You should go to university and so you can get an office job with a good company. That is the advice I was given when I was in High School and deciding what my prospective career path looked like. It is advice that is given to tens of thousands of people every year by their friends and relatives.
The irony of the advice is that it assumes that something special happens at university. Ingrained is the belief that the more education you have then the better you will do in the life. The reality however is that the universities are no longer anything worthy of the name. They are diploma factories that are run like any other business and exist by having a ‘reputation for academic excellence’ and an alumni funding and recruitment network.
As the Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek has observed; universities today exist to provide ‘experts’ to governments and the private sector.
Have you got a problem?
Hire a Subject Matter Expert and it will be resolved.
If it isn’t… well… hire another Subject Matter Expert.
Rinse and repeat until the problem is believed to be resolved then fire them.
However how many ‘experts’ are needed?
Not that many and those that are usually become ‘experts’ by fluke of being in the right place at the right time.
Ninety percent of university graduates are not ‘experts’ in anything, but rather come out with little more than an embossed piece of high-quality paper that tells the world that they have a Bachelor’s degree in say Sociology, Women’s Studies or some such glorified nonsense.
The reality of course is that the near absolute majority individuals have achieved practically nothing in terms of their chosen field of intellectual endeavour, will never revisit the subject of their major in any detail and likely will end up as part of the endless raw material that is required to staff the offices and count the beans of corporate America.
Now there is nothing wrong with being an office-worker per se, because there will always be a need for good managers and people with very specific office-based skill sets such as accountancy, project management and so forth. However most office-workers are not necessarily specialists, but rather glorified data entry plebs, nebulous and often malicious ‘IT Support Specialists’, ‘administrative assistants’ (aka paper pushers), ‘Personal Assistants’ (aka the secretarial pool and wannabe trophy wives) and middle managers who cannot even organise their time sufficiently to ensure they haven’t committed to being in two meetings at the same time.
The problem with these types of jobs is not only that they invariably breed the same sense of anomie and alienation that classic ‘Scientific Management’ did when it was implemented in factories in the early twentieth century. Everyone who doesn’t know what they wanted to be and has gotten promoted to a middle management position somehow is a position where they aren’t happy or fulfilled.
These same ‘management professionals’ create extra work and the often lamented layers of management within organisations, but whose ability to add value is not only limited but also often acts as a barrier to the truth getting further up the proverbial food chain. This is because it is often perceived – with some degree of truth – that ‘bad news’ (aka the truth) is ‘career ending’ so said ‘management professionals’ end up lying and covering up the bad news (or pretending it is ‘an opportunity’) to their bosses.
Organisations work better when there are more workers and less managers, but these managers also are often deeply dissatisfied with their careers because they create nothing and the work has no link to the material world that they can see and feel. Even worse there is no defined start and end point to their job, but rather it is just an endless hamster wheel of pressure to produce the best possible figure because next quarter is the most important quarter ever and so on.
To combat these ‘management professionals’ try to engage in fulfilling activities outside of their work that do have a defined start and end point as well as some material value. Prima facie evidence for this is the trend for semi-competitive cycling, because it has a material reward in the form of fitness as well as ensuring that the beer bellies almost endemic among office workers are kept to an absolute minimum. In addition to offering both a start and end point as well as being a source of social interaction and prestige.
All while being forced to pay back a hundred thousand dollars in loans to get the overpriced university degree that allegedly ‘got them their job’.
The problem is then manifestly the detachment of the modern bourgeois urbanite (aka the modern ‘management professional’) from their environment and more specifically from their daily labour.
If you create or make something. It is not only a tangible thing that you can be proud of and say ‘I did that’, but it has a defined start and end point. You don’t feel like you are a hamster wheel and you know that you did it yourself.
Creating or making something can be as simple as cooking a meal you made yourself rather than just reheated from a packet. This is why we are seeing a return to home cooked meals around the Western world as well as a concomitant increase in food manufacturers trying to remarket processed food as being ‘healthy’ by slapping the words ‘Hand-reared’, ‘Organic’, ‘Grass-Fed’ etc on their products rather than telling you the truth.
It feels great to cook a meal from scratch and it also tastes a hell of a lot better.
Apply that logic to your work and it will be readily apparent that when you do manual and/or skilled physical labour of any kind then you have a very real pride and sense of achievement in what you do.
This – along with the healthy mentality it engenders – was identified a century ago by the theorists of Distributism such as Hilaire Belloc, Gilbert Keith Chesterton and Arthur Penty. It forms the basis for a healthy and satisfied populace and as such creates the platform upon which a better, healthier nation state can be built.
In essence for the future nationalist state; we must have a return to the traditional values of honouring those who physically labour as well as ensuring that our children value and continue to work in these professions. For without that base for the nation and the resultant increase in unfounded white collar snobbery then there can be no future for our people.