I had a flash of insight upon discovering the Gokhale Method of Primal Posture.
I have had desk sitting jobs since I was in my late 20’s, and the chronic back pain drove me to try to get as an appliance technician and funeral director, or even working in a stone quarry. Anything that didn’t involve sitting down all day, which was agony. I also did yoga all these years, fighting the chronic discomfort from sitting all day. Yesterday I found the Gokhale Method on the WordPress reader, watched a video, and tried it out on a 3 mile walk. THen I went to work and sat all day, and didn’t realize until the end of the day that I got through it without back discomfort.
So the flash of insight gave me the concept of a disease load. I had just reduced my own disease load, and I thought how it went along with all the other things we want to avoid and replace with healthy and proper things.
Here is the disease load in list form. Feel free to add items, it is by no means comprehensive.
1. Poison food — pesticide and herbicide residues, GMO alien proteins, heavy metals vectored into the body via Roundup, residue antibiotics.
2. TV for small children/toddlers/infants, cutting off their natural imagination.
3. The private automobile, which is dangerous and expensive and reduces human powered propulsion in the form of walking, running, bicycling, or even rowing.
4. Sitting down all the time — at desks, cars, et cetera.
5. Mortgages. It is a speculation on the price of real estate, and the price must go up higher than the total cost of the mortgage loan, which is unlikely. Otherwise, it is more like paying rent and a bit of “forced savings.” But over the life of the mortgage loan, you lose, and you know who wins.
6. Public schools. In colleges and universities, professors are evaluated by the students at the end of the year, and I have seen professors lose their right to teach certain classes. Teachers can suck as much as they want and never get fired, and they do. Public schools, so long as they are controlled by liberals, will have academic achievement and proper behavior sacrificed on the altar of impossible equality and sports worship.
7. Sports fandumb. Sports fans don’t worry about the disease load. THey slurp up the corn syrup, and put their kids in front of the TV from birth, without a second thought. Sports fandumb is a faux nationalism that takes people away from any concern about family, race and nation. It’s all about their stupid “team.”
Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled, growing “from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.” In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away…
But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations…
These are what I propose to call “bullshit jobs.”
It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery. In capitalism, this is precisely what is not supposed to happen.
This pamphlet from the time (England late 18th century) captures the general attitude towards successful, self-sufficient peasant farmers:
The possession of a cow or two, with a hog, and a few geese, naturally exalts the peasant. . . . In sauntering after his cattle, he acquires a habit of indolence. Quarter, half, and occasionally whole days, are imperceptibly lost. Day labour becomes disgusting; the aversion in- creases by indulgence. And at length the sale of a half-fed calf, or hog, furnishes the means of adding intemperance to idleness.
Yves here. In other words, a big part of the capitalist exercise is to find or create workers to exploit. Graeber has the story backwards. The moral fable (idleness is bad for the perp and putting him to work is thus a moral undertaking) was not, as Graeber suggests, because lazy people are proto-insurrectionists. It is that people who are self-sufficient and have time on their hands on top of that drove the early capitalists nuts. They were exploitable resources lying fallow, no different to them than a gold vein in the next hill that the numbnick farmer/owner was unwilling to mine because he liked the view and was perfectly content grazing sheep.
So this last aspect of the disease load goes back about 240 years! English peasants were happy to tend sheep and watch the days go by, and some uptight, greedy bastards wearing powdered wigs were like, “Oh, no, we can’t have that now, can we! We must force these lazy farmers into the factories!”
But peasant style farming, as opposed to industrial farming, is in fact healthy, proper, and necessary for civilization. Industrial farming has shown that it cannot but poison us and destroy it’s own resource base. Peasant style farming is generally more sustainable, and produces safe and healthy food.
Now, from 240 years later, we should take up this old fight! The modern economic masters are the descendants of the powdered wig assholes who hated the yeoman farmer. They remember this fight; we have not remembered it. We accepted their model of society; we let out family farms be driven out of business. The 20th century industrialization and bank loan and subsidy and “get big or get out” model of farming was exactly the same thing, for the same motivations, that was happening in the late 1700’s. Earl Butz, Nixon’s secretary of agriculture, was the one who said, get big or get out.
So this last fight – the fight to get back our local agriculture and a wellspring of local jobs, and stop borrowing money but rather trade among ourselves and exclude You Know Whom from our billions of economic transactions as much as possible, this is the big one. This is the one that removes the rest of the disease load.
People with a low disease load will be more politically intractable to the banksters and their paid for politicians. Healthy people are more rebellious. People with vice and disease, with a high disease load, are easier to control and more conformist.