27 Feb Bonus Episode: Progress, Dreams of Utopia, and Reality
“Eventually, that ends with us probably leaving the planet and colonizing the stars, or living forever, or downloading our brains onto silicon chips. It’s a kind of technological rapture that sees time in a linear fashion rather than in a cyclical fashion.” -Paul Kingsnorth to Emergence Magazine
✔️Refusing to have conversations about economic slavery only benefits the fat cats and their politicos. It does nothing to help the disenfranchised.
✔️ Is progress merely a story we tell ourselves and then cling to?
✔️Is quiet quitting a reflection of the serfs feeling fed up? If so, do we believe this will spark a revolution against Crony Capitalism?
✔️How many people will last in a giant walkout if they are hungry and facing eviction? This is all the more reason to me why we NEED to have these conversations rather than shoving them in the corner on the grounds of “Well, someone somewhere might get offended.” Is this system not offensive itself?
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Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today’s episode, I want to talk about progress, dreams of utopia and reality. I listened to an awesome podcast episode from emergence magazine with Paul Kingsnorth. And he talks about this idea of the myth of progress. And I’ll drop a link to the podcast episode so that you can check it out for yourself. Please do it’s very interesting. I will read from the interview transcript for you now. Emergence magazine asks, If you had to name the most powerful story or myth that tells this story of disconnection from nature, what would it be? And what name would you give it? Paul response, probably the central story of our culture, which I think has replaced a lot of the religious stories that used to be at the heart of our culture, is the story of progress. What we say is, it is possible through human ingenuity to create a utopia, we have a story that tells us that human beings started as ignorant savages, and are moving through a series of progressive steps in which at every point, they get clever, they get richer, they get smarter, they develop technologies, which allow them to live longer, they learn more, eventually, that ends with us probably leaving the planet and colonizing the stars, or living forever, or downloading our brains onto silicon chips. It’s a kind of technological rapture that sees time in a linear fashion, rather than in a cyclical fashion. It sees an endless series of steps, every one of which improves things in the material sense from the one before, I don’t think it’s historically true. Actually, what happens is that things tend to rise and fall in cycles. But it has an enormously powerful grip on us. And it informs everything from our view of the past, which we increasingly believe was a savage place in which our lack of technology and science drove us to a sort of misery and poverty, to our view of the future in which we assume that more technology and more scientific focus and more centralization will take us to a kind of paradise. And so we have this story that we believe in which everything continues to get better every generation. And our job is to keep that process going. I think once you believe that, then you are stuck in a very linear narrative, you are unable to see you are unable to learn much from the past on your own. And you are probably unable to learn much from the mistakes of the present as well. Emergence magazine then asks, Would you say then, that that story, if you believe it, or if you’re striving to be a part of it then gives you permission to abandon stories and myths that you may have believed to be true, or that are a part of your cultural conditioning, or that you are a character in Paul response. One of the dangerous things about the story of progress is that we don’t think it’s a story. We think it’s the truth, we think it’s real. Rather than that it’s simply an interpretation of the world, which we have chosen to believe. I think that all of us believe it in some way, because it’s how we were brought up. It’s just what we think is happening in every generation, things are getting better and better through the use of technology and science. And so if you can improve people’s lives generation upon generation, then they can start to believe that that’s an endless process that will go on forever. But we’re only managing to do that by stripping away the life support systems of the planet. And so at some stage, you start to reach a reckoning. If we start getting two or three, or even four degrees of climate change over the next century or so, than the material benefits, the short term benefits that people are getting at the moment from that process starts to look pretty hollow. That’s what’s starting to happen. Now we can see the ecological limits being hit. And we can see all sorts of pain and difficulty emerging from that. But it hasn’t hit enough people in the wealthy world for that to be a process that really makes people think differently about this notion of progress and modernity. Emergence magazine asks, would you say the myth is unraveling the story is unraveling, Paul replies, the thing about progress as a notion is that if things don’t continue to get better for most people, generation upon generation, then it’s not possible to believe in progress anymore. That’s starting to happen if things get really considerably worse. psychologically, then it will happen considerably faster than it will be something impossible to believe. At that point, you’ve got a lot of chaos coming down the line, because when your stories fracture, the things that you believe to be true, stop being true. Emergence magazine asks, people are increasingly realizing through personal challenges in their own lives, that they can’t have the same lifestyle as their parents, that they can’t buy a house and so forth. The social and political upheaval that’s