken. The people involved at the time knew it would not work, but knew that they were taking a career-ending risk by mentioning it, so they said nothing. The email address for complaints goes to someone who left the company three years ago, and piles up in her inbox.

The IT guy knows that if he says something, he can make enemies in the company of those who will now have to sort through the email. So he says nothing and simply increases the allotment of space for the account when it fills up. Customers write complaints, those go nowhere, and no one “notices” the broken web site because to do so is to take on risk.

At a job, taking any risk is bad because under egalitarianism, any failure is presumed to be a fatal failure. We cannot look at someone and say, “Sure, Charles hosed that website launch, but he is smarter than the rest of that group and he usually gets good results.” No, in order to placate the herd, who might rebel at any time, we must crucify him.

We destroy people in this society. It is our pastime, since we no longer have a goal and have not for many centuries. We all demand attention, which is why if someone steps out of line, we smash him down. He has threatened the stability by which we all receive attention and/or paychecks. The expectation has become reality because at this point only the very brave or very crazy take risks, knowing the intolerance that failure receives.

The Soviet Union also had this problem. Those who failed to deliver were shot. Since they were often given impossible tasks, they were frequently shot. The end result was that anyone sane refrained from taking any risk possible. That means that if you have a fire risk in your factory, you ignore it, because it is greater personal risk to try fixing it and fail than it is to have a fire. That can always be blamed on the capitalists, anyway.

Jobs are jails. Most of what makes them jail-like is that they are not oriented toward goals, but conformity to the process of work and avoidance of risk-taking; in other words, appearance matters more than reality. Obedience matters more than achievements. And so, people check out. Blatant errors are not noticed. Incompetence and ineptitude rule the day.

As we gather to write an epitaph for post-democracy Western Civilization, itself an epitaph of Western Civilization after it went individualistic after giving up on the ability to get consensus for another Golden Age, we should not forget to note the many ways that this time has failed us. Jobs and incompetent services seem small until you consider that these take up most of most days for the average person.

When it is said that our society died of a spiritual disease, this is true. People have no hope of anything except going along with the conformity and hoping for a regular paycheck. The thought of ambition has died, except in the narrowest sense of piling up money, as has the ability to be noticed for competence, intelligence or other inner traits. In the name of including everyone, we have created a hell on earth.

The Existential Trauma Of Jobs

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

From an otherwise incoherent article about wage gaps, a moment of truth as the writer diagnoses the cause of wage gaps and a wider problem all in one:

The highest-paying jobs disproportionately reward those who can work the longest, least flexible hours.

These types of job penalize workers who have caregiving responsibilities outside the workplace. Those workers tend to be women.

If you want to know why our society is awash in Generation X underachievers and low-impact millennials, here is the reason: jobs are both terrible in and of themselves, and terrible as a lifestyle.

Our current environment forces our most ambitious people into wasting their lives away, at which point they become alienated and resentful, and start enthusiastically approving antisocial policies. The tendency of modern Western Europeans to notice the world burning and change the channel originates in this.

An ambitious person will be forced into a work schedule which will steal their soul by depriving them of their time, energy and experience of family. A legion of successful divorced professionals with kids in therapy can attest to this; it peels society like a banana, starting at the top, removing those with the most to give by ensuring that they are enslaved to constant frustrating, ugly drama.

Our economy is constructed as a circular Ponzi scheme: much activity exists, and because other people think it is important, they keep buying and selling. Constant growth is the goal, and we achieve that by adding pointless and unnecessary activity so long as we can sell it before the buyers, and the resellers who service them, realize that it is empty. We have gone in search of a reason to work, not in search of work that needs doing.

This enslaves every person to their debt — as this is the only way to afford housing — and so they keep going to work to pay for the stuff they need, adding on top of it the stuff they want to feel better about wasting their lives away.

The toxic environment that results occurs because we are all aware of our mortality. The last thing we want to do is waste our irreplaceable time, but that is exactly what society demands of us, and demands the most from its best. Doctors serve hopeless cases and hypochondriacs, lawyers pursue pointless cases, architects design boring strip malls that will be torn down in a decade, and writers are reduced to entertaining people looking for the opposite of truth, profundity, wisdom and beauty through distractions of a salacious and saccharine nature.

