Monday, December 10, 2012

Why the Left Hates the Division of Labor

One of the things I could not explain until recently was how the left not only wants financial equality, but also seems hell bent on social equality.  In other words, I can understand where they want other people's money (that's just human nature).  What I don't understand is how they also wage war against social or even biological differences.  For example feminists trying desperately to claim "gender" is not biological, but socially driven.  Swedes eliminating the words "him" and "her" from their language.  Parents bringing up their children with no specific sex.  Mothers need to be fathers and fathers need to be mothers.  Or, all these leftist groups posing as atheist groups banning one religious symbol or another from public grounds.  Or all the women (and some men) pushing for "fat acceptance."  Whatever it is, the left wants no differences.  Everything, money, status, social networks, physique, even your gender should be the same. 

So I was reading "Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism and the Division of Labor"and it was one of those moments where you discovered a link that made you go "AHA!  THAT'S IT!"  (of course it was also one of those moments where you saw somebody had gone down this path before and that you are  not unique or special and even if you had come up with your own epiphany, Mr. Fuller would be there in half a second citing the originator of that epiphany).  And that link or observation was...

Marx hated the division of labor.

The ramifications and consequences of this are many, shocking and just outright scary.

Right off the bat this should tell you the man was an idiot, if not, outright insane.  He wanted to abolish the division of labor.  He wanted people to excel at everything and not be defined or anchored to any one job.  Even the most rookie, fresh off the assembly line economist can see the flaws in being against the division of labor.  But what scares me is how this miserable failure of a human (and he was) was able to get nearly half the globe to believe his claptrap.  How can you take this man seriously, let alone when he purports to be an economist BUT IS AGAINST THE DIVISION OF LABOR???? 

It not only explains why every communist experiement has failed, but it also testifies to the intellectual weakness of people who swallow this poppycock.

But take the economic consequences of ignoring or "not liking" the division of labor, and look at why he was against it.  It defined humans.  It applied characteristics and traits to humans.  UNIQUE characteristics and traits.  And some of these traits are better than others, resulting in inequality.  Not FINANCIAL inequality.  Inequality in terms of strength, respect, admiration, and status.

It is here I cannot claim to make the link, as Ludwig von Mises did that already for me, but Marx and leftists in general are not just against economic inequality, they are against ALL inequality.  It is why Marx and many leftists are against differences PERIOD.

Even if you were in a communist country, as a doctor earning the same as everybody else (0), you would still be deemed "superior" which would be unacceptable.  So various measures would have to be taken to "humble" you or ensure you didn't enjoy a higher status.

What's really frightening though is what this psychology leads to and implies.  Forget having more money than somebody else.  Forget having a bigger house than somebody else.  Worry about being just plain DIFFERENT from somebody else.  In other words individuality should be punished.  It is the group, or the state, or the commune that is more important, the individual does not matter, it is the borg.

This is why you have the left pushing such idiotic things as eliminating "he" and "she" from language.  this is why you have such a monolithic push on academia for poltically correct speech. (the 4:40 mark I see the man thinking "how sad these kids don't see the bigger picture")  This is why there are things such as the "fat acceptance" movement.  This is why you can't keep score at a kid's baseball game.  This is why we eliminate the honor roll.

But what's truly pathetic, and it shows you just what a sad, pathetic, worthless lot these people are, is to ask why they insist on destroying the individual.

The answer - hurt feelings.

That's it.

The whole entirety of communism and all of its ramifications and all the lives it's destroyed and hundreds of millions its killed is because weak, pathetic, sad, worthless humans don't want their feelings hurt.

Don't tell me I can't define evil.

37 comments:

Bob Wallace said...

You might want to read Erik von Kuelnelt-Leddihn's"Leftism Revisited." He points out the idea
of communes in which there no division of labor and everyone excels at everything go back several hundred years, and that he considers most of the proponents to be insane.

Roberto Severino said...

