Saturday, October 08, 2005

Smashing the Job Culture

I wish Claire Wolfe had written her new motivational how-to book How to Kill the Job Culture Before it Kills You: Living a Life of Autonomy in a Wage-Slave Society sometime during my 16-year servitude to Corporate America. I might have saved myself a few years of the suit-and-tie routine, unproductive business meetings, back-stabbing politics, and daily two-hour roundtrip commutes to downtown L.A. But since I did eventually cut loose from what Claire calls the Job Culture by my own arduous methods, let me say that the advice she offers is top-notch. If you’re now a “wage slave,” this book will save you a lot of time planning your escape.

What makes How to Kill the Job Culture especially important is its role as a first-rate primer on the Left Libertarian (i.e., radical free-market) case against state-corporate capitalism. In a chapter titled “The Free-Market Case Against Jobs,” Claire writes:

“Submission to the endless rules of institutions is the same, whether those institutions are run from boardrooms or bureaucratic agencies. Obedience to authority is obedience to authority, no matter which authority we choose to bow before. Surrendering self-ownership is surrendering self-ownership, whether you give yourself up to Global MegaCorp, Inc. or surrender your authority over your life to Rule No. 762.32(A)(1)(b) of Federal Agency XYZ.”

Claire admits there are substantial distinctions between big government and big business, not the least of which being that we’re compelled to live under the coercive State but deal with big business voluntarily for the most part. But she argues simply and directly that

“Big, all-controlling government and the large institutions of the Industrial Revolution were born together, from the same roots, for many of the same purposes — to regiment, centralize, homogenize, and control. To succeed in their purposes, both needed to turn a population of rowdy, diverse individuals into a compliant, largely robotic, mass. And — it’s horrible, but undeniable — big government and big corporate institutions were created side-by-side as two facets of one increasingly formidable war-making machine.

“It didn’t ‘just happen’ that two allegedly diverse institutions came together for the same purpose at the same time. And it doesn’t ‘just happen’ today that those same institutions continue to reinforce each other in war and peace.”

The Job Culture, Claire asserts, weakens our free will. It instills in us an irresponsible “someone else will deal with it” mentality. Thomas Jefferson, she points out, distrusted not only big government and organized religion but also what he called the “pseudo aristoi” — wealthy, powerful individuals who made up the privileged business establishment. Writes Claire:

“The person who spends the majority of her years as ... a cog in a work wheel doesn’t have to go far at all to become a cog-in-the-wheel ‘good citizen,’ loyal to and dependent upon the largess and authority of the state, rather than on the principles of liberty.”

So how do we, as individuals, kill the Job Culture, fashion our own work environments, and ultimately shrug off the Corporate Welfare-Warfare State? Read Claire’s book. It’s “must reading” for those now living both inside and outside the Job Culture.

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At 9:12 PM, Blogger Steve Trinward said...

Nice review - picked it up over on Rational Review News, where I am one of the editors. You might find my own review of this book also of interest:


At 9:14 AM, Blogger B.W. Richardson said...

Terrific review! Made me want to go read it again ... in fact it's already starting to look a little dog-eared. I'm taking the week off from my wage-slavery to get some serious planning done.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger freeman said...

Man, if I wasn't broke as a joke I'd have a copy of this book by now. I can't wait to finally read it!

At 4:34 AM, Blogger metromon said...

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