[Back to Main | Show Dates | Photos | Language Index]

a deconstruction of institutional rhetoric

actually, i'd rather think you didn't even know what "genre" you would drop your music into. and if we traded recordings, that isn't what i'd be listening to anyway. there are many shades of emotional content available to any style, the story they tell in their sequencing is the interesting part.

cyanide9, i can tell that YOU are not complacent, but i will not take that as indicative of the sentiments and motivation of "most of the middle class". more responsively, it seems that the corporate-statist media (1-900-ANARCHY) has channeled dissent into easily distinguishable groups related to effects of societal probelms (which is relevant to the press for a position-statement that prompted all this) which, more importantly, are framed in the language of institutional entrenchment. the root of the problems is never addressed and, indeed, remains sancrosanct in "public" discourse. and this doesn't even go that far: notice that nader is an extremely "institutional" option for activists --- in that the legitimacy of our government is maintained --- but (this is in the context of the dnc and rnc media circuses) the green party convention was not even televised and the libertarians were relegated to cspan. the reform party got some attention, but only because of the schism that buchanan is causing in that party --- even jesse "the gov" has quit.

yes, people do get paid what other people think they get paid, but this does not exclude the possibility that the "other people" we refer to are "people we work with" and what they "think" is determined through democratic consensus.

i proceed line-by-line through the paragraph indicative of misunderstanding. the speaker identity should be apparent.

C9: Any employee is paid for their skill level.

for this to be just, there must be a democratic training mechanism with equitable access. also, propreitary science needs to be democratized. we currently fund a good deal of it through the military-industrial complex (i.e. our tax money) and turn it over to private industry when it is shown to be workable. at which point, the corporate beneficiary builds it and patents it and profits from it (and YOU paid for it). the continued advance of this spin-off tech is then left in the hands of the private sector oligarchy --- which jumped at the opportunity exactly when the tech was shown possible --- becoming increasingly proprietary and, corresponingly, less democratically accessible. this means, among other things but most relevant here, that the "training" necessary to become "skilled" is controlled by institutions interested merely in their own continued viability. try to build a product patented by a company that recently "went under" and see how much of that you get to keep --- no matter how skilled you are. it should prove illustrative.

C9: I have know idea what your employment is but, do you honsetly feel that you are paid equally to those in similar positions?

here is a great example of how the effects of the "institutional framing" discussed above can confuse debate. my own career makes the discussion problematic when it is placed in the "immediate production" debate --- since i work in the realm of theoretical linguistics which deals with language interpretation and use which attempts to make these disciplines computational and, therefore, am precisely in the line of work where YOUR money is spent for someone else's future profit (undoubtedly not mine, as i will probably have lost interest in the specific subject matter of my generalizations long before they are effectively brought into the commercial sector --- but who knows, i've been interested in escaping the institutional grip of academia and buidling trivial data-oriented ai's on a contract basis). my choice of careers, however, is indicative of the frame in which this debate has been set by corporate-statist propoganda. you use the institutionally-weighted term "position" and the rhetorical device of hyper-contextualization (in "paid equally to those in similar positions"). i think, at the very least, there should be a "going-rate" for a thirty-hour work week regardless of the substance of the work (with the exception of bonuses for "hazardous" or "undesireable" jobs --- which we are increasingly able to automate: did i say twenty-hour work week). the rest of the time is yours, and don't tell me that, without the profit-oriented incentive-machine of the "american dream", this time is going to be spent shooting heroin and watching tv. if we strengthen our communities, there's alot of ways that this time could be spent --- including improving our "skills" snd promoting the articulation of "culture". most of the shit we produce these days is just that. we don't need it and we can do with a little bit less wage-slavery in the meantime. i'm sure your three-year-old will make you wish that the interests behind the bottomless pokemon-product-pit would not target your children with propoganda encouraging such flagrant conspicuous concumption --- they sure start 'em young, don't they? i think that "skill-level" should be irrelevant but this is moot, since the there is no effective means by which this concept can be measured. how, for instance, would we compare the skill-level of a high-level executive and a mid-level machinist or programmer? could EITHER do the other's job? i doubt it, but i'll give you two guesses who's more likely to be successful. (a clue --- it's NOT the executive). so the "comparable position" qualification seems to find little justification.

