I work at a grocery store, and it’s usually a comfy job. Comfy enough that I was able to sincerely hold on to my Ancap beliefs, until today. Today, a line was crossed that made me see the error of my ways.
They were doing inventory, and they needed us, or more specifically, me alone to push all the items in every shelf in the entire store all the way back, and then dust the shelf off.
At first it didn’t seem all that bad, but then I realized I was the only one doing it, and I would have to spend the rest of my shift on this. After only about five minutes, I felt like I was going crazy.
Push, spray, dust, move down, push, spray dust, move down, push spray, dust, move down, push, spray dust, move slightly to the left, and repeat.
I had to do that at least 30 times to only get one side of one aisle done. Took me at least half an hour to do that, and there were still 20 more aisles left in the store. The repetitive motion, the maddeningly slow progress, and being alone for the entire 8 hour shift (including an hour of overtime) was exhausting in every way imaginable.
By the time I was done, I was infuriated, not just with the fact that I had to do this, but because of how little I got out of it. $9.30 / hour of that insanity? What kind of heartless monster would tell someone in severe poverty doing this kind of work, to just “pull himself up by his bootstraps”? A sociopath, that’s who.
I finally understood what socialists have been talking about all this time.
“If only I were in a socialist country,” I thought, “the shelves would be completely empty and I could have finished this in like, an hour.”
May 23, 2017
I used to be an Ancap, but my job made me turn to socialism.
[Via a tweet by Michael Z Williamson.
I have nothing to add.—Joe]
I have a question for him.
Which would he rather earn: $186.00 for 20 hours of work or $4.65 for one half hour of work?
Did you feel a cool breeze just now? That was the joke going over your head. Reread the last line.
It was a subtle punchline.
Yeah, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious.
It was funny. Not least because it so closely resembled more than one rant I’ve seen from my students.
I took the last line literally because of the title of the piece.
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” — Winston Churchill
Oh, that’s a good one. I was ready to track this person down just so I could kick him/her in the shin, till I got to the punchline. Excellent.
Even if the outcome of socialism (or any system based on coercion, whatever name you slap on it to hide its true character) could be shown to have a positive, long term outcome, it would still be just as wrong. Because it’s coercion and coercion is a crime, an injustice.
That’s why I refer to all leftists, imperialists, jihadists, Progressives, et al (authoritarians) as “the criminal class”.
It is therefore not about any of what is normally discussed–Typically all discussions focus on outcomes, whereas the main point, the “elephant in the room”, is the distinction between right and wrong. Liberty verses coercion.
If the discussion needs to go beyond that simple distinction, then we’ve missed (or willfully rejected) the only point that matters. We could argue, and pretty successfully, that petty theft (below a certain level) doesn’t not effect our economy in a substantially negative way, compared to other forms of crime, and therefore it should be legalized, but again we’d be totally missing the fact that it is wrong, or unjust.
Another example would be having a national discussion on the pros and cons of legalized slavery, arguing only about its effects on the national economy. There are certain things you simply don’t contemplate in that way, because they are wrong.
YES; socialism results in the stagnation (and eventually the decline, and ultimately the destruction) of any economy it infects, but that’s not the main reason to oppose it. The main reason to oppose it is that it is criminal; it violates the rights of citizens on a wholesale level.
The possible outcomes of a total ban on coercion is not any of a proper government’s business, but we must have some degree of faith, or trust, that such outcomes would be preferable to those of legalized, wholesale coercion. The primary benefit of course is that there is no longer any coercion, and that is more than enough, right there, to demand liberty.
I could have said;
“It’s really only about the difference between liberty and coercion. You favor one, or the other, and then you build your rationalizations around your choice.”
In a socialist country that 9.30 per hour would be enough to buy all the bread on those empty shelves. At least it would be “fair”.
good set up, on a very funny last sentence. and, a good point, well made.