Friday, May 22, 2015

"Women in the Workplace - and at Home"

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love." - John Lennon

This article was written by G.K. Chesterton in 1926.

He's right the "woman problem" is part of a larger controversy. For one thing, women are being forced into the workplace whether or not they want to go, and in the process being conned that being in workplace is liberating while having a family is enslaving. It's part of Corporate Capitalism, which is not free market, and it's affecting men as much as women.

I've written before that I think robotics are going to split society into two classes - a small minority who can make a decent living by serving the machine...and everyone else who aren't going to make much money and not have good jobs, which have been exported by the combination and State and Corporations.

The whole thing is alienating, and as a result some people are withdrawing. I know a man who makes a living buying older cars from all over the country, rebuilding them from the ground up and selling them. I know others who have moved to rural areas and are as self-supporting as possible. These are the kind who raise "free-range" kids.

These people don't want to be part of the Machine State. I think more and more people are going to start making their own furniture, growing their own food, pulling their children out of public schools. They want freedom, and the Corporate State is trying to take that away from us.

Years ago, when I was about 13, I read a novel called Hell's Pavement, by one Damon Knight. It as written in the '50s. In it, people were conditioned to buy and buy and buy (it was actually through coercion, and the world was run by corporations.

I thought it was a bit preposterous, but now I'm not so sure.

There will always be reactions to the Machine State. The Manosphere is one of those. For all the nonsense in it, is it not about gaining freedom from feminism, which wouldn't exist if it wasn't enshrined in law?

Who wants to spend their life in a box house in the suburbs, being exploited by the Corporate State, having your kids brainwashed in public schools, being propagandized to buy and buy and buy, while the State tries to destroy the family and suck all the sacredness out of life (the Roman had a guardian god of the home called Lares)? Look at how certain people act on Black Friday when they mob stores and get into fights!

The Corporate State wants to turn us into slaves - willing slaves. Some people, unfortunately, want to be slaves. Others want to be free. It's not hard to tell the difference.

As I've written before, the reason Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years is so the slaves and their slave mentality would die off. And part of the slave mentality is "take care of me and provide for me," even though part of that slavery is being poor. And certainly not being your own master, to live and work as you please.

Here starts Chesteron's article.


The recent controversy about the professional position of married women was part of a much larger controversy, which is not limited to professional women or even to women. It involves a distinction that controversialists on both sides commonly forget. As it is conducted, it turns largely on the query about whether family life is what is called a "whole-time job" or a "half-time job." But there is also another distinction between a whole job and a half job, or a hundredth part of a job. It has nothing to do with the time that is occupied, but only with the ground that is covered. An industrial expert once actually boasted that it took twenty men to make a pin; and I hope he sat down on the pin. But the man making the twentieth part of the pin did not only work for the twentieth part of an hour. He might perfectly well be working for twelve hours - indeed, he might have been working for twenty-four hours for all the happy industrial expert generally cared. He might work for the whole of a lifetime, but he never made the whole of a pin.

Now, there are lingering still in the world a number of lunatics, among whom I have the honour to count myself, who think it a good thing to preserve as many whole jobs as possible. We congratulate ourselves, in our crazy fashion, whenever we find anybody personally and completely doing anything. We rejoice when we find remaining in the world any cases in which the individual can see the beginning and the end of his own work. We are well aware that this is often incompatible with modern scientific civilization, and the fact has sometimes moved us to say what we think about modern scientific civilization. But anyhow, whether we are right or wrong, that is an important distinction not always remembered; and that is the important distinction that ought to be most remembered, and is least remembered, in this modern debate about the occupation of women.

Probably there must be a certain number of people doing work which they do not complete. Perhaps there must be some people doing work which they do not comprehend. But we do not want to multiply those people indefinitely, and then cover it all by shouting about emancipation and equality. It may be emancipation to allow a woman to make part of a pin, if she really wants to make part of a pin. It may be equality if she is really filled with a furious jealousy of her husband, who has the privilege of making part of a pin. But we question whether it is really a more human achievement to make part of a pin than to make the whole of a pinafore. And we even go further, and question whether it is more human to make the whole of a pinafore than to look after the whole of a child. The point about the "half-time job" of motherhood is that it is at least one of the jobs that can be regarded as a whole, and almost as an end in itself. A human being is in some sense an end in himself. Anything that makes him happy or high-minded is, under God, a thing directed to an ultimate end. It is not, like nearly all the trades and professions, merely a machinery and a means to an end. And it is a thing which can, by the constitution of human nature, be pursued with positive and unpurchased enthusiasm. Whether or no it is a half-time job, it need not be a half-hearted job.

