Our Resistance Against the Scandal of Existence

General Category => Why Work? => Topic started by: The Creature on July 19, 2014, 10:11:30 pm

Title: Work as a Tool of Social Control
Post by: The Creature on July 19, 2014, 10:11:30 pm
Exploring Our Paranoia in 2005

Quote from: Quaestor
When I look at how unfufilling, mindless and meaningless many jobs are, I wonder what role they really play. That is, is any real and necessary work getting done in such jobs?

I've also wondered why it is that when your work is done for the day, you can't leave early? I mean, what better reward to give to uber-productive employees than time off?

When I see that yes, many jobs involve non-essential work and then couple that with the unwillingness of many employers to let staff go home early when they've produced more than their share, it's clear to me that work in modern society is a social control tool. It doesn't matter what you produce. But your time is what's important.

A phone-in radio show I was listening to yesterday really brought the concept home to me. One of the interviewees fielding calls said that people often engage in workaholic behaviours to avoid very critical questions in their lives. Questions like, "Is my marriage working out?" "Am I raising my kids right?". The speaker also went on to say how work tires people out such that they become indifferent to larger issues outside the home. Needless to say, workaholism also helps feed a material goods habit.

The way I read this is that when people are tired from work, mired in problems at home, and addicted to material goods, they become politically neutralized and unable to agitate vigorously for necessary change.

Perhaps the biggest symbol of work as a control tool is the office cubicle. These are designed to effectively cage a worker and place him under constant surveillance. It's just a more genteel form of prison. They are also designed to artificially create a hierarchy and entrench inequality. The cubicle is also sold to the workers under the rubric of 'team-building' or some other catchy management buzzword.

Quote from: Finally Free
Quote from: Broken Spirit
Quote from: Quaestor
it's clear to me that work in modern society is a social control tool. It doesn't matter what you produce. But your time is what's important.

I think I may be paranoid, but I suspect I may be offered a job in Manhattan (as an entry level programmer) to get me the hell away from the Internet. Is that too far fetched?
I am afraid to go on interviews because I know in my heart I don't want to be "caged" and "controlled". I don't want to become one of the zombies.

I imagine someone saying, "Would you please keep that **** busy so he stays off the Internet? Please just place him in a cubicle, keep him very busy, and monitor him. Monitor him!"

Is it too far-fetched?

Am I being paranoid?

Broken spirit, I don't think you're being paranoid at all. Not to make light of your position (I do understand where you're coming from), but your "Monitor him!" comment made me laugh my guts out.

I had an experience several years ago (in real life) that made me realize that there are in fact shadowy figures who pull the levers of power in this world. So your suspicions are probably closer to the truth than you might ever dare imagine.

I sometimes wonder if all this outsourcing, 'downsizing', 'rightsizing', 'do more with less' mantra, isn't an attempt by the elites to rein in the masses and remind them of where their daily bread comes from. I'm convinced that these elites live with the fear every day that the masses are about to jettison their cubicles, and soon.

Quote from: Quastor
Quote from: Broken Spirit

I think the whole glorification of "team work" is geared toward discouraging independnt thinking. The result is an upside down world, where some of the most vulgar power-seekers are promoted, while those who Nature has made wise and authentic, will be mocked for not caring about "the bottom line".

It just occurred to me that the reason for the upside-down world you speak of is that the ones who hold the real power, or have the ability to promote, only recognize other birds of a feather. That is, like seeks out like.

Check out some of the workplace-bullying websites out there, and you'll find the numbers of psychopaths (most of whom have secured positions of power) is very (and rather disturbingly) high. The moral of the story: if you want power, better get a good dose of psychopathy into your veins.

Quote from: guest
The people who have power in society have it for a reason...

Quote from: fired
i always wondered why big companies always have dumb employees. i think they look for them! [so they can control people]

Quote from: Broken Spirit
I hate to keep saying this, but if you apply the six sacred words (Nothing that is so, is so), you'll see that failure to "succeed" in the work-place may be our greatest success.

How terrible to be ruined for slavery! If only I could be a good slave! How sweet life would be if only I would work harder like the Horse in Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, but no, I had to go and develop my intelligence. Now look at the mess I'm in: unemployable personality.

Damn my intelligence! Intelligence has become a liability if not a disability.

Quote from: fired
last resort? i tell the interviewer that this company will probably suck and i just get up and walk out.

Quote from: Broken Spirit
Now, now, you'll never get a job with that attitude ... good for you!

Quote from: Q
What if work isa religion?

Damn my intelligence! Intelligence has become a liability if not a disability.

Yep, I've been saying that for years - and put up with being called everything from an arrogant megalomaniac to an insecure victim of envy for my trouble. While both accusations might well have a grain of truth to them, I still think the core of it is exactly what BS and others have suggested. To think too broadly and consistently ruins one for slavery - or in more mainstream terms, it cripples one's motivation and attitude regarding employment.

Psychologists and those in the mainstream who are conditioned by them would say I'm reversing cause and effect here. They would say I'm screwed up in the head to begin with, and that's why I think these things. And again, while I can't deny there may be a grain of truth to that as well, I maintain that they are unable to see the other side of the coin. How could they? They lack either the intelligence or the will to think unconventionally, and usually both. Blunt but true, as far as I can tell.

I have another favorite saying which I made up quite a while ago - "The greatest possible advantage in the workplace is a healthy ignorance."
Title: Re: Work as a Tool of Social Control
Post by: The Creature on June 23, 2019, 11:45:14 am
For those who may benefit from a little validation that they are not alone in questioning systemic stupidity, I happened upon a couple forums while searching "I would rather starve to death than get a job." 

Not surprisingly, some of the most clear-headed and intelligent reflections I found flowing from those who are considered by society (or consider themselves) to be mentally ill (in need of "treatment"):

(1)  Would rather be dead than work full-time (https://www.psychforums.com/living-with-mental-illness/topic158527.html)

From there, a link to:

(2)  I just hate work. (https://www.psychforums.com/living-with-mental-illness/topic157494.html)

... and that's about all I found before feeling guilty about "goofing off." 

Title: Labor and Death - Jean Baudrillard
Post by: Silenus on January 21, 2020, 01:15:22 pm
Other societies have known multiple stakes: over birth and kinship, the soul and the body, the true and the false, reality and appearance.  Political economy has reduced them to just one: production.  But then the stakes were large, the violence extreme and hopes too high.  Today this is over.  The system has rid production of all real stakes.  A more radical truth is dawning, however, and the system's victory allows us to glimpse this fundamental stake.  It is even retrospectively becoming possible to analyse the whole of political economy as having nothing to do with production, as having stakes of life and death.  A symbolic stake.

Every stake is symbolic.  There have only ever been symbolic stakes.  This dimension is etched everywhere into the structural law of value, everywhere immanent in the code.

Labor power is instituted on death.  A man must die to become labor power.  He converts this death into a wage.  But the economic violence capital inflicted on him in the equivalence of the wage and labor power is nothing next to the symbolic violence inflicted on him by his definition as a productive force.  Faking the equivalence is nothing next to the equivalence, qua sings, of wages and death...

Labor is slow death...

All this becomes clear in the genealogy of the slave.  First, the prisoner of war is purely and simply put to death (one does him an honor in this way).  Then he is 'spared' [epargne] and conserved [conserve] (=servus), under the category of spoils of war and a prestige good: he becomes a slave and passes into sumptuary domesticity.  It is only later that he passes into servile labor.  However, he is no longer a 'laborer', since labor only appears in the phase of the serf or emancipated slave, finally relieved of the mortgage of being put to death.  Why is he freed?  Precisely in order to work..."

"Every stake is symbolic."