FROM INDIVIDUALISM TO COLLECTIVISM AND BACK
This novel story of Chance’s personal journey commences in his 20s, when he suffers within the corporate morass of a job where competition is constrained by wokeism. Failing to conform, he quits the capitalist treadmill and goes back to university for a PhD to investigate risk-taking behaviour. He meets Megan, a champion athlete, who is researching motivation in employment-seekers.
Together they become absorbed in Heidegger’s phenomenology, which enables Megan to self-coach to success with elite performances. But the ‘Spectacle’, described by Debord (1967) takes control in many fields, including sport, with competition transformed into profit-making and to gain political control by the nanny state. Chance and Megan resist, opposing mandatory vaccination during the Covid pandemic and ending with non-violent civil disobedience. Their examples advertise individualism based on the thinking of some famous philosophers.
The novel Turkeys Not Bees is available on Amazon. Reviews are at martinknox.com
EQUALITY IN OUR NANNY STATE
Our nanny state in Australia is a tool of capitalism. It cultivates mass markets and has the appearance of economy and efficiency. Market and state work side by side, giving the appearance of providing for individual choice and community. The partnership is unhealthy because the market passes unprofitable supply to the state, for example rural telephones and rail, because inequality is a breeding ground for politics. Conversely, when the state develops a profitable business, it is expected to stand aside for the market to adopt it, for example the internet, for which equality can be branded. The nanny state serves public welfare as well as capitalism.
People want to have opportunities equal to others’. If they perceive conditions as fair, they enjoy competition when it benefits them and disadvantages others,. There are many types of equal opportunity, from equal status, equal rights, equal education, equal employment, equal pay, equal healthcare, equal hours, and so on.
They also want some facets of their lives not to be equal, to be individual, unique and distinctive. They want jobs to be individualised for them and made unequal, with specialised access and technologies. They want unequal pay, that recognises their voluntary contribution. They want unequal hours that allow them to flex. They want to be able to choose aspects of their job unequal with others.
They want to be able to take unequal holidays on different days. They want personal treatment by their supervisor. They may prefer to have a choice of dress, rather than a uniform. They do not want their home to be the same as everyone else’s. They want to be able to save at their rate, amass their own amount of wealth and will their estate to the beneficiaries they nominate.
They do not want long queues for privileges, such as promotion, cars, houses and transfers. They do not want available products and services to be equal for everyone.
Equality is easily recognised in competition, whereas inequality may be wanted secretly. Equality is easily regulated, but inequality may have to run the gamut of envy, jealousy and complaint. Being unequal, the nanny state could be charged with unfairness. It can become a whipping post for competition between individual employees.
Whereas all employees are supposed to be on the same side, that idea is supplanted in many workplaces by team allegiances, or alternatively, by selfishness. A nanny state can lubricate workplaces with equality by raising awareness of its dimensions. One approach is least common denominators. Fostering of inequalities is less well-suited to mass management. An approach is ‘levelling’, whereby individuals’ competitiveness in wanted dimensions is equalised by attempting to equalise outcomes.
In the novel ‘Turkeys Not Bees’ a nanny state and sports industry want an appearance of more equality and less elitism. They begin levelling performers. High and low performers are equalised by handicapping them like horses in a race.
Levelling also starts in employment, health provision and education.
The protagonists Megan and Chance oppose the nanny state.
Will they succeed?
‘Turkeys Not Bees’ is an exciting fiction story by Martin Knox on Amazon. Reviews: martinknox.com
Will it be all right on the night?
‘It’ll be all right on the night’ is the philosophy that a performance will be successful, overcoming earlier problems. Performers can be athletes, sports players, stage artistes, musicians, artists, writers or orators. The presence of an audience, other competitors or judges can possibly stimulate achievement surpassing what they had attained previously in training, practice or rehearsal. A performer who has a large home crowd on the edge of their seats usually does her best.
A performer who is able to achieve a personal best in training is advantaged. Not all training is for fine tuning. Training can be done for preparation, technique development and refinement, physical testing, assessment, familiarisation, habituation to venue and climate, lowering of perceived effort, hypertrophy and to build self-confidence. Practice and rehearsal aim to anticipate performance and competition conditions. At elite levels ‘It’ll be all right on the night’ is less acceptable and instead many performers follow long, intense training programmes.
In my novel ‘Time is Gold’ Maxi experiments with and learns to use Extreme Flow for an attempt on the world marathon record, coached by her physicist partner Jack and a team of experts in psychology, physiology, neuroscience and Zen. The story is futuristic and describes fine-tuning for top performance. Available on Amazon https://martinknox.com
WHAT IS A FAIR PRICE FOR OIL?
Dairy farmers get a price for milk that is held down by oligopsony, agreement between a small number of buyers for their product. For stability of supply, the price has to recompense investment. Oil exporting countries get a price for oil that is held down by oligopsony, agreement between major oil importing companies. For stability of supply, the price has to recompense investment and also anticipate the depletion of petroleum resources with oil supply running out. For example, a higher price could be demanded to fund diversification into agriculture. Oil has varied per barrel between $20 in 1997, $160 in 2008, and $60 today.
Is the ethical position of companies buying oil different from supermarkets buying milk? Who will provide for oil exporters to transition away from oil when it runs out?
Novel ‘$hort of Love’ is about love set in the international oil industry, with some relationship and oil supply dilemmas considered in a satirical commodity framework.