Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Alienation is About Lord Shortage

If your job creates wealth, it is meaningful. However, peasants can't see meaning on their own. They need a lord to tell them it is meaningful, and occasionally to explain how it is meaningful. Since, optimistically, one in ten jobs have a lord in management near enough to carry out the task, even under ideal conditions most jobs are going to seem meaningless.

However, there is something I don't understand. It would seem modern management loves to have lots of useless make-work jobs around. You can't tell anyone these jobs are meaningful. It's too dumb. Nobody buys it.

If you have a bunch of especially-redundant make-work jobs around, you can't tell anyone their job is meaningful, because it will only reveal how meaningless the non-job jobs are. Fascists, in their Fascist way, can't treat different folk differently.

Again, I really don't get why they're so committed to paying worthless wages. Totally baffling to me.
It would be ironic if this is itself a lord shortage symptom. Perhaps non-lord management needs a lot of useless yes-men because they are aware they're not qualified for the job, which continually drains the so-called self-esteem.* This explanation feels anemic at best, though.

P.S. *Needs a rectification, but I don't care enough to put forward the effort. Merely acknowledge that self-esteem is a Sophist term. It is designed, as with all Sophist terms, to mislead.

P.P.S. Much of bad-nihilism, seeing the world as strictly enforcing meaninglessness, is actually childlessness. It's merely the urge to fulfill a Darwinian imperative but twisted up into this baroque angst because the individual in question feels the need to see themselves as sophisticated. 

Likewise, when Marx wrote about alienation, it was this twisted baroque angst which was simply a longing to shed freedom and thus responsibility. As should hardly need explanation, non-superhuman humans can't consciously admit they're basically low-status peasants and need to be treated more peasanty. Even though, if you read between the lines, that's exactly what they want.


Anonymous said...

Interestingly, when I wrote “self-esteem” the other day I thought: “I don’t like this word or the people who use it but I’m too tired to think of anything better; it will do.” Usually I avoid it, though I couldn’t tell you why.

Kgaard said...

I like the concept of "lord shortage." That makes sense. But I am not sure there are so many make-work jobs around. I mean where do you see them outside the public sector? In the private sector most people are worked pretty hard.

Also I am not sure I agree about your Marx comment but am curious where you are going with it. When I read Marx in college he was literally the only economist that excited me precisely for his concept of worker alienation. "Yes!" I thought. "This guy gets how I feel bussing tables at Ponderosa."

And Marx was not diverging at all from Adam Smith in this. Smith also thought the average worker would have a very stupid experience of work in capitalism.

So what do you mean by "the peasant demands to be treated more peasant-y?" What low-brow experience does the peasant long for that the lord doesn't, other than being told what to do?

Alrenous said...

A make-work role which is a tremendous amount of effort is, of course, the worst of both worlds.


Self-esteem is used basically to mean: how the self evaluates the self ought to be esteemed by others. It's fundamentally narcissistic, especially that cringe [ought].

Self-esteem seems sterile. If someone is 'damaging' your self-esteem (updating your priors based on evidence) you will complain. Voice over exit.

By contrast, nobody much talks about self-respect, which is about walking out of a restaurant that is treating you poorly. Exit over voice. "I respect myself. You don't. As someone with self-respect, I can respect your opinion, but let's agree to disagree; bye."
In particular, it's about walking out of a classroom if a teacher is treating you poorly, e.g, if the class is not educational. Definitely can't have the peasants doing that.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Self-esteem maps onto the feminine and self-respect onto the masculine. “Girls with low self-esteem...” “No self-respecting man...”

Alrenous said...

Which in turn means it's a "polite" way of talking about hot girls vs. uggos. Doesn't take much sophistication to work out which ladies will be "esteemed" by others.

Convince landwhales that "esteem" building exercises will make them lose weight. Party of compassion, I hear. Alternatively calling fat girls so dumb that you can trick them into thinking they're not fat.