wage_slave

Wage Slavery

“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” – Aristotle

From birth to death, work dominates every second of our lives ;  ‘The working week’,  ‘nine-to-five’, weekends,  lunch hours, commutes and careers have completely supplanted the natural rhythms of the sun and the stars.

Since labour became industrialised workers themselves have become machine-like; we are now cogs, specialising in one task repeated until the worker is exhausted or broken(the final promotion; a cog heaven overseen by a benign bearded boss). As a cog we are led to believe we are promoting our own interest when in fact we are only keep the machine running for the benefit of the machines owners; the shareholders, banks et al.

Work defines our personalities and validates our existence yet most of the work we do is at best useless and meaningless (let’s face it, if you stopped right now, would it make any real difference?) or at worst harmful to ourselves and others. Our labour is wasted; endlessly focused at creating surplus for the profit of others rather than efficiently solving problems of global and urgent importance. Even when we have achieved ‘enough’ we are misled and oblivious to the fact.

Work distorts our behavior and forces us into aggressive competitions with our fellow humans, promoting an individualistic culture of backstabbing, greed and egotism rather than of cooperation and mutualism. Work deforms our relationships  and separates us from our children – placing their upbringing into the hands of others (which in reality is nothing but a preparation for their ‘working lives’) .

The unanimity that work is beneficial, mandatory even,  is reinforced by cultural, political (all  political parties are primarily concerned with the promotion and control of labour; it’s ownership, organisation and value.) and religious proclamation: the inverse of work is defined only as sloth – a mortal sin in the christian canon.

Worst of all, work betrays the possibility of human potential by presenting us with a cul-de-sac of limited ambition; we’re continually kept on the treadmill by the promise of  pay rises, twenty day holidays and retirement. A constant reiteration, if it was ever necessary, of our lack of control over our own destinies.

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