They're Building a Box -
and you're in it
pull back the wizard's curtain and throw the chains from your brain
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On Green Island
They're Building a Box and you're in it
Dave Patterson
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From Hastings to Green Island
a word on the Writer

Lotta work left to do yet.... - Tiger Woods, with 18 golf holes left between him and about $12 million

Get back to work, Loretta!! - Joe Boss, to 72-year-old Loretta the office cleaner, making $7.00/hr in Toronto, the night before she can't take it anymore and quietly steps in front of a bus on her way home that snowy, cold evening in Toronto

Chapter 3: The Work Scam

So once we tell the banks and bankers et al to take a hike with thier great-for-them-bad-for-us plan to supply our money and get that part of our society working on a solid basis, and truly drive the money masters from this key service in our community, well, we all know nobody just gives away money any more than they just give away the things that money buys, we have to work for it - so how are we going to arrange our jobs in our community or country?

It's not an 'obvious' question, although it may seem to be on the surface - we all just go out and find jobs like we always do, no?

Well, actually, no it isn't quite that simple, if we don't want to extract ourselves from one big scam while letting another carry on almost as damaging to all of us.

The people who have been stealing your money for a very long time through the money supply scam as described in the last chapter have also been stealing your work, your labor - your life, really - through a similar 'work' scam. And if you, and we, are going to have a free and prosperous society as part of a much better life, we have to get not only our money, but our work, under OUR control.

================== Sidebar: Work is work - really?? ===============

Work is work is work? Really? Is there really any truth to calling the multi-million dollar life of a star athlete or movie star ‘work’ in the same way we call the labour of a lowly office cleaner scrubbing toilets and emptying wastebaskets ‘work’? Is playing hockey or making movies really comparable in any true way to spending 10 hours telemarketing at minimum wage, as in ‘they’re all jobs and we all have to ‘work’ to make money’? Can we really equate the tens of millions of dollars a CEO makes for deciding which workers to fire with his many employees making barely enough to live on - his giving orders and their taking orders are both work? Really?

This pretending that ‘work is work’ that we all must do each day we’re all good little happy worker bees in our good little happy country hoho hoho is quite a big part of the overall modern capitalist mythology, the great gordion knot of lies that keeps everyone in their place, the workers producing wealth and the rulers controlling it all. In a society of people who were more or less equal, then work would be more or less equal as well, and all people would choose and accept their jobs willingly, and all work would be honored as necessary for the functioning of our society and all workers would be making enough to live on at least, and although some might make more than others, we would not see the huge disparities we see today between unimaginable wealth and desperate poverty.

But in any society where there are essentially two groups of people, those who rule and those who are ruled, then the ‘work’ of those who are ruled becomes much more like forced labor, and you cannot really call what the rulers do ‘work’. When ‘work’ becomes something you’d rather not do but must to survive, rather than something you do willingly and with some joy even because it gives your life some meaning and contributes in some positive way to the functioning of your community, this ruler-ruled dichotomy becomes quite plain and undeniable, it seems to me. As always, just because the Canadian mass media is not talking about it does not mean the idea has no validity - actually, with certain ideas, their lack of commentary probably tells you it is actually quite important, so important that they don’t want you even thinking about it, let alone asking questions about it.


In modern society we rely on many things, such as, for example, a reliable, not-too-expensive power supply for our homes (not to mention the homes themselves that someone needs to build, and all the furnishings etc), the hundreds and hundreds of items on the shelves of the various stores that carry necessities and comforts when we go shopping, a modern well-equipped hospital with well-trained doctors to look after our physical ailments (and all the hundreds of supply things that hospital needs), transportation - and many. many others things, including managerial and bureaucratic functions, and all are the end products of big, complicated systems of raw materials, transportation, production and distribution.