back on the personal front, i would suggest that: no, i doubt that anyone with a similar position is paid much more than me; and yes, i think that there are people who have jobs which require less attention and stamina than mine (in the same field --- for exposition) and are paid (in many cases significantly) more than i am. also of interest is that my benefits package and job-security will only take effect once my master's is complete --- but i have no more classes to take, and the content of my degree is not of immediate relevance to my current responsibilities. so the obvious example here is: me, in a few months --- and i'll be no more qualified and i'll be no more proficient and i'll be no more responsible but i'll have the documentation to prove it.

C9: I spent 8 years getting to the level of pay I currently earn, can YOU say I don't deserve it??

not knowing the details, I cannot say one way or another. if you were learning how to employ capital in the war against labor on behalf of the sources of capital, then yes. if you were learning how various assembly lines work so that you can design, construct, maintain and optimize them in order to free up blue-collar employees for organizational and educational roles (perhaps on an elected and short-term rotating basis, to avoid entrenchment), then i would say, no. i imagine that you are kind of "gray" in that distinction and that shade is clear only to you. the point is that, most likely, you are probably not currently getting your cut of the benefits of the current "economic boom" --- if you are, i don't begrudge you that, a priori, and i might indeed commend you on your business sense and ethics --- and you probably never will. being of working age, i imagine that your family is reasonably well provided-for and that the amount of work that you have spent becoming the person that you are is worthy of far more compensation --- but those benefits are the hook, b/c then you're in with modern medicine --- but, especially in this age of increasing longevity, what are the prospects for retirement? the debt burden undertaken by the Modern American Family is timed well to run years past the surprise anouncement of your "opportunity" for "early retirement" --- which, of course, comes years before you need retire for any competency-related issues. and generally in the form of an alliance between a climber below and a frightened boss above --- see, the necessary thing about a hierarchy set up in the form of a tree is that there are fewer and fewer available slots as you ascend and survival is a contact sport.

C9: I'm am one of the few who MAKES time to converse to your side.

yeah, i noticed that. and i appreciate it. i make an effort to do the same whenever dissenting opinion emerges here. it just makes sense. when it comes right down to it, a vast majority of americans what precisely the same things. we have just become too focused on the things that we DON'T agree on to notice and do anything with it. we need to understand what is central to american dissent and what is merely anciliary. we need to ignore the ideologies of statism and simply work together in the puruance of the desires of the dissenting majority. and, when the state comes to terms with its inevitable loss of utility, we need to defend one-another from its wrath. but first, we need to know why we're going to do it, and what IT is. this is a large part of the reason why i am interested in this site --- it seems that it can provide a forum for precisely this sort of discussion. whether it is enough is a question for later, whether it is the first step is clear from the git'.

C9: The point is to let you know our point of view. Your ideals are not lost on us!

word. both facts are much appreciated. check out this emerging call for a "round table" stylo at a diner type place that is under the title "An Invitation" and the author "Michael L. Price" on the newswire (coupla days ago). you'd even out the score a little and that's what we're shooting for --- and with the three people already in, i can see some tasty potential for continual re-allignment on various issues (confusing the "activist"/"normal guy" patition).

C9: BTW, you guess of "punk rock" says more about you than my musical preferences would say about me.

i don't know what it says about me, but i said "post-punk" anyway. and that's more "respectable". i can't read the tone here. i hope you're not bad mouthing punk. if so, you need to do some homework. i'm not an authority on punk rock, but i imagine some old-school BAD RELIGION would be your flavor. perhaps "recipe for hate" --- but shop around, they're all good before the early nineties. the album title is misleading (a pr problem in punk rock), the "recipe" that they are likely referring to is corporate-statism.