Futility of this nature wears people down and makes them angry deep within. The rising tide of bad human behavior comes from this tendency to allow our economy to lead us, instead of serve us. But when we have no goals, what purpose can anything serve, except to perpetuate itself from our fear of what comes when it goes?

And so: we all embark each day to go to jobs we do not believe in, wearing down our time and vitality, with the best serving the worst, growing more hateful and revengeful by the moment.

Good thinking, humanity.

The Antiwork Conservative

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

progress_unabated

Conservatives espouse traditional (or more accurately: eternal) values including the importance of hard work and dedication. Few ask themselves however if this extends to jobs. It should not, mainly because (1) jobs are not actually work in most cases and (2) jobs are the antithesis of what the value of hard work is designed to foster.

In modern Europe and the Americas, everyone — male and female — over the age of majority must attend a job. This means showing up every day from eight to five and being in the office, doing office tasks. Every person gets a cubicle or an office and a computer, maybe a title. They do this until they are sixty-five, then wonder what it meant.

In the average job, very little of actual import is done. This occurs first because most of the assigned activities are pro forma or “make-work,” but more broadly because most business activities are ill-advised or irrelevant, often through the creation of regulatory law.

In this sense, jobs are not “work” per se, or the process of applying oneself to a task. They are the process of attendance, obedience and time-wasting.

This realization leads to the second point, which is that jobs are the antithesis of the “work” described by traditional values. In traditional work, the individual learns how the world works by applying himself or herself to tasks and achieving mastery. It is a method of understanding realism and gaining self-discipline.

Jobs do the opposite. Jobs reward appearance, not actuality, except in a few rare cases. Even in professional fields, the goal is to keep abreast of what others have done and do the same in a certain specific case, and accountability occurs only when one deviates from the commonly accepted practice, even if results are bad. Doctors lose patients, lawyers loses cases, and architects design junk all the time but so long as these are competitive with what others have established as “safe” minimums, no consequences attach.

The constant obsession with staying abreast of standards makes work into an obsession. One must appear to be as devoted as one’s comrades, or be suspected of disloyalty. Further, the worker must demonstrate diligent emulation of public appearance as defined by others, which creates a neurosis of fears about what has not be done as opposed to what needs doing.

In this way, jobs lead away from work, which is results-based. Instead, they present a flight from life itself: an escape from the world of actions and consequences into the purely human world of imitation and social reward. This adds a soul-killing dimension because the acts on which we spend most of our lives are entirely a waste of our time and potential.

Consider it this way: from the years of the early twenties through the mid-sixties, a person spends fifty hours a week, fifty weeks a year, preparing for or attending work. These are the best daylight hours and the most intense moments of their consciousnesses, devoted to something that is both unnecessary and demeaning. They never notice because everyone else is doing it, at least until retirement, where people tend to become aimless and bitter.

If Moses were around today, he would be saying “let my people go” while looking skeptically at a heap of TPS reports.

Michel Houellebecq unveiled the conservative case against jobs in Whatever: jobs ruin our expectation that life will be good, and force us into desperate compensatory measures to feel good, almost all of which lead to destruction of hope for life itself. Jobs make us bitter, alienated and destructive, which mirrors the ressentiment inherent to Leftism, which is why jobs are a creation of the Leftist regulatory state and not the free market, which rewards performance over pro forma activity.

Others have made this case before, such as Louis-Ferdinand Céline, who showed how jobs took over the minds of people and turned them into near-automatons. Indeed, among conservative writers of the early twentieth century, the mind-enslaving specter of “Progress” was seen through the voracious expansion of industry, the collapse of small communities into cities, and the reduction of families into financial units driven by jobs.

People ask, “What would our alternative be?”

The conservative answer is to remove all regulation of the job market and to allow reward to go only to those who can achieve results, which in turn limits labor to the necessary and also radically reduces costs so that people can live on less and be happier. This would lead to less time spent at jobs, because they would be task-driven and not appearance-driven.

In addition, the regulatory state creates a need to keep up with standards to avoid legal liability and government intervention. This directs the focus of management from making things happen to dealing with labor and legal issues. Most managers are not very good at what they do, in part because their real job is to find a way to work with the regulatory state, not get their workers to perform.

If a conservative took over with absolute power, the intermediates between worker and employer like unions, regulations, and legally-defined liabilities would vanish and be handled instead by civil courts. Workers would find themselves as more like contractors, hired to make a certain function happen and rewarded for it. They would have greater pride in their work and most of it would be necessary, as opposed to the current scheme where most of it is not necessary.

