From PJ Media:
When I was growing up, there used to be something called the “dignity of work.” It was a Christian concept (from which the proto-Marxists stole their “labor theory of value”and monetized it) that declared the inherent nobility of work — any kind of work — as contrasted with idleness, drunkeness, indolence, etc. It seems a bit old-fashioned now, but while it was a widely held “American value,” the country was a better place.
It was a better place insofar as a hard worker was a person of value.
Today, not so much:
Forty percent of Americans who are capable of working but who don’t have a job say they have completely given up looking for work, according to a new report.
The findings of a survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals show that the longer an individual has been out of the labor force, the more likely they are to say they have given up looking. More than half – 55 percent – of those out of work for more than two years say they have given up, while 21 percent of those out of labor force for three months or less say the same. More.
Reality check: File under: The early stages of the post-employment society. Machines are slowly reaching the point where they can produce enough good and services, with a few smart techs on hand, to keep vast hordes in an underclass North American standard of living.
Which means obese, with a closet full of clothes, and in no danger of freezing to death—spending one’s days lost in dope, sex, and junk media, if not bitterness and violence.
But only their minders—who live separately at a social worker standard of living—actually “need” them. They need the formerly employed precisely for their needs, whether they happen to be in public housing, rehab, or jail.
I’ve sometimes talked about how all this will impact civil liberties. Consider, there is a fundamental difference between the post-employment society and, say, mediaeval serfdom. The mediaeval baron needed his serfs’ muscles, just as he needed their donkeys’ muscles.
Yes, he could and did oppress them, but he actually needed them. So there were points beyond which he could not go, in his own interests.
In terms of trends, look for the growing popularity of consensual euthanasia. If you want to die, fine, you are just an expense anyway.
Historically, an argument against legalizing attempts at suicide was that they deprived the king of a subject. That sounds bizarre and oppressive today, but remember it assumes that the king needs a subject. What if he didn’t?
Civil liberties developed in part because citizens were needed. They won’t likely survive the post-employment society, though grievance cultures and identity group politics certainly will—people fighting over the badges of obsolescence.
A man who might have said, “I can fix practically any car” will be saying “I’m a victim of bigotry.” He won’t tell you about the deal he could get you on a good used, but about his ethnicity or sexuality.
As before, I don’t think these developments can be prevented. But a way must be found for people who want to live a civilized life in their midst to do so.
It is a long, covered retreat for a civilization in which, say, intellectual freedom was meaningful on campus, and banning “White Christmas” (racist, see?) was not. And tearing up the Constitution would have been an outrage.
See also: High minimum wage closes low-income friendly stores File under: The early stages of the post-employment society.
Will robots take all jobs? No. But a great many.
But who actually needs Millennials? Except for votes?
Will the junior jackboots of Asshat U finally get “justice”? (Yes, but read on … )