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No thinking above your pay grade

You are not paid to thinkAmericans seem to take this instruction to heart. We’re not paid to think, so by golly we’re not going to do any thinking. Woe betide whosoever would raise their voice, upset the cart, and make the rest of us fall from favor.
 
As if things aren’t bad enough, someone who wants to question authority simply invites more trouble. And when there’s hope for change, peer pressure is brought to bear to keep critical thinkers from jinxing the prevailing buzz.

7 thoughts on “No thinking above your pay grade

  1. Marx had it sideways, sort of…

    Religion isn’t the Opiate of the people.

    Opiates are the Religion of the people.

  2. Thinking, or choosing not to, is the primary manifestation of free will. We are creatures of volitional consciousness. Much more than opposable thumbs, our power of choice in this area is what marks us as something more than the baser animals. I let my dog choose the route when we walk together, but I doubt that he has any long range plan in mind when he decides to go down the hill this time, up the hill the next (more likely, he is following the scent of the last dog who went that way).

    But critical thinking takes work, the most difficult endeavor that we can undertake. Epistemology teaches us that concept formation starts with the recogniton of the given facts of reality, from which we begin to form abstractions, first simple ones (like the concept of flatness from noticing two or more items that are flat), then moving to higher level abstractions (“chairness” or “tableness”). The process of learning also moves in the opposite direction: making finer and finer discriminations: the quality of the flatness, perhaps down to the molecular or even atomic level. This aspect of our consciousness is what makes us potential gods.

    But where our lives are planned out and set by The Man, where we have no consequences to face, no potential rewards or punishments from reality, where we have cradle to grave security, where the credo is “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”, then nihilism is the logical choice. Why bother to undertake the task of rational thought, if it will merely be a form of mental masturbation?

    “The Man” could take the form of the powerful corporation, it could be the labor union, it could be the State, it could be the Obamessiah. It really doesn’t matter. But the choice remains open to each of us. When Shakespeare posed the question, “to be or not to be?”, he really meant “to think or not to think”. The choice is for each of us: shall we be animals, or gods?

  3. And a further elevation in Consciousness is that we can change physical reality through thought.

    I see Labor Unions and the choice of Obama as positive exercises of rational thought in the face of Massive propaganda.

    Color me jackass, I suppose, or at least to hear the non-thinking portion of the world.

    If there had been strong labor unions in Texas and more rigidly enforced corporate responsibility I might have been able to walk without extreme pain.

    As it was, the State of Texas has that retarded “Right To Work” law that stifles worker’s rights to such basics as a decent living wage and actual workplace safety measures.

    The “Invisible Hand” of the Free Market regulated itself so well that an absolute pendejo, freed from the “unnecessary restrictions of the EPA and OSHA” and from any form of Tort Liability , had us using a conveyor belt as a ramp to get on and off a twenty-foot roof.

    While the boss had the ladder on another jobsite.

    Yep, the Free Market really scored a big one that day.

    Say, Michael, did I mention to you that one of the Offending Parties, and the one that provided the most obstruction to me being compensated for some truly devastating injuries, was a subsidiary of Halliburton? Yep, the wealthiest Corporation in America owned a chain of what’s known as Slave Markets.

    They made almost TWICE what I made, and from MY labor.

    And reinvested part of the profit lobbying aka Buying Legislation that made it easier for them to engage in their really despicable practices.

    Excuse you if you see Union Brainwashing in that perception of the incident.

    I see four fractures that went basically untreated for 12 years and have wound up costing the Taxpayers about a Half Million dollars in medical bills alone, because Halliburton shirked their responsibilities in the first place, aided by the Reaganesque Doctrines you keep talking about and compounded by the Absolute Refusal on MY part to just roll over for it, have the Villagers row me out to an ice floe and leave me for the polar bears.

    I also really really love it when recognition of the fact that Corporations can’t possibly exist without the societies within which they make their money and therefore have a responsibility to pay their own way, especially when it comes to the Workers who make the money for them…

    Is somehow “Marxist” or “socialist brainwashing and groupthink”.

    Makes my day, really it does.
    And with that I take the totality of your previous statements into consideration, an opinion doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

    But that brings it neatly back to Eric’s original theme.

    I’m not paid to think.

    But, hey, I’ll do it anyway.

    And, I THINK I do a pretty good job of it.