The million things that comprise modern, comfortable, safe society come from people working, and contributing to our community, and, unless you would rather be living in a cave and fighting lions with sticks and communicating with grunts and fists, modern society and the things it provides for us all is good. Not perfect, of course, there are many excesses in modern capitalist-dominated society, but restructuring our basic priorities and ways of doing things as I suggest herein would alleviate most of those problems in a big way, and stop most of the excesses where the damage we are doing mainly comes from, as the excesses are all related to the excesses of the rulers. Imagine, for instance, we really put an end to war and the arms industries, for a starter - it's not impossible, it's just a matter of political will, which is, right now, considerably lacking, at least insofar as it involves doing anything positive for 'we the people' in this country.

Work - good work, not slave-like meaningless punchclock jobs - is important to each of us, as human beings and also as members of a community, because it gives us a sense of value in our lives, and a sense of contributing positively and usefully to the larger community from which we get our security and the things that make our lives good, everything from the knowledge that we, or our children, can play safely outside to the cars we drive to get around and the warm houses we live in.

There are some in our society, however, who do not see 'work' that way, as something necessary and good and fulfilling for all of us together to create and maintain our communities. There are some who see our work as simply something that provides goods and services for them to use to make their lives luxurious and work-free. They think they can have all the very best benefits of modern society without working at all, if they can control your work, and control the output of that work, and keep us working more and more and more to provide more and more output for them to control. The more they can make you work and the more they can make you produce and the more they can steal, the more luxury they can have. Your happiness or the health of your society is not a factor to such people, all they are interested in is maximizing their own personal luxury.

And when such people dominate our society, as they do now, then the work of most people becomes not the constructive and life-fulfilling activity that it should be, but it becomes a drudgery, and you become little more than a slave. Flipping burgers at MacFastFood is ok for a younger person for a few months or a year or two as a part-time job to get through college or while they are deciding what they really want to do or something, but when it becomes something you must do or starve, as either older or younger person, and you hate every second of it but it is better, marginally, than living under a bridge in a cardboard box in a Canadian winter or having your kids starve - it is not a fulfilling thing at all, but a destroying thing.

And no nurturing, caring, modern society should be forcing any of its people into soul-destroying labour that is barely above slave labour, in order that a few members of that society can amass great wealth based on stealing the value of the labour of its citizens.

If you want a better society, getting control of your own work is as important as getting control of the national money supply.

As with the money supply, the economists and bankers and corporate lawyers and media and others they control have constructed a great Gordian lie of complexities to hide and confuse the truth, and like the money supply, the work situation is easier to understand from a more basic perspective - and then when you understand the truth and have your arguing feet on some firm ground, you can more easily dismiss the justifications of the Expert Economists and Expert Analysts for what they do as the lies they really are.

Let us imagine a small place where we have just figured out the money, and now we need to figure out what we're going to do about working. Let's call this place People Town.

Business man Bob is not too happy about not snaring the goldenest of all gooses of creating your money supply in People Town, but like any devoted con artist, or wannabe-emperor believing themselves to be above the rules the rest of us choose to follow in a civilized society, he never gives up. If he can't do the Grandest Scam of All, which is creating the money, he has other ways of arranging money flows into his coffers without actually working for it, which is almost as good as creating it himself. There are a lot of rich people in the world besides the bankers. And apparently, as Mr Barnum believed, a lot of suckers too, which is Businessman Bob's real stock in trade.

Businessman Bob knows you are going to need businesses in People Town, because that's just how things get done in modern, complex human communities with thousands and thousands of goods and services available. That's what a real business is, people specializing in something they're interested in, and others doing the same, and then we all go out and make whatever kind of life we want, choosing from the great variety of things that all these people, our fellow human citizens, are making or providing for their contribution to the good human society. Human society, human communities, all revolve around businesses, and trading our service or good at the market.

******************* 'Don't Get Confused' alert *******************

- when I say 'business' and 'market' here, I mean the true small businesses and community market of citizens trading honestly among themselves in a pleasant, relaxed, socially constructive way, not the 'modern' capitalist corporate market which has been turned into a brutal dog fight, a ruleless king of the hill contest where the most ruthless prevails, winner take all, cheating and lying and stealing and violence the norm, trust noone, a bastardized, perverted, evil version of a great and necessary and beautiful human activity, poisoned and disfigured beyond recognition like everything the cancerous capitalists touch - a 'market' isn't necessarily a 'market' anymore than a dog is a dog - and the capitalist 'market' is more like a trained-to-kill doberman snarling at your throat than an intelligent retriever sitting by your side protecting you and being a friendly, trustworthy companion, as the People Town market would and will be.

