Jack Saturday

Monday, February 26, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 118

Thus for the first time since his creation man [sic] will be faced with his real, his permanent prob­lem‑- how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.

The strenuous purposeful money‑makers may carry all of us along with them into the lap of economic abundance. But it will be those peoples, who can keep alive, and cultivate into a fuller perfection, the art of life itself and do not sell themselves for the means of life, who will be able to enjoy the abundance when it comes.
There are changes in other spheres too which we must expect to come. When the accumula­tion of wealth is no longer of high social im­portance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid our­selves of many of the pseudo‑moral principles which have hag‑ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money‑motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession -‑as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life ‑-will be recognised for what it is, a some­what disgusting morbidity, one of those semi­criminal, semi‑pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease. All kinds of social customs and economic practices, affecting the distribu­tion of wealth and of economic rewards and penalties, which we now maintain at all costs, however distasteful and unjust they may be in themselves, because they are tremendously useful in promoting the accumulation of capital, we shall then be free, at last, to discard.

Of course there will still be many people with intense, unsatisfied purposiveness who will blindly pursue wealth‑-unless they can find some plausible substitute. But the rest of us will no longer be under any obligation to applaud and encourage them.
John Maynard Keynes

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 117

Work, without enjoyment, for its own sake, is one of the more unhappy measurements of virtue that superstitious man [sic] has imposed on himself. It may not only be caricatured as the "curse of the drinking classes" and the opiate of the people, but also summed up more seriously by Durkheim as, for most men [sic], "a punishment and a scourge." And by Norman Brown as "pure self-punishment." And therefore a pure culture of guilt.

Until lately, mercantile groups have remained under the spell of the pronouncements in Genesis, that because Adam and his mate sinned, we must "earn our bread with the sweat of our faces"-- or in modern office terms, we must at least "put in time"-- seem to work.

For these reasons, proposals to establish a Guaranteed Annual Income cannot help but inspire fear and anger among business people.

The awful thought arises, that a passage to happiness is possible without paying off the gods by going through the mill.

If this is true, then sacrifices through toil merely waste us. We've been tricked. Suffering is a waste of man-hours. Once the law enables loafers to spend the day happily strumming guitars, the structure of symmetrical retribution tumbles down-- and the expiating power of labor stands exposed for what it is: a dismal superstition.
Alan Harrington,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 116

At one point, we sat in the office for about twenty minutes. During that short time, we witnessed the "disciplinarian" (let's call him Mr. D) deal with several children. One kid - maybe a sophomore - was brought in to be reprimanded for skipping class. During the reprimand, the kid barely made eye contact with Mr. D. He basically looked like he was having an out-of-body and out-of-mind experience - which may have been a most effective escape route as Mr. D's apparent goal was to shame him, humiliate him, and threaten to take him off the ice hockey team.

There was no respect for privacy. The whole "conversation" happened in front of anyone who happened to be in the office. There was no attempt to find out what was going on with the kid or to explore why he wasn't going to class. Mr. D did not even seem particularly concerned about the fact that the kid was basically acting like a zombie. The whole charade seemed like a ritual enactment of the essence of mandatory education today. Mr. D represents institutional authority, the enforcer of the rules, the wielder of the carrot and the stick. He makes it clear that he doesn't care if the kid is *learning* so long as the kid is *showing up.*

After he left, a younger kid came in who apparently was not so alienated from authority and still retained some idea that you could get support navigating difficult situations in school. He was being bullied by kids in the lunchroom and he came in asking for help. Mr. D talked to him the same way he talked to the other kid - his words and his tone moving along the narrow spectrum between shaming, blaming, and humiliating. "What are you doing in here talking to me? I don't want to see you back here. We all have problems sometimes. Get back to class."

Violence, bullying, and mean behavior are expected and almost condoned in this way. It's an institutional norm. Get used to it.

Unenrolling My Daughter from School
Or Choosing Not to "Get Used to It",

Part 2 of Snapshots from School
ZNet Commentary
February 09, 2007

By Cynthia Peters

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 115

"Think raising the minimum wage is a good idea?""Think again."
That was the message of a full-page advertisement that appeared in major newspapers in January. It was accompanied by statements of approval from the usual eminent suspects: "The reason I object to the minimum wage is I think it destroys jobs, and I think the evidence on that, in my judgment, is overwhelming." Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman "The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum wage laws." Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist. Well, if raising the minimum wage can produce such negative consequences, then surely it is clear what we as an enlightened and humane people must do. We must lower the minimum wage. And thus enjoy less unemployment, less social unrest. Indeed, if we lower the minimum wage to zero, particularly for poor blacks ... think of it! ... No unemployment at all! Hardly any social unrest! In fact -- dare I say it? -- What if we did away with wages altogether?
William Blum
The Anti-Empire Report
February 3, 2007