Compendium: The Transvaluation of all Arbeit

In the former Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov once imposed penalties for tardiness to the workspace and having the work-shy arrested for failing to show up to their workspaces. In the United States, young Americans with university degrees have trouble finding Meaningful Work because they are “underemployed” and are currently stuck doing minimum wage jobs with no hope of advancement and demanding a higher minimum wage. In Japan, the Hikikomori–those socially withdrawn and work-shy Japanese youths–cower in their bedrooms and bestow shame to their family’s honor. In the People’s Republic of China, there is a growing tendency for young people to “lie flat” and shamefully avoid doing their parts in the Socialist Market Economy, a low-tier Planned Economy unlike the Mao-era Command Economy. And in the EU/NATO member-states, youth unemployment forces some to search for employment in countries like West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany. From Liberal Capitalist Market and Mixed Economies to Socialist Planned and Command Economies, each of these historical cases share the same recurring challenge which nobody has yet to resolve in the state of Total Mobilization.

These same problems can happen in the Vocational Civil Service Planned/Command Economy as signs of an Unreadiness-to-Hand Arbeit to the Life-Energy Reserve. As Martin Heidegger defined it in Being and Time, an Unreadiness-to-Hand occurs if something is harming, preventing or obstructing anyone from contributing Arbeit and allowing the Central Bank to convert that Arbeit into Geld. The Unreadiness-to-Hand needs to be turned into a Readiness-to-Hand Arbeit sooner than later and there are ways to resolve it non-violently.

The first instinct of anyone experiencing conditions like those aforementioned historical cases is to question themselves if their Arbeit is worth anything to the State and the Totality. They may expect their Arbeit to be worth far more or they perceive their Quality of Arbeit to be declining in the face of ongoing economic conditions. Most people are going to realize it on a subconscious, subliminal level before expressing it in thoughts, words and actions. Depending on the affected person’s psyche and mental state, they will express it sooner or they may keep it to themselves and express it in subtler ways. The subtler methods range from not showing up to the workspace on time or avoiding interactions with others. A few may even crack like an egg under the pressure of Total Mobilization vis-à-vis a change in mood. It can be as drastic as either self-isolation, self-harm, domestic and workspace violence, addictions, heart failure, or suicide.  

Medical, police and legal professions are often the first ones to notice these behaviors sooner because they eventually manifest themselves as health conditions and violations of the law. Military professions also know this as ‘Shellshock’ or “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD), particularly in circumstances where someone must separate the carnage of war from the new-found social bonds they forged with like-minded peers. After all of them are the families and friends of the affected. The only ones who really do not notice them are those involved in large political-economic governance structures (because there is no actual time for anyone to know these people on a genuinely personal level) and economists (especially those still operating on “the most Pleasure for the least Pain” and “the most Pain for the most Pleasure”). The latter is far worse than the former if they are aware of those affected as simply quantitative statistics.      

The second instinct among those affected is to find others suffering the same conditions as they are. Naturally, they will be the ones who are going to visit the State Commissariats outside of normal economic conditions. They will address the state commissars and the economic planners to make alterations to their Quality of Arbeit. Decrease Work-Productivity, decrease Work-Intensity, find more Force Multipliers, help them regain Solidarity, have the Central Bank increase the Mechanization Rate, or enhance the overall Economic Socialization for them. They may ask them for more Zeit away from their Vocations in the form of vacations and fewer hours in the work-week. While some of these measures can be accepted by the state commissars, it is unrealistic to expect them and the economic planners to accept all of them. 

Where adjustments to Work-Productivity, Work-Intensity, and Force Multipliers are not enough, where Solidarity is unachievable, where Economic Socialization is at its greatest, and the Mechanization Rate too excessive, the affected must be asked about whether they have truly found their Vocation in Life. There should be no excuses at this point because there are already plenty of avenues for those people to figure out their Vocations. Plenty of opportunities are provided by the State and the VCS Economy and it is up to them to decide.

That brings them to their third instinct, which is to ask the State Commissariats why certain Vocations contribute far more Arbeit and thus more Geld compared to other Vocations. It cannot manifest as “Wealth Inequality” if portions of the nation-state are receiving Paygrades that cover everyone on a per-household basis. In the VCS Economy, people do not pursue specific Vocations because they offer more Geld; that was the mentality which motivated some of the work-shy in the above cases. People pursue Vocations because that is their calling in Life; the live to work for it, not work to live for it. That is the whole point behind describing the VCS Economy as “the Total Mobilization of Production for Dasein.”

For the State, important questions loom regarding the Work-Standard and why it favors specific Vocations and why it favors others less. Why does the Work-Standard argue that the clergy and religious, the teaching and medical professions, and the armed forces contribute more Arbeit and thus more Geld for the Totality? And why does the Work-Standard insist that the State can sustain much of its own expenses by dint of those directly involved in its affairs?         

