Preoccupied with Occupations

Why do we see defeat and destruction in the occupations of cities but definition and duty in the occupations of men?

In both cases, occupations seize control of the occupied entity, and yet it is cursed in the first instance but celebrated in the second.

Occupations do not defeat cities and define men. They defeat cities and defeat men.

It is our very preoccupation with occupations that stops us from noticing its own nature.

The occupied man does not seriously consider the possibility of living without an occupation any more than the man born into a city that has been occupied for centuries considers that it must not be so forever.

We are blinded by a bias which believes the present will persist. We fail to imagine a future that is radically different, though that is what has happened over and over again, decade after decade, by a degree which has been dramatically accelerating over the course of the last century.

We view automated industry almost exclusively as a threat while ignoring the opportunity that comes along with it. Automation may offer the potential to free ourselves from our occupations through the automated and automatic satisfaction of our most essential human needs. Such a standard would free us from necessarily having to do anything while simultaneously empowering us to do almost anything.

We have little gratitude for the generations of humans who have succeeded collectively in driving us to this defining moment in the unfathomably long but universally short history of humanity. We fail to appreciate even those alive today who are pressing us forward faster than ever, choosing instead to nitpick flaws and cancel the courageous. These brave leaders know that we are close. They consider this time the luckiest ever to be alive, and so do I.

People fear the new world because it is so different from the one we have known and that any generation before us has ever known. Those who have gained power in this long era of history will not willingly give their power away. They will fight in an effort to delay the disruptive forces but they will fail to realize that while their power over others will be taken away so too will the power of others over them.

Why should we all be satisfied with living in the middle of this chain of occupations where our lives are seized so that we may seize the lives of others and so that we may use our monies not to free ourselves from seizure but rather to seize possession of mostly meaningless goods and services which only serve to ensure the continuance of our dependence on our occupations as our growing wants overshadow our modest needs and the margin between the earnings we sell our lives for and the expenses we feel obligated to incur becomes ever narrower.

Some will read this and criticize me for being privileged, young, and ignorant. I cannot help but that I am the first two of these things. As for the third, is ignorance not at least as good to admit as certainty is to claim? Is it not as worthwhile to consider my opinion as it would be that of a disadvantaged old man who is certain of everything he knows? My privilege, youth, and ignorance may have assisted me in recognizing these truths but that does not mean that others less fortunate than myself cannot also recognize them and seek to apply them in their own lives however they may.

We cannot all escape occupation overnight, but we can recognize our preoccupation with occupations, and we can begin to think differently such that there may be another way to live.