Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > How the Scam of ‘Good Work Ethic’ Perpetuates Itself

How the Scam of ‘Good Work Ethic’ Perpetuates Itself

Over the years, sophists have used numerous arguments to justify slavery and indentured labor. These have been traditionally based in some mixture of custom, religion and ‘morality’. But there is an underlying pattern which can be summed up as-

We deserve much more than you because we are somehow ‘special’ and ‘better’ than you.

The factors that supposedly make them ‘special’ and ‘better’ range from the barely plausible ones such as ‘genetics’, ‘sexual morals’, ‘work habits’ to ‘god talks to me’ or ‘god appointed me’. Now it should be obvious to most readers that these are just cover stories for justifying fortunes obtained through some combination of scam, fraud, luck or chance- mostly luck and chance. In any case, the modus operandi of rich in every human society is similar to a cancerous tumor in humans and they do not willingly create new wealth.

But enough about them.. Let us now talk about how people who are NOT rich justify income and wealth inequality. But why do they have to do that in first place? Well, it goes something like this.. Humans, irrespective of their so-called “IQ” levels, are largely incapable of being honest and objective to themselves- let alone others. This willingnes to delude themselves plays out both at the personal and group level.

Therefore people, especially clever ones, try to invent all sort of reasonable sounding justifications for the indefensible.

But why spend so much time and effort finding ever more complex ways self-deluding yourself than face the obvious? It comes down to a combination of cowardice and fake hope. The very act of accepting that there is something wrong with the world almost necessitates you to do something about it. However doing so entails the risk of acting by yourself and losing out on peer acceptance, a “normal” life or “some sweet deal in the future”. Of course, none of those things matter in the world we live in- anymore. Peer acceptance is worthless, a “normal” life is slavery and that “sweet deal in the future” isn’t going to really happen.

So why do people believe in the work ethic and slave for the enrichment of others? Why would these people practice delayed gratification when their masters are clearly not practicing what they preach? Do you think billionaires become and remain rich by working hard? What about multi-millionaires? and what do they do anyway? Give me one example of a rich person whose wealth is not derived from rent-seeking scams based on regulatory capture or professions that “self-regulate” themselves. Come on.. I dare you! But the average person still ‘seems’ to believe that working hard makes one rich. We could certainly hypothesize that the average person is too retarded to appreciate that he or she is being scammed, robbed and abused. There is however an alternate, and far more cynical, explanation.

The rich try to scam the upper middle-class with the whole ‘work hard and get rich’ scam who then push it on the middle class who try to pass it on to the working class who then pile it onto the working poor and so on. Only the retarded and naive believe in it.

The rest are engaged in a pathetic game of displaying fake solidarity and providing lip service to something they don’t really believe in. Of course everybody involved in the scam tries their best to pretend that it is not a scam. To achieve this everyone pretends to work hard and perform some token sacrifices to show that they are true believers. The only problem is that the token sacrifices increase greatly as you go down the socio-economic scale such that pretty much everyone below upper-middle class makes sacrifices that are larger than any potential gain. So why don’t people see it that way?

It comes down to the fact that most humans get more joy from the misery of others than any gain for themselves- aka the ‘zero sum’ mentality.

The ‘work ethic’ therefore has nothing to do with real work, achievements, productivity or the ‘true worth’ of a person and everything to do with trying to fuck over somebody else. It is no accident that the most zero-sum minded cultures such as the USA, japan, Korea and China are full of people desperately trying to outdo each other at demonstrating their superior work ethic. However the populace of many other countries are not that far behind in portraying themselves as hard workers- whether that is true or not.

I however believe that this scam is on its last legs for reasons far beyond the control of human beings. The ever-increasing amount of automation in labor intensive occupation such as manufacturing, outsourcing to low wage countries, rising legislated income inequality, high rates of youth un- and under-employment and the rapidly aging demographics of developed countries combined with their below replacement birth rates have made real economic growth a thing of the past. Even token ‘hard workers’ can no longer rise up through the ranks as evidence that the system ‘works’. In the past, people went along with the charade because doing so allowed them to enjoy a decent life. As many of you know, only too well, that is now over.

