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(From this article on the Guardian website; these are my responses which I also posted on their comments page)
Responsibility. How I hate that word. It's as worthless as the word hero. It's bandied about all the time and used as a way to dismiss opinion and avoid discussion. People are expected to take responsibility for their lives, we are told in some sub-seklf help claptrap fashion. How can people not take responsibility for their lives - they are living them!
What they mean is that people should shut up and get any old job that pays money to George Osbourne so our 'responsible' government of crooks and liars can continue to exploit us.
We need to do away with the loaded language of our times, speak plainly and start building a better future away from this kind of exploitation.
I'm out of work, so therefore I'm irresponsible - especially so if I refuse to take any old job advertised in the jobcentre, no matter how unsuitable, or how miserable it makes me. What price a life? Doesn't matter, I have to be 'responsbile' while means 'paying your way' - another trite catchprhase of the age.
Fuck this. Offer me something meaningful and rewarding to do that betters society and my community, where Im making a real difference for my fellow progressively minded compassionate human beings. Pay me a decent wage for it so that I can pay a good rate of tax and have money left over to put into the economy through the private sector.
That's responsibility. But it seems responsibility is a one way street - it's not the job of the jobcentre/government to help me achieve that goal, that would be a happy by product of looking for work. Hence the expression 'the world doesn't owe you a living'. Well if that's true I don't owe the world anything back.
People on the dole stand on their own two feet in eactly the same way as people earning a wage. the only difference is the source of that income. In fact it could be argued that, by virtue of the pittance the dole pays (and pays under extreme suffrance), the unemployed are standing much more firmly. They have to pay the buills and buy food and clothing etc exactly the same as someone who is waged, but because that money comes from the state (the money comes from sources such as VAT and indirect income taxation paid via the benefit claimant when they spend their money or even when they bank it) somehow the unempliyed are irresponsible. Nonsense. Utter nonsense.
Time to get rid of these outdated puritan values and excise the last vestiges of religious thinking from our morality. The state pays me beneift, I spend that benefit in exactly the same way to meet my needs as the employed, and it goes back into the system. So the real crime, in the western world, is that I'm not wealth generating. So bloody what? I'm a human being, not a banker.
People don't live on their own two feet since the industrialised capitalist machine took over. Division of labour means that everyone, except the most exceptional, skilled or fortunate, are unable to live completely self sufficiently. Even then they would still need to find their own medicine and energy needs. How many working people make their own clothes, medicines, food and supply their own energy to meet the demands of the modern world?


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