Those with a history in punk may recognize the title of this blog post. It's from Crass, one of the great anarchist bands. It's message is: If you go to the schools they tell you to, do the work demanded of you, shouldn't you be owed a living? After all, the powers that be, whether it is the government or teachers, tell you that if you go to school and work hard you'll live the dream.
I imagine the masses who are without jobs at this very moment are asking the same thing? There are, of course, different answers.
Working people, people with more old-fashioned values, those who have faith in the government will all say you are owed nothing.
People who feel that if they follow the rules they should reap the rewards may think you are owed a living.
The answer is, you should be rewarded for listening, but you won't be, so why listen? Why pay attention to what they say? Why follow their rules? There is no redeemable outcome. There is no promise of a silver lining. The biggest promise they can keep (most likely) is that if you follow the rules you won't go to jail. Fact is, people break those rules every day and don't go to jail. What is the reward?
Homes are being lost. Retirement is being sacked. College funds are dwindling. Jobs are disappearing. Companies are shutting down. What is the reward? Stress. Alcoholism. Debt. Homelessness. Thank you for your time. Please continue to believe in us. We have your best interests in mind.
The rules are meant to keep the rabble in line. They don't apply to those in power. By the time someone realizes that it is usually too late.
Here are a few basic truths that get me through the day.
Government rules by force. Any authority that keeps its position by threat of or use of force is an illegitimate authority. It needs to be questioned and dismantled.
School primes you for work and does not teach you how to ask the important questions. If you love school, you'll like work.
The hardest work should be done for yourself. If you devote your time to your job, it will suck it up and ultimately won't reward you well enough for what you've done.
Religion, government, and learning institutions do their best to keep people in line. They work in tandem to keep people uneducated and ignorant. The best education is the one you give yourself. Take what they teach, learn to read between its lines, and you will see what those institutions have in store for you.
You should never get your news from one source.
And last, but not least, one person can make a difference. Just look at the guy who shot Reagan. Not only did he change lives, but he had Republicans facing a moral crisis in gun control vs. personal freedom.
Do they owe us a living? No. And we don't owe them our lives, either.