Scams work best when they are somewhat profitable to most participants or capable of maintaining the status quo- and that is no longer the case.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. P Ray
    June 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    The other kind of scam is “work is always available for any who are willing”
    That sentence is incomplete, it should read “work is always available for any who are willing to work for the least”
    Which is a reason people refuse to hire those who are “overqualified” … it’s validation that that person is worth something, and the person may have the ability to take over the business or get a better offer.
    Of course, the revenge factor is by doing things on your own and undercutting your competition … which they will try to quash with the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) factor and by saying they are more “qualified” (which is actually a lie for many situations where you deal with companies where office politics are the norm — the managers in those situations tend to be very unqualified and uneducated for their posts)

    • Webe
      July 2, 2012 at 4:32 am

      Amen. There is a certain amount of truth in the proposition that without minimum wages and other regulations everybody would have “work”. But then we would be back to the era where men sold themselves as a bondsman or a coolie for 7 years to make good on some small loan, or to get out of jail (unemployment was illegal in the 19th century, just as under communism), or just to stay alive or to apprentice. And women can always get work in someone’s household if they ask no more than room and board and are willing to accept getting it in the ass while doing the dishes.
      The nineteenth century was not the great free-spirited pioneering economic miracle that neo-liberals hearken back to.

      • P Ray
        July 3, 2012 at 5:36 am

        are willing to accept getting it in the ass while doing the dishes.
        The REAL Downton Abbey!

  2. July 1, 2012 at 1:08 am

    That is why I am in favor guaranteed minimum income.

  3. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 4:46 am

    “‘god talks to me’ or ‘god appointed me’”

    Add to this “‘Lucifer talks to me’ or ‘Lucifer appointed me’”.

  4. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 4:48 am

    “Now it should be obvious to most readers that these are just cover stories for justifying fortunes obtained through some combination of scam, fraud, luck or chance- mostly luck and chance.”

    Add to this: nepotism. Channeling the money into others while insuring that it will goes back to you. In other terms, money circulates in a closed area.

  5. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 5:02 am

    “In any case, the modus operandi of rich in every human society is similar to a cancerous tumor in humans and they do not willingly create new wealth.”

    This is in normal cases, but when you have most your rich belonging to a secret lunatic sect that worships and practices all sorts of evils, then nothing can get worst.

    • July 1, 2012 at 6:23 am

      The NWO, Illuminati, etc. It is no surprise that they are devil worshippers. If you believe the world is run by a supernatural force, and you see continually evil triumph over good, it is not strange to conclude that the ruling supernatural force is evil.

      • Nestor
        July 1, 2012 at 7:45 am

        While all rich have a tendecy to be evil, those rich who adopt an ideology based on the worship of so-called Satan/Lucifer tells us enough about their behavior.

  6. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 5:40 am

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    TYLER forum discussion:

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  7. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Anonymous – Operation Brotherhood Takedown

    • July 1, 2012 at 6:21 am

      Isn’t Anonymous afraid that destroying the Muslim Brotherhood will free the way for the Salafists?

      • Nestor
        July 1, 2012 at 7:58 am

        What Salafists? The so-called Salafists (in fact all Muslims call themselves Salafists, i.e. followers of the way of the ancients salaf) are those Muslims who belong to the Hanbalite sect.
        The rise of Hanbalites is relative to the amount of petroleum money in the hands of the Sauds. Even the Hanbalites are already infiltrated by the Masons and three Masonic lodges exist in Saudi Arabia: Red Sea Lodge No 919, Pyramid Lodge of Past Masters No 962 and Udhailiyah No 964 (http://www.islamicparty.com/satvoices/luciferian.htm). Members of the Saud family have joined the Red Sea Lodge.

      • July 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        But that could just as easily mean that the Freemasons are being infiltrated by the Hanbalites. By the way, why were the Freemasons stupid enough to let the Hanbalites to become so rich?

      • Nestor
        July 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        Freemasons infiltrated by the Hanbalites? Yeah sure, and George Soros is actually a Hanbalite if you didn’t know.

  8. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Anonymous: Project Mayhem 2012 | #TROLLYMPICS

  9. jackal
    July 1, 2012 at 6:26 am

    For anyone who has read Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment,” there is nothing new in the human rat race. As his main character, Raskolnikov, points out, there are ordinary people and there extraordinary people. “The first category, generally speaking, are men conservative in temperament and law-abiding; they live under control and love to be controlled. To my thinking it is their duty to be controlled, because that’s their vocation, and there is nothing humiliating in it for them.”

    If you want to change this reality, you’re going to have to change human nature, first. That is to say, so long as humans continue to reproduce sycophants, you’re going to always have a slave/slave-master society. And if you’re not already a slave master, you never will be.

  10. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Anti-Masonic Party: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Masonic_Party
    William Morgan, anti-Mason, murdered on September 11 1826: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morgan_(anti-Mason)
    John Quincy Adams, leader of the Anti-Masonic Party: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Quincy_Adams

    It seems that people were aware back then.

    I have not said this openly till now, but your obsession with the machinations of the elite is starting to get bizzare.

    Do you seriously believe they have any more real power than priest who worshiped one god or the other? They are just fakers who are pissing in the rain to make themselves feel that they are in control.

    • Nestor
      July 2, 2012 at 1:13 am

      Explain. How is trying to find the truth about a secretive sect “bizzare”?

