Employment is slavery cont.. .

When you are employed you create a certain amount of value every hour you work.

But you don’t get that value. You get a percentage of it and your employer gets the rest.

The employers are the shareholders.

Like the slave owners they do nothing and reap the profits.

Where do you think profit comes from?

It is the value the worker creates above and beyond his wage.

Now say that the product you make in an hour is sold for $20 and you get $7.50 for that hour.

That means that for 3/4s of that hour you are working for nothing.

What is slavery if it isn’t working… exerting Labour for someone else’s benefit and not your own.

I mean you can call a chicken a fish if you want but if it clucks and it’s got feathers it’s a chicken.

Now at the beginning of capitalism they tried all sorts of ways to get people to work for longer hours.

Because the more hours you work the more money you make for your employer.

So they thought if they increased the wage the employee would work longer for a greater reward.

What they found was that the employee worked less. He worked enough to maintain his level of life.

I’m getting that from Weber’s “Protestantism and the capitalist…” I forget the title lol.

Anyway they found that the only way to get the worker to work long hours was to keep him at subsistence level.

To insure he never reached financial security.

Don’t you see that the slave owners didn’t go away. They just bought the political system and put on a pretty mask.

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Why do we believe what we believe.

Any statement can be proven or disproven. This holds especially true of science; scientific facts have a Half-Life. At least if QI is to be believed.

Now what does this mean for belief?

Belief is very rarely anything to do with truth. Ask yourself this question and you will see this.

How do you decide whether something is true or not?

If you don’t know the answer to this question then how do you lay claim to truth as a value for any of your opinions.

Ultimately this leads to a paradox. Say you do have an answer for this question well how do you know it is the right answer?

You are using the answer as a means of deciding between truth and falsehood but how do you assign either value to the means. Who polices the policeman? Who judges the judge?

All beliefs are constructions that we build on top of experience. This can be normal run-of-the-mill sensory experience or spiritual experience. It really doesn’t matter how you get the experience.

We generally choose the construction that satisfies us in some sense. That is our beliefs are like the scratch marks above a flea bite. We have an itch to scratch so we scratch it.

A lot of people are anxious concerning death. They worry about what will happen to them or their loved ones. So their particular scratch is a belief in an after life.

Now all because your beliefs are a result of a need for satisfaction doesn’t mean that they are false. This would be falling for the genetic fallacy: a proposition is not true or false because of how you came to it.

It may disagree with the “truth” according to another decision procedure. We can’t really get at the Truth with a bit T to know if a statement is true or false in an absolute sense.

Zen knows this. Which is why Zen is all about the death of constructs. Just take experience as it comes. Don’t build castles out of sand.

But this can go a bit too far. At least according to my particular itches.

It is fun to build constructions and seeing as we cannot get to the big truth we might as well build pretty castles in the sand. But we mustn’t take them to seriously.

Atheism, theism and even agnosticism are all of the same order of validity as Harry potter and Lord of the rings.

Some people enjoy atheism and some enjoy theism.

The funny thing is though that if you have ears to hear it they all end up saying the same thing. They all end up being languages in which you can tell people “behave” or “It doesn’t matter what they do” just as in French and English you can say “the glass is on the table”.

People argue over the relative merits of language and that is really what the religions have been doing for god knows how long.

Then you see the whole thing is like football teams and their fans. They are all the same but people support one or the other for whatever reasons they can use to con themselves into taking the game seriously.

And they do this because it’s a hoot.

I know what I should do but I don’t do it!

We know what we should do but we don’t do it it.

By should I don’t mean a moralistic should. I don’t mean a social norm.

I don’t mean by this that we know we should help the little old lady cross the road but don’t.

Sure there are some who feel that should. It can be a should.

What I mean is we know what we should do to be more content.

Or at least we think we do and that’s all I need for my point.

For instance personally I know I should practice mindfulness and meditation in the sense that eckhart tolle teaches it.

Not because I want to gain a special insight or to get enlightened but simply because I know it makes life incredibly pleasant for me.

I don’t know if it would for you. I would certainly suggest anyone give it a go.

But I do know from past experience that it propels me into a state of almost constant, peaceful ecstasy.

A bit like drugs except you have all the pros of sobriety and all the pros of inebriation. It really is quite fantastic.

So saying this why don’t I practice it?

Why am I not doing it Now?

To get at my reason maybe I could come at it unawares so to speak.

There may be some among you who if I said “You should try meditation” would look at me, see that I don’t practice (Well always) what I preach and decide on that basis to not bother.

You could be very unhappy and want to he happy.

Now then even if I don’t practise what I preach why should you not try it?

I mean it might work and the cost if it doesn’t is a couple of minutes out of your day.

Really you use the fact that I don’t practice what I preach as an excuse for you not to bother and the reason you use it as an excuse is the exact same reason why I don’t practice what I preach.

We’re lazy. We say we want something yet we do not do the very things that will or might bring us that thing.

In a sense this is a kind of ground.

When asked why we are like this we are left with nothing else to say but other ways of saying the same thing.

I don’t do what I know I should because I am lazy; laziness is just another way of saying you don’t do what you know you should.