Speaking of the left.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/opinion/krugman-robots-and-robber-barons.html

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2012/12/rise-of-robots.html#comment-form

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2010/09/automation-and-robotics-future-of.html

"But we will have to face the fact that, because of automation and technology, employment in tradable goods and services in many countries will probably fall dramatically. Our employment future will probably be mainly in services, education, and most probably in government-sector jobs or employment programs funded by government. There will probably be a great reduction in the hours that people need to work as well."

"No doubt additional jobs will be created in new private industries as well, but government can step in and provide employment for those who are unemployed. It might well be that much of the government-funded labour force will be in education (e.g., universities), research or other services. A much greater labour force working in basic sciences and applied R&D in physics, chemistry, geology, biology, genetics, engineering and medicine would mean a much more rapid advancement of science and technology too – a virtuous circle."

The Austrian response.

http://krugman-in-wonderland.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-capitalists-are-coming-capitalists.html

Again, this all speaks for itself. Well worth reading. You'll understand the psychology of the left even better when you do. Hint hint: "Education," "universities" and anything I've italicized. Though he does mention the importance of the STEM majors in this, so I'll give the blogger credit for that.

What would happen if the government funded STEM programs and cut all those worthless degrees from the universities? I'm wondering whether it would do more harm than good in the long run.

Robb Allen said...

Diana Moon Glampers would like to have a word with you.

Anonymous said...

What I hate about the division of labor is that it dulls the mind, overspecializes the worker and puts you at the mercy of market forces.

Should people be more diversified and more self-reliant, they could develop a larger skillset and be less dependent on market forces.

The over specialization, over division of labor and the marketing of everything and anything is not good.

Division of labor also spells hierarchy and credentialism (something the captain abhores).

Having followed the Captain on his blog, I can see that you are contradicting yourself on certain aspects.

Division of labor = degrees = credentialism = HR, risk aversive corporations. You can't have it both ways.

bakerjd99 said...

I've long noticed this. Look at the hysterical reaction to E. 0. Wilson's Sociobiology. A branch of evolutionary theory with many sound predictions to its credit - the sex ratios in insect colonies for example. This theory of course depends on labor specialization in social organisms, not just humans, so the left detested it, called Wilson, a racist, the usual twaddle but ant colonies have exactly the ratios predicated. Evolution depends on differences we wouldn't be here if we weren't fundamentally unequal at a deep biological level. Reality it's a bitch.

bakerjd99 said...

I've long noticed this. Look at the hysterical reaction to E. 0. Wilson's Sociobiology. A branch of evolutionary theory with many sound predictions to its credit - the sex ratios in insect colonies for example. This theory of course depends on labor specialization in social organisms, not just humans, so the left detested it, called Wilson, a racist, the usual twaddle but ant colonies have exactly the ratios predicated. Evolution depends on differences; we wouldn't be here if we weren't fundamentally unequal at a deep biological level. Reality it's a bitch.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, leftist philosophy is the philosophy of choice of those whose social (verbal) skills far exceed their practical skills (that with objects, numbers etc.)

So how do you make the masses socialist? Make them not acquire any practical skills

Anonymous said...

For many years now I have been explaining the core of progressive thought with this story:

Jane and John are twins. A parent tells them to clean up their rooms. Jane does, John does not. Jane receives a cookie as a reward. BOTH CHILDREN FEEL THIS IS UNFAIR. Then their brains develop more and they are able to grasp the difference between equality of opportunity, and equality of condition....or they become progressives.

Gorram

William Watson said...

The blue pill regime has done it's best to make sure Americas youth has no marketable skills. When I say marketable I'm not limiting myself to degrees in practical studies, I'm also referring to common (work acquired) sense. When i was in elementary the talk of higher education began early. Though it was never stated explicitly, it was implied that a life spent performing labor was less valuable than a life spent on a more academic career. The same people who indoctrinated us with free to be you and me also told us our fathers were common laborers. I guess dad isn't free to be like you and me.

Ofay Cat said...

This is the Eloi turning the rest of us into the Morloc. As I reacall it ... the less politically correct Morloc proceeded to eat the Eloi.

Let the dinner begin.

Joan of Argghh! said...