************************** ***************************

But starting businesses is expensive in our modern world, especially any kind of bigger factories or offices which are needed to produce or organize many things in the big complicated modern world.

So let's carry on in People Town.

You have been educated, or trained, as have all Canadians, to believe that once you finish school, about the only thing you get to decide is which large company you are going to try to work for if you want to make a 'decent' living. You have more options if your family is rich, of course, but I am talking about most 'normal' people. Yes, of course there are exceptions, but most 'modern' jobs that new 'entrants to the labour force' compete for are found with the large corporations of one sort or another.

*********************** Framing **********************

You could spend a bit of useful time just thinking about the terminology there - is 'labour force' a people and community friendly, or corporate friendly, way of thinking about your work, and the work of most people? Why? What other terms serve the same purpose? If you haven't heard of it yet, you might check out a book by a guy called George Lakoff on an idea called 'framing', and also the old wisdom that if you fight a battle on the enemy's battlefield, following the enemy's rules - why would you expect to win? Thinking about, simply being aware of, this sort of thing is an important part of getting out of the box, which is an idea we will be looking at in a bit more detail later. Right here we're more interested in helping you to realize you actually are fighting a battle these days - but the enemy has not declared their attack, and 'your' media is actually controlled by the enemy so are part of the secrecy, so you're losing a battle (you've almost lost the war, actually) you don't even know you're fighting - one of the best tricks for an aggressor if they can manage it .... with Capitalism, the Marquis de Queensbury rules are reserved for suckers only, the idiot who brings some notion of civilized rules or behaviour to a capitalist free-for-all is as pathetic in the world of the capitalist-predator as the sucker who brings a knife to an Uzi fight, as in Capitalism, the ONLY thing that matters is who is standing at the end. Take em out with a 2x4 from behind works every time.


In People Town, however, you will find things may be done a little differently.

We've already got things off on a good foot by creating our own money supply, rather than putting a huge, ultimately deadly ball and chain around ourselves right off the bat by letting some private bank create it and borrowing it from them, a crazy idea if ever there was one, but that a lot of people have gotten sucked into, so let's see what we can do about keeping our work for ourselves too, rather than letting someone turn us into little factory robots, with someone controlling our work and time, and stealing it at pennies on the dollar, another crazy idea but quite widespread in these 'modern' times. As with the money, we have a couple of major ways of organizing the work that needs to be done to make our community work, and provide us with the things we need, and want, for a comfortable, happy, peaceful, fulfilling life.

And as with the money supply, let's do the real democracy thing, and have a meeting of all the citizens, and a big open talk, and see what the best thing we can do would be.

As noted earlier, Businessman Bob from Bizness Town is front and center again at our meeting, like any good businessman he's always got his eyes peeled for a chance for profit and isn't shy about getting up in the front of the meeting and trying to convince everyone to do what he wants, and new towns are ripe for the picking.

At least new towns which do things the old way, but maybe we can find a way to do things a little differently here in People Town.

Businessman Bob, now, makes the standard pitch, offering to provide our town with, shall we say, a hardware store, selling sinks and nails and flashlights and all the stuff hardware stores sell anywhere. Bob doesn't know much about hardware stores, but he knows bizness and a good bizness opportunity when he sees one - he's got hardware stores in wage-slave cartoon dozens of People Towns all over the country. B Bob normally gets his startup capital from the local bank, but he understands that may not be on in People Town, but no matter, he has a group of 'investors' who will back him, with some support from the Biznesstown Bank, with which he will open the hardware store. He will hire a few workers from People Town, and pay them a wage each week for the work they do, and any money left over after all the expenses will, of course, be his profit, to divide up among he and his 'investors' - their just reward for using their money in such a benevolent way, helping out another community. Just like things work everywhere. People Town is not a big town, of course, so there won't be all that much business for the hardware store, not like a big city, and if Bob wants to make a good profit, as good businessmen and investors do, he won't be able to pay the workers that much or offer any special health plans or job security in this modern competitive world, but hey, a job's a job, and we all need one, and he just wants to be a good citizen by providing these precious jobs for our lucky people in People Town. Pretty secure jobs, too, as people always need hardware.

