- One — Paying bills is what gets you out of bed in the morning. He claims you would not normally get out of bed if you didn’t have a demanding job and you only took the demanding job to pay off demanding bills. In other words, you need discipline and slavery imposed on you so that you can live your life. That seemed specious at the very least until I remembered my high school days. He has a point.
- Two — Other people know better than you. And the government, corporations, and institutions have your best interests at heart. They do everything they can to keep you happy and safe. Why would you leave all that behind? Or do that for yourself? The best plan is to quit asking questions, put your head down and be confident that everything you deserve will come to you of its own accord. Believe everything that you are told by the media, politicians, and academics, because they are entirely selfless and much better informed than you will ever be about anything. Silly, eh? Total faith in the unselfish, un-corrupted, Capitalist system? Well, there are some, I suppose.
- Three — You live for retirement. The best thing we can all hope for in life is a long retirement. Everyday, the trying circumstances and grind of employment and citizenship are the penance you pay for the freedom you had as a child, and the hopeful freedom you might have as a retired person. Eventually, you will have the money and free time to do everything that you wanted, but just not now. Not yet! Sadly, Mark might be a bit more correct on this point. Many, many people suffer, endure and tolerate their lives so that they can maybe enjoy them when they are old and get a pension.
- Four — Nature scares you. Nature is full of gross things — death, manure, bugs! The farther away from that you can be, the better. So long as the stores are stocked and your paycheck still holds out, you’re just fine. You know that people will buy out store shelves until there is nothing left. But you’d prefer the danger you know to the unknown worries of keeping a garden, or raising your own animals. Compost your own poop? You’d rather die than go without indoor plumbing or a flush toilet for a single day! It turns out that a good percentage of urbanites actually feel this way. I’ve met ’em! The flush toilet thing is crazy!
- Five — You hate the idea of real, physical hard work. Growing food! Isn’t that for poorly educated foreigner workers or brown people? You have an office job because you don’t have to stoop down to the level of working with your hands, or acquiring intrinsically valuable skills. Your parents raised you get a degree, make good money and live a nice suburban life. So what if your job is unfulfilling? Just as long as you are able to eek out a comfortable living while doing as little as humanly possible, then you’re living the dream! If you can go your whole life without ever sweating, then you may not be happy, but at least you won’t have suffered. Again, sadly, many people feel comfort is essential. I seek comfort now and then, too, but do not need to live cosseted by it. There is a difference.
- Six — You trust corporations with your life. Corporations and the people who run them are the most selfless people on the planet. So you know that you can trust them to transparently run every aspect of your life. The less you know the better. I.e. GMO foods must be healthy! Otherwise, why would they sell them? Isn’t there someone who is supposed to take care of all that for you? Grid power rarely goes down, and if it does, it comes right back up again. You can rely on them. Banks and real estate agents would never let you borrow beyond your means, or buy a house that is too expensive for your income, subjecting you to a life of virtual slavery to pay of an exorbitant mortgage. News and the media live for the truth and relevant news. You can trust the things you’re told, especially the ones that scare you and keep you in line. I think Mark may have gone too far on this one. No one trusts the media, the medical profession or the police anymore. Well, not fully. Mind you, they DO rely on those institutions a great deal.
- Seven — You have no idea where your food really comes from. Isn’t picking food from plants or fishing potentially dangerous? Real food comes wrapped in plastic from stores and that has first been inspected and that’s all that you really need to know. Don’t you know that people die from things, and don’t you know that food is among those things? Big Agra may not keep us healthy, but they will keep us alive enough to buy more, and that’s all you really need to know. This one is too true. I know people who won’t accept a gift of prawns or oysters fresh from our back bay and picked only an hour or so ago because they were not inspected or refrigerated the whole time (still, packed in ice, however).
So, what is my point in this blog? Mark, I think, went a bit too far but there is an element of truth to each point. Points numbered #1, #2, #3 and #6 may not be readily admitted but much of our behaviour suggests they are not that far off-the-Mark Schwartz.