starting to become apparent in the West reveals that there is a challenge with this story we have, how would you go from removing yourself from that story to being part of a new story, which, as you were saying earlier, is more about living in relationship with the earth and is connected to an older story? It seems like a big leap in some ways to make, Paul replies, I think it is a big leap. I don’t think it’s a leap that you can consciously make. I don’t think we are in a situation where we can sit down and say, right, we need a new story and a new way of seeing people’s worldviews and their stories and their myths develop out of their circumstances. That’s true of any culture. From the smallest tribe to the biggest civilization, people develop a story that fits with their practical experience. While we’re all still wealthy, and sitting around having middle class lifestyles, the story of progress makes perfect sense. It will only change when those things fall away. I want a button long enough to say by the time that happens, do you not think it will be too late? I want to continue to read from Paul’s remark when we hit a wall. And it’s impossible to believe that this is working anymore. When things are getting considerably worse for most people, then we’ll start thinking about the world differently. New things will emerge from that. But that’s a long process. It’s not something that can be consciously constructed. I think we are making a mistake if we think we can sit down and draw up some sort of mono myth or a new way of seeing that everyone is supposed to buy into, we will believe what appears to be true. For some people in the world. Today, it appears to be true that things continually progress in a sort of upward direction. There are a lot of people for whom it doesn’t look true. And quote, yes, indeed, as we think about more people getting squeezed out of the middle class and they’re not getting squeezed upward into the wealthy echelons. They’re getting squeezed downward into the working poor. By the time everybody wakes up collectively and says, holy shit, I think we’re in a mess. How bad do you think it will really be? I think again to the lyrics of Allentown. The promises our teachers gave, if we work hard if we behave, the graduations hanging on the wall, but they never really helped us at all. Every child had a pretty good shot to get at least as far as their old man got, but something happened on the way to that place. I have sympathy for younger millennials and Gen Zers. Who are looking around and inflation, the housing market gestures broadly. The economic jalopy the omni bubble, and saying, How in the hell are we ever going to duplicate? What Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have been able to do? That’s a legitimate question. But see, if you go on social media, you’re going to get so much hot air and hopium and victim blaming, you’re definitely going to get the myth of progress. You’re going to get American and Western world exceptionalism. I did it so you can do it to just pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Look at all of these wealthy robber barons who we are supposed to believe had no help from anybody that became multimillionaires, just through hard work, ingenuity and totally ethical behavior. who still believes that? I mean, outside of these dorks, and creepazoids online. I think for most people, for most average working class people, they’ve debunked the myth. But yet, there’s still so much propaganda. Like you are just a temporarily embarrassed billionaire. You should support the corporate system, you should support your corporate overlords. You should buy into crony capitalism. Oh, hey, come on. We know it’s not perfect, but it’s the best system we’ve got. You too, can live Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Sure. The other day I saw some knucklehead on LinkedIn and posted one of those like America love it or leave it memes and down in the comment section. It was like If you say anything critical about the political system, anything critical about crony capitalism, You’re horrible. You’re just a dirty pinko commie go live in a communist country, and then you’ll come back and kiss the ground. And I’m like, This guy has to be in some right wing neocon LinkedIn engagement pod has to be I don’t think that all of these comments are coming up organically. But what even what even is that? And don’t worry, if you think I’m being partisan here, I’m going to go over to the Neo lib side of the table in just a moment. Allow me this digression for a second. What What even is that you’re not allowed to say anything critical. I thought that in a free and open society, you could criticize the government, you could say I disagree with the way that this organization or the way that this politician has his policies, you’re supposed to be able to say that, who in the hill can come up with a rational defense of crony capitalism. long pause there, so you can decide that for yourself. To me, it absolutely goes back to this bogus hope of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. At some point, you’re going to be a billionaire. So you’re going to really be happy that you stuck up for the billionaires. At some point, you may be the CEO of some hard driving hard lining company, you may need to persecute the serfs and the peons. So you’ll be really glad that you oppressed those people when your time comes. Yeah, I’ve told you before about my experience being in the Midwest in the 80s, and you’ve heard it constantly. You can be anything that you want to be the president, you can cure cancer, you can run a company, whatever your dream is, you can have it if you can dream it, you can do it. And then a few years later, when you grew up, and it was time to pick a profession, you sat down with the guidance counselor, and it was time to pick a profession and start talking about are you going to vote tech? Are you going