No jobs are being created (beyond churning) and the old attitudes pervade – we talk of education and training – but seriously go to your local job centre and look what turns up on their machines – take a serious look at how limited many jobs are, requiring few skills and a decent attitude to hygiene and punctuality. There is no structural analysis and yet there is scary talk about making sackings easier – scary not because some shirkers might get the push but because it reeks of indenture to ‘work correctness’. Most of us know to say we are hard workers, relish challenge and so on – but the reality is something else entirely – we’re waiting to win the lottery and escape.Is that utterly superb, or not? I have never seen anybody express this point of view so well that I am humbled. When you've spent the last decade learning the usefulness of humility, being humbled is not an unpleasant shock - it is a joyous surprise.
We have created non-job after non-job whilst degrading the rewards of real hard graft, instead of organising worthwhile work around vast improvements in technology and productivity. And we are about to ‘discover’ this as surely as any of the ‘economic bubbles’ that have been pricked from dotcon to ghost city building. This is being left out of ‘analysis’ and is what will eventually spill onto our streets. Our problem is efficiency in production and waste in neurosis all around it. My students are always visibly shocked by real work seen and heard in factory and mine visits – and look at what happens when the BBC takes our callow youth to do work in the far east. I feel I teach little more than how to idle in bureaucracies in my classrooms..Breathtaking. Why have so few people spoken out on this truth, you wonder? They are busy going along with the system, to keep collecting their salary, to protect their pension, to wait in hope that there is still a dream worth living for when they retire.
We are close now to the shock promised in the last days of my youth – that of computerised expert knowledge catching up with other embodied knowledge in production that has robots doing what was once skilled work. My lectures have long been obsolete, but ‘death by Powerpoint’ continues for now. Accountants continue even though software does a better job – the ‘reason’ in both cases is fraud and being able to sign off (pass) what our VCs or CEOs want. This is OK as long as ‘good times’ eventually roll but they look to have stopped. There is no real market for university graduates and the times in which the off-balance-sheet could be lost in a good year are catching up on us as the ‘holes’ brim over.Here is somebody whom also has seen the Global Human Economic Machine, but never gave it this name. Here is somebody whom independently has seen with their own eyes the world around them. The real world, not a world made up by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, or The Guardian, or The Mail, or even The Sun. Never again do I expect to see such a brilliant blog post, for the likelihood is I will live in disappointment. It is better to live in hope, and the best way to do that is to expect very little.