The gods really must be crazy.

barlenan said...

I suspect this is also why some academics wax lyrical about the virtues of hunter gatherer societies, that predated the first farming communities (and the specializations that naturally arose). These wandering tribes are reverentially referred to as "egalitarian".

Anonymous said...

There are, actually, quite sensible and rational reasons for eschewing the division of labour. However, not a one has anything to do with economics, where Smith's pin factory is both the beginning and end of the argument. The economic benefits are irrefutable.

But one might study, for example, Mr. C. Chaplin's "Modern Times" or read some of Macluhan to understand that there are also costs to division of labour. They are both psychic and societal, and they still exist today.

Yeoman farmer, c. 1825 (i.e. almost all of us, since about 90% of the world's population worked in agriculture at the time) was farmer and animal husbander, smith and carpenter. His wife was baker and cook, mender of clothes, tender of the sick. They saw each day, each harvest, each cycle, their place in the world; they were, for lack of a better word, "whole". Their day began with the rising of the sun, and it ended with the setting. The only summons they answered to was the church bell on Sunday.

Come the mills and machine shops and coal mines of the Industrial Revolution, and much changes for yeoman farmer's son. He now answers to a bell or a whistle, which tells him when to start work, when to stop, when to eat, when to go home. He no longer sees the fullness of a job; he sees only his task. He is no longer connected to the seasons, for the timing and pacing of his work doesn't depend on the weather. As the Captain noted above, I can't claim originality of these thoughts; some group of poets (Wordsworth? Byron? who were those guys) beat me to it. But "Industrial Man", as Macluhan tagged him, was different from the agricultural man who came before.

The paradox of division of labour is that it requires so LITTLE of a man, in terms of thought or effort, yet it produces so MUCH MORE than the whole man could on his own. (Smith, again) Any one who has worked for two minutes on a farm knows how much physical effort is involved; there is mental effort as well. Yet, particularly in the early days of the IR, the jobs were designed to be as simple and mind-numbingly repetitive as possible. Little was required of the worker other than eyes, ears, and hands, and not much of those. And that had effects.

As an example, one was the increase in drinking. Farmers couldn't afford to get drunk every night, regardless of how much ale they had on hand. The physical stress of the work wouldn't let them. Our new factory worker, however, had both the money to buy drink and freedom from harsh physical labour; he could show up hungover day after day, and so long as he didn't get his fingers caught in the press, keep his job. Note that there were no Temperance Unions in the 1700's. (BTW, I'm not at all against drinking; I'm using this as an example of a societal change.)

Macluhan noted that this disaffected Industrial Man was forever searching for some integrating and unifying "role". The reason so many TV shows feature cops, doctors, lawyers, etc. is that those people have roles in our society, which most of us are denied. I've yet to see a top ten show about accountants or plant supervisors.

So, while I am grateful for the immense wealth the division of labour has created for all of us, I'm also cognizant of its costs. Western society was great for a few years after WWII because all had found a role - defeat fascism - to live for, and that spirit carried on to the post-war period. But, as the boomers who had never known rationing or privation grew up, that unifying spirit vanished. Combined with the immense splintering of media offered through the generations of telecom advances, we have become more and more a nation (a Western world, actually) of smaller and smaller tribes.

Anonymous said...

Capt.... sadly what you have found has already metastasized here in the Ontario workplace..... rule upon rule, and yes provincial regulated workplace feelings directly came up a couple years ago at the yearly "safety" meeting.

In a company with fifty or so men that do heavy construction ..... the guys used to question the crap now they just silently put up with it.....it took a gentle PC barrage over ten years but it's taken hold and mom's the word while they are being fed a spoonful of crap .

And the kids that have been self esteemed into some form of borderline retardation (you only realize that if you ask them what they think) well... that's a whole other ball of wax but you can see they are pretty well unreachable when it comes to certain realities productive people used to have to deal with, one being growing up and being independent.

Maybe it's just me but I thought it used to be a natural progression in a persons life growing up , working for a living, God forbid even getting their hands dirty, working up a sweat, or making a real personal sacrifice for a wage.

