Friday, 17 December 2010

What is a valid contribution to society?

In the current system, the distinction seems largely to be whether you are in paid work or not. Although some paid work is taboo - drug dealing, say,  pretty much any paid work is seen as contributing to society - even selling cigarettes / tobacco.

This is a bit of an exaggeration, as there are people of course who give of their time voluntarily and do things that are socially necessary and/or socially constructive. These will tend to be people who have the money and therefore the time to do something socially constructive without being paid specifically for doing so. Even as I write, I see the true logic of how society should be operated arising from what I am writing, even though I'm not writing exactly what I originally intended.

No-one should be doing anything that is not socially constructive. We put people in prison for some socially destructive things, but for others we pay them a salary. Lunacy. Let's go back to the volunteers. They're doing something socially constructive, because it is socially constructive and for no other reason. Does it not seem likely that the vast majority of people, freed from waged slavery, would do the same?

Under the current system, consuming is contributing to society, because of cyclic consumption:  I have to work to get money to spend to keep you in work so that you can consume and keep the next person in work, and so on. Lest we should see the foolishness of all this, advertising/marketing steps in to keep us thinking we must consume more. What is this system (or those that operate it) trying to achieve? Are they genuinely trying to use up resources as quickly as possible? Do they just not care that the system is consuming the resources ever more rapidly?

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