Now, as a matter of fact, there are not so many jobs which normal and ordinary people can pursue with enthusiasm for their own sakes. The position is generally falsified by quoting the exceptional cases of specialists who achieve success. There may be a woman who is so very fond of swimming the Channel that she can go on doing it until she breaks a record. There may be, for that matter, a woman who is so fond of discovering the North Pole that she goes on doing it long after it has been discovered. Such sensational successes naturally bulk big in the newspapers, because they are sensational cases. But they are not the question of whether women are more free in professional or domestic life. To answer that question, we must assume all the sailors on the Channel boats to be women, all the fishermen in the herring fleet to be women, all the whalers in the North Sea to be women, and then consider whether the worst paid and hardest worked of all those workers were really having a happier or a harder life. It will be at once apparent that the vast majority of them must be under orders; and that perhaps a considerable minority of them would be under orders which they did not entirely understand. There could not be a community in which the average woman was in command of a ship. But there can be a community in which the average woman is in command of a house.

To take a hundred women out of a hundred houses and give them a hundred ships would be obviously impossible, unless all the ships were canoes. And that would be carrying to rather fanatical lengths the individualist ideal of people paddling their own canoe. To take the hundred women out of the hundred houses and put them on ten ships, or more probably on two ships, is obviously to increase vastly the number of servants and diminish the number of mistresses. The only ship I remember that was so manned (or perhaps we should say womanned) was the ship in the Bab Ballad commanded by Lieutenant Bellaye: [Note: The lieutenant is the hero of Gilbert's "The Bumboat Woman's Story". He is so loved that numbers of young women disguised as sailors stow away on his ship.] even there it might be said that the young ladies who sailed with him had ultimately rather a domestic than a professional ideal. But that naval commander was not very professional himself, and it will be remembered, excused his sailors from most of their duties and amused himself by firing off his one big gun.

I fear that the experience of most subordinate women in shops and factories is a little more strenuous. I have taken an extremely elementary and crude example, but I am not the first rhetorician who has found it convenient to discuss the State under the bright and original similitude of a ship. But the principle does apply quite as much to a shop as to a ship. It applies with especial exactitude to the modern shop, which is almost larger than the modern ship. A shop or a factory must consist of a very large majority of servants; and one of the few human institutions in which there need be no such enormous majority of servants is the human household. I still think, therefore, that for the lady interested in ships the most supreme and symbolical moment is the moment when her ships come home. And I think there are some sort of symbolical ships that had much better come home and stay there.

I know all about the necessary modifications and compromises produced by the accidental conditions of to-day. I am not unreasonable about them. But what we are discussing is not the suggestion that the ideal should be modified. It is the suggestion that the ideal should be abolished. It is the suggestion that a new test or method of judgment should be applied to the affair, which is not the test of whether the thing is a whole job, in the sense of a self-sufficing and satisfactory job, but of whether it is what is called a half-time job - that is, a thing to be measured by the mechanical calculation of modern employment.

There have been household gods and household saints and household fairies. I am not sure that there have yet been any factory gods or factory saints or factory fairies. I may be wrong, as I am no commercial expert, but I have not heard of them as yet. And we think that the reason lies in the distinction which I made at the beginning of these remarks. The imagination and the religious instinct and the human sense of humour have free play when people are dealing with something which, however small, is rounded and complete like a cosmos.

The place where babies are born, where men die, where the drama of mortal life is acted, is not an office or a shop or a bureau. It is something much smaller in size and much larger in scope. And while nobody would be such a fool as to pretend that it is the only place where people should work, or even the only place where women should work, it has a character of unity and universality that is not found in any of the fragmentary experiences of the division of labour.

9 comments:

Glen Filthie said...

The 60's were a little too good to you, Bob. The Good Life isn't something that The State denies you, nor does it just 'happen' to some people and not to others.

You build it. You do that through sacrifice, hard work and commitment. The kids that did good in school tend to do well after school too. The kids that float through, barely passing, accomplishing nothing - don't live any better than those that work.