Now it's college is done where's the money.

Not all the twenty somethings think that way, but many do and though they're educated something important and once instinctive seems to be missing, and in my opinion (here in Ontario Canada )we already let progressives take that away.

Herb Nowell said...

@Anon 7:34

Your last sentence proves your cluelessness:

Division of labor = degrees = credentialism = HR, risk aversive corporations. You can't have it both ways.

Realy? So, if I'm an auto mechanic, and I hire a cook to make my meals we both have to get college degrees? What if he also hires me to fix his car?

Division of labor merely means some people do certain tasks and other people do different tasks. Humans have done that for most if not all of our existence. Division of labor is observed among hunter gathers. The most basic is between hunter and gathers but even those two groups there is differentiation.

Hell, you even see in animals other than humans. Watch a wolf pack run down a deer. Different wolves do different tasks.

Humans didn't invent universities, credentialism, and HR offices until the past millennium and even then only the first. The last two are more recent.

Wolves, to the best of anyone's knowledge, haven't invented any of them.

Yet, somehow division of labor makes them inevitable.

Right.

odinslounge said...

Of course it makes no sense. On the one hand they claim that women, blacks, mexicans, whomever, is oppressed and can't get a fair shake.

Then they turn around and try and turn us all into the same thing by trying to actually oppress everybody. If anyone feels even slightly jilted by society all society must suffer.

The Rat said...

Actually, Captain, the reason we don't keep score in kids' sports is much simpler than a Marxian conspiracy. We do it because we want to keep adult competitiveness separate from a child's skill development. We would prefer coaches ignore the score at an early age and concentrate on skills. When winning is important weak players get benched which retards their skill development. Who really remembers if you won a game when you were 8 years old? We keep score when we tier players by skill, usually around 11 in the sports I have been involved in.

Tim Wohlford said...

You forgot the eternal leftist argument for everything: "It isn't fair that..."

KevinB said...

Rat:

Here's a better idea. Leave the adults out of sports until the kids are 11 or 12. I remember playing baseball as a kid; I got skipped a grade in grade 3, and went from being a superior athlete in my class to the runt of grade 4. We played before school, during recess, at lunch, and after school. Because I stunk (relatively) I was banished to either right field or catcher. But here's the thing: because no adults were around, no one got benched. If you showed up, you played. Yes, you got hooted at each at-bat, and people ran on your arm, but you played.

And, with a child's innate sense of justice, I knew I deserved to be in right because I stunk. I didn't whine or complain; I went there because I knew it was where I should be.

We were as competitive as hell and always kept score, but since we chose up new sides each morning, no one gave a d*mn. Leave the kids alone and let them play; they'll be alright.

Amy Haines said...

@The Rat, 11:21 a.m. 12/10/2012 -

No. Skill development happens during practice and drill, when the benched kids are made to understand why they were benched and what they must do to overcome those deficiencies.

No one man can do it all, not in sports or academics or polemics. But the gift of a human's considerably lengthy youth is that he can probe various areas and learn those areas in which he is strong or weak. The act of NOT keeping score gives little feedback to children who seek to find a place of necessity* in the world.

*Note that I do not say "importance" or "prominence," as such things are subjective according to the whims of contemporary society. Necessity is the vital characteristic: is a person who can figure necessary to society? Yes. Are the abilities to negotiate, recognize strength and weakness, deal fairly and in strict accordance with the law, and lose gracefully (by recognizing ones own weaknesses) necessary to society? Yes.

Teaching kids that anyone and everyone can be a winner, in any competition and in all situations, only fosters the socialist belief in equality of outcome despite opportunity. Some kids need to be benched, sometimes to spur their desire to improve, other times to inspire them to find other tracks to purse greatness, or, at the least, a position of necessity in society.

One-tenth of one-percent of NFL players represent the pool of hopeful young men who line up at scrimmage as Golden Bears. It is up to mature and knowledgeable adults to deflate their dreams early on, so as to avoid wasted time. This does not mean kill their spirit or beat them down; on the contrary, it means helping them find a more suitable path for their energy and desires, something that I find adults unwilling or unable (or both) to do for the youth under their tutelage.

