The world doesn’t owe you a living

“People who are successful do not owe you a living. Stop jealously coveting the success of others, get off your backside, and work at being successful yourselves, instead of expecting government to steal the fruits of other peoples’ labour for your consumption.”

“The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.”

“We’re in the middle of a recession, it’s an employer’s market, and the world doesn’t owe you a living.
we paid the education when there was grants.we did’nt claim dole because we were brought up with a strong work ethic.we did’nt need self help books,we had common sense,and iniative.many of us fought for all the things you now take for granted.the world does’nt owe you a living.”

The above are all comments lifted directly (spelling and grammar included) from the Daily Mail’s website, but I have seen similar comments on Facebook and other social media recently too. Are these the comments of a free society?

The western definition of freedom is an incredible paradox – so why is it that we can’t see that? Now I admit, I have taken a very extreme cross-section of right-wing comments, but I find it amazing how many people on the left also fail to see this.

So capitalism, it’s time for you and I to have a serious chat.

You say that you don’t owe me a living, which is perhaps fair enough. We all have to work hard in this world; that’s what capitalism stands for. But then… well, until you start giving me free accommodation, food, water and energy (incidentally, all provided by the earth and therefore birth rights), I don’t actually have any choice but to work. So we have the welfare state, which is great. (What’s left of) it is there for me during the times that I’m unable to find work, or the times when I’m ill, or the time when, heaven forbid, I am hindered by disability. But should I choose not to work – which is surely the very definition of freedom – then I am, quite literally, left to die.

You threaten to withdraw my “benefits” (nice choice of word – makes me feel guilty) – the meagre amount of cash that, if managed well, allows me to only incur a small amount of debt in covering my day-to-day living expenses. You choose to label me and abuse me through the media in a way designed to guilt-trip me into either working, or perhaps choosing to remove my (financially draining) presence from your society. Anything that doesn’t fit into the traditional capitalist value system is sneered at and denigrated by corporate media and corporate-sponsored politicians. To illustrate the horrendous hypocrisy of capitalism, just look at the way the government, or more recently, private companies, pay care staff. These people are some of, if not the hardest working people in the world. Care staff traditionally have been amongst the lowest paid in the world. If that doesn’t illustrate that capitalism ranks people who work for profit higher than people who work for humanity,  then I don’t know what does.

And the clincher is this. I would LOVE to be able to live in a system that is not capitalism (or socialism/communism or any other form of capital-based system), but unfortunately you give me no choice.

I HAVE to live in a capitalist system. I was born into it, and I have very little control over it. Don’t even get me started on “democracy”.

So if I HAVE to live in a capitalist system, and the only way I can survive in that system is to work, then surely the world DOES owe me a living?

But hang on a minute, capitalism. Let’s be totally honest with each other here. I’ll start:

I don’t want your dull-as-dishwater £7ph (just so you can claim to be paying over minimum wage) job. I want access to the things that the cash I earn brings – and in my case I’m only talking about shelter, food, water and energy. I have no materialistic desires, I merely want to be free. But you insist that I must work for that privilege. Indeed, you insist that I must pay for that privilege with my life. Ironically, with my freedom.

But what about you? Oh yes, that’s right. You don’t want to employ me. Aside from the fact that I stand against everything that you stand for, you know that you would be much better off employing a machine to do that job. A machine doesn’t get sick. A machine doesn’t have emotional concerns. A machine won’t complain about their wages or working conditions.

So why don’t we just cut the crap and jump straight to the solution? Did you know that we are not using machines to their full potential right now? So many jobs can be automated using existing technology, but we continue to employ human beings in dangerous, low-paid and uninspiring jobs to “keep the economy going” so that “we can all contribute”. The economy. Something that doesn’t even exist. A human creation designed for one reason only – to keep the privileged elite at the top, and the ordinary people slaving away until they die.

Haven’t we gone beyond this? Surely we can see that we are all sacrificing our lives in the name of something utterly preposterous.

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama XIV

The good news is there is an alternative. The video at the end of this post is a good starting point for looking at potential solutions. Bear in mind that Jacque Fresco has spent his entire life working toward this, so you will not learn even one hundredth of a percentage of what is possible in the video. Follow the links below if you are genuinely interested in how to make a difference. I have been reading articles and watching videos for a couple of years now and I still feel like I understand less than one percent of Jacque’s work.

The Venus Project - When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there will be no limit to human potential - Jacque Fresco

To learn about viable solutions to some of our greatest challenges as a human race visit

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3 thoughts on “The world doesn’t owe you a living

  1. Glenn Ewen says:

    Your powers of critical analysis are impeccable and worthy of praise Many thanks for your post. Also thanks for the 2 great videos, too,

  2. Tom says:

    “People who are successful do not owe you a living. Stop jealously coveting the success of others, get off your backside, and work at being successful yourselves, instead of expecting government to steal the fruits of other peoples’ labour for your consumption.” So people should expect those who have hit hard times to go into crime/organized crime to survive, as the world has put them in a difficult place and does not care a toss about them, I guess?
    If the world does not care about them, then why should they care about the world?

    • N.A. says:

      These people that say that ‘the world does not owe you a living’ expect US to enable them to have a living. While they lavish on riches and top notch, fairly comfortable office job, we toil and slave and work our asses off to make them even more rich. These are the ones who accuse youth of being narcisstic while they are worse.

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