People sit around nodding their heads, all familiar talk. That's the way the modern world works.

But -

- then those same radical people who told us all about creating our own money rather than letting private banks create it tell us there is another idea that we might want to consider. We do need a hardware store in town, of course - but since here in People Town we have a few people who have some knowledge of that sort of thing and like doing that sort of work - what if People Town, and the People Town Bank, got together with those people and tried something different?

Instead of letting someone from outside of People Town own the hardware store and the People Town people just be employees there - why not have the people in People Town who will work at the hardware store, own it too?

Then, if we do it this way, it will be an investment of the people of People Town, by and for the people of People Town, not by and for some private banks or investors from some big city far away, whose only idea is to make money from their 'investment'.

And then instead of working for Biznessman Bob, the people who work at the hardware store will work for themselves, while providing a needed service to People Town, and divide the profits from the store up among themselves at the end of the month or year in some way agreed upon by them all as the co-owners of the business, with some amount being used to pay back the original loan to the People Town Bank Council. They won't all make the same amount of money, of course, as the manager of the store, or the chief accountant, the smarter, older guys (or ladies, of course, full equality of everyone is just accepted in People Town, and I don't plan to spend the book saying he or she specifically every time this sort of thing comes up) with lots of experience about lots of things who have to watch out for stock and cash flow and make sure people come to work and other things of some responsibility, are worth somewhat more to the business than the new kid we just hired who comes in on Saturdays to refill the nail bins as sort of a summer job, and after the store has been going for awhile, the people who have been there longer and know the business better are more valuable than new partners, but still, all of the profits of the store will be divided among the people who have shares in the business and do the work, in some more or less fair way that they all agree on at the meetings they have from time to time. The main thing is, you WON'T have a bunch of powerless workers all totally dependent on Biznessman Bob for their jobs, taking orders every day, fired and hired as Bob pleases, no say over their hours or pay or security, getting paid a few hundred bucks a month while Businessman Bob the owner makes profits of a few thousand every month for doing nothing more than having enough money to open it in the first place - that sort of 'business' is the old treadmill thing, great huge numbers of citizens working every day just for barely enough to survive on, no real security, no real say in what you do or how much you make, never accumulating the actual fruits of your labor over time to allow you to gradually cut back on the work over the years and eventually retire comfortably, as your 'community maintenance and service' has been more or less accomplished, and you move into the role of senior advisor or something.

And at the same People Town meeting, of course, you have people talking about a grocery store, and a carpentry business, and a small medical clinic, and some farms near the town to provide food, and several other businesses - but all with the same choice for you to decide on. You can decide that the People Town Bank will do things the old way, and support 'Big Bizness' by loaning Businessman Bob and Businessman Ralph and the other Big Biznessmen the money to start the businesses the town needs all by themselves, and they can hire People Town people to work at their stores while they take their profits back to Bizness Town and buy condos in Hawaii - or you can loan the People Town money to the groups of workers who would like to start the various businesses themselves, and let the People of People Town provide their own businesses and their own jobs, and keep their own money circulating in People Town.

The bankers and investors from Bizness Town are pretty insistent that you should let them do things the old way, and turn People Town into Bizness Town Worldwide Assemblyline Fac'try Leventytweenbillion, where all the people are just workers for the banks and 'investors', powering that old money-making treadmill day in and day out, year after year after year, as the workers remain workers all their lives never getting ahead - but now, in your new town, you have a choice to make.