    • Nestor
      July 2, 2012 at 1:23 am

      Btw, I’m not searching about the “elite”, I’m searching about Freemasons. Why do you call them the “elite”?

      Second, I didn’t say that they have “real power” or that “they are in control” and I don’t think any of this. All I said is this: “I’m doing some investigations on Freemasons and it turns out that they still have a great influence on the world.” My words are clear. So why make me say things I didn’t say?

      Third, you never mention Freemasons anywhere, neither among traditional religions nor among “secular” religions. One who reads your whole blog feels as if Freemasons are insignificant. I wonder why?

    • Nestor
      July 2, 2012 at 1:25 am

      Fourth, calling an investigation as “obsession” and considering it as “bizzare”, reminds me of tactics used by Freemasons to discredit opponents.

    • Nestor
      July 2, 2012 at 1:26 am

      Now, this is all “bizzare”.

    • Webe
      July 2, 2012 at 4:34 am

      Agree with AD about bizarre masonic intriges. It’s kind of boring … starting to have doubts about Nestor’s mental stability and paranoid tendencies. He’s well read and informed, but maybe he should entertain other avenues of approach. And start his own blog with the Masonic theme.

      • Nestor
        July 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

        First, why don’t you read these links instead of accusing me of being paranoid or whatever?

        Second, I’m just testing the reaction of AD and of the readers of this blog to these things. The frequency of the links here has a purpose: to find who is part of the Brotherhood and who is not. The meaning of a great deal of what’s written on this blog can be understood by whether AD is part of the Brotherhood or not.

        In any case, I don’t really care about what any one thinks.

      • P Ray
        July 3, 2012 at 5:34 am

        Ever notice how paranoid people manage to avoid many calamities that “so-called” normal people have happen to them?
        Besides, with the idea that the rich get richer through exclusive contracts from/with their friends, it’s certainly possible to assume that every country has big movers and shakers who could be induced to work with others for even more money … or the chance to crush a hated local rival.
        It’s not that far-fetched.

  11. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm
  12. Nestor
    July 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm
  13. BrianBlack
    July 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Yup, I would say this post here is also the truth and descibes how it really is. Most of us at some point have probably been better at doing things than other people and/or have worked much harder than others and have gotten nowhere. It is funny when relatives/friends try to put us down if we have a job that doesn’t make lots of money (this proves they have bought the lies and are making their judgments based on the metric of money and not if someone is free of the system or even enjoying living life or some other metric) or if they say we are not working hard when in fact we may be doing more than they ever have. It’s also funny if someone has a “good job in the eyes of this society” and then loses this job or decides to leave the job and thus are not making that money anymore and quickly all of the so-called friends disappear. Many of the “financially rich or in charge” have the belief that anyone poorer than them or lower than them is worthless than dirt scum, so it is stupid to work hard for them thinking they are going to appreciate it or reward this hard work.

    • P Ray
      July 3, 2012 at 5:22 am

      The “friends” that put you down in public, are not your friends.
      They need someone to look superior to.
      Kind of like the hot girl with LOTS of ugly friends.
      The ugly friends accept it though, because they know they can get men to do them favours with the promise (rarely realised though) that they will “put in a word” for the guy to the hot girl.

  14. July 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm



    it’s psychobabble but I thought of you….

  15. Captain Kirk
    July 2, 2012 at 4:31 am

    “It comes down to the fact that most humans get more joy from the misery of others than any gain for themselves.”

    Profoundly true, the essence of what you write about here: wishful thinking, ego-investment and self-delusion.

  16. jhbowden
    July 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

    The opening post is true, but trivial.

    Under a system of trade, we can only get things if we have something that other people want. In itself, such rewards have nothing directly to do with effort, genetics, morality, religion, etc. etc. Trade is amoral.

    Trade is not possible without a civil society.

    If anything, AD has refuted Marxism and Keynesianism.

    No, CONservative moron. If anything I have pointed out a flaw in any socio-economic system that is based on the concept that people at the upper levels of any hierachy are not utterly delusional and dishonest.

    Marxism rests on a labor theory of value, which says that the value of a commodity is directly proportional to the amount of labor hours put into it. This is obviously false, since value is relative; context matters. But the Marxists need this stupid theory, since they want to believe those with wealth somehow get it from those who have no wealth. Talk about wishful thinking!

    Keynesianism believes wealth can be created through waste, idleness, and destruction — pay people to do useless things, and the economy will be somehow stimulated, as if we can get something from nothing.

    Those who recommend hard work merely mean that if we have no natural talent, no inherited assets, etc. etc., then we need to develop something to give that someone else wants in order to get something back. Otherwise, we’re just pieces of meat. As you can see, this does not mean that with effort, anyone can join the NBA. But no one is born knowing how to drive a truck or knowing how to build website applications either.

