An Introduction to Wage Slavery

in #philosophylast year


It seems that every time I approach this subject it causes friction, but perhaps more friction is needed in this regard. Today I want to discuss why being a citizen of a government is not some great gift from some benevolent authority that has our best interests in mind. It requires a willingness to actually consider things critically, but usually I end up preaching to the choir on this subject or just having people that are fond of the state tell me things like "You're free to leave." I want to address these topics and hopefully create more thought and discussion about the concepts I am about to present.

Let's first address the most common negative response that I get. You are free to leave. Am I? If I am free to leave then why must I pay a tax to do so? All of the red tape and government paperwork required to travel certainly makes me think I am not free to leave. The government has to charge me money and then give me permission to leave. On that same note, why do I answer to this authority in the first place? When I was born they claimed me, I did not claim them. I got given a serial number just like the rest of you by my respective overlord and I feel the word citizen is a synonym for property and represents ownership rather than membership. Did any of you ask your government if you could be a member of their glorious organization or did they just ship you off for a state regulated education to groom you into being something that provides value to their economy?


This brings me to the next big issue I have with any government claiming we are "free citizens." Let's discuss what money actually is all about. We are all groomed by our respective governments through mandatory education programs to make us "valuable members of society." Of course that sounds like a great thing, who doesn't want to be valuable? If we're valuable we need something to tell us how valuable we are, let's print out funny little pieces of paper to tell people what their time and efforts are worth. If the country or organization, however you prefer to think of it, is lacking in a specific field or one field requires greater specialization, then it's rewarded with a higher value to encourage more of its' "free citizens" to pursue that field.

It's all sort of subjective to me which is more important, the farmer feeding the doctor or the doctor caring for the farmers health. The reason that these tokens are useful is because of the simple fact that the doctor needs to eat, but perhaps his patient is a book keeper and doesn't grow food. He treats the book keeper for a value of exchange to buy his food and the book keeper manages the accounting for the farmer so the cycle works. The problem with having a government involved in this "agreed value of exchange" is that it's first and foremost taking a cut, but it also takes a cut of all parties income before they even make the exchange. So the value of exchange isn't even worth what it's supposed to be worth in the first place and ultimately the house always wins as it does nothing but mediate the value by allegedly controlling how many pieces of the paper exist.


We have now arrived at the fundamental breakdown of the core issues of the government and economic problems it creates. People are led to pursue careers doing things for these exchanges of value because of the illusion that it provides some insurance of a quality of life. We can now see that the government grooms its' citizens according to what it views our needs to be. The question then becomes how to distract us from the fact that we're being led to pursue things that we don't want to do in the first place and the answer is through consumerism and greed. The government keeps the illusion of providing us some great service and protection, while taxing our work, exchanges of value, and consumption. It's a grand racket honestly and it's easy to overlook if we want to let ourselves believe that this mega-corporation disguised as a government is actually here to protect us.

I'll draw some comparisons for everyone now to hopefully allow more consideration into the points I am trying to get across. A farmer waters their crops and spaces them out to help them grow and flourish, but the end goal is still to feed off of them. A Shepard keeps its' flock safe from predators and keeps them fed, but its' goal is still to harvest their wool or feed off of the flock itself. What good is cattle that has no value? You can't feed off of a herd with no meat or drink the milk from an unhealthy cow. The point is that in all of these situations, the person in charge is only caring for its' dependents to get something of value out of them in the end. If one of the cows causes too much of an issue or some of the fruit rots or gets infested, it will be removed to keep the rest of the herd or harvest producing.


Our governments use us as their livestock and feed off of our dependence on their tokens of exchange. That's why we are never asked to become a citizen, you don't ask a baby cow that you just bred and ripped from its' parents to be your calf do you? You don't ask that calf what it wants to do when it grows up, you guide it to serve your own means. It seems evident if we take a step back that the governments we all "belong to" are doing the same to us. The funniest thing about all of it from my perspective is that we can all simply stop playing the game if we so choose, but to be really free we all must make that decision or at least the grand majority of us. The problem I see is that too many of us have become domesticated and dependent on a system of being used and abused by these benevolent rulers that we trust to keep our cages clean and functional. Personally I think I do a better job of looking after my own cage than the government does. Namaste.

Image sources: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Reposted from over a year ago.


You're not a member of the group you belong to.

Very good observations that come from peeking out of the box. Some things I have considered along these lines. While the farmer grows food for market, I have a garden where I grow food for myself. That produce isn't taxed, like the farmer's is, so all the food I produce, in addition to being more closely regulated by me for dangerous additives or residues, even if not more cost effective than food I can buy from the farmer, doesn't contribute to the parasitic state.