to college? If so, what’s your major? That’s when the bubble got popped? Oh, well, no. Oh, God, no, of course, you can’t be anything that you want to be how ridiculous. No, no. See, we tell you that when you’re a kid, it’s sort of like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. We tell you those things when you’re a kid so that you can have fun and you can stay pacified and happy. But now that you’re a young adult, you’re sort of coming into your own. We’re going to remove the scales from your eyes. And we’re going to tell you then, in fact, no, no, you can’t be anything that you want to be, you’re going to have to be a serf. You need to get your ass into a cubicle somewhere and work for a boss. So who’s it going to be? Yeah, champagne wishes and caviar dreams? Of course. But people get upset when you challenge this story. And I agree with what Paul is saying, In this podcast, about the idea of progress is a story. So many things relate to rhetoric anyway. I remember when I was in graduate school, we had to pick both a major and a minor. And my major was literature. Quelle Surprise. I love to read I’m a bookworm. We had to pick a minor. And I chose rhetoric, but it wasn’t really sure if I was going to enjoy that. I just had sort of a weird, funky feeling about it. I thought are they going to teach us how to stand up in front of a room and speak like a politician out of both sides of your mouth so that you can blow a lot of hot air and bloviate. But you don’t really say anything with meaning when even is this? I am telling you. The amount of value that I received from that minor in rhetoric has been worth its weight in gold, the books that we that we read the topics that we talked about, you start to understand that there are all these various lenses through which people see the world whether it’s religion, philosophy, politics, cultural upbringing. So I agree with what Paul is saying that the idea of progress that every generation gets better that science and technology, those are our Lord and Savior, it’s going to make everything better. That’s a story. We’re not talking about. incontrovertible, irrefutable fact, we are talking about a story. We’re talking about a lens through which we see the world. There are a couple of books that I will drop links to that I myself would recommend that I read during that minor in rhetoric. One was meta history, the historical imagination in 19 eighth century Europe, written by Hayden white. And he shows how history itself is a story. And it uses various tropes and different plots such as metaphor, metonymy, Synecdoche, and an irony, and employments like romance, tragedy, comedy, and satire. And it can go along with ideology such as anarchy, radicalism, conservativism, and liberalism. These are lenses, these are lenses, as much as somebody would like to think I am giving you incontrovertible facts. My view of history is the way I think Hayden white presents a very compelling argument that well, actually, history itself is a story. And it can follow these various tropes, depending upon the plot. And depending upon the ideology of the person who’s writing the history. Another book I would highly recommend, is the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. excellent book. And that too, helps you to understand this idea that no, science is not some monolithic, never changing entity cannot question it. It stays the same forever and ever. Amen. There are paradigm shifts that happen, what someone might accept to be as science fact, a generation ago, may look totally different now based on new data based on new experiments. So I do think that Paul’s points about the stories, the mythologies, I mean, to me, it’s it’s right on. It’s right on the mark. Are we buying into the myth of progress, this idea that time is linear, and we’re always moving upward? I’m thinking about the parable of Jacob’s Ladder, one by one and step by step and one rung at a time, we’re climbing up this ladder, and things are just getting better and better and better. And it’s because of technology. It’s because of science. Should we just be thinking about going to the stars and colonizing new planets? As he says, eventually, that ends with us probably leaving the planet and colonizing the stars or living forever, or downloading our brains onto silicon chips. It’s a kind of technological rapture that sees time in a linear fashion, rather than in a cyclical fashion and quote, yeah, downloading our brains on the silicon chips. I know that people like to rag on comic books, and they like to rag on the Marvel movies. You know, in that episode that I recorded about Walter Mosley, and the interview with The New York Times Magazine, The interviewer is, in my opinion, a bit pejorative towards the Marvel movies. Are these just our modern mythologies brought to life on screen? Or are they an indication of a dumbed down culture? To me, it’s awfully interesting to watch those films as a sort of precursor to things that are announced to us. In the storyline, the character Dr. Zola goes on to live inside of a computer, he uploads his consciousness into a computer. And now here we are talking about downloading our brains onto silicon chips. If you think that this is still just far flung, there’s no way that would ever happen. I mean, look into Lord Elan brain chips, go watch that dystopian cartoon that they dropped at the web, I will put a link to it in the write up so that if you didn’t see it, when I talked about it before, go watch it now. They’re talking about reading your brain waves at work. They’ve got to make sure that you’re being a good compliant little peon. You’re not dreaming about your coworker. Oh, what does he look like without his shirt on? That’s one of the scenarios they use in the cartoon. They need to make sure that you’re not engaged in a thought crime of getting together brain brain to brain with one of your colleagues thinking about leaving