When I was a kid, my mother tried to instill ideas of hope in me that were designed to increase my motivation and self-worth. She used to tell me that I could do whatever I wanted in life, because nothing is impossible. After that, I asked her to sprout wings and start flying. I’ve always been a smart-ass skeptic.
Yeah, nothing’s impossible, unless it’s impossible.
So now I’m getting into the practical part of life, where motivational speakers come into my classes and tell me that anyone can be a CEO of a company if all they do is try. Work their way up. Start their own business. But what galls me about all of that is that not everybody can. Somebody has to work in the mailroom. Somebody has to run the cash register. Somebody has to wait tables. Otherwise, no gold mine for the CEOs to sit upon. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.
These kind of motivational “you can do it” speeches are crap. In a dog eat dog economy, there are always going to be a select elite at the top and a whole mess of little people at the bottom. People don’t reach the top through hard work. Hard work is what the little people do. The motivational mentality is what allows Republican buttplugs to justify why the poor are poor. Because they simply didn’t endure. They didn’t try hard enough, and they’re paying the price. Yeah. Let’s drop some of these fatcats in the ghetto and let them raise their children there. We’ll see just how much of a chance they really have in life.
Maybe the ghettos could have been saved if the CEOs had decided to forgo just a couple of their multimillions and put that money to good use. How the government expects anybody to live on minimum wage is beyond me. It’s not a living wage by any means of the word. The least corporations could do is give a little bit more than that, rather than filling their own pockets while their employees lose faith in their companies and their lives. People nowadays don’t care about corporate culture and wanting to be part of “the team,” they’re just trying to survive, living paycheck-to-paycheck. They have nothing to feel good about and nothing to look foward to. It’s ugly. But hey! We’ve got sports! We’ve got cable! We’ve got movies! Plenty of stuff to take our mind off the dick in our ass.
I don’t care if you’re calling a Wal-Mart cashier a “neighbor” instead of an “employee.” They’re still making dirt, and their company is too big to care about them.
Capitalism breeds this. The really good people in society who want to provide these benefits never make it super-big. Because it’s a lot easier to build an empire on the skulls of the people you’ve slain than it is to build one through compassion for your workers. So the evil people win. And there’s a whole shitload of losers.
And after all, in this society somebody has to lose. We compete against one another, and there are winners and losers. (Unless of course, two people win, in which case they join forces to kill off everyone else. Hi, Coke and Pepsico. How ya doin’, oligopoly-dudes?)
Isn’t there some way we could all win? Can’t we do a hell of a lot better? Once we figure that out, we’ll have succeeded as a species. I agree with H.G. Wells profession in the movie Time After Time that the only way humanity will ever achieve utopia is through socialism. But we’re not ready for that yet. We’re too power-hungry, too obsessed with control. That’s why Russia failed and China doesn’t work.
Our only hope is technology. So far, technology has helped and hurt us in so many ways. But eventually, if we can overcome our thirst for dominance, technology may save us from ourselves. We’ll reduce the cost of living to near nothing, and we can get off this stupid, elitist idea of money. And then, maybe, we can really have anything we want. The impossible will become possible.
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