Existential concerns would come into play here. When work is not a mandatory time period, but a question of achieving results, people can see the time value of labor and conversely, the monetary value of time. This encourages them to go home, spend time with friends and families and on cultural activities instead of attending extra hours for the sake of appearance.

We need only look at the Dutch model to see how less job means more happiness.

One Dutch woman explicitly states that less time at the job means more liberation and ability to have a positive life. As Macleans reports:

“Every woman in Holland can do whatever she wants with her life,” says Van Haeren, 52, who lives just outside of Rotterdam and rides her bicycle or the train to work three days a week at a police academy, where she counsels students. She has worked part-time her entire career, as have almost all of her friends—married or unmarried, kids or no kids—save one or two who logged more hours out of financial necessity. Van Haeren, who wasn’t married until last year and has no children, says she’s worked part-time “to have time to do things that matter to me, live the way I want. To stay mentally and physically healthy and happy.”

Many women in the Netherlands seem to share similar views, valuing independence over success in the workplace. In 2001, nearly 60 per cent of working Dutch women were employed part-time, compared to just 20 per cent of Canadian women. Today, the number is even higher, hovering around 75 per cent. Some, like Van Haeren, view this as progress, evidence of personal freedom and a commitment to a balanced lifestyle.

The article goes on to show what a world without job mania might look like:

Ellen de Bruin, who patterned her book after Mireille Guiliano’s bestseller French Women Don’t Get Fat, began by defining the stereotypical Dutch woman: naturally beautiful with a no-fuss sense of style, she rides her bike to fetch the groceries, has ample time with her kids and husband, takes art classes in the middle of the week, and spends leisurely afternoons drinking coffee with her friends. She loves to work part-time and does not earn as much as her husband, but she’s fine with that—he takes care of the bills. The book went on to note that Dutch women rank consistently low, compared to those in other Western countries, in terms of representation in top positions in business and government—and rank consistently near the top in terms of happiness and well-being.

As an article in The Economist amplifies, this is a prioritization of existential concerns and lifestyle over the demands of commerce:

When I talk to women who spend half the week doing what they want—playing sports, planting gardens, doing art projects, hanging out with their children, volunteering, and meeting their family friends—I think, yes, that sounds wonderful. I can look around at the busy midweek, midday markets and town squares and picture myself leisurely buying produce or having coffee with friends. In a book released several years ago called Dutch Women Don’t Get Depressed—a parody of French Women Don’t Get Fat—Dutch psychologist Ellen de Bruin explains that key to a Dutch woman’s happiness is her sense of personal freedom and a good work-life balance. But it’s hard to transplant that image to the United States, where our self-esteem is so closely tied to our work.

Conservatives owe it to ourselves to look at the root of tradition, which is reverence for life itself, including the natural environment and the existential need to find excellence and joy in existence. Jobs obliterate this and replace it with Soviet-style grim obedience and grueling time expenditure on the doomed. It is time conservatives got off this chain and began fighting for life itself over the pointless obligation of jobs.

Missing the point on the marshmallow experiment

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Over at Grey Enlightenment, a classic experiment revisited:

Since 2008, economically and socially, we’re also seeing the rise of the ‘deferers’ – the high-IQ kids who deferred eating the marshmallow, now grown-up, and are reaping all the fruits of prosperity in our ‘new economy’, getting richer than ever while the ‘eaters’ are on the lower echelons of society, stuck with crappy, low social status jobs and bad relationships, assuming they even have jobs.

Unfortunately this assessment misses the point. Our problem is not that the smart are getting ahead the expense of everyone else, but that they are not. Instead, we have a quasi-intelligent middle layer that has taken over, and by doing so, has crowded out anyone who “knows better” about its little schemes, which periodically break down into depressions.

What has happened in the economy since 2008 by the way is what always happens: the quasi-intelligent but obedient and diligent (read: “frequently in attendance”) get promoted because they are good little cogs that in theory make people money by being in that desk chair. The intelligent are demoted because no one understands what they are going on about, and the truly mediocre are paired down as soon as their roles can be replaced by automation.

We are promoting those who are best at taking tests, studying, repeating in detail what they were once told and staying abreast of talking points and current vocabulary, not our brightest. Like all societies, ours is collapsing because we set up a single path to success through schooling and then dumbed it down to fit the audience, so now we have mostly useless people even at the higher levels.