These questions are more concerned with the Presence-at-Hand of certain Vocations where its Value, its Quality of Arbeit, is questioned. It is up to the State Commissariats to decide by consensus whether the Arbeit of certain Vocations contribute more to the flourishing of the Totality and address why the Arbeit of other Vocations contribute less so. There really is no scientifically objective way to go about this as far as the Work-Standard is concerned. What the Work-Standard is concerned, however, is whether the Totality benefits or suffers and to what extent those effects can be observed from the Kantian Imperative of Perfect Duties and Imperfect Duties. The purpose of Dasein is not one fixated on something as abstract as Happiness; the “Pursuit of Happiness” to an individual is a subjective absurdity by trying to impose it on the Totality as an objective reality. There is only the Nietzschean Will-to-Power in the Struggle for the Happiness of the Totality.

“The Struggle for the Happiness of the Totality” emerges whenever somebody borrows a loan from the banks or gets conscripted into the armed forces and into apprenticeships by the State. The State has a Constitutional Obligation to the Totality and a Duty shared by all who work directly as part of the State to ensure there is a working environment conscientious to the everyday realities of the Totality and its future. The State rests its political legitimacy on it, and a well-organized Council Democracy will ensure that the State stays true to the Totality under the Work-Standard.         

For the Totality, there may be concerns about the amount of Zeit devoted to the work-week, the conditions of the workspace and housing, possible unjust discrimination toward certain segments of the population and the pressures of caring for elderly parents. The Totality as a whole share the same “Constitutional Obligation in Service to All for All.” The Totality must realize that neither the Quality of Arbeit nor the Quality of Geld is forever set into stone nor should any trend they are experiencing be incapable of any change within the framework of the Work-Standard. The Work-Standard is capable of accommodating changes to the Quality of Arbeit in terms of Work-Productivity and Work-Intensity so long as everyone’s basic needs are consistently met. It can also accommodate changes to the contributions of Arbeit into Geld, Geld into Arbeit, but the general ideas about which Vocations achieve the flourishing of the Totality will always remain valid.

When the Totality has made up its mind, the Totality will forge a new consensus at the State Commissariats. The State must then see to it that this consensus is enforced by law until the Totality decides otherwise. It is because of those considerations that advertising deserves to be considered as a commercialized form of propaganda. Advertising is to be limited and kept in moderation so as not to interfere with the Authentic Dasein of the VCS Economy for the Totality and uphold the Intents of Command and Obedience for the State. The State Council must decide the extent to which there is advertising within the Socialist nation-state, the methods employed, and how frequent they should appear across any conceivable form of mass communications.  

Everything discussed here is demonstrative of why neither Arbeit nor Geld are “Commodities.” A Commodity has a certain degree of Fungibility that renders its identity indistinguishable from any nationality, culture, religion, tradition, social custom and norm, profession or anything else which could inform anyone of its creators. If all Arbeit can be distinguishable across different Vocations by what they contribute to the Totality, it is now possible to recognize the emergence of an “Equipmentality” from Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time

By arguing that Arbeit and Geld are “Equipment,” by arguing that the Value of Arbeit and the Price of Geld should be altered, both can be redefined by their “Reference” and “Relevance” than by their “Purposes.” The Reference refers to the “Serviceability” and the Relevance denotes the “Possibility” for the Repurposing of any known entity that exists in the world. Simply put, the Work-Standard can apply the Heidegger’s logic of Equipmentality within the contexts of a Vocation’s Value of Arbeit being altered, thereby changing the Price of its Geld.

It may seem counterintuitive at first, so a demonstration is in order.   

Reference: Everyone knows that the Quality of Arbeit for one profession is worth the Life-Energy poured into it because of what it has contributed to the Totality in the form of goods and services.   

Relevance: Everyone knows that the Quality of Arbeit for one profession is no longer worth the Life-Energy poured into it because of what it is contributing to the Totality in the form of goods and Services.

Repurpose: Everyone knows that the Quality of Arbeit for one profession is no longer worth the Life-Energy poured into it and they request the State Commissariat to alter its Value to reflect what it shall contribute to the Totality in the form of goods and services.  

By Repurposing the Quality of Arbeit based on its Reference and Relevance, the State Commissariats are able to arrive at conclusions based on the overall performance of that particular profession of Vocations. The State Commissariats can reapply that same logic to make similar decisions for specific enterprises and whole economic sectors. Thus, it begs the question: if Arbeit and Geld are not Commodities, can anyone really say the same is also true for anything that is considered a Commodity? After all, why does Kapital and Commodity have so much in common?

Categories: Compendium, Philosophy, Politics

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