Bill Maher is coming from a position of total privilege and grossly oversimplifies things here, but he does provide a certain avenue of discussion in an argument I’ve long been wanting to discuss.
He heaps scorn upon the workers which is actually totally inappropriate, since it’s the corporate office that gives the orders for these grotesque machines to claw and devastate, and the enabling politicians who create government subsidy and incentive for them to do so, at taxpayer and biological-entity expense. Both of them swallow the profits with their unhinged jaws and grossly distorted gullets. Meanwhile the workers work the miserable jobs, earning squat, and squatting in the squalid conditions they and their bosses have created – all at our demand. If we didn’t buy it, they wouldn’t do it.
But of course that gets thorny. There’s a lot of pressure to make “green” consumer choices. Ooh lala, if I purchase biodegradable soap and drive a hybrid I’m saving the Earth, watch my self-congratulatory dance. [Note, I do both of those things, but I have no illusions about them being planet saving. The hybrid is mainly so when I go camping and snowboarding it’ll cost less.]
But what choice do we really have? If you could walk down the street and choose between an electric car with zero emissions that’s charged by solar panels and happiness, versus a truck that spews misery, gives children nightmares and functions better after running over animals, then most folks would of course choose the former, right? And wouldn’t those workers rather work making the former, singing together and drinking from the chocolate river while earning $50 an hour saving the world, rather than what they currently do working for the latter?
The problem is the companies that make the nightmares have way more money and fancy ad campaigns convincing us we like giving kids nightmares, and the senators they own give them huge tax breaks.
Here we are at the essential point of why I believe we’re totally screwed. It’s fun to say fuck your jobs, but not only is the working class totally invested in them, but extremely wealthy individuals and companies are too. The evidence is in, we just can’t do 99% of what our modern civilization is built on, but threaten what people identify as their survival mechanism, ironically their job which is the thing actually threatening their survival, and the discussion’s over. When I was doing forest activism we tried to tell the loggers that at this increased rate of cutting, your chainsawing yourself out of a job in a few years. But little Tommy’s hungry tonight, and the boss is giving the orders, so they kept cutting, and sure enough, the lumber company’s bankrupt and Tommy’s on his way to diabetes thanks to government aid garbage food. But that’s another post.
It’s not rational, and even though Republicans are doing the plundering that’s pushing this whole bullshit economic system even closer to the edge (Democrats too, they’re barely better), they’re the ones aligned with the protect Amurican jawbs message somehow, and it’s how they’re going to keep getting elected, even up to the level of Sarah Palin becoming president.
So, Bill I agree to a certain extent, a lot of jobs are going to have to go extinct if we don’t want to, and it’s fun to say fuck your job. But Bill, fuck your car, your house, your food supply, your plane rides, your useless job – the whole kit’n caboodle. Mine too.
Who wants ice cream!?