the company to go out on your own and have a startup. They need to be able to monitor everything that you’re doing, so that you get a bump of something that feels good when you’re compliant and you get a bump of something that feels bad when you’re being naughty. And you’re not conforming. Yeah, I don’t really think that we’re in the realm of science fiction anymore. So people can be pejorative and snooty patootie about the Marvel comic books and the Marvel films, but I sort of think that there are times when we’re being telegraphed information through the form of entertaining MIT, if it just sounds too far fetched, to Hollywood to spy novel, to believe that entertainment could be part of the military industrial complex, I would invite you to read about Operation Mockingbird. I plan to talk about this in a future episode, because I feel like the BS narratives and the hopium that we get about the economy and the job market more specifically to open jobs for everyone unemployed person, unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. If you get laid off from big tech, and you were making 150k, don’t sweat it because you can go be a burrito maker. And somehow you’re gonna make ends meet. How contrived and then you have mass media outlets putting that stuff out with a straight face, and you have social media algorithms rewarding idiots who publish hot air and toxic positivity, toxic optimism, toxic gratitude. I don’t find that to be a coincidence if that makes you mad. I’m sorry. Go be mad. Just I think it’s a coordinated effort. I think it is. If you want to go and look at the Wikipedia page so that you can see this is not something from fringe left or fringe right. This isn’t something that nobody ever heard of. It’s got a flipping Wikipedia page. Operation Mockingbird is an alleged large scale program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency that began in the early years of the Cold War, and attempted to manipulate domestic American news media organizations for propaganda purposes. According to author Deborah Davis Operation Mockingbird recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network and influenced the operations of front groups. The Charlie India Alpha support of front groups was exposed when in April 1967 ramparts article reported that the National Student Association received funding from the Charlie India alpha. In 1975, Church Committee Congressional investigations revealed agency connections with journalists and civic groups and quote, oh, but I’m sure that ended with a Cold War. Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall in 89. When the Wall came down, and we started to see glass and those the perestroika, I am sure that all of that ended I’m sure that it was just out of benevolence that it happened in the first place. Gosh, darn it, and God dang it, we had to beat them commies and so Mockingbird. Truth is stranger than fiction. I mean, you can’t you can’t make some of this stuff up. But I’m sure it’s not still happening. Right. Right. Of course. Yeah. So I think that progress is a story that we tell ourselves and then cling to. I think this insane and unwavering defense of crony capitalism is also a story that people tell themselves, and then cling to, as if these fat cats and power brokers and billionaires really care about the average working class person, or the working poor. Can we not see from all of the evidence around ourselves? That isn’t true? Again, a long pause just so you can contemplate that question for yourself. There’s an interesting article on Medium that I think brings several of these topics together. And it’s titled modern corporate wage slavery is so instilled in our culture, we don’t recognize it for what it is. The byline reads capitalism is in runaway mode and must be curtailed. Perhaps quiet quitting doesn’t go far enough. I will drop a link to that so that you can check it out for yourself and I hope that you will. It’s an interesting article, I disagree with some of what the author is talking about, and I’ll get to that as I read. So I’ll read now, here’s the title to an article I recently saw on Yahoo. Ford targets quiet quitters with new policy that could see under achievers lose their severance companies are in a complete froth about a media hyped attitude towards work called Quiet quitting. Quiet quitters say they are going to work the hours they’re paid for. They’re going to do the tasks they are assigned in the timeframe they are given and that is it. They will not go above and beyond when they get off work. They will not answer calls or texts about work. They want to divorce work from their private lives. They want to have a life. These are normal, healthy attitudes toward work and these people are being ferreted out and put punished for it and quote, I want to break in long enough to say yes. Yes, on all of this, it is a normal, healthy attitude towards work. And I think we see this more. So in Europe, when I’ve had language lessons and conversation practices with people in various parts of Europe, there are amazed by and large with American workaholism, and the lack of hobbies and personal friends and a personal life that Americans have this idea of being on call all the time is not as prevalent in Europe. The idea of not having hobbies, just selling your soul to a company that’s also not as prevalent in Europe, you clock out, and you go to the pub and you hang out with your friends or you do a hobby, or you read or you have family time you exercise. But you’re not sitting there thinking about work. This is a Так американский I’m just you know, I’m thinking about an article, I read a person who emigrated from the US to Russia, and was surprised by the idea of when you go home or you go out with your friends or you develop a hobby, but after hours, that’s your time. You don’t sit around and go home and do extra work. But yeah, that is a normal, unhealthy attitude about work. You