Jack Saturday

Monday, November 27, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1696-1698

At 1,500-plus pages, the Flower Ornament isn’t likely to become a bestseller in the Twitter age. It offers, though, a model of community unlike any other. Nation-states may be dominant in the world as we know it, but the Flower Ornament suggests we take a bigger view. Globalism 1.0—the ancient Mauryan version—probably failed because the world still lacked the communications network it enjoys today. In our day, Globalism 2.0 is falling apart for a different reason. We have the technology but misunderstand what connects us as people: not just our similarities but—even more—our differences.
Kurt Spellmeyer, Globalism 3.0
 [emphasis JS]

As if all this is dependent on the archaic compulsion of exchanging our capacity to labour for wages or a salary. Technology should not be deployed to create more bullshit jobs so more people can spend their best years doing meaningless, socially useless tasks. It should be deployed to reduce the working week, to spread the wealth we create, and to make us free from the necessity of waged labour. The future has to be something better than a human being chained to a desk, forever. And it totally can be.
The Basic Income and the Cult of Work


 LONDON — One need not be a card-carrying revolutionary to deduce that global capitalism has a problem.

In much of the world, angry workers denounce a shortage of jobs paying enough to support middle-class life. Economists puzzle over the fix for persistently weak wage growth, just as robots appear poised to replace millions of human workers. At the annual gathering of the global elite in the Swiss resort of Davos, billionaire finance chieftains debate how to make capitalism kinder to the masses to defuse populism.

Enter the universal basic income.
Yet from a political standpoint, basic income appears to have found its moment, one delivered by the anxieties of the working poor combined with those of the wealthy, who see in widening inequality the potential for mobs yielding pitchforks

Capitalism Has a Problem. Is Free Money the Answer?

New York Times
NOV. 15, 2017


Monday, November 20, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1693-1695

Philadelphia, by Franklin's time, answered less and less to the religious vision that William Penn had started off with. The city was becoming a kind of high-output machine, materials and labor going in, goods and services coming out, traffic inside flowing briskly about a grid of regular city blocks. The urban mazework of London, leading into ambiguities and indeed evils, was here all rectified, orthogonal. (Dickens, visiting in 1842, remarked, "After walking about in it for an hour or two, I felt that I would have given the world for a crooked street.") Spiritual matters were not quite as immediate as material ones, like productivity. Sloth was no longer so much a sin against God or spiritual good as against a particular sort of time, uniform, one-way, in general not reversible -- that is, against clock time, which got everybody early to bed and early to rise. 
BY the time of "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street" (1853), acedia had lost the last of its religious reverberations and was now an offense against the economy. Right in the heart of robber-baron capitalism, the title character develops what proves to be terminal acedia. It is like one of those western tales where the desperado keeps making choices that only herd him closer to the one disagreeable finale. Bartleby just sits there in an office on Wall Street repeating, "I would prefer not to." While his options go rapidly narrowing, his employer, a man of affairs and substance, is actually brought to question the assumptions of his own life by this miserable scrivener -- this writer! -- who, though among the lowest of the low in the bilges of capitalism, nevertheless refuses to go on interacting anymore with the daily order, thus bringing up the interesting question: who is more guilty of Sloth, a person who collaborates with the root of all evil, accepting things-as-they-are in return for a paycheck and a hassle-free life, or one who does nothing, finally, but persist in sorrow?
The Deadly Sins/Sloth; Nearer, My Couch, to Thee
New York Times
[emphasis JS]
Thanks to Derek Robinson

Describing almost all of us 20 years ago, Godin writes in The Icarus Deception,
“The unsure employee is putty in the hands of the manager seeking to give directions. When you decide you’re not talented enough or not ready to speak up, when you buy the line about not being well trained or well born enough to make a difference, you cede your power to those in authority.”
Seth is not describing work ethic. He is describing conformity; conformity, in most cases, to a value system of endless hours at the office at the expense of our personal lives. Worst of all, our efforts were not met, in most cases, with a corresponding likelihood of those efforts returning what we were chasing — partnership, a corner office, a huge slug of equity that gets cashed out when the company is sold … In some cases, the effort panned out. In most, it did not.
Millennials Will Work Hard, Just Not for Your Crappy Job
Brett Cenkus

Work time too often bleeds into home time as work loads are impossible to manage as task piles upon task. Or at any time the phone threatens to go with a "request" to come in, shattering your free time and reminding you your time is their largesse. Too many workplaces are permanently short staffed, and the experience of work is a dizzying affair of plate spinning and routine. Life isn't for enjoyment, it's a treadmill for countless millions who realise when they reach retirement that they're too knackered or too ill to do the things they always wished to. Life is far too short to be spent and bent in involuntary servitude, especially when work can be planned and shared out equitably.
The Basic Income and the Cult of Work

Monday, November 13, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1690-1692

What is the common denominator between the mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, the pundit Mark Halperin, the venture capitalist Dave McClure, and the aggressive former boss of a customer-service supervisor I interviewed last week?