Economart said...

I remember a scene from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in which the mayor of a town under siege, The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson, played by Jonathan Pryce, executes a hero of the siege for conduct that makes everyone else look bad.

GM

Anonymous said...

First minute or so.

http://youtu.be/93tR96egox4

ScottH said...

"One of the things I could not explain until recently was how the left not only wants financial equality, but also seems hell bent on social equality."

It makes sense if you look at the push for complete equality not as the ultimate goal but as a means to an end with the end being control over everything you do.

Like you said - hurt feelings. Some people cannot tolerate the thought that others are making things and achieving whatever they want to do without their involvement. Their idea of achievement is for you to have to get permission from them before you do anything at all.

This isn't just a Left/Marxist thing: establishment Republicans and religious groups like the Moral Majority behave the same way.

Unknown said...

Rat said,
"Actually, Captain, the reason we don't keep score in kids' sports is much simpler than a Marxian conspiracy. We do it because we want to keep adult competitiveness separate from a child's skill development."

Why don't adults leave the kids alone to play and let them learn about skills and competition by themselves?

Anonymous said...

Anon (9:55) said, "There are, actually, quite sensible and rational reasons for eschewing the division of labour. However, not a one has anything to do with economics, where Smith's pin factory is both the beginning and end of the argument."

O.K. so if you ever need a complicated surgery to save your worthless life, be sure to grab the janitor. I'm sure he'll be just as good. Woldn't want to perpetuate that, division of labor crap. What a maroon.

Anonymous said...

With regards to those who argue that there are rational reasons to reject the division of labor, even those who acknowledge that there are no ECONOMIC arguments against it, I have this to say:

The Industrial Revolution, which was division of labor writ large in addition to everything else it was, produced a population growth in the 19th century of roughly 300% in all of the nations that experienced it, including us.
This means that the previous system was killing off its population so fast that the breeding rate was only barely keeping up.
Glamourizing the Middle Ages and the yeoman farmer does not speak well of you or of your view of man; there is a REASON that even the most collectivist and primitive nations desperately grapple for Western technology even where they eschew Western individualism.
Being a yeoman farmer was back-breaking work from before sunrise til after sunset, every single workingday of the year. We're talking 14 and 16 hour days on average. Yeoman herders and farmers might have to leave their homes at 3am on market days just to get there in time to sell their produce for what it would bring, and then trudge home afterwards.
Remember, life expectancy did not reach 50 even in the US until the 1920s. It was under 40 in the 1890s still. The average yeoman farmer was lucky if he lived to see 40.
Illness was absolutely fatal, if only to his farm and not to him. So was injury. Miss a day of work, good reason or not, and there was a good chance your family would starve. Work through the illness or injury, and you might die instead, potentially guaranteeing their starvation.
Go and read some of the things John Locke had to say about how the average English family lived in the 17th century.

Seriously. So much of what makes a civilization possible comes from division of labor and ONLY from division of labor that it becomes like violence: without it, the other virtues are impossible.

The Rat said...

No. Skill development happens during practice and drill, when the benched kids are made to understand why they were benched and what they must do to overcome those deficiencies.

I'm sorry Amy, but skill does not develop only in practice. And to Kevin B, coaching matters and that's why the adults are involved. Game play and the ability to coach a child in that game is immensely important. The immediate feedback of a goal or a good play helps and then the praise of a coach pointing out what they did well or what they could have done matters. The score doesn't. Not everything is an ideological battleground, although the differing philosophies of sport can get that way. As a coach, and a long term non-parental coach, I am 100% behind the "non-competitive" philosophy behind young children's youth sports. The kids always know the score anyway, but they forget soon enough. Hopefully they don't forget the other lessons we teach them.

still not a robot said...

From a personal perspective, I take pride in being able to do a wide variety of things and I'm always seeking opportunity to learn more. I have a large pallet of skills because of a do-it-yourself mentality.