shouldn’t be on call 24 hours a day. One of the things that I abhor about Slack and teams and these various channels of communication is that they are used in my opinion to surveil you to time your bathroom breaks to see how often your light goes yellow versus green. And there are some companies that they damn well expect that channel is going to be open on your computer 24 hours a day. That’s obscene, and it’s wrong. But that’s what they expect. And to Glenn’s point, yes, these people are being ferreted out and punished for it. Let’s don’t sugarcoat it. And let’s don’t try to avoid it. Let’s call it out for reality. I’ll continue to read. Corporate America has had a secret policy of institutional economic slavery for so long, they go crazy when it is threatened. My whole career was spent at engineering and construction companies. I noticed early on that the salaried engineers were expected to work extra hours to get projects done. The schedule of projects was intentionally shortened by managers to create a sense of urgency in order to facilitate this practice. I was an hourly employee, if I was asked to work extra hours, I was paid time and a half. But if the engineers worked extra hours, many times it was for no extra pay. I turned down salaried positions offered to me for this reason, salaried personnel had an ethereal expectation of a bonus. At the end of the year, that was usually a fantasy. salaried personnel are being blackmailed into providing extra work for nothing with the implied threat of being let go if they don’t in quote. Yeah. Yes, I agree. As someone who works freelance who does 1099 hourly work? Yes. If you want me to put an extra hours on this project, a it’s going to depend on if I have the time to do it. And B, are you going to pay me for it? Because if you think that I’m going to be available 24/7 That’s going to be a hell no. And if you think I’m going to work for free, that’s going to be and also hell no, no. I believe one of the reasons why we have seen some companies do away with freelance and contract work is because they want to hire people for salaried positions just for this reason. They want a wage slave. They don’t want to hire gun on the outside of the company. And they don’t want an hourly employee that they are obligated to give time and a half for overtime to they want to put you on a salary tell you how great their benefits packages. Oh, we have unlimited PTO now we’ll punish the shit out of you if you ever tried to use any of it. But look at how great our benefits are. Now sit here in this cube and work extra and be glad for the opportunity to do it. Yeah. So again, why defend this system? Why act like you are a temporarily embarrassed billionaire, and that someday you too are going to have lifestyles of the rich and famous. If you can’t say something good about merch or get out, go live in a commie country and you come back and see how you feel. Why are those the only two choices who who made the law that says you can only have crony capitalism or you can have full tilt communism and that’s it. I mean, I’m gonna put on not only my tinfoil hat, but my tinfoil suit here and go inside my tinfoil cave, but it’s like both of those systems are basically the same. And they’re also manipulated by the same same set of hyper elites that sit at the top. If you haven’t figured that out by now, oh, it’s way past time for you to wake the hell up. Way back as time. Continue to read from Glenn’s article, I would tell the engineers they shouldn’t do that. It was in effect slavery, they wouldn’t listen, they were too afraid of losing their jobs. Now that there is a revolt against such practices, companies are having the media portray it as something almost sinful, and anathema to the American work ethic. If we take a closer look, the American work ethic started out with slavery and capitalists have been addicted to it ever since actual slavery has been replaced with economic slavery, a company is not willing to share their profits with employees. No matter how successful no matter how much money companies make, their employees are going to make as little as the companies can get by with paying them. The employees are expected to not only go along with this, but be happy to work harder and longer than they are contractually obligated to do and quote, and that’s if they have any kind of contract or agreement a lot of people don’t. A lot of states are at will employment, which means you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Unless it’s a blatant violation of EEOC protocol, they can throw your butt out on the sidewalk and not give a crap about it. So I said I was gonna pick on the Neo cons and America lovingly but you’re doing a good old job brownie or good old guy. Can’t you just hear W God bad flashbacks. So now let’s go over to the Neo lib side of the table. That’s the dryer again, you probably think I do laundry all the time and you’re you’re not far off the mark. So let’s go over to the Neo lib side of the table. One of the things that happens when you try to talk about how chattel slavery has been replaced with debt slavery with economic slavery with wage slavery. You will have Neo libs and leftists that get mad. You shouldn’t be having this conversation. You can see some people doing this very thing in the comment section for Glenn’s article. You shouldn’t be having this conversation because it diminishes actual slavery. You’re trying to equate wage slavery with chattel slavery and that’s wrong. So shame on you. You shouldn’t be doing this. I think back again to Lauren, Lauren brulotte saying, Obama went off to the University of Chicago, he drank the neoliberal Kool Aid. And so people who thought that his administration was really going to be something different. We’re in for one hell of a surprise. He wore hawked he spent money mean people who thought okay, W is out of here. Goodbye, Cheney. Goodbye, Rumsfeld, things are going to change now. No. And if you read Glenn Greenwald’s book no place to hide, you will see the mass surveillance laid bare. He talks about this in the book, people who had this hope that Obama was going to roll back the things that W did no he didn’t. In fact, He strengthens them. This is the system we have. This is another reason why I say it doesn’t matter to me, whether it’s a neocon or Neo lib. