We Are All Self-Employed

David Musick (David_Musick@msn.com)
Sun, 3 Nov 96 01:22:12 UT

The "We are All Self-Employed" meme was brought up here, and 'banjo' wrote:

"The implied ideology behind a "WE ARE ALL SELF-EMPLOYED" meme, is that the
natural metaphor for human relationships is commerce.

Im not that alienated from the human race."

I see in this response the idea that commerce and economics are something cold
and impersonal and that to be engaged in these activities is equivalent to
alienating oneself from others. This is a common view of economics. But it
is a very superficial view. All forms of economics and commerce are, at
heart, agreements between people. Generally, "commerce" and "economics"
refers to agreements to trade things or services. Economics and commerce are
one form of agreements which people make with each other. I don't see how
agreeing with other people alienates one from those people. Agreeing and
having common goals generally pulls people together into closer and more
intimate relationships, in my experience.

I make a different interpretation of the meme, "We are all self-employed". To
me, that phrase is equivalent to, "We are all responsible for our own lives".
That is the implied ideology I see in the "Self-Employed" meme. We all have
certain resources available to us, including time, materials, talents, skills,
knowledge, etc. In running the business of our lives, we must choose how we
will use our resources to achieve the desired effects in our lives. If our
desire is to spend a lot of time with particular people whom we love very
much, then we must organize our lives in such a way that we can accomplish
that goal. And doing this is our own business, our own form of organization.

"Business" in the general sense is simply a way of organizing resources to
accomplish certain objectives. Business can be a cold, impersonal thing, or
it can be a warm, loving, dynamic relationship between people. It all depends
on how it's organized.

Being self-employed doesn't mean that you can't work together with others.
The most successful people are generally the ones who are good at working with
others cooperatively, to the mutual benefit of everyone involved. I don't see
how this alienates people.

Taking responsibility for my own life by being self-employed encourages me to
develop the resources necessary to achieve my goals, including the goals of
developing deep and meaningful relationships with other people. Being
self-employed in no way causes me to be alienated from the human race.

- David Musick

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