There’s only one answer and it’s really quite simple.

How do we stop not doing what we know we should?

Just do it silly.

Why don’t we do it?

Because we don’t haha.

It’s incredibly simple.

To avoid this. To avoid getting what we want we come up with all sorts of crazy schemes. The craziest of all is this blame game!

In response to “what’s the point to anything if we are all gonna die? Why not just die now?”

If life is no fun… ever… And you know this and you’ve tested this then kill yourself.

But why not wait for a bit? Why the rush?

So you’ve decided to kill yourself… You’re actually going to do it….

Stop for a bit and look around.

Is there anything you want to do but haven’t because you’re too scared.

Why not do it now?

Rob that bank, fuck that horny granny, tell a random beautiful or ugly person they’re beautiful or ugly.

What’s stopping you from doing It? What’s scaring you?

Your gonna die right? And You’re gonna die when you choose?

What threat can possibly exist against you?

Don’t you see you are god?

A Well Intentioned god.

A well intentioned god came along and made people. He meant to be the hero but couldn’t stop being the villain.

He thought people were “good” (deep down and naturally) but just didn’t know what “good” was. He reasoned to himself that ignorance thwarted their desperate attempts at being “good”.

“A ha” he said with a light bulb above his head “I’ll teach them what “good” is!”

So he went to start and just before the first word left his mouth he realized that he didn’t know what “good” was.

What was he to do?

“A ha” he said again “I’ll find the “good”

So he searched and he searched.

He criss crossed a basket weave over all of existence and at the end of his trials he stood empty handed because “What is” when asked concerning the “good” said nothing.

“A ha” he said yet again “I know what I shall do. I shall make the “good””

With nothing to base the “good” on except his own preference he based it on that.

Of course he was more coy about that fact to both himself and the people he’d made.

He would sometimes say when asked “oh that’s good because, er, because it allows you to harvest more, or stops you being sick” but mostly he just said “it’s good because it’s good”

Once the good was set up (the people called them laws) he thought to himself “my work is done. Now they have been told what to do they can carry on without being told anymore”

Many generations of the people were born and died when he thought “I’m going to go check in on those “good” people. It will be “good” to bask in my prior accomplishments.”

So he went back and discovered it was somehow worse than he left it.

What had gone wrong?

He wiped the people out.

“Start from scratch.” he said.

So he made the people again and gave them the “good” he had made again. Now though he stayed to see what would happen.

Silently he watched from the ether. He watched and he saw.

He saw that it had nothing to do with the content of the “good”; nothing to do with what the particular laws said.

There was a surface and a depth to the application of “good”.

On the surface the “good” worked. It told people what they could or couldn’t do and what they could do to the people who did what they couldn’t.

Below that though the law had taken on another function unpredicted by him.

The “good” became synomous with trust. People trusted “good” people and they knew who was “good”and who wasn’t by looking at the law.

“All well and good, ” mumbled our protagonist “or at least it would be if some people didn’t have the cheek to disregard my “good”.

“Now there are people who want to harm other people or exploit them and I’ve given them the perfect disguise!

“They can hide behind the “good”. If I hadn’t made the good in the first place they’d have nowhere to hide and everyone would see their rapacity.

“And that’s not all! Their sacrilege knows no bounds because those very men who want to bind others to their own interests have re-fashioned the “good” as they see fit.”

He stared around him at the mess he’d made. He was about to wipe the people out again but then thought better.

“That’s enough meddling for me don’t you think?” He said through the 4th wall.

On freedom

What deeply interests me is my own personal freedom.

I used to think freedom meant being able to do what you wanted when you wanted. This is the common understanding of freedom and in a sense it is freedom. The problem here though is that it treats freedom as if it is an independent entity; something that exists independently of context and human action.

Not only that but it ignores the fact that human desire is a malleable thing.

Through the media human sexual preferences have been changed drastically. For example in the 60s Charlton Heston with his hairy chest was a sex icon; now Justin Bieber with his pre-pubescent physiognomy is a sex icon.

Humans acting freely have not brought about this change; it has been brought about through the media.

So what this indicates is that there is a freedom that goes deeper then just being able to do what you want when you want. This is because freedom seems to me to include freedom from things such as control and influence.

You can argue all day long about who is doing this controlling and manipulating of human preferences.

If you manage to find who is responsible and change them for a better person you would have done nothing about the underlying cause of the control. That is your innate capacity to be controlled in such a way.

A useful analogy is that of a dog on a leash.

Instead of focusing on who holds the leash we should examine the mechanism of the leash itself. Once we understand the leash and the latch we can take them off. It wouldn’t matter who is the holder of the leash.

Another advantage of this approach is that the means of control, the way in which we are influenced is directly available to us. This is because in order to manipulate us they have to do something to us.

The good thing here is that even if a person isn’t deliberately manipulating us we can analyse what is being done to us and the effect it is having and see that it is control even if the perpetrator of the action is oblivious to this.

I think I have given a good example of this in my critiques of education. The teachers are well-intentioned and often oblivious of what they are being used to do. This masks the control from people who look at the leash-holder.