All are accused of dreadful sexual harassment, and in some cases violent assault. All also had inordinate economic advantage over their female employees and colleagues. Their quarry ranged from actresses to journalists to female entrepreneurs. And what their prey all had in common was a fear of financial or professional retribution that could destabilize already precarious careers.
The daily deluge of tales of lechery and trauma holds a hidden but crucial truism: sexual harassment routinely feeds on income inequality. After all, it’s much harder to exploit an equal. The greater the imbalance of income and power, the more opportunity there is to abuse one’s advantage (and perhaps, a greater temptation).
What's the common denominator among sexual harassers? Too often, it's money.

Alissa Quart
Thursday 9 November 2017

(emphasis JS)

 “many health-care professionals point to the lack of parent involvement beyond the first 16 months as a primary contributing factor.” Dr. Himmelstrand concludes, “making childrearing a state responsibility has not proven to be a success.”

How Do We Reconcile This Conundrum?

John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, and generally regarded as the Father of Attachment Theory, with Mary Ainsworth, an American psychologist, emphasized the significance of our first infant/mother bond in historic studies in “Attachment and Loss” (1969-1982). They found attachment is the necessary prerequisite to a successful learner within a safe, secure and stable home with an empathic and nurturing environment.
The Canadian Institute of Child Health in Ottawa (1999, 2008), reports the brain at birth is highly underdeveloped. While billions of cells are built into the physical structure, the “wiring” between them will be laid out by environmental stimulation.
Remarkably, this increase in social problems among the young also coincides with an increase of children in varied child-care arrangements. In Child Care in Canada (2011), Statistics Canada reports over the last three decades, the need for child care has grown steadily with the rise in employment rates among women, dual-income families, along with lone-parent and step-families. The employment rate of women with children under six has more than doubled between 1976 and 2009 from 31% to 67% (Ferrao 2010).14 The majority of parents (86%) used child care arrangements on a regular basis. 1
Should this trend prove to be a primary contributing factor, the following generations may well be swamped by a tsunami of social problems.
The best funded and best constructed daycare, even dressed up as “early childhood education,” cannot fulfill the child’s biological need for parental attachment. Consistency and stability cannot be ensured even in the best of daycares. Sufficient ratios of adult to child will always be a struggle to maintain. Staff will change as their personal lives dictate. This is a job, after all, and emotional investment is not the primary bond.
(emphasis JS)

 The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another's labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live.
Leo Tolstoy

Monday, November 06, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1687-1689

Free time, as IG Metall argues, is essential for basic dignity; to care for ourselves and our communities, we need time away from generating profit for employers. Just as importantly, we need it to realize our human potential. Our ability to think independently, experience romance, nurture friendships, and pursue our own curiosities and passions requires time that is ours, time that belongs neither to the boss nor the market. At its core, the campaign for fewer working hours is about liberation, both individually and collectively.
Today, however, with wages flat and precarious employment often the norm, many people, particularly those at the beginning of their working lives, no longer toil under the illusion that putting in more time is the key to dignity and happiness. How could it be, when decent pensions are a thing of the past?
On the more theoretical side, there is a major rhetorical battle to be fought over notions of work as a source of meaning.
The moment is again ripe to mobilize and claim for ourselves as much of our mortal time as we can.
The Fight for Free Time
Miya Tokumitsu
Jacobin magazine

[emphasis JS]

 For the former chancellor George Osborne, it was about skivers v strivers. For IDS, poverty was the rotten fruit of broken families, addiction or debt. Neither man, nor the rest of their party, can accept what their rightwing counterparts in Finland do: that poverty is no more than a lack of money.
A basic income for everyone? Yes, Finland shows it really can work
Aditya Chakrabortty

 There is no neutral education. Education is either for domestication
or for freedom.

Joao Coutinho

Summerhill Movie: here.