Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wage Slavery in America

'Off Limits' by Jon Raymond
In the film, Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky refers to wage slavery as something going on right now in America, not very different from the origin of the term when it referred to chattel slavery. People rent themselves out now in order to survive in the American corporate oligarchy. They are therefore not able to pursue their true passions and creativity, having to spend about ten hours a day at work and on the way to work. And after those ten hours of politically correct ass kissing, glad handing, and smiley facing, who feels like doing anything but watching the tube or posting on Facebook? I certainly don't, nor do many of my artist friends. It takes a lot of extra effort to work on what you really want to do with your life, within what's left of it.

The counter argument is that the term wage slavery refers to a time of 24 hour a day full-time slavery, and comparatively, the American smiley face football way of life is a wonderful utopia (Comparatively a cheeseburger is better than eating sand. But for how long would you like to have  to survive on cheeseburgers). Well we've come a long way. The elite feudal lords have figured out over the ages how to keep their worshiping working masses fat, dumb, and happy, by giving them a few hours at home in a comfy couch with a TV to watch the corporate media agenda diverting their mental capacity for thought from their plight of going nowhere, to intricate analysis of which football team is in the lead and why. With education in the US ranking well below some 20 or 30 other countries, healthcare ranking below 30 to 50 others (depending on the measure) and class-ism on a par with most third world countries, should we really be more concerned about billion dollar football franchises than our own pitiful welfare?

If you are aware of all this, and can feel the reality of wasting away for the man in denial of your true creative passions, at least then you might find some consolation in spending the pittance of what's left of your life on pursuing your true passions, unless you're so far gone that you believe that the cheeseburger life exploitation of you by Wall Street's consumer sports industries are your passion. 
From Are You a Wage Slave?  by Stefan
An obvious difference between chattel slavery and wage slavery is that as a chattel slave you are enslaved – totally subjected to another’s will – at every moment from birth to death, in every aspect of your life. As a wage-slave, you are enslaved only at those times when your labour power is at the disposal of your employer. At other times, in other aspects of your life – as a consumer, a voter, a family member, a gardener perhaps – you enjoy a certain measure of freedom, respect and social equality. Thus, the wage-slave has some scope for self-development and self-realization that is denied the chattel slave. Limited scope, to be sure, for the wage-slave must regularly return to the cramped world of wage labour, which spread its influence over the rest of life like a pestilential mist.
From NMMNG on
According to the 2000 Census:
12.8% of US households lived on $25,000-$34,999 a year
12.8% of US households lived on $15,000-$25,999 a year
6.3% of US households lived on $10,000-$14,999 a year
And 9.5% of US households lived on less than $10,000 a year

This means that 44.1% of Americans lived on $34,999 or less a year

Such are the lives of the wage-slaves in the United States. Those individuals who typically work just as hard and long, if not more so, than their much higher paid counterparts, yet are paid significantly less. 
But wage slaves are not just those working on the low end of the scale. Anyone doing any job or in any career that they are in solely for the purpose of survival, regardless of how lucrative, are a slave to their wages, and live in denial of their own creativity, humanity, and passions, unless they don't actually have to bother going to work.

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