  4. Indeed, Eric is eminently correct in stating that it is supremely difficult to stand up to authority, and peer pressure as it surrounds you. It takes deep thought, and endless reflection, to recognize the insanity and evil around you, and speak out against it. To attack it from an intellectual standpoint, to do what is morally right….how many German soldiers questioned the aggression, the concentration camps….how many American soldiers question their orders in combat zones, or even the sentiments prevailing at parades? How many workers would challenge their boss’s instructions to ride on a conveyor belt to the second story of a building, especially when their peers on the jobs would call them a pussy if they refused?

    Thinking hurts, it can be the most difficult task one can undertake. But the consequences of not thinking can be much more painful and long lasting.

  5. No, the pressure to use the conveyor belt was not from my fellow workers. Nice try, attempting to blame my Fellow Wage Slaves for it.

    Shows you to be a Corporate Tool, because I can see you’re not stupid enough to actually believe that. But you’ll SAY you do. More a “quality of Moral Priority Recognition” error than an error of Ignorance.

    Under non-union “Right To Work” law, if you refuse a job, no matter how dangerous, or stupid, you are subsequently committing a misdemeanor,

    While that misdemeanor does not (currently) carry any official penalty in and of itself, it DOES cut you off from any unemployment insurance, for instance. For SIX MONTHS after committing the “Crime”.

    The pressure to keep working no matter what is purely economic.

    They can also impose similar sanctions on any member of your family or friends who provide any assistance. In Colorado, for instance, if somebody in your family goes on strike, and you receive Medicaid (my health insurance) and you so much as allow that person into your house for even a visit, you could have your Health Insurance taken away from you.

    This is called “Government Assistance to the Very Wealthy and Screw The Working Class Source of That Wealth” and it has, In MY lifetime, in MY country, taken the form of the police or National Guard firing on strikers.

    Taken to a different level, is the Chain Gang.

    You get convicted of say, Vagrancy. Meaning “being unemployed”

    The “fair and Impartial” corporate puppet Judge sentences you to the Work Farm.

    Which conveniently is a source of Free Labor for the very Corporations against whom you were on Strike.

    For a Profit.

    In Texas the two biggest offenders are Texas Correctional Industries and Corrections Corporation of America.

    Both of THEM, like Industrial Labor Services, have a sweetheart deal with Halliburton.

    Perhaps you followed the charges against Cheney last week?

    The Slave Markets are called that for a reason.

    The Unions have a similar temporary employment service, but YOU get your pay, on the first count, ALL of it, not, as ILS was paying, less than a third of it.

    YOU.

    It’s called a “Union Hall” maybe you should check one out with a different perspective than merely serving a Cease and Desist process on them.

    Then there’s workplace safety.

    If the employer can’t maintain a safe working environment then he gets NO Union employees.

    Further, the Union truckers and Dock Workers won’t deliver his equipment or materials.

    There’s a strong reason for that, the Unions maintain a pension fund AND health insurance. It’s one of the benefits that Unions give to both EmployeEs and EmployeRs.

    If you want to see that on a contract, from a Slave Market, from the Employer’s point of view, call up Apprentice or Goodwill Staffing or any of them in fact, and listen to their sales pitch. Hire somebody to do something like wash the walls in your office.

    That fee you’ll pay the Staffing Service? The worker will get out of it only Minimum Wage and NO health insurance, NO pension, and NO legal representation in case of disputes.

    None.

    He or she will pay into Social Security to get that ‘Pension and health insurance” but, in the case of ILS, proud subsidiary of the Richest Corporation in America, they deducted our Social Security and income tax and paid none of it to the government, nor did they even report it.

    As for legal representation, in non-union states like Texas and Colorado you get to either hire your own attorney, out of pocket, or rely on the Corporate Lackeys at the Labor Relations Board.

    Do you wish to throw Tort “reform” into the mix?

    Where the Corporations are effectively granted immunity from Civil Law as well as Criminal Law?

    They go hand in hand, you know.

    Break the Unions and make it impossible for a Not-Wealthy person to sue a Wealthy “person” (Corporate entity)

  6. Ah, didn’t finish it…

    But you know, not all corporations are Evil.

    However, giving those which ARE free rein to do whatever the Hell (literally) they want WILL guarantee that they’ll take the opportunity and run with it.

    Given the nature of how much power they have to begin with, you know beforehand that they’re gonna fuckie shit up.

    It’s one of the few absolutes in the Universe.

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