Monday, 15 February 2016

We live in constant coercion

So I came across this interesting article that a friend posted on her newsfeed by Dr. Bruce Levine.  The article talks about how the way modern societies are built contributes to the rise of mental illness.  To be honest, I would not be too surprised if this was in-fact the case.  In an age where we must force ourselves to act in a way that society deems as normal can be repressing for many of us.  Even something as basic as a job interview requires us to a degree to "fake it until you make it". "Being yourself" definitely won't get you anywhere since we live and die by filtering everything we say.  Speaking of this "fakeness", check out GradeAUnderA's video on why job interviews are total bullshit.  Let's face it, the majority of us only apply for jobs because we need them to get money.  I think employers are totally delusional when they don't explicitly state the salary of the job.  What do they expect?  Especially in retail jobs where the employee turnover rate is so high because you're never truly valued in a retail job.

Anyways, back onto the topic.  Why are we, as a society, so obsessed about "efficiency"?  Does completing a task in such a short period of time benefit the evolution of our species in any way, shape, or form?  I mean, all of us only have 80-100 odd years on this planet.  Whether a big corporation's profits increase or decrease really does not concern us in the grand scheme of things. It seems that the main trigger that motivates us to work or go to school is out of fear.  Fear has it that if we don't go to school, we cannot get that piece of paper that may or may not guarantee our survival which is that job that we dread going to.  Of course what I'm saying does not apply to the entire population as there are also many who find meaning in their job but there are also lots of us who feel alienated from what we are doing, especially when there are those who work for unethical companies that only care about the bottomline....profits!  If society continues on with the path of coercion, then I'm afraid that there will be more cases of mental illnesses which spells a disaster for the future generations.

I found Dr. Levine's article intriguing because he reports that societies that have far less coercion are much more mentally stable.   In another article published by Dr. Levine called "Why Life in America Can Literally Drive you Insane", he states that the institutions that govern the American population contributes heavily to mental illness.  For example, a poll conducted in June 2013 revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs.  While it is true that life today may or may not be better than previous decades, one thing that holds true is that many of us expect that our lives should actually be improving based on the notion of progress and how we live in a country that has never been this wealthy before.  Unfortunately, we are trending the opposite direction as Dr. Levine bluntly puts it: "society has become increasingly alienating, isolating and insane, and earning a buck means more degrees, compliance, ass-kissing, shit-eating, and inauthentic".  This can explain why the most popular 2016 Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have a lot of support as they are anti-establishment.  Trump, in particular has widespread support because people are just sick of the politically correct climate that has plagued America.  I'm no Trump supporter but I can clearly see a lot of the people's frustration with politics and the support for Trump is simply a backlash against the system.

I'm greatly disturbed about how the use of antidepressants have increased nearly 400% in the last two decades as of 2011.  Are we just neglecting what it means to be human and substituting that with harmful drugs to keep us obedient?  That is some 1984 shit right there and I fear for the future generation if this continues to take a toll on our conditioning.

Dr. Levine sums up the issue surrounding the young people today:
"We are today disengaged from our jobs and our schooling.  Young people are pressured to accrue increasingly large student-loan debt so as to acquire the credentials to get a job, often one which they will have little enthusiasm about.  And increasing numbers of us are completely socially isolated, having nobody who cares about us".

Aforementioned, life may or may not be as bad today than it was yesterday.  However, one important variable that breaks the camel's back for this generation is the viability of getting a degree.  At least from before, if we played the game properly which was to go get a degree (even if it is not engaging) and then get a job, we would at least ensure that we could raise a family and justify that it was all worth it in the end.  Because being "responsible" is what being an adult is all about, right?

Not the case for this generation.  We are told once again to get a piece of paper except this time it would cost us an arm and a leg.  It's not so least we will get the job to pay back the debt we accrued.  Nope, that is not guaranteed either.  It is a rigged game I tell you.  Being in debt means that we must force ourselves to work for something we do not believe in as that is the only means of survival.  All of this while the giant, greedy corporations take away even more of what we have which is our dignity.

However it does not have to be this way forever.  The young generation will eventually take over when the old geezers die off so perhaps there is some hope of a paradigm shift within the next 50 years.



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