CAUTION: THIS ARTICLE
MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO PEOPLE
WHO IDENTIFY EMOTIONALLY WITH THEIR JOBS
more evil than CRIME... its a greater
threat than nicotine... its more
corrupting than DIRTY words...
No, not drugs or paedophiles. Im talking
about pointless, stupid, unnecessary work.
Were surrounded by it... its in
your mail box (junk mail doesnt conceive,
plan, budget, design, print and mail ITSELF
there are full-time jobs to do these
things)... Its on the phone (have telemarketing
jobs ever increased the quality of life
for one single human being?).
Then there is the ultimate menace,
the absolute evil... Financial Services.
Financial Services is a huge industry
banking, credit cards and insurance are bigger
in the UK than manufacturing. Financial Services
has provided vast numbers of pointless jobs.
creation of anything useful or worthwhile is
Services is pretty much all based on what used
to be called usury - the practice of
making money from money. No creation of anything
useful or worthwhile is involved. No real
wealth is being created (to use Buckminster
Fullers definition of real wealth as whatever
nurtures and accommodates human life).
All that pointless work. And its
not just the thousands of unfortunate office
wage-slaves. Consider also the buildings that
house the Financial Services companies, the
computer systems used, the junk mail they send
out by the thousand tons.* All of this requires
human work to conceive, plan, design, schedule,
build, manage, implement, market and deliver.
A recent survey showed that 60%
of UK workers feel their work is of no use to
society. Look around and be aware of the pointlessness
of most work. There are examples everywhere
the so-called loyalty cards which every
large retail store seems to issue, the over-complex
tax system which creates a necessity for accountants
(and for people who conceive, plan, design,
schedule, write and print the tax form instructions,
and the people who make the headache pills for
everyone who has to fill in a tax return).
Everybody in my street (except me)
has a burglar alarm installed (in spite of the
fact that the burglary rate in my area has been
virtually zero for years). Try to imagine the
amount of human work involved in conceiving,
planning, designing, producing, marketing, installing
and maintaining all the products and services
which owe their existence to our over-stimulated
fears of crime and property loss.
Now try to imagine a society where
people work only on things that are essential,
beneficial or enjoyable. The essential work
would probably require only a few hours a week
at the most. There would still be unpleasant
jobs, but if we had a true labour market,
the most unpleasant jobs would be the highest
* Update: According
to Dan Ariely's book, Predictably Irrational
[p126], the credit-card business alone sends
out six billion pieces of direct
mail a year.