    • hoipolloi
      July 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      “Those who recommend hard work merely mean that if we have no natural talent, no inherited assets, etc. etc., then we need to develop something to give that someone else wants in order to get something back.”

      I realize I do not have “natural talent”, and definitely no inherited assets. Why do I have to do hard work to be where I am (an ordinary Joe struggling to make two ends meet; a man in the street). Just working should have been sufficient without the societal hype about if you work hard you will succeed?

      Even moderate success (not the NBA kind) has become elusive even when you meet all the conditions and some. That is what the post is about, me thinks.

      • webe
        July 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

        If you don’t own any natural assets, the quickest way to wealth is conquest, always has been. How to you think land and other assets ever became owned? By paying the natives/Indians?
        Once you own wealth, you don’t have to work hard, you can live off the rent/yield. That’s the whole point of being wealthy.

        Everybody always talks about the rich as being the most productive members of society (almost always ignoring, en passant, the difference between wealth and income). But true wealth is not producing, it’s getting a free ride. The whole point of wealth is the power to command others’ efforts. If you want to be really productive and work hard, you’re better off becoming a slave.

        If everybody was wealthy, where would be the bus boys and the working girls ?

      • jhbowden
        July 3, 2012 at 5:04 am

        hoipolloi —

        “Why do I have to do hard work to be where I am”

        Cause and effect. We cannot get something from nothing because we live in a physical, law-governed universe.

        webe —

        “the quickest way to wealth is conquest, always has been.”

        True. But this overlooks two points.

        First, wealth cannot be stolen from those that simply do not have it.

        Second, obtaining wealth through conquest requires continuous conquest, either through war or literal slavery, since wealth must be continuously created. Sparta, for instance, once had an invincible military, but unlike Athens, could rarely deploy it, since it was required to repress and suppress its helot population. An equal society is necessarily a police state.

        How much equality can you stand?

      • P Ray
        July 3, 2012 at 5:24 am

        Once you own wealth, you don’t have to work hard, you can live off the rent/yield. That’s the whole point of being wealthy.
        I am pretty sure quite a few retirees with Alzheimer’s/dementia are doing the living off the rent/yield.
        What a great payoff for laziness, sometimes there is justice in the world.

      • P Ray
        July 3, 2012 at 5:41 am

        Just working should have been sufficient without the societal hype about if you work hard you will succeed?
        The people working for an organisation, will always have their services priced higher than those who work solo.
        I am also willing to bet that even if the company profits rose 100% … the people doing the grunt work would only get a very small one-time bonus.
        Having listened to managers tell me bald-faced lies about company profitability, along with knowing they hire book-keepers and not accountants (since accountants belong to associations and can be struck off for financial misconduct) …
        those two things together:
        – managers with no professional, job-centric qualifications in the field they manage (e.g. a person with an MBA … who doesn’t have a degree)
        – bookkeepers (pseudo-accountants and thus not liable to be held to codes of conduct or capable of being punished for financial mis-statements)

        are the sign of a company that understates profits, overpays managers, undervalues workers and ignores labour laws.

      • July 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm

        Pound sand for a living. But not too hard. But I think emptying the ocean with a thimble might be more to your liking. It is a unique job market with very little competition. You will probably make a very nice living at it.

    • jhbowden
      July 3, 2012 at 4:51 am

      Again, trade requires neither truth nor morality.

      Caveat emptor.

    • July 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      What is the value of a bowling ball I have polished for 10,000 hours? Lets see. If I value my labor at $100 an hour that bowling ball is worth a million dollars. Say I spend 10 years emptying the ocean with a thimble. That has got to be worth billions. According to the labor theory of value.

      • P Ray
        July 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

        The labour theory of value ignores 2 things:
        1. that someone else values what you are doing,
        2. that someone else does not base the idea of paying you based on what other people think or say of that action.
        If someone would be ridiculed or made fun of for hiring someone, you can bet they will not be eager to go ahead.
        Relational aggression is a very powerful motivator for employment, which is why a “considered-friendly” incompetent gets hired more often than a “considered-unfriendly” competent person.
        Which is where going solo and sticking a finger to the bloated service-providers, comes in.

  17. July 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Nestor :Freemasons infiltrated by the Hanbalites? Yeah sure, and George Soros is actually a Hanbalite if you didn’t know.

    So the world isn’t dependent on oil?

    • Nestor
      July 2, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Don’t pretend that you don’t understand.

  18. July 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Glad to see you downing the work ethic. It bodes well for the job market. Mine.

    • P Ray
      July 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Only if you can deliver something other people value, at a price the competition can’t match, with a service assurance they are unwilling to step up to.

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