Return to Main Page
I have been accused of being lazy and lacking work ethic by so many people. Before I get on this rant, I will confess openly that I am indeed lazy, and judged that not on the questionable ethics of this society and its institutions, but on my own merits and knowledge of myself as a human being. One of the best things I have done for myself is to sort out the truth of what I am and what I have done, which is no easy task given the amount of lying and all of the insinuations made about me and those who have associated with me. I can assign fault to myself for things which actually happened, or did not happen, and do not need any imperious thought leader to assign guilt or blame. More to the point, the thought leaders who bray incessantly about "work ethic" do not want any such thing. If they did, they would recognize that productive labor, whether manual or mental, should not be denigrated in the way managerialism has done for the past century. Even the idea of "productivity" was tainted irrevocably by the sick and twisted moral philosophy that dominates this society. Product in the genuine sense has been depreciated, whether the product is a good from industry or the production of human beings and their qualities. I hope in this writing to let off some steam that has built up over the past few months over this issue, because the obnoxiousness of managers and their followers has reached a fever pitch in the online discourse, all of it pushed by the same few assholes who want to defend the plunder of the former United States and whatever else in the world they can take. These people above all have no standing whatsoever to speak of work ethic or anything good in the world. Naturally, they are the ones who have set the standard for what is and is not a "work ethic".
Before this tirade can truly begin, I must make clear the distinction between production of useful qualities, and the production of quantities in a ledger or in the abstract. Among the most useful of Marx's insights in political economy, by his own admission, is the concept of abstract labor, and Marx expounds on the distinction between concrete and abstract labor throughout his writing. Since I've been writing about this very topic in the second book of my series, I have my own thoughts on the matter which diverge from Marx's interpretation. Among the poorer interpretations of Marx's thought is to truly believe that the abstraction of labor in exchange value is itself the substantive cause of alienation, as if we lived in a world where men were good and pure before money came along, and money possessed a spooky power to make men evil and fetishize an idea. Marx's theory of alienation, which I do not share, is something better discussed by the Marxists. No one who works and no one who manages labor believes that the abstraction of exchange or transaction is itself the purpose of society, and that it actually possesses this power that is attributed to it. Marx himself, and the classical political economists before him, did not believe this, and understood well the wage and contract point to a genuine productive process. The pin factory in Adam Smith is nonsensical if this factory itself were a mere abstraction, the details of which were sealed in a black box and unknowable. There would come after Marx very awful charlatans twisting the meaning of money and utility itself, and these perversions of reality became more elaborate over the decades. The utility theory of Jevons and the imperial economists - and you can read all of these works in the small library on my website if you are curious - was suggested as a mathematical and managerial view of labor rather than a scientific of natural one in the sense that is often implied. Poorer economists invent the apocryphal bourgeois man in the desert fetching water from a valet, failing to understand what utility is modeled in exchange and how this is transferred to the process of production itself. What truly happened in the 20th century, and this is my own theory so take it with a grain of salt, is that quantities of abstract labor were depreciated. In the 20th century, production of specific qualities, and sufficient quantities of them relative to an alien quantity to be destroyed, were desired by the ruling interest. In hindisght, this thinking was always active and inherent to the idea of using money or any other accounting unit as a moral tool to discipline production. It would not make sense for a rational manager to cannibalize the society which allows him to continue managing, unless that manager was perfectly aware of the full consequences of his actions. The manager is not a slavish animal mindlessly chasing productivity, as if that was itself the point of life. No one who thinks for five minutes actually believes the neoliberal austerity management model is designed to produce anything. Quite the opposite - the neoliberal model was always designed to destroy as quickly as possible the hated classes and things in society. This is not difficult to see, but it is never to be acknowledged too frankly. To acknowledge it frankly is to acknowledge the neoliberal as a slobbering beast that must never be negotiated with, and that no good person can ever abide.
