What we’re probably not learning from the recession

Posted by on 10.29.09 | 3 Comments
Filed Under Uncategorized

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

I’ve re-posted stuff from Joe Bageant’s blog “Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War” before. He is the essence of brilliant curmudgeon-liness. I particularly like the post that came out today. It strikes home because of its truth: for many in the world, ‘jobs are their livelihood, not their lives…’ and the flow and function of the marketplace takes on the flavor of community. But not in North America.

Apples for sale in Tepotzlan, Morelos, photo by Keith Baines of Jersey City, NJ

Here are some quotes from Joe’s post, made from Ajijic, Mexico, to get you over there to read it in entirety:

These vendors are not poor people or peasants. They own homes, drive cars, watch cable television, send their children to college and do most of the things North Americans do. But their jobs are their livelihoods, not their lives, and every transaction is permeated with the ebb and flow of daily neighborhood and family life. “Is Maria going to graduate after all? Si! But by just by the hair in her nose! Who is going to sell fireworks for the Feast of Saint Andrew?” (Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Ajijic.)

It may be my bias, or my imagination, or my distaste for toil, but from here America looks like one big workhouse, “under God, indivisible, with time off to ***, shower and shop.” A country whose citizens have been reduced to “human assets” of a vast and relentless economic machine, moving human parts oiled by commodities and kept in motion by the edict, “produce or die.” Where employment and a job dominates all other aspects of life, and the loss of which spells the loss of everything.

Joe Bageant: The Iron Cheer of Empire

What we might be learning from the current economic situation is that we’re so wrong-headed that it’s like we have two heads. One head that longs for peace and harmony, and to make a living so that we can live. The other head is strident, demanding and mean to our spirits. This second talking head babbles that the angst of our culture is our real state, so get used to it. It says that not having a job means that your rank is depleted (unless you’re retired with lots of ‘assets’). It says that simply living our lives with joy is not a good enough goal. It says that one of anything good is not enough.

I’m not saying that being without means is better than being with means. I’m not saying that I want to be without a ‘job’. What I am saying is that how we view our work must change or with the inevitable upward movement of the economy, we’ll be ever poorer.

]]>

timeline

3 Comments

have your say

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. Subscribe to these comments.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

:

: