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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

Voting is consenting to slavery.

Voting is consenting to slavery.
To vote is to grant tacit approval for a system of fiscal and political arrangements; ones which we have no influence in shaping and which we did not grant my consent to live under.

written 5th May 2005

Responses

dcd replies: "To vote is to grant tacit approval for a system...which we have no influence" -- all that is perfectly true.

Nevertheless, this does not make it anything like slavery. Slavery by definition seeks no consent nor approval, tacit or otherwise.

written 5th May 2005

Janet replies: I completely agree with that statement. Do you have any thoughts on how we might begin to unravel the mess we're in and restore our freedoms, in addition to not voting?

written 5th May 2005

Max replies: For the wage slavery that is capitalism to work requires that the majority, who are in fact the working class, to support it. Whether they are aware of this or not is beside the point, the fact is they do.
Robbery by a trick is still robbery.

written 5th May 2005

Guido Fawkes replies: Agreed.

http://order-order.com/

written 5th May 2005

dcd replies: "Wage Slavery"? Don't make me laugh! If you can attach "Wage" to "Slavery" with a straight face, then you are delusional! Get back on your medication!

If you say "Wage Slave" then you can just as easily attach just about anything!

Males seek Females, are they "Girl Slaves"? and vice versa?

My mother cannot miss her TV soaps... is she a "Soap Slave"?

Look, the world does not owe anyone a living -- every single thing in life is a bargain or deal; you HAVE to give up something to get something, whether it be time, money, skill, work or whatever. It is a good bargain when you optimise the deal in your favour (do as little as possible for the biggest return).

Slavery is a bad bargain because you get a raw deal -- you do a lot for little return, and have no choice in the matter.

Saying "Wage Slavery" displays a lack of understanding about how people interact with each other and their environment, and by associating a nice word to a "bad" word, you attempt to turn the nice word bad.

It is a perfectly good thing to need a wage, for a wage allows you to do what you want. People who are NOT "wage slaves" are in fact spongers who are attempting to get something for nothing, cheeky buggers!

written 6th May 2005

Tiger43 replies: Slavery, what is it good for, absolutely nothing. I don`t consider myself a slve and am quite happy living in Britain today. There are many other places over the world which you may consider yourself a slave, perhaps. Otherwise, I think we are doing allright.

written 6th May 2005

shoogle (original poster) replies: I should elucidate; I'm not saying that we are slaves to wages, to employers, or that we ought to be supported somehow by a state unsupported by workers.
I am saying rather that we are born into a political and financial system about which we have absolutely no say whatsoever.
Voting is an illusory means to placate us; it gives the impression that we are influencing society, when in fact a vote has very little influence at all.
The sense in which we are slaves is that we are trapped within this system regardless of our inclinations as to how we might otherwise like to live life; human society does not permit us to exist within itself if we have ideas about morality, about property, about the value of beauty or serendipity opposed to the rigid constructs of our political hegemony.
We can't even change our passports easily, and it is damned hard for human beings born on other parts of this rock to come and work here.
'Wage slavery', as misunderstood by dcd, is the fact that everything we require to exist; heat, food, shelter; can only be obtained by entering into the system of 'consensual' economics - we are not free or encouraged at all to enter into our own independent arrangements for their provision.
Thus, we are forced to do another's bidding in order to be permitted to survive.
This is akin to the system of 'hydraulic despotism' seen in ancient Egypt, where only those who furthered the interests of their rulers were permitted the water necessary for their crop to survive.
The slavery aspect is not due to the fact that we would not be supported by those in charge were we not to do their bidding, nor is it due to the effect this has as a means of shaping society and motivating people to create this particular vision; it is because the situation is NOT consensual, because we are not able to enter into other arrangements of living and working; we cannot choose, therefore we are slaves, therefore voting is meaningless.

written 6th May 2005

Tiger43 replies: To Mr or Mrs Shoogle......You are talking complete willies. There are many aspects of life, if you have the determination and gaul to go for it to achieve for yourself. So, we have leaders and we are led.Thats what keeps a succesful country going. We can`t all be the boss, someone has to run things. And as Nations go, we are one of the best and most free. So vote.

written 6th May 2005

dcd replies: Ha, ha. Shoogle originally used "wage slavery" and now says I "misunderstood" what he meant -- and then began a speil that strengthens my view, rather than providing some new angle! How amusing; Shoogle is in fact failing to understand what I am saying, not the other way around!