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s orange man, good Orange Man bad. senile old man we have now is great, senile old man we have now is horrible. What’s the F and difference? By going into the neoliberal Kool Aid, and saying, Well, we can’t talk about this because someone might be offended. You’re empowering the system to continue. The people who benefit from not shining a light on this and having an honest dialogue about it are the power brokers, the fat cats, the Wall Street bankers, the CEOs of these giant companies, they are the ones that benefit. It’s not people of color, it’s not the disenfranchised, it’s not the working poor. Stop defending this system. Stop defending the fat cats like you are a temporarily embarrassed billionaire, quit. We need to have these conversations and to be clear as possible. I don’t want to do anything to diminish or take away from chattel slavery. I don’t want to try to say anything that would diminish from slavery, chattel slavery, not in a million years. My fourth and fifth great grandparents going back that many generations had land that they owned in the east, they were Cherokee. That land was taken from them by the government, and they were forcibly relocated on the Trail of Tears. If you’re not familiar with that terrible, genocidal act that was perpetrated on indigenous people, I’ll drop a link. Look, please, please read about this. It’s so important to know They are buried about 30 minutes east of where my farm is. If they were in the room with us right now, we could have that conversation with the ancestors in real time, if they were in the room with us right now. And I said, Do you feel like people should trust the state? Do you feel like people should trust politicians? Do you feel like, you know, regardless of the label, Republican, Democrat, liberal conservative, do you feel like people should just put blind faith in the system? Because these presidents and these Politico’s always have the best interest of the citizens at heart? They would slap me across the face. And it would be deserved. We need to stop defending the system, getting hung up on verbiage. Oh, I’m a NEO lib. So I’m going to make everything about offensive language. Oh, I’m a neocon. So I’m going to make everything about America love it or leave it. You’re going to have to get past that partisan political bullshit. In my opinion, you’re going to have to I want to continue to read from Glenn’s article, because corporations have lobbied the government to keep wages artificially low unions to a minimum and workers rights at a minimum American workers in effect are economic slaves. Let’s be clear on terms here. lobby the government means corporations paid senators and Congress people millions of dollars in the form of campaign contributions to have laws passed in their favor. It is essentially bribery. As a result of this increasingly blatant bribery, we still have a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Very few unions to lobby for workers and workers can be let go for any reason by an employer in most states. This is in addition to the threat of no health insurance that most employers hold over the heads of their employees like the sword of Damocles and quote, I would been in and say your mortgage, or your rent payment, car payment. The money you have to pay out for childcare or eldercare that also hangs over your head like the sword of Damocles. This is dead slavery. If you were free, if you didn’t have to pay all of these people and deal with debt, can you imagine what that would feel like? All of it together? The whole ball of wax is a sword of Damocles. And this is crony capitalism. Добро пожаловать в Америку. This is the system. The low prices come at a very high cost because you have workers that are given paperwork and said well, you need to sign up for food stamps, you need to get government assistance because what we pay you here is not going to be enough for you to survive. Why is that allowed to happen? Why are these corporations allowed to pay such a low wage and then be subsidized by the government? And then you want to sit there and tell me that we live in a free society. You don’t think that we have crony capitalism, America, love it or leave it? Maybe I love it enough to criticize it. Maybe I love it enough to say we have some real problems here. I’ll continue to read from Glenn’s article. Therefore in this economic climate where companies are bemoaning the fact that they can’t find enough employees they are punishing the ones they do have that aren’t willing to happily participate in this condition of economic slavery. The Supreme Court allowed corporate America to purchase the United States House and Senate with Citizens United decision of 2010 permitting unlimited campaign finance contributions. Giving corporations unlimited influence in government has been catastrophic on individuals and the environment. They can give unlimited money to our representatives in exchange for favorable laws while workers have no such ability. When you read articles excoriating quiet quitters. Keep in mind the news media is owned by the same corporations. Mm hmm. breach it. The article you read may very well be written by some hounded employee working overtime for no pay to get it done before the editor gets to work. The next day and quote, could also be written by a piece of AI programming not even by a real person could be written by a paid corporate show. It may be some beleaguered employee that’s just doing their job and they’re not paid. Hardly