You and the people of People Town can do what the old Bizness people want - or you can say no to all that, you can say that now we are starting a new way of doing things in People Town. We are creating our own money, and we will use that money for ourselves, and run our own businesses, and make our own decisions, and be our own bosses, and, most importantly, keep our People Town money in People Town for the people of People Town to use, not let all of it get drained away, day after day after day, to the banks and investors of Bizness Town - money which we will then have to work and work and work without end to keep replacing, as the BiznessTown Biznessmen slowly take over ownership of everything we have worked to build in People Town.

Just like they have done everywhere else.

And that's about it, really, no need to carry on much longer, the idea is quite straightforward, although of course, as I noted above, the Capitalists have whole herds of Expert Economists and Expert Lawyers Business Schools and Trained Business Columnists to make you believe that their way is the only way - their way of a society of bosses and workers, where a few people control all of the workers and thus all of the work product and thus the money that that work/product earns, and dole out in as miserly a way as they can manage some every week for the workers to live on while they and the 'investors' accumulate huge treasure houses full of the fruits of YOUR labor - or you can have a society where all people are workers, on a more or less equal footing, sharing in the work and the rewards of that work.

In People Town, if the work you and everyone else does creates wealth that stays in People Town, then you will need to work a lot less for the same standard of living you have now - you're not paying half your earnings over to out-of-town owners and bank interest and investor profits and seeing it drained away every day every week every month every year, but keeping it circulating in your own town. You can work less for the same money, save more, live a more relaxed and secure and fulfilled life, and retire earlier on the accumulated money that is still in People Town, that has not been taken out by Biznessman Bob and his 'investors' and the Big Banks. Life can be more relaxed and secure for everyone, when you don't have that great maw of the bank-investor class staring you in the face every day demanding to be fed, more and more and MORE!!!!! You also have a lot more security, as the capitalist owners will close 'your' factory or business in a minute if they see an opportunity in some other place to get cheaper labor, for instance, or otherwise increase their takings - when you own your own business with others in your own community, and the purpose is simply to provide things the community needs at a fair price for the buyers and a decent living for the producers, then you do not face that capitalist imperative of maxing out your profits with no regard to the human damage or suffering caused by such behaviour.

Think of People Town as a farm. You work to plant and nurture and harvest your crop, and then you have enough to eat while taking life easy for awhile, a bit of maintenance around the farm. But now imagine that at the other end of your barn you have some thief with a truck hauling away all the extra spuds and eggs as fast as you put them in the barn, so you never have a chance to rest, to enjoy 'the fruits of your labors', but have to work every day to produce more spuds and eggs - no matter how many spuds and eggs you produce and store the 'extra', you look the next day and the cupboard is bare again. That's modern capitalist society - the great capitalist truck at the other end of the barn, endlessly stealing your labour. Close that hole - and suddenly you have to work a lot less.

In the past the idea of 'we the workers' starting our own businesses and sharing in our own profits has been very, very difficult because of the initial investment needed, which banks would only give to certain people - but once we control our own money supply, through our own bank, and the purpose of OUR bank is to make OUR lives better in OUR community, and not to maintain the old capitalist ways of a handful of wealthy people running a whole herd of powerless workers - things can change, quite quickly, and very definitely for the better for most of us.

As with the money supply, of course, it's not going to happen just because it's a better way - it's only going to happen if you make it happen, working together with everyone else to make things better.

The door is there, the light is on.

It's up to you.

Ch 4 - The Democracy Scam

On Green Island

Ch 1: As good as it gets, or ...??? / Ch 2: The Money Supply Scam / Ch 3: The Work Scam / Ch 4: The Democracy Scam / Ch 5: How do they do this? Indoctrination / Ch 6: Indoctrination II: Get them early.. / Ch 7: Lifelong Maintenance - Full Spectrum Propaganda / Ch 8: They're Building a Box - / Ch 9: Why should I care? / Ch 10: What can I do? / Appendix 1: The National Debt Scam / Appendix 2: The Corporate Reactionary Revolution of the 70s / Appendix 3: Behind the Mask - What Capitalism Really Is / Appendix 4: Some places to start reading / Appendix 5: Perverse capitalist lies

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