Tuesday, June 12, 2012

American Sheeple: Human Resources & Consumers

Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal, did a post comparing the Mediterranean lifestyle compared to the American lifestyle, and apparently a commmenter who has lived in both Italy and America weighed in on the topic at his own blog, entitled: A Brief Rant About America:

The one thing that Italy has that America lacks is a culture that is not entirely dominated by the “machine” (the technological complex that demands hours of work on a treadmill every day to keep crappy consumerism alive so that our survival becomes dependent on businessmen making money). In Italy, people aim to live like human beings: they don’t work like maniacs; they don’t eat like maniacs; they go bankrupt and don’t care. When the American dream (of a career selling crap to people who don’t need it) becomes an impossible nightmare for them, they retreat to the fields and become shepherds — instead of camping out on Wall Street and demanding handouts from their fatcat overlords.

Great start to a rant, but the American dream needs an addendum here:

...of a career selling crap to people who don’t need it, so that they can service their own debt they used to buy crap they don't need either.

In America, we are still living with the kind of idiotic mindset that makes work a virtue for its own sake. We work really hard at tasks, so hard that we cannot be bothered to stop when feedback indicates that we are digging ourselves into an impossible hole (creating hell instead of heaven). We value effort over achievement, profit over sustainability, size over function, specialization and concentration over tinkering and liberal understanding. We go to school to become cogs in “the machine” — to turn our brains off of human concerns so that we can dedicate them wholly to minute tasks that make money for businessmen (for the most part: some of us do dodge the bullet! but we see those who don’t in our classrooms, our churches, our workplaces, our gyms, our hospitals, and so on). We work to “do a job” that we frequently couldn’t care less about, probably because it is usually as boring as heck (with its primary contribution to humanity being the perpetuation of busywork, which we worship with religious fervor).

Good rant. What he really notices here is nothing more than the influence of the Corporatist/Fascist machine that is the SYSTEM that America operates in. Education and mass media influence are all designed to instill two primary ethos in us all: to become materialistic consumers of corporate products and services, and to become the HUMAN RESOURCES that serve as the cogs and wheels of the machine that provides those goods and services to feed that corporate mass media driven, consumerist ideal.

Side note on my strange position between conservatism and liberalism. 
It is really funny.  Everyone firmly on one side sees all these nefarious conspiracies on the other: depending on which set of friends I talk with on any given day, I am alternately a card-carrying member of the KKK or the Weathermen -- a reactionary fascist who loves big business or a fire-breathing communist determined to make sure every kindergartner in America knows how to have anal sex.  What nonsense!  There are not really vast grassroots conspiracies in American politics, in my experience: just people at the top exploiting people at the bottom in tried and true ways to maintain their position, throwing the occasional bone to an ideological cause they believe in "because that's the right thing to do" -- as it is, sometimes. 

Precisely. There is no real, substantial difference between "conservatism" and "liberalism" at this point in time. They are both two sides of the same coin - the right and left hands of the same leviathan, the all consuming, forever expanding Government/Corporate conglomerate that seeks to enslave us all.


Anonymous said...


Why or why is world like this?

Suz said...

So so true.
My liberal friends and my conservative friends, by turns, wonder if I'm the Anti-Christ.

Anonymous said...

It's just the way humans go. It used to be far, far worse, recall. I would say it's only Christianity and modern technology (which came out of the former's rationality) that is making the world better. I know a lot of people like to blame evil and see us descending into an anti-Christ situation, but that's just defeatism. This is a necessary phase.

These people who are trying to control and dominate us are the real powerless ones here. They are trying to fight against and undo reality, but it resists them for us. Their dreams are impossible to realize. If we persevere, we win by default.

That's how evil always works, too. They try to destroy the truth, but the truth can only be held back for so long. This global suffering is a result of resisting the truth. The point of this sort of thing is for people to realize they are committing error and to correct themselves.

That's why blogs like this are more and more important. The Internet is the gateway to a better world. Keep speaking the truth, correct the willing and see how everything changes. Those who embrace the truth will inherit the future.

Troy Lee Messer said...

I used to be a lawyer. I fucking hated it. Now I work at wal-mart. ..And I love my life a lot better. The recession wasn't kind to single males without children. And when I tell people that I would rather be a poor wal-mart night stocker than a well off attorney, it blows people's fucking minds. "B....Bu...But the money? What about the money?"

Well I don't give a fuck about money. I get more out of a nice Arizona sunset than most people get out of their I-phones. Because I don't give a fuck about money, because I fucking don't tolerate hypergamy, because I am not willing to work my self to an early grave for an intellectual and morally repugnant jobs as a lawyer, I am considered a failure. Let there be no doubt about it. Every woman, and most men consider me a loser. A slacker because I'd rather geocache, wonder around the woods, or play some WOW than work.

Like i said, i work at wal-mart. And it has helped to cure me of consumerism. I stock all this crap and I think to myself, "All this stuff is crap as in cheap made, won't last 10 years, plastic, disposable crap." And it amazes me that people work many many hours and endure stress to buy this crap. Oh, and Target isn't much better. It is all chinese made crap. Maybe marginally better crap, but crap none the less.

I took the red pill. And thanks to blogs like this and Cheateu, and Reason.com, they help me get throught those weak moments and help me to understand that taking the red pill was the right decision. Now that I know the truth, work less, play more, stress way WAY less, I am much happier.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant.

xsplat said...

This is off topic but I don't know where to ask this question, or who to ask.

My understanding is that during a stock market crash, the money doesn't actually disappear, it just gets redistributed and taken out of general circulation. There are winners and losers.

And so with the Lehman Brothers and mortgage brokers scandal, where corrupt institutions held influence throughout the government up to the highest places, had installed professors in universities and pundits in all the major media outlets and controlled a vast global swindle that collected billions of dollars from duped investors, where did the money go?

Who has that money now? I'm not talking about the paltry salaries in the millions of dollars. That's peanuts. These companies made money enough that they controlled governments, media, higher education, and who knows what else. Billions. Who has control of that money now?

Captain Capitalism said...

My response would be a post I made a while ago about "Italian guys are hot" and the difference in culture when it comes to working:


James Wolfe said...

I'm a web developer and I make pretty good money. I'm good at what I do but I refuse to advance. I'm not a junior or a senior and I'm definitely not a lead. Everyone else busts their ass trying to climb the corporate ladder while I get my job done and I go home. I very seldom get recognized for my hard work because I refuse to suck up and play the game. My reward comes at 5 o'clock when I get the hell out of there and go home. Home is where I relax and enjoy my life, where I spend time with my kids, where I make things and create things and garden, and all the other things I enjoy doing. The company doesn't own me. My boss doesn't own me. And by God no woman owns me. My job is just a means to an end, and the stuff I buy, I buy because I want it, not because somebody tells me I need it.

Life is about living and if you're not enjoying it then you're doing something wrong. Don't sell your soul for a bunch of trinkets or waste your life trying to make someone happy who doesn't know what it means to be happy. Relax and enjoy yourself!

Anonymous said...

So I guess this explains why Italy is so poor at innovation?

Tim Lebsack said...

Italians pay some high taxes for being productive.