Only Idiots Compete in Earnest Against their Peers
In the last few weeks, I have been working on a bunch of posts that deal with how the upper-middle class mindset is one of (if not) the biggest hindrances to any gradual and useful change in the current system. Though most of these specific example driven posts are still not complete, it occurred to me that many of them have similar underlying themes. The current post explores one of those themes. For the purposes of this post “white-collar” is used to denote people who either have, or aspire for, desk jobs with some petty power. They include middle-level managers, executives, doctors, lawyers, academics, engineers, scientists and pretty much anyone who gets credit and a little extra money for the work of people under them.
One of the important, but rarely discussed, differences in attitude between blue-collar and white-collar workers concerns how they related to their peers. While the typical interactions of blue-collar workers with their peers are far from good, let alone ideal- they seem to generally have significantly better inter-personal relations with their peers than white-collar workers. You might have also noticed that blue-collar labor unions have been far more common and numerous than white-collar unions. But why would that be the case? Why are blue-collar workers more likely to participate in groups which also limit their maximal potential in exchange for more security and better working conditions? More importantly, why are white-collar types so averse to labor unions?
In my opinion, it comes down to recognizing something that is obvious- but which most white-collar (and upper middle-class) types deliberately avoid thinking about. Indeed, they spend all their lives trying to do the exact opposite.
Only an idiot would deliberately and earnestly compete against his or her peers.
The most important difference between blue-collar and white-collar workers is not about differences in levels of formal education, artistic tastes or social attitudes. It is bout how they see their peers. Blue-collar types tend see their peers as colleagues (good or bad) who are in the same boat they are in. White-collar types see their peers as life-long adversaries who do not belong in the same boat they are in. Some also believe that they “really” belong to a much more exclusive boat and were just plain unlucky to land in their one they are in.
Almost every white-collar type sees his peers as his or her biggest enemy. His (or hers) biggest ambition in life is to somehow triumph over them and move to a “better” place. This is also why white-collar types are so readily seduced by ideas such as “IQ”, prestigious educational institutions, meritocracy, work ethic, thrift, hard work and all those other beliefs used by the rich parasites to exploit them for their own ends. That is also why they, more so than the parasitic rich, exhibit NIMBY tendencies.
The white-collar types live in a world of perpetual covert strife and intrigue; a world in which all human relationships carry a precise (and often very low) monetary value. They live and thrive by gaming the system. These scams range from entrance exams to certain high income (by middle-class standards) professions, choosing the right social circle, the right zip code, the right school district, the right hobbies, the right vacations, the right causes and professed beliefs.
They will invest years of their lives in “education” also known as credentialing and compete with each other to attend supposedly prestigious institutions. They will work extra hard against each other to make their already rich parasitic employers richer and become their loyal dogs and enforcers. They will almost never question prevalent beliefs and try to assert their superiority by trying to mock those who point out the obvious. They will always spend more time detailing their life choices to assert their superiority even if they seldom enjoy what they are doing- kinda like talking about diverse sexual positions without actually enjoying any of them.
They will spend every waking moment trying to rise above and screw over their peers.
And this brings us to the obvious followup question- Why don’t the blue-collar types generally exhibit this level of peer hate and contempt? I believe that this to do with a different worldview. White-collar, and other semi-autistic types, can only see what they want to see and yes.. “education” plays an important role in this creating this highly filtered world view. The blue-collar types, not possessing the mental filters of their white-collar counterparts, can see much more- including stuff that clearly contradicts official dogma. They are also far more willing to call out the obvious lies rather than politely tow the official line. Consequently they make bad managers, henchmen and flunkies for the parasitic rich.
What do you think? comments?