I know what you were thinking. You were saying to yourself, “Hmm, self, it’s been a while since any of my progressive friends have proposed anything insanely totalitarian. They’ve maybe been a little nanny-ish, but I haven’t heard a hint of secret police or absolute control in a while. I wonder if they’ve lost the faith and loosened up?”
Oh no, dear readers. Fear not. There’s no reason to suspect a loss of faith. Or loosening. Absolutely no loosening.
Actual Facebook wall posts below, initiated by an acquaintance of recent eastern-European extraction whose employment in American academia may be exacerbating her nostalgia for pre-Glasnost days.
Natasha (not her real name): People, stop working! Your productivity is killing the planet.
Natasha (not her real name): What I meant was that “productivity” leads to production of useless products and services (and sometimes absolutely no products and services), that in a long run cost us more than the monetary reward we get. The problem is that nobody deals with that qualitative output of the economy. It’s all about transactions.
Academic with a cat as his profile photo (not his real name): If there were one-fourth the number of people on the planet as currently exist, we’d have a hell of a lot more leeway on every major problem, as well as time to figure out reasonable paths forward. But the human population shot past the carrying capacity of the biosphere years ago. By way of comparison, pretty much everything else is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
“Productivity” is not a problem, but a symptom of a deeper and more serious societal rot.
[Skipped reply, followed by a post by an American sociology professor at a different university]
Distaff Mao (not her real name): Here’s something for BOTH [cat person] & [other guy]: Every person gets a 0.5-share Reproduction Credit that they may choose to use or trade on the Reproduction Market. Good for the environment, good for the marketeers!
Distaff Mao (not her real name): And then a 35-hour-max work week. Nothing creates jobs like decreasing absolute surplus value!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s just a couple of off-the-cuff comments cribbed from a social-networking site. But these were folks talking among friends, so it really is a peek at what they believe.
I mean, honestly, when was the last time you heard anybody seriously proposing legally enforceable limits on reproduction?
Oh .. and it’s a long story as to how I ended up connected to so many Stalinists on Facebook. I’ll try to balance this out with some loony theocratic posts, but I’m not really tapped in to that crew. Do they even use computers?