Second, it makes me extremely valuable at work so I'm less likely to lose my job to offshoring because of the versatility and advanced skill level.

Third, my organization runs more efficiently precisely because we can do everything in house and the small number of people means we have far less overhead in interpersonal communications.

Now, just because I CAN do stuff doesn't mean I SHOULD do those things - not when there are persons who a) enjoy doing those things and b) do them extremely well and c) can do them cheaper, faster and better than I.

Net - I think there is a balance between generalization of skills vs. specialization that every organization must determine is right.

whahappan? said...

"Here's a better idea. Leave the adults out of sports until the kids are 11 or 12. I remember playing baseball as a kid; I got skipped a grade in grade 3, and went from being a superior athlete in my class to the runt of grade 4. We played before school, during recess, at lunch, and after school. Because I stunk (relatively) I was banished to either right field or catcher. But here's the thing: because no adults were around, no one got benched. If you showed up, you played. Yes, you got hooted at each at-bat, and people ran on your arm, but you played.

And, with a child's innate sense of justice, I knew I deserved to be in right because I stunk. I didn't whine or complain; I went there because I knew it was where I should be.

We were as competitive as hell and always kept score, but since we chose up new sides each morning, no one gave a d*mn. Leave the kids alone and let them play; they'll be alright. "

Exactly. We used to play football when I was a tween/teen. This other kid and I were the fastest, strongest players in our group. We never played on the same team. We tried to divide it up somewhat evenly, depending on who was playing, but in the game, nobody complained about who got the ball more, or really any other aspect of the game. If you were on my team, you wanted me to get the ball, so we would have the best chance of scoring. Same thing on the other side. There were no hurt feelings, most of the time, and we all had fun. Sure, there were disputes about various plays, but no big deal. Kids can handle a lot more than they're given credit for. BTW, none of us were traditional jocks.

randian said...

but also seems hell bent on social equality

No, they aren't. Not really. It is true that they want to make everybody else equal. But they also want to make themselves superior, as the arbiters of what that social equality is and means. As the people from whom you must get permission to do anything useful.

Sera said...

Division of labor allows for increased productivity- which then allows us extra time for inventing, arts, learning/teaching (some would consider this 'real' progress). This is how we, as a society, made it 'this far'. I don't want to go back to the groovy 1400's with their windmills and stick/mud houses.

Anonymous said...

"What would happen if the government funded STEM programs and cut all those worthless degrees from the universities?"

Simple - the government would mandate that they have to take 80% of the people who majored in those worthless degrees, and for "diversity" would force you to higher them. It is already happening - I know a LOT of people who have degrees in STEM areas who are doing "other things" - mostly stocks, and other derivative markets since either they aren't the right color or sex (basically they are Caucasian, males). So it would just be more of that - which is already why the US no longer leads in patents, or discoveries...

Obama wanted us to be "one of many" and he's doing everything he can to ensure it in every way he can...

Ryan Fuller said...

I'd just like to take a moment to thank Sweden for going balls-out crazy with the "no gender" thing so that in a decade or two, the rest of the world can point to them and say, "This is what happens when you pretend there are no differences between men and women."

To the extent that they succeed, they'll have produced the most milquetoast androgynous men that the world has ever seen.

Society needs men, and the Swedes, bless their stupid gender-neutral hearts, have decided to take one for the team and sacrifice their society to show us why.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I loved Soccer, I loved playing at it, practicing it and worked hard at it.

I played in a competitive league outside of school. When my school formed a team I joined.

After realizing they didn't keep score. I got disinterested and faded out quit the team and moved onto other things.

When I go to visit and I get to playing whatever sports in the back yard with my brothers who are 15 and 20 years my younger. They keep score on their elder sibling.

Oh and of course I never played sports with my sister because she was always doing girl stuff and didn't have much interest.

V10 said...

@Herb Nowell: Anon 7:34 ("Division of labor = degrees = credentialism = HR, risk aversive corporations. You can't have it both ways.") is on to something, I think.

