Friday, September 23, 2011

Political dialogue!

In the Polka Dot Gallows category. Today's cartoon strip from Brewster Rockit is the most intelligent commentary on current political processes I've seen; reaffirming my contention that our comedians and humorists are in fact today's actual great philosophers.

True, true, true, and yes, it hurts.

Monday, September 5, 2011

No, the problem isn't "jobs".

Ok, yes it is; but not the way everybody in the world thinks it is.

Happy Labor Day! Or as I tend to twist it around here, just for the fun of the confused looks it brings, as well as a way of pointing out the pointlessness of it: "Happy Labrador!"

I desperately need to be out laboring, at the moment, which is what Labor Day is always about for us. Ok, we might barbecue something at the end of the day; but it's harvest time for tree crops, and urgentish.

However, what I have to say here has been fomenting and fermenting in the back of my brain for a long time; and it seems ready to come out. And this is Labor Day; and we're all very unhappy about the fact there are no jobs anywhere; and none in sight down the pike, regardless of politicians braying that they will create lots of new jobs for everyone, as soon as they are elected. By waving their wands about and shouting "expelyourllamas!"

Part of my hesitance in writing this post stems from my awareness that the world will certainly not hear me; my time and effort is likely to be largely wasted. A few of you may hear, though- and who knows; perhaps that will be of some benefit.

The world desperately needs to learn this- but won't, until much chaos and pain has come.

The world does not need "jobs". The world needs people to have "livelihoods".

There. That simple. And something completely not on anyone's radar.

Somehow in the process of industrialization, "we" all accepted the concept that capital would provide "work" - "jobs", in various money making factories or other enterprises, and "workers" would make their livings there- as essentially interchangeable cogs. Exactly as Charlie Chaplin portrayed it. The myth we bought was- become a cog, with no particular skills, but willing to work at whatever is put in front of you- and all the world will prosper; and- you'll be taken care of in your old age, when you can no longer work. On a large enough scale, even highly skilled workers have become only cogs- and perceived as such, even by themselves.

Well, it turns out Big Capital was Just Kidding! about taking care of us in our old age. Now that they own 95% of everything it is possible to own, they're saying "What? Are you filthy communists?? Of course you were always supposed to be providing for your own old age! Why would you expect us to actually pay into your pension funds (never mind that's what we promised you...)?" Some of the Banks now are transferring "toxic assets" - i.e., assets on the books at prices triple what anyone will ever pay again- into their pension funds- listing them at the fantasy value. And saying "what a good boy am I."

So here we are, millions of us; unemployed in Greenland; and essentially unemployable. A cog is a cog is a cog; and a cog in
The First World is much more expensive than a cog in the Third
World, these days. Following the Laws of Capital, and Quarterly
Reports, and Executive Bonuses, Capital has, of course, now
emigrated to the Third World- and is not coming back in any
foreseeable future. Being just a cog - in someone else's wheel - is
a death trap.
No, your nice shiny new Bachelors Degree In Whatever! does not entitle
you to cogship, anymore. Neither does your high school diploma, nor
your GED, nor the fact that you can get a certificate stating you are not
hemiplegic, paraplegic, or psychopathic.
What the world truly needs is a return to the model where people acquire
a "livelihood". Some kind of work, or skill- that creates something of
immediate value to the people around you; a way to "earn your keep" in
the community, for life. Actually, here on the farm, we really need a full
time "shepherd", and a full time "goose girl".
Not in style, yet; but soon, I think.

If you are trying to see a path forward, for yourself and your children-
look for a way to acquire a livelihood. Not a job.