Economics = Blackmail

Our existence confronts us with certain harsh realities. We’re so use to them that we don’t even think about them that much. While all people relish the thought of a paradise, our current reality reminds us that this is not it. For one we all die. Some get sick and die, others get old and die, and the laws of physics kill others in accidents, car crashes, bullet wounds and such.

When we face the science of economics this is no less true. If I lye on the sofa and never get up, I will die from lack of water. I must have water to live. Simple ,I know, but still, it’s a harsh reality that isn’t often considered. I have to obtain water, either by getting off my fat lazy rear-end and getting it myself or coercing someone else to get it for me. Or, I could always just do without and die.

The number one implication here is that our existence requires the exertion of effort by someone in order for it to continue. There is this sort of cosmic blackmail in play. We either exert the effort to put a log on the fire or be cold. That’s blackmail, though we don’t always see it as such.

The Hell of economics, when all the fluff is blown away, is that we want the resources without the exertion. As it turns out, the more complex economics become, the more it becomes about somehow coercing someone else to put the log on the fire, bring us a glass of water, and a sandwich too since you’re up. Such coercion can be managed so long as the sloths remain a fraction of the workers. But when the sofa gets crowded and the workers get tired, or hop onto the sofa too, economics breaks down… and then people start getting cold and thirsty as they fight over who ought to do the exerting.



Filed under Economics, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Work, Worldview

3 responses to “Economics = Blackmail

  1. I appreciate your argument here and I think there are some excellent observational truths. One thing I might critique is that not everyone wants to be lazy – not everyone is motivated by doing as least amount as possible. So while it is “servitude” it is a pleasure to do so – with or without economic implications. Maybe some people just really enjoy gathering water (or whatever economic role they play) and do so for no other reason than because they enjoy it. In fact, they gather so much that other’s don’t have to… Just a thought.

    Also – in the spirit of promoting thinking. This post reminded me of one I wrote a while back about the selfish nature of people.

  2. Pingback: The Egalitarian Pipe Dream, Social Justice part 5 | Economics For Morons

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