Who Owns Your Soul?

Why should people work sixteen-hour, twelve-hour, ten-hour shifts? I’m lucky enough to have been born and live in a Western European industrialised nation where that isn’t the norm. But plenty of people do it, particularly when you need the extra cash. The point is we have a society which has advanced to a level where that’s unnecessary. We might squeeze more productivity out with the extra dollar that’s involved, but we shouldn’t have to. We could maintain ourselves healthily and have a decent work/life balance without killing ourselves. By that I mean, we’re efficient enough, mechanised enough and incorrupt enough to have some leeway.

I’m deliberately ignoring debt here which would need a separate post. Imagine we are debt free, nobody had sold dodgy financial products to anyone, and we hadn’t ramped up our national debt in our never-ending fictitious cycle of wealth creation.

We have the ability and knowhow to live sustainable decent lives. But it’s like we only value profit. Imagine the difference it would make if we gave social capital the same value. Community projects and volunteering would be done because we have the time to do it in and not as some shoddy patch to the austerity measures being enacted against the welfare state. France had a four and half day working week for years didn’t it? I’d like to see a four-day working week. Think of the benefits that would have to family lives. Raising your kids well would be ten times easier no? With everything that implies.

At the minute it seems like we even create jobs no one wants to do. We have courses in jobs no one wants to do. Careers in things that don’t really exits…except you’ve got to live through them somehow. There are huge enticements to get yourself into debt and fund the cycle all at the expense of some teenager that’s being promised the keys to the kingdom if they sell their soul to the bank. What is this system? What does it mean that the youngest adults in society are mortgaging their futures to support an increasingly old population? If I were them, I wouldn’t be very happy when I finished further education and found out the advanced telephone operative skills degree, I’d just bought off NatWest was effectively obsolete. Part of what’s got me thinking like this is hearing of a barista job in Wales where there were three hundred applicants. Who are all these people? Do they all have degrees in coffee throthing, or I don’t know roof tile cleansing? Because some job advisor told them about the amazing position, they’d have at the end of the further education machine? Get a degree – your sorted. Well you’re sorted in as much as you’ll spend a lifetime paying it off, but as far as a job goes…better fight all those other applicants for the coffee serving position. Why can’t we have real jobs again? Ones that actually exist and that don’t take up all your time. It would be handy wouldn’t it? To have work that hasn’t been imagined into existence to make us all middle-class professionals.

Not that I’m saying work doesn’t exist. If you are prepared to do it. Why should you though if you’ve a masters in pro level coffee throthing?

I think its time for a universal wage. Let’s take the power back. If we were all paid a certain guaranteed amount no matter our income think of the time for us to do real stuff that would free up. I’ve already mentioned raising families, what about looking out for each other? What about all those schemes you thought of when you were putting things in boxes? Instead of the financial system effectively owning us we would have the independence to give it two fingers and get on with what’s really important. If we wanted…

The consequence of treating people like machines has got to be enormous, thousands….millions of brutalised people brutalising other people because that’s the way it is. Grow up ey. Get with the program. They all did.


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