The accountant provides a service that is becoming more obsolete every day, as open source accounting programs enable the doctor to do his own books with the power of multiple accountants doing them by hand. Since the software was not purchased, no transaction incurring tax liability happened, and again the state is deprived of revenue.

It is in this way that decentralization is decreasing the power of institutions. Accounting software is basically a form of AI, and I can see many other ways AI is going to contribute to decreasing costs individuals bear, and the revenue institutions accrue. In each example I gave, the freedom of the individual is increased as well. Is it too farfetched to imagine that by using AI, CRISPR, aquaponics, 3D printing, and a robot surgeon, someday the doctor can be replaced by our own means of production? I don't think so, because health information can be provided by suitable AI. CRISPR can be used to modify organisms to produce necessary compounds that can be grown in our aquaponics setups at home, the compounds extracted, and printed into medicine with our 3D printers. If we need surgery, our robot arms can hack and slash us at home. Given nominal AI and robotics, doctors can be replaced with our own production as well.

While home surgery remains in the realm of sci fi, many, many other goods and services are able to be replaced with our own work today, and development of decentralization continues, so more are coming. Every matter we solve ourselves reduces the power of the state, and keeps our benefit from our work in our personal hands without being parasitized.

Decentralization is freedom, and it's increasing daily.

I think you nailed it, we have to learn to be more self reliant and stop sucking the poisoned tit of big government. It's a pretty sad state when some children don't even know where food comes from...

I flag trash (and morons). You have received a flag.

Very much true indeed and have you seen this on YouTube a fellow from Queensland Australia talking about how we a put under government ownership from birth.

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The strawman theory is catching on in the U.S. and it's similar in some ways. It seems to me that there is certainly so much legalese and pageantry involved in being born that it's kind of hard to deny once someone explains it to you. :D


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All very good points Clay. I think the purpose of govenment was lost a long time ago. Now it's just about control, power, and money. Thankfully people are waking up (to everything) so hopefully change will come.

The purpose of government was always pretty much what it looks like today: a ruling class managing, as clayboyn described it, a group of wage slaves (back then it was more like sustenance slaves) and landed gentry. It goes back to feudal times, but even here in the US you can see that our original 18th century federal government was little more than a protectionist tariff-imposing organization for the country's first organized industries (primarily shipping and importers)... that and the vehicle for a central bank (the first of three) that would be in charge of funding early American wartime purchases.

Change is the only constant.

As always, this is a great and thought provoking post, thanks @clayboyn :-) I agree with almost all you say, only you're blaming the wrong entity, as so many do these days, in my opinion. Well, not exactly the wrong entity... It's complicated... The government is not the problem. The need for government is embedded in this "agreed value of exchange," which is a contract, which can only be "binding" when it's backed up by force. If you want to maintain a system of exchanging property, you'll need to protect that property. Property, or ownership, is a legal construct and the beginning of the loss of freedom. And what is "freedom" anyway? Freedom can be found on an uninhabited island (put extremely, but you know what I mean).

Or, put in another way, how can government, in itself, be the problem in a democracy (if we had a real democracy)? If we (the people) keep electing these rich representatives, because, hey they're rich so they must be very smart, they know how to become successful in life, aren't we the problem then? This is the real tragedy of Trump's election (and upcoming re-election); it's the ultimate vote of confidence in a failing socio-economic model, one that leads to further atomization and divisiveness. The businessman as savior of the common folks... it's so sad...

Government, in itself, has never been the problem; we need to organize if we're not to fall back into a tribal lifestyle. We're not owned by the government, but by the ruling class that owns them. That are them. Our real problem, for the last 12,000 years since the neolithic revolution, is that we've been unable to deal with the surpluses we produce when cooperating in large groups. Freedom in a material world starts at the material level, simple Maslow equation. It's not the government, but a 12,000 year old economic system that holds us back. And all major narratives have always served to maintain this layered system, be it the Bible or the The Wealth of Nations. Started with the largest farm, and now we have the Fortune 500.

Freedom is when the farmer, the accountant and the surgeon all realize they're not on an uninhabited island, that they're all depending on each other, as well as on all their other "customers" who follow different walks in life. Depending on each other for their mutual "freedom," there is no such thing as being independent in this age. Let's not call it "government" then, but we need to organize. And the bigger the organization, the more potential freedom we create for each other. Even world government, or world organization, in itself, doesn't have to be a problem, could even be the best thing ever; think Star Trek. Unfortunately we didn't go Roddenberry's way but Orwell's, so now we have to fear world government, even our own governments, as you so eloquently explain.