"'Wage slavery'... is the fact that everything we require to exist... can only be obtained by entering into the system of 'consensual' economics - we are not free or encouraged at all to enter into our own independent arrangements for their provision" (--Shoogle)

"Saying "Wage Slavery" displays a lack of understanding about how people interact with each other and their environment" (--dcd)

and
"Look, the world does not owe anyone a living -- every single thing in life is a bargain or deal; you HAVE to give up something to get something, whether it be time, money, skill, work or whatever. It is a good bargain when you optimise the deal in your favour (do as little as possible for the biggest return)." (--dcd)

Essentially, Shoogle thinks (for some reason -- maybe he's been watching "The Good Life" on TV) that there is a viable alternative to what-he-calls "Wage Slavery" (his/her use of the term suggests a dislike of this perfectly normal, natural, tried-and-tested, sociological, foundation stone of humanity and human co-operation).

So there you have it: we completely disagree; I see no alternative possible. I have never so much as heard nor suspected that there may be another way for human groups to interact.

The co-operation basis may be arranged differently (the defining roles, the remits, the way labour and responsibility os divided), but at the end of the day, it is all (apparently) "Slavery". Oh dear!

written 7th May 2005

shoogle replies: Peeyow!

Adorno perhaps puts it better:
All are free to dance and enjoy themselves, just as they have been free, since the historical neutralisation of religion, to join any of the innumerable sects. But freedom to choose an ideology - since ideology always reflects economic coercion - everywhere proves to be freedom to choose what is always the same.

I don't, can't and won't deny that there are good aspects to the system that we live under (especially as it's sunny today), and that we in Britain are certainly priveliged (and whether this is even at the expense of others is contestable - according to the Keynesian view we'd be better off still if they were also) however principally it can't be denied that we can't choose to exist outwith it, whether dcd reckons this is a good or bad thing is another matter; certainly the plebs and slaves of the Romans were better off socially and economically than most in the ancient world; perhaps in a favourable position, but free?

One might argue either way as to which situation is preferable, but to vote is to insult one's own intelligence by implying that we have a meaningful choice.

Also, if we might argue more specifically, everything in life is not a bargain or deal.. To say this is to make a rather odd objectification of a relation between people.

The trading aspect only comes into play where there is insufficient common trust between people to allow each act to be merely part of that relationship.

Without meaning to seem disrespectful, would you say that you cook for your lover in exchange for their washing the dishes, or is it part of a greater tading agreement for sexual favours? Do you check upon the health of your elderly neighbour expecting that he will somehow do the same when you grow old too, or at least buy your evening papers for you next week? Do you feed your dog so that it will be obliged not to bite you and to bring slippers?

To say that each act IS a trade is to engage in a definition and objectification of human action which ultimately only rings true under a small set of circumstances.

Moreover, the fact that high order primates do not use money suggests that the system of fiscal enterprise was a conceptual step which we took at some point along our way, hence it's something we ought to be able to modify.

It is not a biological necessity, merely a (reasonably) convenient means of organising society (as you say - yes, I do get what you're saying); however it is not one which we are granted the freedom to live without.

Regardless of whether one may question the merits of anarchist, libertarian, cooperative, soviet, or gift economies; we are not free to test them. We are not free to fail them in favourable conditions within a larger (and perhaps still central Government Capitalist) society.

See?

I'm not saying that what we have is necessarily all that bad, the slavery analogy is to point out that we really are not free to do otherwise; that sociologically our system is so self-perpetuating that we can't even recognise this as an affront to our basic freedom.

written 7th May 2005

dcd replies: *sigh*
"every single thing in life is a bargain or deal; you HAVE to give up something to get something, whether it be
TIME,
MONEY,
SKILL,
WORK or
WHATEVER."
(apologies for quoting this three times so far).(--dcd)

and (again):
"I have never so much as heard nor suspected that there may be another way for human groups to interact.

The co-operation basis may be arranged differently (the defining roles, the remits, the way labour and responsibility os divided)" (--dcd)

See?

Shoogle decided that it was all about money then that it was all about some kind of back-scratching rough trade. Not so. See the Hobbesian Question.

The thing is that in order for people to live together as a group, there has to be some basic framework of rules and roles.

There is no other way. It is unthinkable. See?

The rules and roles vary from group to group, society to society, place to place and then to now.

It is not the actual rules and roles that is in question, simply the fact that they exist. It is the UNDERLYING commonality, the simple fact that ALL humans have this as the only model.

It is about co-operation, consenting to a remit (whatever it is), doing a specific task, thinking and acting about and for the social group.

In Shoogle's terms: freedom is anti-social. Shoogle's freedom is freedom from society's constraints, the freedom to be solo and individual: selfish.

It is a very simple fact that if you watch TV then you are NOT doing something else -- you are giving up something to get something else -- and there's no other option for one cannot actually do nothing! If you are here, then you are not there. See? That's a bargain you have to strike with yourself.

If you want food to eat, then you have to figure out a way to get it. In looking for this food, you are not doing something else; you have freely chosen to seek food rather than watch TV, for example. If it is important to you, then it is given priority over something else.