The Machine State works for you, not the other way around. You work hard at school, you work hard when you get out and start a family. Work hard for 25 years and the next thing ya know you own your own home with two new cars in the driveway. I have tons of spare time now which I spend on the motorcycle and fiddling with RC aircraft. I have two hoople-headed dogs. Life is good.

You sound like my gay hipster daughter. She blathers about mindless "consumer whores", shadow govts, and the tyranny of the corporations and she has absolutely nothing to show for it. She lives in a dump with 8 kidult room mates, she doesn't drive or even own a car - and has nothing but contempt for her parents and the way they live. She hangs with the cretins like the Occutards Of Wall Street. She has nothing, refuses to work for anything and she's mad about it! It used to drive me crazy but now I just laugh.

For me its been a good life - the secret is that to get anything out, you have to put something in.

Rusty Shacklford said...

Americans are undercut by 3rd world immigrants in the trades, outsourcing in the services, offshoring in manufacturing, H1B in the professions and automation everywhere. Before they can even get into the colleges their grandfathers built, they must run a gauntlet between affirmative action minorities and Asians who've been gaming placement tests since Confucius. Functioning, happy communities like Ferguson are willfully destroyed by government policies like forced busing of inner city students into their schools and section 8 rental vouchers. Glen never had to deal with any of this shit, so his "I've got mine, you just can't cut it" schtick rings hollow. Aren't you a fucking Canadian, anyway, Glen? Go shovel the fucking snow off your driveway.

Which isn't really even the main point here. It isn't that success is impossible. There are probably Horatio Alger stories in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. It's a question of what are we doing that's making things harder or easier for people. Right now, if the US government and the large corporations were trying to fuck over the average American, they couldn't be doing a better job. If the government and corporate interests are no longer of any use to normal Americans, it would seem to be time for normal Americans to stop being useful or at least to redefine usefulness in a way that serves them.

Rusty Shackleford said...

Just speaking personally, I was working a skilled trade until a couple of years ago. I slipped a back disc and instantly became an economically useless man. I'm totally unemployable to any shop or corporation, yet I still make a living (almost by accident at first) as a gray market mechanic/ car trader. Not as much as I did but more than I would folding sweaters or working the fryer at burger king, not that I'm physically capable of doing either of those jobs anyway. I'm working on an engineering degree which I'm going to finish because I have the time and the money to do so, but would I be any happier crunching numbers in a basement cubicle than I am doing what I'm doing now? Life and work continue even outside of respectable employment and the official economy. That's been a surprise to me, and I expect it would be to a lot of other people as well.

Quartermain said...

"Glen never had to deal with any of this shit, so his "I've got mine, you just can't cut it" schtick rings hollow. Aren't you a fucking Canadian, anyway, Glen? Go shovel the fucking snow off your driveway."


Amen Rusty!!! Amen!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Lennon quote.

I think Aspiration and Desperation are closer to the mark.

Glen Filthie said...

Aw c'mon, Rusty! Is that any way to talk to your redeemer? Of course you know I'm Canadian - have you forgotten my 'I won't hire packies and wogs' threads on the Canoe and Canadian Politics and Issues forums? I was true to it too - back when I was hiring I hired white men - and the vibrants, queers, and other diverse and divisive applicants be damned! Did you leap to my defence on those forums when I posted 'I Won't Ride In Cabs Driven By Smelly Packies'? Hell, I was a neo-reactionary being attacked by social justice warriors before those terms were even invented. Remember Revie? I could make that cunnned stunt screech like a howler monkey! HAR HAR HAR!

I did well because I am a visionary and can think critically. Consider Bob, for example - there is TONS of money left in the business! Guys like me won't be driven round by stinking packies and mudflaps in yellow cabs with hookers and druggies. We take the big Crown Vic and Lincoln town cars driven by properly subservient and deferential clippers and wogs! We will even pay a premium for a clean cut white cab driver. Fact is I would pick my clientele under those conditions, and to hell with the whores, the niggers and riff raff that take yellow cabs.

I tried to retire a couple times but I am a sales and businessman. I love talking and listening to customers and if you can do that - and react - earning good money is a piece of cake.

I'm beginning to think I should reactivate my own blog...I trust you will give me a place of honour on your blogroll Bob? :)

Bob Wallace said...

Why of course!

Mindstorm said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lares#Lararium - dovetails nicely with shinto, don't you think?

Mindstorm said...

Ah, it's Shinto, uppercase S.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamidana - only a shelf due to limited household space