Wow. Amazing speech from 1972. Still highly relevant to today’s western social systems.

A part in the speech that sticks out to me:

” ….the widespread, implicit acceptance of the concept and term “the rat race”. The picture it conjures up is one where we are scurrying around scrambling for position, trampling on others, back-stabbing, all in pursuit of personal success. Even genuinely intended, friendly advice can sometimes take the form of someone saying to you, “Listen, you look after number one.” Or as they say in London, “Bang the bell, Jack, I’m on the bus.”

To the students [of Glasgow University] I address this appeal. Reject these attitudes. Reject the values and false morality that underlie these attitudes. A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement. This is how it starts, and before you know where you are, you’re a fully paid-up member of the rat-pack. The price is too high. It entails the loss of your dignity and human spirit. Or as Christ put it, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”

another bit that stings a bit, given my optimism in the past regarding my chosen degree… that basically today feels like bitter ashes of foolish optimism…

… “In this context education has a vital role to play. If automation and technology is accompanied as it must be with a full employment, then the leisure time available to man will be enormously increased. If that is so, then our whole concept of education must change. The whole object must be to equip and educate people for life, not solely for work or a profession. The creative use of leisure, in communion with and in service to our fellow human beings, can and must become an important element in self-fulfilment.

Universities must be in the forefront of development, must meet social needs and not lag behind them. It is my earnest desire that this great University of Glasgow should be in the vanguard, initiating changes and setting the example for others to follow. Part of our educational process must be the involvement of all sections of the university on the governing bodies. The case for student representation is unanswerable. It is inevitable.”

-Wow- this shit was being talked about before I was BORN. What a disappointment on how the past 30 years played out.

The conclusion of his speech:

…”It’s an affirmation of faith in humanity. All that is good in man’s heritage involves recognition of our common humanity, an unashamed acknowledgement that man is good by nature. Burns expressed it in a poem that technically was not his best, yet captured the spirit. In “Why should we idly waste our prime…”:

“The golden age, we’ll then revive, each man shall be a brother,

In harmony we all shall live and till the earth together,

In virtue trained, enlightened youth shall move each fellow creature,

And time shall surely prove the truth that man is good by nature.”

It’s my belief that all the factors to make a practical reality of such a world are maturing now. I would like to think that our generation took mankind some way along the road towards this goal. It’s a goal worth fighting for.”

Yep, now I look at how it all played out since then. I can’t say that ALL people are shitty, its just when faced with opposition or obstacles… most people just don’t care how things get done as long as THEY don’t need to put effort into the decisions. And I suppose I am guilty of that in my own way, I honestly can say I now almost entirely no longer care about the rest of humanity and the crappy management decisions made by greedy morons- I have my own ass and family to worry about.

That all being said, I wouldn’t intentionally choose a path that hurt others, and perhaps not all the ‘scum’ I look back in history intended things to end up how it has. It seems that many of the people in power today are quite happy to do things like that, and perhaps in order to gain that level of power it is needed to do things that have no positive outcomes, you can only really judge someone who faces a double-negative outcome decision idea (lose-lose situational strategy) with hindsight, and see that people were really second-guessing and couch commanding with their ‘wisdom’ of historical viewpoints after the decisions are all made and consequences have fully played out.

The only problem I see with the future is that the consequences of past decisions still are unlikely to be fully played out… but perhaps better decisions made today can help stop bigger problems from becoming completely fatal problems for many people.

I would say in relation to my thoughts regarding the degree I chose is that I thought I might be able to live and get a salary from it; this was where I was mistaken and probably should have known better- people will always choose leisure that is cheap, efficient and doesn’t require effort or skill building, in general. SOME will choose to participate in expensive, skill building, inefficient and resource heavy usages of space- but those people will ONLY be those who have a higher amount of time, money and quite frankly, motivation (insanity and desire to appear superior and socially ‘dominate,’ like a dog that will pee everywhere and fight others at the drop of a hat). The majority of people in society don’t have those luxeries, yet we belittle everyone who doesn’t have that as ‘lazy’ or ‘unfit’ etc and tell them to ‘make time’ for ‘recreation’ and it becomes another form of torture and psychological manipulation and misery increasing.

In effect, I was being trained to guilt-trip and make people feel they ‘had’ to ‘recreate’ in socially ‘higher’ ways and to instill a sense of shame in others (to make money off them.). And hence my inner feeling this was wrong stayed with me. And I left to teach kids in Taiwan for many years, and quite frankly found it more rewarding mentally and more enlightening and fun than anything I could have gotten with my ‘rec’ degree, which probably was 4.5 years of wasted time for me in some ways. (I also think the self-centered cynicism that I detected at the workplaces I was in for my practicums was what caused me to not be accepted and to do badly in the end. I blamed myself for many years for that- but I think in the end, at least I have kept my soul…)  Still, in the end the degree DID help me get access to that job and some of the things I learned there related to what I did for the past 12 years, so I cannot say I regret that choice in my life.

I think this is why I get annoyed when I return to Canada: the guilt tripping, the fear programming; the torture everyone through TV and Internet kind of culture we have become of rat-race driven cynics is sickening to me. The nepotism, corruption and bland acceptance of it all by most people doesn’t help either. It isn’t much better in Taiwan, but at least I can escape it by not really being able to be ‘literate’ in the local language, and being able to mostly avoid the worst of the psychological fear/misery programming foisted on us through the media to increase consumption and money spending. I think this is what drives me to want to return to Taiwan, I prefer to avoid all the psychological programming that our bullshit controller class is doing to us.

Is is possible to change the ‘fear-motivator’ management system we have today? Perhaps- but I think something drastic, like a huge mandatory social service ‘draft’ type system is needed for ALL adults in society. I think Taiwan’s social fabric is much stronger than here in short due to the mandatory military draft there which bonds all members of the society together and under a uniform set of experiences in some ways.

We try that with high school here in N. America; hence our fond shared ‘memories’ of just how special and individual we are (when in truth we are all just programmed members of future target market groups being culled and refined into our own sub-categories out here.)

I can only really think that if instead of uniting in a way that is designed to kill outsiders and aliens in “Independance Day” or “Alien” type style programs, (ie. “kill the ‘Muslims’ “style of thought that seems popular in N. America- or the whole jihad bullshit in the middle east) but rather had a standardized uniform for public servants to help feed and shelter people and heal social ills rather than focusing and intensifying them as a way to stay employed for life in a beurocratic system- if you forced everyone to HAVE to do something to help society for 18-24 months of their lives and to perhaps be forced to learn some skills to help others and be made aware of people from different social backgrounds within their OWN and in some different geographic areas within their own country… perhaps then we might have a better place to live in. As it stands now… I honestly preferred my life in Taiwan where equity was valued a little bit more than house value in past years and it still is slightly more equitable than what I see in Alberta today. (that is changing quickly, however. Most people already cannot afford homes or dignity-granting jobs in TW either from what I can see.

North American society is the game of monopoly played out on a vast scale; it is obvious we are the end-game stage with 1% being the winners and the other people being forced out.

So what happens when you lose your work force? I guess you lose all your services and production skills too. This is the genius of the 1% today. I guess they figure robots will replace us all, perhaps they are right, and they will feel happier to conduct programmed conversations with programmed entities that always do exactly what you tell them to do…