"So, if you choose to have social media, obviously that's up to you, but if you post anything controversial on it - which would be defined as anything religious, political, or anything that could provoke heated debate - you could face instant dismissal."
These were the words of a telemarketing company to a room full of new starters (including a good friend of mine) recently, as they passed through their induction for this minimum wage, part-time job - the type traditionally done by uni students in the holidays and young mums around the school run. We're not talking some ultra-powerful corporate monolith here, where an executive might do colossal damage to a company's international reputation by writing something culturally insensitive online: we're talking what is effectively modern-day factory work - low skill, low pay, low security - yet, nevertheless, this was one of the first stipulations this company made if these - mainly young and under-privileged - people wanted to retain their employment.
What was even more unnerving, my friend said, was that the 20-odd people in the room (mainly in their twenties but some older people too) simply nodded impassively, as if this were a perfectly reasonable request, and, indeed, one they had encountered many times before.
I almost laughed at the incredulity, the insanity, the utter anti-humanness of it all, as a clear synonym for "something that can provoke heated debate" (which the employees of this enterprise are apparently not allowed to do) is "something that can provoke thought". So, we have gone full 1984 now, and are explicitly being told - that is not allowed. Except we've actually surpassed 1984, as rather than a "thoughtcrime" meaning entertaining the wrong thoughts, it now simply means entertaining any thoughts at all.
This stipulation from this company is unashamedly telling people that it requires them not to function as human beings who have thoughts, feelings, and opinions: who get into debates, who have arguments - but as AI - thought-free automatons who simply complete the tasks required, with no emotions, personal lives, or needs of their own.
That this is what companies now require from their employees - that they emulate robots - even in the most basic kinds of jobs, is further clarified by the lockdown-inspired work from home revolution, which now demands that those things that were once provided by the employer (premises, equipment, heat, light, etc), are now provided by the employee - with so further subsidy from the employer to cover these costs.
AI, you see, does not need a functional computer chair to avoid back problems, a heated environment to avoid hypothermia, or any of these pesky other costly annoyances that flesh and blood, feeling human beings do, so, if humans are to have any hope of competing with AI at all, they must now perform as if they don't need an employer to provide these things, either.
This minimum wage, part-time job I am describing (which only allows you to do a maximum of 12 hours a week until you've passed your probation period) requires its employees to have:
up-to-date anti-viral software;
enough money to cover all heat and energy bills, including in winter, every shift.
And none of the above is subsidised in any way by the company. They won't give you any financial assistance if any of your equipment breaks to get it repaired so you can keep working. If you can't afford the repairs yourself (in a job that pays £125 a week), you're out of a job.
Please do note that this isn't freelance work, where it is generally the norm to provide one's own equipment (and that is taken into account when setting one's rate, which must be a lot higher than minimum wage to account for maintenance and repairs) - this is PAYE employment. That's why the company can make demands about how people behave in their own personal time - which cannot be done with freelancers - so this enterprise (and many like it) is demanding all the rights of an employer, whilst fulfilling barely any of the responsibilities.
It would be nice to think this was some kind of extraordinary anomaly, an outlier in the otherwise well-regulated world of work, but, of course, this is far from the case and this is not the only example of outrageous "employment" practices I have heard about in the last week, and someone else I know (having fruitlessly applied for many more conventional jobs) is now "employed" by a certain mammoth online delivery service, with a so-called (surely totally paradoxical) "zero hours contract".
So, while the employer has no obligation to offer him any work, they do nevertheless insist he maintains total availability four days a week (three weekdays and one weekend), and they won't let him know until 8pm the night before if he has any work the following day.
Again, he must provide all his own equipment to do this job - car, petrol, phone, etc - and there will be no help from the company in covering these costs, or in assisting if any of it breaks.
It is plainly obvious that these arrangements are inhuman - not built to suit or sustain human beings, who have a multiplicity of needs that - as I alluded to before - bots and computer programmes don't have.
We are seeing the controlled demolition of the culture we have all known since birth, where it was quite reasonable and straightforward to expect to complete your education (whether that was at 16, 18, 21 or later) and get a full-time job that enabled you to pay all your bills and enjoy a social life as well. Until pretty recently, that option has been open to more or less everyone, in more or less all industries, even those that require the least skill and experience to enter.
Now, that option isn't open to everyone. More and more, people are shunted into the unstable and precarious so-called "gig economy", where there are no guarantees and no safety nets, and life can easily become a desperate hand-to-mouth existence that almost looks like Dickens-with-an-iPhone ("warm banks", for instance, really being a slightly cosier modern version of a workhouse),
People with no experience of this kind of life say, "well, you shouldn't go into that sort of work if you want something more stable", failing to understand that the gig economy is not a freely-made choice for most who are in it - rather, these people have, very often, lost stable employment due to collapses and cuts, and have simply been unable to reacquire it (which is the case for both examples I used in this article).
The numbers are no longer balancing - there are no longer enough stable, full-time jobs available for everyone who wants one, and this situation is intensifying all the time, as more and more huge employers - and even entire industries - collapse. The high-street stalwart Wilko has this week collapsed into administration, putting 12,500 jobs at risk, and this follows the collapse of other huge employers, such as retail giant, Arcadia, and innumerable pubs and restaurants.