This is just one manifestation of the gradual takeover of our society by a single idea, equality. On the surface it sounds good, but underneath it is a cauldron of guilt and instability. As Breitbart News reports from Europe:

Migrants have placed their babies, toddlers and young children on railway tracks in Greece in a bid to blackmail European authorities into reopening their borders.

…“We understood the EU advocates human rights not human trafficking”, and, “I’m child and might not know much, but I believe treating people disrespectful for being born on the other side of the planet is called: ‘RACISM’”, added others.

…Around 36,000 have been trapped in Greece recently, unable to move on to their preferred destinations – namely Germany and Sweden.

The message is simple: when you don’t get what you want, use an equality spell to demand others give it to you!

It’s the same thing that happened with education and jobs. At first, education went to those who had a background for it. Then it needed to expand, to democratize, so they started “educating” others — but of course, these lacked the invisible abilities of the original group. The judgment, the depth of thought, the perception. So we faked it. We made up a bunch of tests and memorization contests to reward people of quasi-intelligence in place of the actually intelligent.

Now, you will rarely find anyone in this society who is mentally competent in the important ways. They have no judgment skills because their general intelligence is high but not high enough. You do not get outright incompetents like Angela Merkel ruling nations until the smarter people have been driven into hiding. And that’s where they are, hoping it will all blow over, as they live ordinary suburban lives.

The rest of our worker culling is easily explained: Technology has enabled business to collapse its worker pool and, upon observing that most workers spend all day on Facebook, it probably had little compunction about thinning the herd further. Why bother keeping around the useless? Your competitors will not.

Anti-work conservatives

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
jobs_are_monkey_behavior

Jobs are misery. Conservatives do not know how to respond to this because so much of the right is awash in “work hard and go to church” style thinking, but if we get to the core of conservatism, we can see an answer. Conservatism conserves the best that humanity has discovered. This includes liberating people from horrible jobs.

That task contains two parts. First, we can stop sending people to unnecessary jobs; second, we can make existing jobs better. This requires confronting a reality that offends the egalitarianism of conservatives, and using solutions that offend the special snowflake pretenses of liberals.

Eliminating unnecessary jobs requires rethinking work. An obstacle that arises here is that in our media-government lingo, “creating jobs” is always good, so our political authorities will oppose this idea. On the other hand, the way they create jobs — subdividing existing tasks and creating more by law — reduces the value of the end product, so there may be more opposition to them than they know.

The most important part of the idea of “unnecessary jobs” is the “unnecessary” part. Any role which does not directly produce can be eliminated by reducing the vast amount of regulation that requires paper-shuffling roles, and providing indemnity for corporations against certain kinds of lawsuits. Without civil rights, union-related and other government-imposed categories of liability, many paper-pushers could be sent home. In the same way, we could cut out a lot of middle management if companies were more free to hire and fire.

“But that’s against the worker!” says the well-educated (i.e. witless) modern person. Actually, it’s a question of what benefits the worker. Being able to quickly transition jobs, and having lower costs, benefits the worker by giving them more flexibility with fewer obligations that keep them entrenched in the nine to five. If we stripped aside all of the regulatory and liability crap we’ve added since 1945 or so, the average worker would have a lot more money and it would become easier to find new jobs because hiring would be less expensive. This would liberate many people from ugly job situations and force management to treat its employees better as a result.

In addition, we could halve the workforce by sending women home to have families. Those that are unmarried can live with their parents so that, instead of spending two decades in casual sex while wasting time at paper-pushing jobs, they can instead get started with families and have more time after the kids are grown to do fun stuff. Our bars, cafes and shops are filled with lonely single women who are wasting time trying to “date” when they should be looking for a marriageable candidate and creating a family instead.

That act alone would obliterate the perceived need for importing workers. Suddenly, we would have plenty, and competition would return in a positive form that emphasizes finding the best possible match for any job that is possible. Right now, hiring people is expensive and full of legal risk, so employers are highly conservative in how they hire. If that changed, they would take more chances on unproven workers and move many people up in the hierarchy.

In addition, we could shift our culture from a fatalistic celebration of the do-nothing cube slave job into one where proficiency was valued and thus, people took pride not in having a certain job, but in doing that job well. This in turn would reduce the manic number of hours people worked by redirecting our measurement of competence from time spent participating to results obtained.

