3 minutes reading time (505 words)

Martyrs for the Economy

In lean times it is perfectly natural that the struggle for daily bread be all-consuming, the mind cannot live without the body, but amidst the potential of near effortless abundance we are exhorted time and again to get to work. Why?

The treadmill economy is a finely tuned machine designed to use up the lives of people. It comes with a logic that insists that the conversion of time into money is the highest value of human life. ‘Economics’ is the dogma of global power; its rituals dictate the daily round of the laity and its icons are pursued and worshipped the world over. Obedience is the central tenet of the faith, don’t ask questions, you don’t need to know.

It is total abstraction.

We must work, strive and connive into positions through which quantities of banking sanctioned digits cycle.  We must increase our contribution to taxation, lift GDP relative to the national debt and service interest as ongoing evidence of continued faith in the rules of finance. The gears must turn. High temperature resource extraction, high temperature manufacturing, lots of friction and lots of entropy chasing numbers that we’ll never hold in our hands. Then when the thing starts to clog up, as it inevitably must, we hear the pounding of the drums and dutifully march on some distant mob to clear the blockage in the only acceptable way, bank sanctioned murder. It’s all in a day’s work.

We must shop, to exchange digits for stuff always threatening to back up and choke the machine. We have to consume more cheese, more cars, more bombs, more plastic things to keep all the people on the machines that make cheese, cars, bombs and plastic things. And caught between the factory, the salesmen and the money lender the minds and bodies of the congregation are twisted and bloated, drugged and pummelled into submission.

Then we borrow. Prostrate before banks of ever more scandalous reputation, we point imploringly to our credit rating as evidence of our credentials as adherents of the financial faith and pledge with our pay packets and letters from bosses that we will hand over our future for the compounding numbers. So, convinced of the soundness of the approach by beautiful and happy actors feeding, buying and breaking things, wiping stuff on their skin, driving around etc. and the sagacious priesthood daily and nightly beamed into our living rooms, we give our lives selfishly and without regard for future generations to international financial convention.

We are economic martyrs. Long live jobs and growth!

“I propose to bring as forcibly as possible to your attention that it is not the prime object of human existence to find employment. I have no intention of being dogmatic as to what is the prime object of existence but I am entirely confident that it is not comprised in the endless pursuit of turning this originally very beautiful world into slag-heaps, blast furnaces, guns and battleships.”

It is rumoured there is life beyond economics, but how to get there?

1
The Futility of Environmental Sentiment
 

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