anything. Could be somebody that’s paid handsomely to put out a very specific narrative. Okay. The last paragraph of this article reads, economic slavery is wrong. Everyone should become quiet quitters until corporate America is willing to share that’s collected happen. Besides sharing profits, that means universal health care and expensive childcare, longer vacations and other perks enjoyed in other countries where governments don’t allow the overt and institutionalized abuse of employees these things have been withheld from American workers to pay for tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Perhaps American workers should up the ante and go on and on mass loud quitting strike and quote. Okay, so in addition to the Neo libs taking offense about any conversation about slavery that you want to have, we also get American workers must have a general strike. It needs to be soon we need to just all have a big sit out. Yeah. So you know, I told you about that episode of the concrete podcast that I watched, where they talked about transhumanism voice of God, technology, UFOs, etc. One of the things that Robert Duncan says in that video is that Transhumanism is going to happen, it’s too late to stop it now. It’s really just a matter of speed, is it going to happen quickly? Or is it going to happen slowly, but it’s going to happen? I get that that’s not hopium I get that that’s not a feel good, fuzzy statement that people want to hear. That’s not telling people what they want to hear that there’s going to be some mass awakening, some mass revival, everybody’s just going to wake up and see these power brokers and fat cats for what they are and people are going to reject the brain chips and all of that and there’s just gonna be this enlightenment and people are gonna be like, so free. I don’t think so. I know all I know, I’ll get the Debbie Downer hate mail. Now, why are you being so down? You should be have a positive attitude. You should be telling people hot air and hope you know, no, no, I’m not gonna do that. I have been on this podcast, I’ve been on my blog for months, warning you that the pendulum was going to swing away from the great resignation. And right back over to corporate America. I told you that RTO was going to happen. And like the proverbial frog in the pot, they would turn up the heat more and more until you couldn’t jump out. We have so many people now. living paycheck to paycheck. We have people in a mountain of debt. That’s why I say it’s not just that being a slave to your wages keeps you down. It’s not just the promise of health insurance that keeps you down. Although that’s very important. It’s the whole freakin ball of wax. It’s the debt slavery part of it too. I’ll drop a link again to that article about Americans are back to broke. No longer are we being told that everybody is flush with cash and they’re hanging out in grandma’s basement off those 2020 stimmy checks? Oh, no. Now the narrative has shifted, that your savings from the stimulus money are all gone. And you’re having to do buy now pay later for food? Do you really expect me to believe that everyone in the country is going to have a nationwide strike? If ifs and buts were candy and nuts. We’d all have a wonderful Christmas. Yeah, I mean, I get what he’s saying in this final paragraph. Let’s look at it again. economic slavery is wrong. You bet it is absolute. It’s diabolical. It’s wrong. Everyone should become quiet quitters until corporate America is willing to share. Well, I don’t think that’s going to happen. It hasn’t happened so far. All they do is change the paradigm. All they do is change the maze that you’re in. It was feudalism. Now it’s feudalism 2.0. So the ancestors had to till the soil and work under a Dutch patroon or a feudal lord. They didn’t own anything. They were all sharecroppers and they had better do everything that that feudal lord told them to do by God. Well, then it just transmogrified into feudalism. 2.0 As I’ve written before, in my opinion, if you have living situation feudalism, combined with workplace feudalism, you just have feudalism full stop. You are trapped, imagining some utopia where corporate America is going to be willing to share. They’re going to play nicely with the toys and do what’s right by you. I don’t buy it. Besides sharing profits, that means universal health care, inexpensive childcare, longer vacations and other perks enjoyed in other countries. I don’t see it happening. If they did, manage to hurt us onto some kind In a universal health care system, who would benefit from that? Do you really think that poor people would be the beneficiaries of that? I know it’s a romantic notion to think so but I highly freakin doubt it. Look at how much money Big Pharma makes, you had told you before. It might be interesting for you to go down the rabbit hole of juxtaposing how much they spend on research and development versus how much they spend on marketing and advertising. Because I think the disparity would shock the shit out of you. But see, we’re told here in America, that it’s so expensive because of the medical technology that we have. It’s so expensive, because when you walk into an emergency room, first world America, it doesn’t look like something from a third world nation. We have to pay the scientists, we have to pay the researchers. But don’t look over here at the marketing and advertising budget, which is significantly higher than any of the other budgets in the company. Yeah, and God help you if you do have to go to an emergency room, because there are plenty of them now in first world, America that look like something from a third world country, you may or may not get treated with any sense of dignity, you may or may not get treated at all. I don’t think that I’m expecting the people who created these problems to solve them. And I don’t think universal health care is going to happen. And if it does, it’s going to be shambolic. