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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Communique "The Wages Are Sinful" 6-12021

"The workman gives as much, the Capitalist gives as little, as the nature of the bargain will admit." –Frederick Engels (1881)

What is the value in having someone waste their life away in service of the bank account of another? What is it that allows us as a society to include poverty as an active, if not desirable feature of capitalism? Is there anyone out there who would be willing to argue with me that “choosing” to work at Amazon when there is quite literally no other employment available is little more than a stone’s throw from slavery? And as an added attraction, the best example of why due to the rise of the Amazon business model, we have become a socialist nation?

You don’t see it? Look again. Who is paying for all except a select few I call them supervisors and above of Amazon’s workers health care? We are. Who is paying for their pensions or retirement plans? Not amazon, so who do you think is going to pick up the tab? We will. Still don’t see it? OK, let me ask you this. Are any of us, the American people better off because rather than pay his employees a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work Captain Bezos prefers to shoot himself into space?

Oh, did I mention his playground for the posh space program is underwritten by funds from not a no-bid contract, but by a we didn’t give you the first contract, but since you are so damn bloody rich and we don’t want you to feel left out or anything, we’re giving you a “consolation” government handout? You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I’m not.

Our government has nothing better to do with its funds except give more money to a non-essential billionaire 10 times over so he can play spaceman on his latest playdate.

Now, if you are cynical, you’re probably saying something along the lines of “so what? He earned it.” Or you might be one of those who believe without the promise of anyone, anywhere, and in virtually any way becoming so rich they couldn’t spend all of their accumulated wealth in one lifetime there is no American dream? If so, are you not admitting that greed, pain and suffering have become key components of our capitalist system?

Perhaps all of this sounds a bit alarmist as we are talking about a company that moves stuff around a little bit faster and a little bit cheaper than everyone else, yet somehow I can’t help but wonder, have we strayed so far from our roots as a nation originally dedicated to the proposition, and later fulfilled by the creation of the modern middle class lost its way into believing the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is for a small, select group of psychopaths who believe their ascension to the top of the economic dung heap, as evidenced by nothing more than electronic zeros, the more being the better, hidden away in a Swiss bank account, or two or three?

Ask yourself, are we becoming a nation where we are all willing to admit the very notion in and of itself, as an almost near religious reverence of “someday, I too can be wealthy too” is enough of an incentive to keep a system that not only does not recognize as valuable all the different talents and contributions of the individual, every individual but instead finds “individuality” not only a negative, but actively seeks to relegate the largest number of persons possible to an anonymous labor pool from which, without a way to standup, standout or from which to escape, well, if we are being honest, isn’t that what we are seeing and experiencing in the workplace? In society? And importantly, if so, why do we continue to allow this behavior?

Amazon is the embodiment of churn and burn. It is well documented and if we can reasonably judge from the results, there is by design little to no upward mobility within the company. They need you, or anyone with two arms and two legs will do, when they need you and when they don’t, they don’t.

I worry about what I call the increasingly nameless and faceless workforce, the “ghost workers” hidden away behind warehouse walls far away from questioning, prying eyes. I wonder what will happen when the automated revolution finally takes hold. Metal arms and legs working 24/7, no HR departments, no unions to worry about and all invisible to the outside world.

I want to make clear I do not wish to cast aspersions on persons who do what they have to do. In fact, I consider these victims of a rigged system the true working-class heroes of our time. They put food on the table and shoes on their children’s feet. But I wonder, how many times can one be told they are at best interchangeable at a moment’s notice before they begin to believe it.

Your training and education? Doesn’t matter. I, you, we are better off without it is today’s message. That way, “entry level” become the only level with the inevitable if you don’t like it here go somewhere else when management knows damn well there is nowhere else to go.

How do we as a society put up with such nonsense as inflation or deficits are more important than how the lack of adequate childcare and paid leave for parents to raise their families sits on the back burner as a socialist dream?

The only socialist dream I know of is free healthcare for life afforded to our out-of-touch I’ve got mine now you get yours members of Congress who for the most part never saw a pay raise for themselves they didn’t like while refusing to adjust the basic minimum wage in an easy, common sense effort to help provide for their constituents, who apparently should be seen but not heard, and these days, their silent suffering extending all the way to the ballot box.

As long as I’m asking questions, when was the last time you bought an item for its craftsmanship? Because you were hoping the quality would make it the “only one you would ever need in your lifetime?” Because it was unique? Or, without worrying about utility, because it made you happy? Has our disposable economy finally led us into becoming little more than a disposable society?

A society where people believe birth is more important than life? Where free speech including the right to protest in the streets if necessary is equated with acts of vandalism and looting and tied to the property rights of business owners? Where guns are the preferred method of solving our differences?

And what of the names and faces of the single mothers tending to their children as best they can from a station wagon parked within a church parking lot? Remember the pictures and stories from the Great Depression? From the Dust Bowl? Who will be the Tom Joad of this era? Or, will the revisionist “historians” win the day? How will the dismantling of our nation be memorialized? If at all?

Or, we can speak up. We can refuse to be silenced as in a democracy, silence equals death? The Mitch McConnells of the world know this and are perfectly happy to cloud, obfuscate and obliterate your voice, through demonstrations and acts of civil obedience. By denying us the right to teach anything that doesn’t fit what I call the “narrative” of white privilege based upon racial supremacy.

Will this truly be the Blank Generation? Meaning, the Trump years will end up being re-written every few years or so based on the latest ideology and needs of a select group of fascists who will eventually have us all believing Jesus, the greatest American of all time, wrote the Constitution and delivered us from his own gospel of loving and caring for one another, replacing it with a message of profit and power at all costs as the ultimate arbitrator of all things divine and, the one sure golden ticket to paradise and all the better if gained on the backs if not broken dreams and bones of those who gave all in a doomed from the start godless, socialist plot invented by a pack of cowardly heretics called the Founding Fathers.

Do you really want to risk being known as the “we don’t talk about it, era?” Yeah, me neither. Don’t be bullied by those who would silence you. Speak up and stand out as often as possible. It’s the only way.

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