We've been continuously disappointed, shafted even by our governments for as long as we've been alive. This, for me, is just another indication of how the real owners, the capitalist plutocrats, have always managed to shift the blame away from themselves. Your social security number is just another bar-code indeed, which should be another indication that you're owned by a corporate, not a political class. This government is not to be trusted. No one should be forced to pay taxes to fund wars in countries far away. But everyone should see the need to contribute to all we share in the commons. Freedom starts with not having to worry about surviving tomorrow, and we've managed that potential a long time ago. We still have that potential, but it'll never come to fruition if we keep telling ourselves that we're independent. We're not. We never have been, and it's not the way forward, despite beautiful developments like CRISPR, 3D printing and the likes.

Sorry for the rant my friend, got carried away a bit...:-) All this to say that I essentially agree when talking about the government we have, but not when talking about what government should be ;-)

Let's not call it "government" then, but we need to organize. And the bigger the organization, the more potential freedom we create for each other.

I think this is the exact situation we currently find ourselves in. Government is bigger than ever, which in no way is leading to more potential freedom from my perspective. LOL, we'll have to have AI run the "organization" to finally get rid of the human condition, greed, and self interested pricks sucking the life out of us like mosquitoes.

Maybe I worded it wrong, I agree with your suggestion. And I didn't mean that government needs to be big, I meant to say "the more people are represented, have a stake in the organization and contribute to it"; the "organization" itself doesn't have to have any people at all perhaps, one AI could do it, maybe ;-) We could find a way to make democracy work for the first time in history, maybe aided by AI, maybe on a public decentralized blockchain even. Who knows. We're now not really facing a situation with big government; we're facing a big board of directors ;-) Still the organization needs to be there. There is no Invisible Hand, and the human condition is not set in stone. Greed is not our defining characteristic, a measure of self interest is but one of our many qualities. I know it's quite something to go against 12,000 years of evolution, cultural evolution mainly, but what is 12,000 against the hundreds of thousands of years our species exists? I'm optimistic like that, can't help it :-)

It never hurts to dream. I try not to be overly pessimistic, but I also think it's important to honestly assess the situation for what it is and most people don't even realize we're enslaved by corporations hiding behind benevolent rulers that we allegedly choose... we're a far cry from my ideal society, but I can appreciate it for at least helping me realize what I do want to see. I think I just need to go build a seastead...

That's a wonderful attitude to have; to appreciate this world for the contrast it provides to what we'd like society to be :-) And hey, it's not all bad; life's still a miracle ;-) Still, I think we need to keep talking about the dream, and be clear about who we really talk about when we say "government," because you're exactly right when you say that most people don't have a clue... Although I'd wager that the numbers are tilted the other way here on Steemit ;-) Thanks again for a great post my friend 🙏🏼

Let's not call it "government" then, but we need to organize. And the bigger the organization, the more potential freedom we create for each other.

That was a good quote to extract from @zyx066's comment, @clayboyn. Stuart Kauffman, the chaos theorist who used to work at the Santa Fe Institute, found exactly the opposite to be true in his computer models. The larger the organization, the more it tended to bureaucratically "freeze up." We know now that it was because of the centralized nature of larger organizations.

zyx066 goes on to say that there is no such thing as the "invisible hand," but of course there is. We just have a different name for it now: spontaneous order. In his experiments, Kauffman decentralized his landscapes (which is exactly how blockchains work) and this is how he described the result:

"When the system is broken into well-chosen patches, each adapts for its own selfish benefit... No central administrator coordinates behavior. Properly chosen patches, each acting selfishly, achieve the coordination... [C]ontrary to intuition, breaking an organization into 'patches' where each patch attempts to optimize for its own selfish benefit, even if that is harmful to the whole, can lead, as if by an INVISIBLE HAND, to the welfare of the whole organization."

Anyway, really good post. Wish more people would look at these issues and give up the knee-jerk cheerleading of government attempts to "help" us.

Agreed, we don't need bigger governments, if anything we just need more governments. My perfect world view involves autonomous self governance, but if we could even get down to a state/or local governance level and decentralize these massive countries into actually adapting to fit all kinds of people instead of trying to force all kinds of people to fit into few molds, I think that's where freedom can truly be found.

to leave the tax farm it costs thousands of dollars 🤣👍..with all the money they have been collecting over the decades, the roads should be paved gold by now🤣🤣

One of these days, people will see the game for what it is and wonder how they missed it for so long. :D