Jack Saturday

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 445-448

Dr. Diane Fassel and I wrote The Addictive Organization. Since the publication of that book, thousands of people have spoken or written to us about their recovery and what has happened to them in their addictive organizations as a result of their personal recovery. Their words differ, and the stories are essentially the same. They go like this: I’m an addict, alcoholic, workaholic, whatever kind of addict, it doesn’t matter. I‘m in recovery, and feel good about my recovery, it’s going well—my life has really I improved, and I basically feel happy. Because of my recovery, and I believe, the changes in me, my family is changing. We are all actually getting better.

But I am not sure that I can maintain my sobriety and continue to work in my addictive workplace. If I really put my sobriety first, I cannot continue to work where I do.

Often I suggest to these people that they attend Al-Anon, with the workplace as the addict in their lives. As I talked with people about their sobriety and what they needed to do to stay healthy, I found some interesting phenomena emerging. As people get healthier, they are no longer able to support the level of pathology that is present in their workplace. One of two things usually happens—as the individuals get healthier than the system in which they work, they either leave and start their own entrepreneurial efforts, or they get fired. They cannot stay and remain sober; and the workplace cannot tolerate persons who no longer support the pathology of the organization.
Anne Wilson Shaef
Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science

When we sell our time at the job, someone else then "owns" our time; within certain limits, it is the bosses' to do with as they want. But we are not disconnected from our time. We either have to pretend we are, and so drift through the working day by imagining we are somewhere else, daydreaming, or we have to admit that the central and governing hours of our daily life are not our own.
Tom Wayman

Who first invented work, and bound the free
And holyday-rejoicing spirit down
To the ever-haunting importunity
Of business in the green fields, and the town-
To plough, loom, anvil, spade - and oh! most sad
To that dry drudgery at the desk's dead wood?
Charles Lamb

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dead Workers Update

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 441-444

Joe is an insurance analyst. He gets up very early and drives to work, further congesting the already overcrowded morning rush. During the drive, his car pumps poison into the air. At work, he alternates between slacking off and doing insurance analysis, with an emphasis on the former but always with great care to look busy. What little analysis he performs is used by the company to maximize profits through tiny tweaks to peoples’ insurance rates. Finally he goes home, his car pumping more toxin into the world. Exhausted, he watches some TV and hits the sack.
Societal contribution: FAIL.
That same day, Joe’s neighbor Bob calls in pretending to be sick. Instead of working, he throws a potluck and invites lots of friends who live nearby. At the get-together, new friendships are formed, connections are made. People laugh and talk about everything under the sun. Guests are introduced to new types of food and music. Both of them a little buzzed, Bob ends up hooking up with that nice girl down the street after the party. In short, everyone has a really cool time.
Societal contribution: KACHING!
How To Contribute To Society
Sam Alexander

I did what I thought I was supposed to do. A bachelors degree, part of a masters degree. Then a series of ladder climbing, mind-numbing, thankless corporate jobs in my field. Then layoffs...then corporate burn-out.
Comments section

Unemployed? More like funemployed
Globe And Mail

Jason Rodriguez, an unemployed man in Florida, entered the engineering firm where he used to work and shot six people, killing one, then drove to his mother's house, where he was arrested. "I'm just going through a tough time right now,"
he told a police officer. "I'm sorry."
Harper’s Weekly
November 10, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Steel Collar Workers Update

Friday, November 13, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 438-440

That all social violence--whether by war, revolution or economic exploitation--is ultimately a consequence of child abuse should not surprise us. The propensity to reinflict childhood traumas upon others in socially-approved violence is actually far more able to explain and predict the actual outbreak of wars than the usual economic motivations, and we are likely to continue to undergo our periodic sacrificial rituals of war if the infliction of childhood trauma continues. Clear evidence has been published in The Journal of Psychohistory that the more traumatic one's childhood, the more one is likely to be in favor of military solutions to social problems.
The History of Child Abuse
by Lloyd deMause
The Journal of Psychohistory 25 (3) Winter 1998

My friend, John Farina, who is Deputy Director of the University of Toronto's School of Social Work, suggested in his master's thesis that leisure was a synonym for freedom. Leisure, in Aristotle's phrase, is "the state of being free from the necessity of labour" (the italics are mine). But Farina also pointed out that true leisure, as opposed to "free time," presupposed two things: the freedom to choose what one does and the capacity to choose what one does. Without these two prerequisites, true leisure and true freedom are not possible.
Pierre Berton,
The Smug Minority, p. 43

From the beginning, civilization--as well as people's daily lives--has been structured in large part around the concept of work. But now, for the first time in history, human labor is being systematically eliminated from the economic process. In the coming century, employment, as we have come to know it, is likely to be phased out in most of the industrial nations of the world. A new generation of sophisticated information and communication technologies is being introduced into a wide variety of work situations. These machines, together with new forms of business reorganization and management, are forcing millions of blue- and white-collar workers into temporary jobs and unemployment lines-- or worse, breadlines.
Jeremy Rifkin,
Utne Reader,
May-June 1995

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 435-437

A man working 8 hours a day, 250 days a year, generated 37½ million foot-pounds of energy. Each day, at that rate, he produces 0.13 kilowatt-hours. As an energy source, he is worth far less than coolie's wages. In 1940, it was calculated that in energy prices then current, a $50,000 a year executive was being paid as though he developed 16,500,000 kilowatt-hours per annum. Neither he, nor the worker, is "earning” his pay-- they are both drawing dividends at a fantastic rate.
Hugh Kenner,

Oh, the Marxists talked a good game - working in the morning, fishing in the afternoon, lounging around to watch the sunset; 20-hour workweeks; month-long vacations; etc. But when you get down to it, they are still drawing from the same poisoned well that has parched Western civilization for the last 500 years: the Protestant Ethic, which freed Europe from Catholic voodoo only to feed its heads with doodoo, such as "work is the outward sign of moral perfection." While Luther was telling people that what counted was faith and the Holy Spirit, not work and deeds, Calvin helped spread silly ideas, like the one that people had to be at constant physical labor or idleness would tempt them to sin. Deep down, this is the root of the Puritan Ethic: why even today the neo-Puritans hate Hollywood with such passion: they feel that if we are not kept busy with mindless, rote work, then we will be seized by the carnal passions and led to sin.
Steve Mizrach

Were mechanisation an end in itself, it would be an unmitigated calamity, robbing life of half its fulness and variety by stunting men and women into sub-human, robot-like automatons. But in the last resort, mechanisation can have only one object: to abolish the individual's physical toil of providing himself [sic] with the necessities of existence in order that hand and brain may be set free for some higher order of activity.
Professor Walter Gropius