If you decide to grow your own food, it may be that you grow too much -- so then you are free to destroy the surplus or exchange it for something else you want.

This is known as a trade-off, striking a bargain, trading, give and take, co-operation, co-operative working, etc. It is recognised by Communism, Socialism and Capitalism and more besides, for it is a self-evident fact.

I know I am labouring this simple (but perhaps to obvious or subtle) point... forgive me as I had no intention of patronising anyone, but responses have indicated that I have been poor at communicating well -- which is my fault entirely.

written 7th May 2005

james replies: Forgive me, but i agree with the original post. I think that many people are 'wage slaves' because they cannot negotiate their position freely and openly -- i include myself here. we have to do things we don't want to in order to survive. chains or coins, it's still the same old game.

written 7th May 2005

Tiger43 replies: To James.......You are hereby forgiven for agreeing with the original post.

written 10th May 2005

james replies: Thank you, Tiger43. I feel a lot better. But seriously: i agree with the original post. direct action or voting? hmm, let me see...

written 12th May 2005

Ann Arky replies: What has been going on in this post is nothing more than verbal masterbation.

written 12th May 2005

Tiger43 replies: Hey, Ann Arky.......Nice to see you on the forum. I just think us lads need more women participating. Now the election is over I think people are winding down a bit in general, thats all.

By the way, how does a canndle light dinner in London sound to you. I you prefer, we can go dutch. What do you say, tempting eh?

written 13th May 2005

dcd replies: james said: "we have to do things we don't want to in order to survive"

... which shows that he has a firm understanding of how it all works.

The point is that if you can say "wage slavery" then EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING can be called some sort of "slavery" -- which defuses the shock effect of adding "slavery".

Just because you HAVE TO DO THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE OR DON'T WANT TO doesn't merit tagging on the word "slavery".

Indeed, it is a terrible misuse of the word, and a disservice to people who are or were kept captive as slaves.

Please stop it; it is wrong and insulting.

written 14th May 2005

james replies: I do not think it is insulting. When slavery stopped the ex-slaves did not find themselves free. Often they continued working for their masters, as "employees". The term "wage slavery" is used for shock effect, but the argument that people are enslaved by the labour market is legitimate. What term do you suggest i use to describe a situation when people are forced to sell their time to buy back their life?

written 15th May 2005

shoogle replies: I'd say that Slavery isn't necessarily anything to do with what you want to or
don't want to do. It's to do with being forced to do it. This is where 'wage slavery' is relevant.
There are many things that lead the human being to undertake difficult enterprises in order to reach a greater goal. Adorno (as quoted above, and I do apologise for my rather meandering posts), in much of his critique of modern culture is rather damning of the modern trait of seeking maximum reward with minimum effort; to him effort and thought well applied are in themselves much of their own reward.
To digress, I must admit that wage slavery wasn't really on my mind when I started this post; I'm more concerned at the number of social contracts drawn up and approved without the consent of the individual (for example, one is given a passport; a national identity, and a notional economy which one MUST be part of, regardless of any other inclinations with regards to human interaction. - thus in a sense enslaving the individual to a set of concepts and a systematic hierarchical society - in short not allowing us to interact on our own terms).
I'd personally see employment contract and finance to be merely part of that (albeit a fairly intrusive one).
Anyway, I do concede that there are many differences between classical slavery and our present day conditions. There are many similarities though; serfdom and peony seem to lead uncannily to our situation.
The point of the 'wage slavery' phrase is to ensure the recognition of the fact that our freedom is limited; to shock us into that realisation by casting us as slaves and provoking us to examine this similarity.
It shouldn't be considered insulting to raise that point and to provoke thought, should it?

written 17th May 2005

james replies: No, it shouldn't, Shoogle -- spot on.

written 18th May 2005

dcd replies: James misses the point; yes, HE may not find the term insulting, but other might. I suppose it's a case of "so-what?" and "who gives a damn, as long as I don't find the term insulting I will continue to use it and attempt to qualify this with irrationality and insensitivity".

Ah, well, I suppose that's me stuffed then! Bravo, James... "what-a-guy".

And auld shoogle... well this person's argument is pretty much the same: "It SHOULDN'T be considered insulting..."!! So anyone who finds their chosen terms (readily admitted as being chosen to shock), offensive can just shove off. Bravo Shoogle... nice one.

While it may be true that over time origins, meanings and intentions may become obscured, and that organic and inorganic systems evolve, develop, corrupt and decline, there is nevertheless a certain empirical, universal pattern, model, archetype, framework, underlying principle (get the picture?). To deny that is to open the mind to insanity and an attempt to cope with anarchy and disorder.

Let's keep things simple, every single human, every single type and tribe of human, throughout history has operated a natural layered boundary system of priority allegiance: first the self, then the loved ones, the family, the extended family, friends, then outward to town, city, football team, country, race, creed, colour and so forth.

