The very first post…
This need to write and communicate with god knows who and why. After almost a decade of living in Athens we moved to Chania/Crete and it’s like the horizon expanded, moved a bit further. More time and space led to more exploration (inside and outside) and thoughts. Big cities have this charm that can easily lull you, make you lose track of time. In the countryside, time has a completely different way to roll. This fact, in association with the melancholy of Chania by winter, triggered a lot of thoughts that were conveniently buried under the everyday routine of living in a big city. If you add to all these an early midlife need of change (or just this deep need of confronting all the things that for all these years have been going wrong but you do not dare to change them) you have enough I guess.
The last few years, in a desperate effort to cover an erupting emptiness, that is by the way more and more common among our generation and leads to apathy, I tried to figure out what bothered me that much that I could not move forward. Now is the moment that someone waits for the ”big truth”, the ultimate solution, but unfortunately this will not happen. Nevertheless, I will try to give you some of the observations I made over a society in crisis (or more precisely, a society in shock).
When you start seeking answers on ”why I am so apathetic” or ”why I do not want to do anything today” and a lot of similar questions, you primarily focus on yourself and your direct environment and normally your findings are not that encouraging (you are not alone!). In my opinion, modern distribution of labor in association with what we perceive as ”work” play a key role (especially the notion of labor under capitalism). The whole notion of salary based employment is full of schizophrenic contradictions both economic and social way and it is the next hot issue that has to be faced if we want a healthy society.
If we look carefully around us we will notice, next to the rising percentage of unemployment, a vast number of ”zombie” workers (white collar and not) and by zombie workers I mean all these people whose working positions can easily disappear without anyone noticing. All these because under capitalism is unacceptable the idea that people can earn anything without working. The real challenge the years to come is to accept the fact that not all people need to work since we have achieved technological progress that can ensure our survival (and much more). So instead of inventing jobs or establishing minimum annual income maybe we have to embrace the idea that the notion of labor has to be seen by a completely different angle. An angle non economical or as Richard Buckminster Fuller posed it :
“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
Have a nice week.
Michail I. Lafkas