Work is a Four-Letter Word

The Government keeps complaining that the unemployed don’t want to work… lets face it; the employed don’t want to work either!

Bruce Morton, SiN

With both the Conservative and Labour parties declaring battle on the "evil" of unemployment, it has been left to those storm-troopers of the revolution, the Liberal Democratic Party, to admit that unemployment will not go away, and in fact full employment is virtually impossible. As the economic and industrial strategies of the world change is it still possible to insist that everyone in the developed world devotes their life to being a good and fruitful "wage slave"? Even with society currently designed to ensure that everyone is streamlined into a "career path" or low paid "McJob"; and all our energies are spent on ensuring that we get to spend the rest of out lives doing things we don’t want to do; does it seem so bizarre to suggest that careers, employment and jobs are 20th century diseases which require to be eradicated? Well, I admit it does look a big step if you are hypnotised into believing in the work ethic, but look beyond what you have been told and see the future.

Eradicating work does not mean regressing to a pre-historic Garden of Eden, (there’s far too many of us to feed from one tree anyway). There are tasks of manufacturing, supply and distribution which are required by society. These tasks could be more efficiently per formed by intelligent machines than by humans. Machines work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they don’t require holidays, pensions, healthcare, training, maternity leave, sick leave and mornings off cos they’ve got a hangover. They don’t turn up late, get stroppy, skive off, steal the stock and sabotage the operations. They don’t go on strike. With current cybernetic technologies most jobs in the developed world, both in "unskilled" and "management" positions, could be better performed by a machine. In the near future even the supervision and creation of the machines will be automated so that a minimal human involvement will be necessary to supply our every need. The major obstacle in the progress of cybernetics is the limited imaginations of governments, employers and unions. They simply cannot see what good could come of putting all those people out of work.

Alternatively their imaginations run vividly to an army of idle revolutionaries smashing the state because at last they are not chained down by worrying about their income. They also cannot see how we would survive economically. Well is it not obvious, even with high initial costs for instalment and considering maintenance, machines are much more efficient than human workers? The increased productivity would mean increased profits. In the current system increased profits go into the pockets of the managers and the share holders. Why not make us all shareholders, spread the rewards a little? At this time all wages and benefits come from the ‘available pool of resources’. It is the myth that one’s livelihood depends on "earning" a part of this pool that keeps the rich at the top of the pile. An equal distribution of the worlds current wealth would allow everyone to share the standard of living of a well off American family. Let’s be clear at this point that ‘money’ is not ‘wealth’. Money is a token system, a piece of modern voodoo which be stows a mysterious value on otherwise worthless bits of paper. Wealth is the education, means of production, distribution system, homes, and above all, nowadays, information that is controlled by a community, individual or nation.

The distribution of a nations wealth could be achieved by a variety of means, such as some of the examples listed below (these are only a few of the alternate economic systems we could adopt):

The National Dividend
Invented by engineer C.F. Douglas, and developed by Ezra Pound and Buckminster Fuller. Every citizen is declared a shareholder in the Nation and receives dividends on the Gross National Profit for the year. This would not be inflationary as long as the dividends were equal to the GNP and not above it.
The Guaranteed Annual Income
Proposed by economist Robert Theobald. The Government establishes an annual minimum income (above the poverty line), and guarantees that no-one would receive less. They would be responsible for making up the incomes of those not earning or with low earnings. The removal of various layers of red tape would make this a cheaper system to operate, and would spare the recipient the humiliation of welfare queues.
The Negative Income Tax
Devised by Nobel economist Milton Friedman. Similar to the above—any citizen whose earnings fell below the agreed minimum would receive from the government a sum to make up the difference. Again this is cheaper than the current system and less degrading for the recipient.
The RICH Economy
Rising Income through Cybernetic Homeostasis. Devised by L. Wayne Benner and Robert Anton Wilson. This works in four stages:

  1. Encourage cybernation by rewarding workers who design themselves out of a job.
  2. Establish either the Guaranteed Annual Income or the Negative Income Tax to ensure that those unemployed by the cybernation are not forced into the current lunatic welfare system.
  3. Gradually raise the Guaranteed Income to the level of the National Dividends, thus raising the living standards of the whole nation.
  4. Progress with massive investment in adult education.

Eventually everyone will get bored watching daytime soaps, getting stoned and lying in bed all day. Give people the opportunity to learn to do something more fulfilling than TV, Fast Food and crummy jobs, give people a chance to become part of the challenges of the future, feeding the rest of the planet, Space Migration, Life Extensionism Sciences. It is also recognised that raising the educational level of a nation decreases the birth rate and increases the wealth creating potential, both problems receiving much media coverage just now.

Aristotle is recorded to have said that slavery would only be abolished when machines were built that could operate them selves. We now have that technology, but we do not have the intelligence and the will to use it. The idea of a work ethic (an idea created by the ruling classes who never had to work a day in their lives) has hypnotised us long enough. Let us celebrate unemployment as the crest of the Third Wave and congratulate the wilfully unemployed for leading the way to a new universe.

Further reading

  • R.A. Wilson: The Illuminati Papers (The RICH Economy)
  • Alvin Toffler: The Third Wave and Previews & Premises
  • Henry George: Progress and Poverty
  • Silvio Gessell: The Natural Economic Order
  • Buckminster Fuller: Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth
  • Benjamin Tucker: Individual Liberty
  • Peter Maurin: The Green Revolution