This is how people cope -- they categorise and sub-categorise, belonging to many groups at the same time.

A person may see themselves as black, then male, then British... or disabled, successful and so forth. It matters little the priority, the order, what matters is that it is the underlying principle for us to do this, to belong -- to vote for a party, to support a team, to be working class, whatever.

One of the reasons for mentioning this obvious fact is that it aptly illustrates how people can get along and yet be different, or how apparently similar people can not get along.

Many people simply do not factor in this basic humanity when they back some religious or political ideology.

It is a shame that so many people cannot see that people are individuals, and completely freely so. Not everyone do this or that. YOUR freedom may not be perceived as such by someone else. YOUR answers may not be everyone's answers.

Shoogle and James think that everyone SHOULD see things their way, they cannot understand why some people don't.

Exploitation is probably a dirty word for them, when in fact it is just a word: and implies usefulness and a role to play, a contribution to Team Human.

In addition, as I have already touched on (sic passim), the entire human race has developed the same basic system based upon the original basic human tribal groupings -- leading to government and economies using tokens and labour.

In a simple evolutionary, survival of the fittest test, the non-James, non-shoogle way has proved itself to be the natural, organically developed winner hands-down.

Democraticlly speaking, the overwhelming majority of the people on earth today as well as throughout history ipso facto disagree with Shoogle and James!

To put a tin-lid on this once and for all: James and Shoogle can bump their gums and rattle their cans all they like, but it sure 'ain't gonna change anything.

As the years take their toll on James and Shoogle, as they see their struggle daily failing, as they become evermore disconsolate, despondent, and frustrated, they will become embittered, wrinkled old bores who's lives have contributed nothing to the total happiness nor to the progress of the human race. They will be remembered, if at all, for wasting their time and energies in an area over which the overwhelming odds were against them AT THE EXPENSE of their "real" lives -- attending to the natural priorities of their groups (family, friends, football team, etc).

How sad it is to see people throw away their lives on bad dreams.

written 18th May 2005

shoogle replies: This really does seem to have riled you dcd. I must admit to being initially rather disappointed that you chose to turn your reply into a personal attack.
To deal with your arguments one by one:
'Everything in life is a trade'
This is self-evidently false; a trade is a sort of interaction. To label EVERYTHING a trade is also to label objects as such. That's silly. This computer is trade? I am trade? That box is trade?
Were you to revise this statement to say that every interaction in life was a trade, though you may be a little closer to a reasonable statement, you would also be denying many of the aspects of interaction. Is awareness trade? Thought? Motion? The passage of time?
You might want to refine it further; perhaps all exchanges are trade.
Perhaps the creation of the static electricity which holds a balloon to a wall is caused by the trade of electrons from your hair to the non-conductive surface of the balloon, and their slow trickle to the wall.
This, however, denies that the electrons were quite utterly compelled to make that movement; the friction caused by the rubbing of the balloon against your hair gave the atomic structure of your hair little choice as to whether or not to surrender its electrons.
Thus your generalisation turns a 'good' word,'trade', into a bad word.
By a bad word, I mean one whose usefullness, whose descriptive capabilities are diminished.
Similarly, if a bad word is one with minimal usefulness, why should 'exploitation' be a dirty word?
You're the one who thinks that 'slavery' is a bad word.
I've given a fair reason why its evocative descriptive power makes it useful.
I would consider that compelling others to think freely is a good thing, be it through rational provocation, questioning, whatever.
I don't, however, want or expect anyone else to see things the same way that I do.
However I would have to conclude that someone who wants people to consider the use of terminology as insulting as personal attacks does want others to conform to their point of view.
If we are to avoid certain terminology, we are to avoid certain arguments and discussions, to dismiss alterations and modifications of the organic/inorganic structures that we are and live within; to deny the very process of its natural evolution.
Dcd, you seem to recognise something of Darwinism with your 'survival of the fittest' test.
Within the Darwinian system there is a necessity for development and adaptation in order to better the species evolving.
Even those developments which appear unlikely to succeed are useful to the species; they experiment with new possibilities and are the very things which spur evolution when they are successful.
Personally I am for the separation of Nation and State and the freedom for people to choose each or none for themselves.
This doesn't make me non-human; I quite enjoy the process of life.
My enjoyment of life and effort for family within it I would not consider to be the sort of thing which I ought to defend here; personal insult and response make rather dull and pointless reading on a public messageboard.

written 19th May 2005

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NotApathetic was built so that people who are planning not to vote in the UK General Election on May 5th can tell the world why. We won't try to persuade you that voting is a good or a bad idea - we're just here to record and share your explanations. Whether ideological, practical or other, any reason will do.

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