This is inevitably creating a jobs' crisis, where all available vacancies are inundated with applicants. For every vacancy available in the UK, an average of 118 people apply, with only 20% of them making it on to interview. For low-skilled minimum wage vacancies, the average is a staggering 506 applicants per role.
The corollaries of this are obvious: in an increasing number of industries (especially lower-skilled, lower-paid work), everything is stacked in favour of the employer, who can issue whatever ludicrous, lunatic, anti-human criteria they like, and, nevertheless, have scores of desperate people lining up. People - actual human beings - have little leverage in the workplace any more, as there is a surplus of them (making most fully dispensable and expendable) - and, of course, when there is now a far more convenient and cost-effective alternative to human labour - AI, which is rapidly becoming competent enough to subsume more and more industries.
It is soon going to be completely untenable for the average person to rely on conventional work as a way to fully sustain themselves (especially if there are more jab mandates in the next "pandemic"), as, increasingly, jobs demand too much and offer too little - how can someone working a minimum wage "zero hours" job possibly afford to pay all their bills, and (as the job generally requires) run a car, buy a laptop, operate a phone, and whatever else these positions now routinely demand?
It's not possible and it's not meant to be.
The social engineers have orchestrated this situation with infinite precision, and the point of it is to strip people of their autonomy - they may want to be self-sufficient through work, but that is being made more and more unattainable for them, through soaring living costs, stagnating wages, and impossible employer demands. So, they have no choice but to throw themselves on the mercy of the state, who will soon come galloping in to "save" them with UBI. Note that, in many parts of the country already, more people than at any time in history are now reliant on some form of government assistance, including many who are in work. They simply can't survive otherwise, and the situation is being fully engineered to ensure that they rely on the government to help.
That, total government dependence, is where this is ultimately leading, it's all set up - and it's also why the depopulation injection was rolled out when it was. An ever-increasing surplus of "unnecessary" people - the "useless class", as the WEF describes them - have emerged, who have been pushed out of stable work and into the fringes of society, and are, therefore, considered by the establishment to be a burden. So, they are being targeted for elimination.
That's why the government prioritised giving the jab to the homeless, and why they claimed being unemployed was a risk factor for dying from Covid (yes, they really did), therefore giving them an excuse to prioritise the unemployed for vaccination. A friend told me that when she went to her doctors' surgery for a minor health complaint, the doctor bizarrely asked her employment status, and when she said she wasn't working currently, the doctor became very pushy about receiving the jab.
The old system - where it was eminently possible for pretty much anyone who wanted one to get a stable full-time job to sustain themselves - is evaporating before our eyes. The absurd nature of much of modern employment isn't a mistake or an oversight, the point of it is to get people to react by angrily demanding, "how am I supposed to live like this?!".
You're not supposed to, that's the point - it's supposed to become completely impossible, so that the government can swoop in to save you, with the impending Labour landslide victory being the perfect time to introduce that socialist manna-from-heaven, UBI. And, as I always tell people, remember that U stands for universal and not unconditional: it will of course be beset with conditions. That's why UBI is the perfect way to control people, at least as good as slavery, since, as they say, there are two ways to enslave a man - one is to work him without pay: the other is to pay him without work.
The jobs I've mentioned in this piece - telemarketing and delivery, which employ millions of people worldwide, and which government ministers say you should undertake if you're struggling for work - won't be done by humans in ten years' time, they will be undertaken by AI and bots. That's why the employers in these sectors are effectively already requiring the humans they employ to function like AI - with no thoughts, feelings, or basic human needs of their own.
There are no easy answers to this situation, and the trite "well, forget about employment, become self-employed instead!" response fails to take into account just how many self-employed people have seen their enterprises collapse over the last three years. With footfall down everywhere, with customer spending dwindling across the board, it's no panacea to say "just become self-employed", when the risk with self-employment has always been a lack of stability, and that is now more so than ever. People who say "just become self-employed" are still looking within a collapsing system to find answers to that collapsing system, and that won't work, or at least, it won't work for enough people.
The idea that this system is now nearing (planned) obsolescence is too traumatic and too terrifying for most to get their heads around, so there is a tendency to blame the victims of the system rather than the designers of it, by making assertions like, "people who are struggling for work are lazy: they're not trying hard enough. Their expectations are too high. They're not applying for enough jobs." That may well be true for some, but it isn't for most, and, every day, more and more hardworking people are seeing their industries falter and collapse, hurtling them into a deeply uncertain future, where it simply isn't possible to just walk into a local pub or shop and come out with a job, like it used to be.
The system we have all known all our lives is imploding and that can't and won't be stopped. Yet there is obviously much about it that was wrong, and the solution is not to try and rebuild or retrieve that system, even if we could. The solution certainly isn't UBI, which renders us all completely at the mercy of the dispensers of UBI (if even employers are demanding you don't express any thoughts to qualify for your wages, it's unthinkable to imagine what the stipulations for receiving UBI will be).
So what is the solution? I'm not sure as yet - but I do always take heart in the fact that the ancient Chinese symbol for "danger" can be interpreted in two ways: the first is "crisis"... but the second is "opportunity".
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