Improving existing jobs requires making jobs relevant, useful and empowering. Jobs bore just about everyone because they are often “pro forma” or make-work done for the sake of appearances, repetitive and show no result other than a tiny detail in a large mostly redundant process. The solution here is to reverse all of those traits.

People feel power when they can have an effect. This means that they have an identifiable portion of the whole. Think of the credits at the end of a movie; even if a person has only a small role, they are listed and their work is shown as part of its necessary relationship to the whole production. Empowering people in the only sane meaning translates into giving them control over something where they will rise or fall based on performance, which encourages them to perform instead of languish.

In turn, giving people power reduces the extraneous and repetitious jobs because instead of the assembly-line mentality, where many people do small steps, someone walks a process through from beginning to end. At this point in our technological history, assembly lines are for robots; craftsmanship is for humans, and this applies to everything from filing loan applications to cooking a four-course meal. With the power to see a task from inception to completion, people feel they are masters of their own fate and boredom is reduced, as is job redundancy.

Employers counter this with the viable argument that it is hard to replace workers, so it is better to have a dozen cogs than two superstars. One solution to this is to hire people as contractors, and another is to avoid super-specializing jobs and instead, finding intelligent people and expecting them to “sink or swim” with learning the job. While this sounds cruel, it also gives them a sense of accomplishment and builds skills in a way that school never can.

This approach has to take into account congenital intelligence and temperament. Someone from farther right on the Bell Curve will by nature be less tolerant of repetition and lulls in the development process. Such workers need fewer hours of more intensity, where slower workers need the comfort of repetition and confirmation. This leads to conflict with the democratic ideology of empowerment through granularity.

The egalitarian ideal desires robotic, redundant jobs. In the minds of those who think equality is a solution to the challenges of life, the best job is one that anyone can do if given the right instruction. This approach eliminates the internal traits like judgment, aesthetics and depth of understanding and replaces them with external abilities like memorization, obedience and surface-level perception. Cogs utilize external traits; craftspeople use internal ones.

In an effort to validate our ideology of egalitarianism, we have made jobs into the type of dual hierarchy seen on Star Trek: a few main characters at the top do all the interesting stuff, and everyone else is a “red shirt” who can die and be replaced with zero interruption in the storyline. Egalitarian societies tend toward such “flat hierarchies with rock stars” because their ideology cannot admit the variation in natural ability, so it reduces everyone to a single level and elevates some on the basis of their supreme obedience. This does not promote the best, and as a side effect, it makes the people at the top remote and authoritarian. It is one of the supreme failings of egalitarian social orders.

Back in present-day reality, most people spend eight or more hours at the job and at least two preparing and commuting to work. This reduces their free time to fourteen hours a day, eight of which goes to sleep, which means they have six hours in which to exercise, eat and relax. That is enough time to waste on television, the internet or video games, but not enough to embark on any projects of significance, which keeps people forever in a loop where they go through repetitive days but never get a chance to work toward a real goal. They have time to make model planes, but not to build a plane, at least if they also want to get enough sleep to be healthy. Naturally, since the small amount of free time they have is where people have the most power and are most effective, they cheat on their time, which creates a society of sleep-deprived, bored, lifeless and zoned-out zombies staggering around going through the motions of unnecessary, irrelevant and demeaning jobs.

Conservatives have eschewed talking about the horrors of work because so much of our mythos in America rests in the “put your head down, work hard and get ahead” mentality, which itself is a compensatory behavior that arises in lieu of taking society as a whole in a positive direction. It is what people do when they believe they have lost and cannot change anything but themselves, so they desire to be successful as a means of offsetting the fact that their society is careening headfirst into the toilet.

However, the time has come to speak of all the ways in which the egalitarian liberal ideology has failed us since taking control starting in 1789. It has made life more boring, more crassly commercial, and more slave-like. It has given us “freedom” but then, because we must support the mass of others, strapped us into suicidally stupid, boring and ugly lifestyles in order to keep the system going. Like the Soviet Union, it removes the natural nature of free markets, free association and collaboration and replaces them with obedience and utilitarian, one-size-fits-all solutions. Since work is part of this, it should be noted that egalitarianism has failed there as well, and we should not be afraid to speak up for achieving a less miserable existence through an anti-work mentality.