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. I also don’t see inexpensive childcare coming, or longer vacations or any of the other European perks. If you want to live, if you want to eat if you want to keep your rent paid and keep the car payment made, you’re going to RTO if your boss says RTO within the next two weeks, or we will assume you have tendered your resignation, and we will let you go and the paychecks will stop. You’re going to go back. So I want to return to where I started the myth of progress, this interview with Paul Kingsnorth. To me this idea that everyone is going to have a work from home revolution. Everybody, the old country is going to sit it out and say hell no, we won’t go. We won’t go back to work. We won’t RTO we’re going to sit out here until you play nicely with us. And we will have a nationwide strike. I think that is a story that you are telling yourself. And in my opinion, it’s a false story. It’s a fairy tale story. That sounds good and it gives you a big a big boost of power in the moment. Yay. We are strong. We are mighty we are going to defeat the corporate beast. No, you won’t. No, you won’t. I think Robert Duncan is right. I think Transhumanism is coming. I think when the day finally arrives, that it’s like you’re going to get your brain chip and we’re going to read your brainwaves. Most people are going to go along with it. But you expect me to believe that corporate America is going to play nice with everybody and give everyone more benefits and allow everybody to work from home forever. They’re going to stop exploiting salaried workers. No. You expect me to believe that the system is going to stop turning people into wage slaves and debt slaves. Oh, and that’s if you’re allowed to talk about it at all, because some Neo lib may say that you’re using inappropriate language and get real butthurt. Okay. why anybody would want to defend a system of war Hawking and debt slavery and feudalism 2.0 is beyond me. But okay. Again, that’s a story that you’re telling yourself. I won’t sit here and say there’s been no progress. I think that’s going too far in the other direction. But I agree with Paul’s idea that time and history are cyclical. These boom bust cycles don’t happen on accident. In my opinion. They’re They’re engineered to happen. They happen on purpose, and they happen to enrich the wealthy and the hyper elites that are already wealthy. They want more. Let’s think back to Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. When bud Fox asked him well, when is it enough? How many houses can you live in? How many yachts Can you waterski Behind? He’s like, there’s not it’s not a question of enough power. It’s a zero sum game. Somebody’s going to win and somebody’s got to lose. Wealth isn’t made. It’s just simply transferred. You better know that. You better know that. And you also better know, who feasted on the profit margins during the pandemic. They’re not hiding the information. Oxfam talked about it at Davos, people who are already wealthy to start With are the ones that benefited from this wealth transfer during the pandemic. I’ll drop a link again so that you can see I’m not making this up. But yet you expect me to believe a story, that people who are in debt up to their eyeballs, they’re living paycheck to paycheck, they’re scraping by and doing whatever they can to survive, or they’re having to make decisions about heat the house or starve, have plenty of food. But the house is so cold, the pipes are freezing, right? You expect me to believe that those people are going to have a nationwide strike? That’s not a story that I believe. I don’t think that utopia is coming. I’m sorry if that offends you, but I don’t. I think that’s another story that people are telling themselves. And I think, again, okay, I’ll get hate mail. That’s fine. I think again, that’s part of what Lauren Berlant I’m using her term, I don’t want to put words in her mouth. But for me, when I think about drinking the neoliberal Kool Aid, it’s also this idea of well, the little guy will just have a strike, the little guy will work within the system to change the system and we will all be alright. I wouldn’t bet the farm on that myself, you I don’t tell you what to do. I don’t give you advice. I sit here and I opine for your entertainment only. But I don’t see that happening. In my opinion, for your entertainment only. You’re better off waking up to reality. If you want to go into the dreamscape and have sugar plum fairies dance through your head and have visions of utopia and get a little ego boost, imagining sticking it to corporate America, it’s your prerogative. I’ve said many times I feel like whatever this economic downturn is, it’s going to separate out the people who paid attention from those who didn’t. It’s going to separate out people who listen to hot air hopium and bullshit from people who got real. It’s going to separate out people who use critical thinking, and they prepared and they use good judgment and good forethought from people who didn’t. We’ve had these proverbs about the grasshopper that sang all summer, somebody who skylark around with their head in the clouds while everybody else was getting ready. We if we want to go all the way back to the biblical parable about Noah and the ark, same trope, same idea. Some people are probably not going to make it and that sad. I think we have to get out of the stories about everything progresses, everything will be better science will save us technology will save us the state will save us blah, blah blah. What if nobody is coming to save you? Have you thought about that? What if the system is broken? And defending it either as a neolib or a neocon is not going to help you in any way? Have you thought about that? In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane. And I will see you in the next episode. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. We’ll see you next time.