Some myths about full employment

In the Middle Ages, there was full employment. It was called the Feudal System. Only a few people had any rights. They were the people who ran the show. The King ruled by divine right (apparently.) Nobody was paid. These indentured slaves were branded to stop them escaping. It was only the Black Death which put an end to the Feudal System. It ended because such was the devastation of the Black Death that there were few people left for the labour required. The labourers had some negotiating powers.
In Victorian times, the out of work were put to work in the Workhouse, grim institutions which in effect criminalised the poor.
These days full employment seems to be the main aim of governments, at least British governments. Governments do not really care about the people they govern. Politicians as we have learned recently mainly care mainly about self aggrandisement, votes, feathering their own nest. Politicians always have eye on the future – their future. They lay down the foundations of their future, that is of  sitting on boards as directors where they are able to use their contacts to further the aims of this organisation or that to the detriment of everybody else.
A headline has just come up on MSN which reads The Only Way out of poverty is work. It’s a quote from David Cameron, our Prime Minister. Cameron is an intellectual pigmy. He was speaking to the Conservative Party Conference of course but it is possible that he actually believes it. At party conferences, especially Conservative party conferences, leaders & underlings routinely play to the gallery; in this case a gallery inhabited by many who are not very intellectual reactionaries.
Up until recently we were promised a future where because of automation & machines generally the amount of work generally that the population would be required to do would be minimal. People would enjoy more leisure, the work they did would be more fulfilling. That future seems to have disappeared into nothingness.
I wonder what sort of work he has in mind. Maybe he hasn’t thought about it. He himself has 3 children. No doubt they will lead nice lives. Cameron, himself, it is generally believed has inherited £25m. But the poor & uneducated, even the poor & not so uneducated, it seems have to work hard. Probably they have to work themselves into an early grave to satisfy Cameron & his ilk. It seems that the present government have the workers in their sights. What rights they do still have are, it seems, about to be taken away.
Cameron seems to believe that everyone should be working even though there aren’t the jobs around anyway. I don’t know how he can square the circle. I don’t know how he can live with himself. Apparently Cameron is attacking Ed Miliband the Labour leader for being intellectual. Well well, that is a surprise. Cameron is in the tradition of many leaders, both democratically elected & those not, in despising intellectuals. No doubt he also despises the poor & the downtrodden. He is a patrician; possibly he believes he rules by divine right.
Full employment can mean anything. It can mean the workhouse. It can mean the Feudal Society. It can mean the slave trade. It can mean war, when young men have to have a good excuse not to fight. To fulfil the economic needs of the planet, not everybody needs to work. Some people starve to death, others have more than anybody could need.
What is needed is an alternative to the present system. The present system benefits such as Cameron. It enables such as him to laud it over the 99+% of the population who do not share his privileged background. What is needed is a system whereby we, the people, live in harmony with each other, the other species & the planet itself. It may seem utopian. What really needs to be addressed is climate change & the catastrophes that have befallen the planet & which are imminent. It is utopian. It is certainly unattainable in the short run. But whilst the laws of capitalism are seen to be immutable there is no hope. A start towards a more rational society has to be made soon, preferably today or it will be too late.

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