Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations 229, 230
Top Dogs are Less Stressed
The U.S. economy does not come close to providing decent employment — enough jobs — for everyone who wants to work.
A Dubious Milestone
By Bob Herbert
New York Times
Published: June 21, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Working 'makes us happy', an expert has claimed.
Working 'makes us happy'
Prof Mansel Aylward advised us to wander to work with a spring in our step and a smile on our face, happy to avoid the depression of unemployment...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
why bother creating or inventing if you get money for doing nothing? this was one of the fundamental problems of socialist russia. without stimulus, economic or otherwise, people turn into lazy, apathetic fucks.
I’m so sorry you feel you are a lazy, apathetic fuck without “stimulus.” You are certainly not alone, many agree with you that without a carrot or a stick they—or perhaps not they but others, are lazy apathetic fucks.
Now of course without the stimulus of healthy food, water, shelter, clothes, and on top of that a decent environment in which to live, people indeed may become apathetic.
But you see, carrots and sticks are for donkeys. I can’t help but think either you are in an asylum full of drugged people (which the USA itself seems to be becoming), or you are an academic who doesn’t look around at real people.
I have never met an apathetic lazy fuck, either among the homeless, those on the dole, or the poor slaves in the job system. Unfortunately the latter are in many cases too damned exhausted to use their energy to do what they want. And clinical depression can be very debilitating. But anyone I’ve ever met with a little, or, better, a lot of free time, plus some cash, dive into projects, or energetic play, gardening, or bicycling, or kayaking, etc, or if they are artists or thinkers, into reading projects, writing, art, music, poetry, social activism, volunteering, working with kids or old folks, improving the planet. Human beings are the most creative, energetic animals on the planet—beavers and bees spend most of their time apparently “doing nothing.” As do almost all animals once fed. Lions are extremely lazy fucks.
How sad that you have lost this inborn incentive, my guess is long ago when you started school, when all your energy went into doing what the teacher wanted, so you could get some kind of reward. It’s well known after psychological studies that if you pay kids to do what they love, soon they won’t do it at all unless they are paid. That is how lazy fucks are born, and artists and inventors die.
Finally: A GLI (Guaranteed Livable Income) isn’t “pay for doing nothing.” It’s a basic income for being a human being on a planet heaped with too much wealth for the few who stagger around under it, and on which the job system is being eaten away by technology. It’s like your mother’s breast, which in my guess you never got: it’s like watering a plant, or a planet. The plant “does nothing” until it is fed and watered in decent soil—then stand back. Set people free of the yoke of selling themselves, and watch the renaissance.
Your unpaid friend,
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations 227, 228
Friday, June 13, 2008
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotation 226
By D. H. Lawrence
--What is he?
A man, of course.
--Yes, but what does he do?
He lives and is a man.
--Oh quite! But he must work. He must have a job of some sort.
--Because obviously he’s not one of the leisured classes.
I don’t know. He has lots of leisure. And he makes quite beautiful chairs.
--There you are then! He’s a cabinet maker.
--Anyhow a carpenter and joiner.
Not at all.
--But you said so.
What did I say?
--That he made chairs, and was a joiner and carpenter.
I said he made chairs, but I did not say he was a carpenter.
--All right then, he’s just an amateur.
Perhaps! Would you say a thrush was a professional flautist, or just an amateur?
--I’d say it was just a bird.
And I did say he is just a man.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Wise Old Man 4: Utah Philips, May 15, 1935 -- May 23, 2008
Jenny and I were on a BC Ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwasen, bound for the Vancouver Folk Fest—I was going to see Utah Philips, the hobo folksinger and storyteller. We sat in the middle of a large seating area toward the bow of the big boat. An old guy with an impressive white beard was walking beside a good-looking older woman. They wended their way around, turned to go find a seat themselves, and Utah Philips came and sat right beside me. The woman was Rosalie Sorrels. We shook hands and chatted. At that time I was not confident enough to engage him, an old Wobbly and philosophical anarchist, on ideas like Guaranteed Livable Income. I was so mad at myself for not doing so that I forced myself to phone a CBC call-in show on work almost as soon as I got back from Vancouver.
I have a clip of Utah talking about his heart condition:
He (a doctor) said ‘are you worried about performing?’ I said look, I’m not a natural, I backed into this trade, this wasn’t a trade of choice, I did it because I got blacklisted in Utah and had to find work. I’ve been sprayed on stage every time I go on, it never changes, I’m a worried, frightened performer. He said ‘OK, if you just hammer your heart with adrenalin for thirty years, you pays your money and you takes your choice.’
Utah Philips had songwriting talent. Johnny Cash wanted to record his songs but Utah didn’t want to buy into the corporate machine. There was plenty of unemployed wealth around that could have saved Mr. Philips from his fear and consequently his death. A simple guaranteed basic livable income, something advocated by half of Nobel economists, and we could have the works of such artists created in leisure without fear of the economic abyss—that is the best soil for the flower of art.
What’s that you say? Artists need their suffering and hardship to make art? Bullshit. William Blake said it:
“…some say that Happiness is not Good for Mortals & they ought to be answerd that Sorrow is not fit for Immortals & is utterly useless to any one-- a blight never does good to a tree & if a blight kill not a tree but it still bear fruit let none say that the fruit was in consequence of the blight.”