Let us take your auto mechanic example. The earliest mechanics pretty much built the entire car themselves. Kudos to such engineers and craftsman, but it's not terribly efficient or cheap.

Divide the labor. Now you're specializing in the engines, you've got a mind like a watchmaker, you love puzzles, it suits you well. Your co-worker has got a smooth and steady hand, making him a whiz at shaping the metal of the bodywork. Everyone is doing what they're good at, getting more work done in a day and at a higher quality, and you're well compensated for your skills. Life is good.

Divide the labor further and further. Now you're a minimum wage monkey working at a lube change garage. Not very challenging, monotonous, and the wages pay the bills... maybe. And that's all your job involves as far as engines go; it's more efficient to have a lot of little shops equipped and staffed to handle the most basic and common maintenance, and a few fully loaded garages to handle the complex and uncommon jobs, like rebuilding a transmission or something.

That's how a corporate chain will logically structure. And what becomes of the oil change attendant, long term? Will he ever learn any skills beyond being able to change a filter blindfolded? Not on the job, probably. The company wants to maximize the number of oil changes performed, to get the most out of this highly specialized cog. Maybe if he gets a diploma in automotive servicing at a trade school part time, he can apply for a transfer to one of the company's full-service garages.

Now, if he worked at a small business garage (independent of any corporation or maybe just leasing a franchise name), he's more likely to get his hands dirty on all manner of automotive repair, learning on the job. It's certainly a much more flexible environment, and he will advance because of what he can demonstrably do, as opposed to just having a piece of paper that says he can.

Every industry is different, of course. Myself, I'm in the construction industry, and first hired on as a helper, the only qualifications being a pulse and an ability to show up not drunk or stoned. But because it was a company of about 2 dozen people, and I had a couple of relevant courses under my belt, I learned how to operate the equipment and do the calculations that was usually the province of crew chiefs. At a certain point, even STEM education is overrated and padded to suck up tuition dollars; I've worked with guys fresh out their degree who are officially way smarter than me, but who can't translate plans on paper to real world actions or improvise when equipment breaks. The kind that wants to set-up several thousands of dollars of equipment to do a task I first learned to do with a plum-bob and a tape measure. Because that's the only way they know how to do it, and if they don't have the computerized instrumentation holding their hand (it breaks or having GIGO trouble), they can't adapt. They know what buttons to press to make the computer automatically spit out the answer they need, but they have no idea how to do the basic trigonometry themselves.

I think that's what Anon 7:34 is trying to get at when he talks about over-specialization. I don't pretend to have a solution, beyond encouraging people to work at smaller companies and avoid larger corporations (and their HR departments and pointy-haired bosses and so forth), and to develop a diversity of practical skills.

Seerak said...

Division of labor contradicts a key metaphysical premise of collectivism: the interchangeability of individuals. One X is as good as another X /they all look the same.

Division of labor contradicts a key political premise of Leftism: that "socialism" means working together while capitalism/individualism means lone wolves. People obviously work together under capitalism, by means of division of labor, destroying that premise.

It's similar to core conservatives' discomfort with the liberal Enlightenment principle of individual rights as enshrined in America's founding; it contradicts their is/ought dichotomy, as it's a plain case of the Founders basing what sort of society *ought* to exist on the fact of what mankind *is*.

The underlying premise shared by both sides, of course, is the idea that reality is not real, objective and independent, but is instead the product of some consciousness. They differ only on the point of *whose* consciousness does the authoring; the conservatives say God, the Left says the collective's.

So naturally, when faced with an inconvenient fact, their goal is not to adjust to its reality (because there is no such thing), but to re-author reality to adjust to *their* prior moral demands.

Seerak said...

It makes sense if you look at the push for complete equality not as the ultimate goal but as a means to an end with the end being control over everything you do.

I find that it makes more sense still to describe it thusly: completely equality is their conscious goal, but total control is their end-of-road.

That accomodates, and dismisses as ultimately irrelevant, the question of whether they are sincere, deluded or lying about the goal. The road leads where the road leads, regardless of the intentions or state of mind of the traveler.