Over the past century, these ghouls have made their doctrine sacrosanct, above politics and above conventional thought about economics and labor. We are only allowed to speak of labor and economics after the sacrosanctity of eugenics is taken for granted, and that is the core assumption that all are made to dance around. The reasons why are too complicated to expound on here, for this is not just the subject of my current book but the overarching subject of everything I write. In a better world, these neoliberals would be seen as stupid, and should be ignored. Sadly, we do not live in such a world any longer. The managerial mindset itself obscures forces at work which will not tolerate dissent or interference, and I cannot speak of those forces for too long here since it would distract from the topic I chose. The true motives of those who govern society are quite different from any dogma we are exhorted to follow. Those people do not regard for a moment the "work ethic" labor is made to internalize and denigrate themselves over, and they flaunt the distinction between them and the low-grade "copper souls" of the bourgeois producers. The distinction they make is then pawned off to the bourgeois, who inflict an even worse misery on the two classes beneath them, replicating a fake version of the tripartate state we have been cursed with. The bourgeois pretend, in empty vanity, to be the all-knowing and wise leaders, when they in fact possess nothing. The money they are told to covet long ago ceased to mean what money was purported to mean, and the bourgeois are largely aware that this did happen with the creation of central banks and central planning of industry and science. The bourgeois, in short, have no choice but to foist their own misery onto two classes beneath them which replicate the militarization of society. Labor, the fourth class, is restructured into the auxiliaries of bourgeois management. The fifth class of the residuum, the reserve army of labor as it is called, is told from birth to death that their very existence is worthless, and any value extracted to them is an offering to the cargo cult gods. The cargo cult is ascribed then to the bourgeois as a class, thus cleansing the true powers of society of any responsibility for creating the cargo cult in some Madison Avenue PR firm. It is not difficult to see what truly governs this society. The truly rich long ago abandoned the bourgeois mindset and became no different from the princes and priests they ostensibly displaced. The rich never did internalize bourgeois values in that way. Among the victories of the Nazis, claimed by the smarter of them during the post-war tribunals, is the destruction of the bourgeois order. The world of the national security state and siege we have lived under is not a bourgeois society. Pretending it is has been the great stumbling block for extremely online people. It should not be difficult to see past the lying if anyone is at all literate and familiar with what society is and does. Enough people have told the masses what this really is. It is the shameless liars who recapitulate, immediately afterwards, a lie to cover up what world we have lived in, and the lie is always accompanied by a threat if anyone dares to ask questions. I don't know how underground cities, bomb shelters, threats of nuclear war pointed directly at the cities which are the heart of bourgeois life, and the obvious manipulations of technocrats in high places, are compatible with the vision of bourgeois opulence. To believe that requires one to believe that Donald J. Trump is actually a rich man and not a mobbed up media personality. Even the lowest of us down here knew better than that. He was the punchline to many a joke while we grew up, which makes Trump's reign the perfect ending to this joke of a country.
Now, there is work ethic in the genuine sense. A laborer shows up on time, works towards a task that is morally valued, goes home and tends to their life, their family, their community. This is reasonable enough, and we can judge without difficulty labors that are meritorious, useful towards some aim, amd how we might be better tomorrow. The work itself is never the goal. Working to live, or some crude moral objective that is fashioned and taught pedagogically, is not the goal either. We do what we do because there is presumably some good reason for what we do. It does not need to be an alien thing to show up every day to farm the crops, so that you and the rest of humanity has food to eat. Politics and the betrayals of humanity aside, a naive mind like mine would think to himself that there is nothing wrong with this work. If someone can find fault in the mere act of living and farming so that food is available and life can go on, they would need to invoke some cosmic mission or a eugenic sense of justice which is not the justice ordinary people would or should regard. Life to be life will obtain its sustenance, and absent an imperious will to dictate otherwise, no moral claim can seriously be made about life and death. If the imperious will shouts "die, die, die!", as the Malthusians gleefully do, there is no true moral force in the world requiring me to roll over and die for that. The strange thiing about the sick moral philosophy at work is that if I did roll over and die - something I could easily do at present - the Malthusian would shriek in horror at the idea that I would take this matter into my own hands. See, it is not enough to merely kill off the damned. That would be too decent. If the society were truly unlivable and humanity had no way out of this trap, then the only rational thing would be a mass suicide attack against the forces that imposed this condition. Since the forces that imposed this doctrine of life are invariably other humans, this would mean that I would be morally justified and obligated to attack the bastards who scream like maniacs for more blood for the blood god and more skulls for the skull throne. Since shouting "die, die, die!" on its own does not have the moral, spiritual, or temporal force it is believed to have, this would mean in a better world nothing more than shutting up the screamers, so that I could do the thing I wanted to do before this so-called moral philosophy was introduced to the world. The natural world, the world outside of society and Man's influence, did not have it out for us in any such way. To the world, life grows and decays, and whatever natural events happen are only disasters when humans make them so, because of humanity's genuine stupidity and error in designing their cities and societies. It would not be difficult to design human settlements to resist floods, or recover from earthquakes, or many of the environmental effects humanity endures. Even if natural disasters were taken as an inevitability, and we clearly do not have to abide them, there is no great dread of humans dying in a flood or some act of nature. There is not the dread of humans dying from a simple disease like cancer. Even if we imagined terrible diseases ravaging the brain and living for years in agony, as many afflicted with akathasia will tell you, the disease and biological suffer is in of itself not the true terror. The true terror of disease is what humans do to us when they sense sickness, and the eugenic mindset and its thrill for torturing others overrides the decency that was the only reason humans ever could co-exist in society.
Return to Main Page