- Technocracy Digest, 2nd quarter 1996, No. 320
- Originally printed as information brief #61, which was first printed in The Northwest Technocrat No 231, April 1968.
How `Free Enterprise’ traps young people before they have a chance to design their own way of life.
Young people do not `choose’ the values of older generations. They are trapped by such ensnarements as the `Job Trap’ and the `Property Trap’ — all created by the present economic system — in an effort to insure its own continuation.
The adults of each generation feel that they should prepare their young people to follow in the patterns of life which they, themselves, were caught up in. Since there are certain aspects of the orthodox ways of life that fall short of the idealism of youthful enthusiasm and aspiration, the incumbent generation senses the need to set various traps for the next generation. The youth of this generation come of age in a society that can provide for human wants without human toil, and there is a `grave’ possibility that the youth will decide to make the most of this opportunity. The older generation is not about to let this happen.
You, the new generation, are about to become the supreme power of this Continent, and it is up to you to decide what form of society you shall have. That is the privilege and opportunity of a supreme power. We urge you to make the most of it!
Here’s What Happens in the `Job Trap’
The youth are beguiled into believing that getting a job is an important and necessary objective in life. It matters little to the older generation that most job openings are either non- essential to the operation of the society, or are archaic boondoggles. Nevertheless, young people are caught up in the Job Trap and must find some kind of a job, useful or not. The bait for this trap is: income.
If one does not get a job, one is threatened with the lack of an income; and only through having an income is one `entitled’ to share in the fruits of the social heritage (although a small minority get around it by inheriting a stake in the system from their parents or other relatives). The big danger is that the youth might, collectively, decide to `accept’ the heritage without the pretense of `earning one’s bread by the sweat of one’s brow.’ The adult generation is very intent on setting the Job Trap and in making sure that no one escapes. Every `social betterment’ scheme includes a demand for enough jobs to provide full employment.
Once you get caught in the Job Trap, you’re an easy mark for the `Property Trap’
While there is no necessity for anyone’s owning more than a few personal effects, the social system is booby-trapped with all kinds of devices for persuading the individual that he should acquire property or its equivalent. Young people are pressured into wanting homes of their own; then cars, preferably two cars per family; then, arrays of furniture, house decorations, clothes, gadgets and sporting gear. Once they acquire this property, they are really trapped.
Beware of the `Political Trap’
One of the most vicious and insidious traps set for the youth is the Political Trap — government by politicians. Politicians are people put in office to guard the other traps and to block any ingenuities one may devise for escaping them. It matters little how the politicians are put into office or what is the brand name, their functions are the same. The public is pushed around and taxed for the `service.’ The politicians are all disciples of the Old Order, although they may display varying insignia and advocate slightly different means of luring or pushing people into the social traps. For the most part, politicians are egotistical and selfseeking. As guardians of the public interest, they are on a par with the compulsive poacher in the territory of the game warden.
In the United States and Canada, the youth is beguiled with the proposition that it has a free choice of government, which is, of course, an outright fraud. This illusion is attempted on the basis of popular elections of candidates to the political offices. The public is made to feel that it had a free choice; and, well, if it made a little mistake, it can vote in a different batch of candidates next time. `After all,’ so the excuse runs, `how can the voters expect to have good government if they vote the wrong people into office?’
It is important to the Old Order that the youth be caught in the Political Trap; otherwise, it might comprehend that we do not need political government at all. The alternative would be to harness technology to the task of creating an equitable, abundant life for everyone. In a technological society, such as our own, there is no need to spend years of toil with nothing but debts to show for it. Let the machines do the work. Run them wide open, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they can produce an abundance of goods and services — food, clothing, cars, housing — for every person on the entire Continent. Let us all enjoy this bountiful life that technology has given us.