Lion of the Blogosphere

Suntans and work

Classically, suntans were low class because they meant working-class outdoors jobs. But then, when air travel meant that rich people could go on vacation in warm sunny climates, suntans became high class. I am pretty sure that the invention of tanning salons has caused them to become prole again. Jersey Shore types typically sport fake tans.

It is the same with work and leisure. Certain commenters have wrongly asserted that being rich means not having to work, but that’s outdated by a century. With welfare and other public assistance making non-work more viable than ever for the lower classes, the higher classes distinguish themselves with their work ethic.

Of course people don’t want to do just any sort of work, they want work that’s meaningful and that increases their status. And being able to obtain that sort of job requires elite educational credentials and the right connections. So we are moving from a world in which poor people work because otherwise they will starve to death, to a world where working is a privilege for the rich and well connected while poor people will live off of Andrew Yang’s “Freedom Dividend.”

Work becomes not just a source of income that’s used to buy positional goods, but a positional good in its own right.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 29, 2019 at 2:40 PM

Posted in Bobos, Labor Markets

73 Responses

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  1. Andrew Yang’s FDR (Freedom Dividend Revenue) is a pipe dream.

    Revising Fussell’s dictionary and your idea of “self actualization”, the idea of work for the privilege is pleasant, fun and satisfying.

    High strung financier and lawyering jobs are for strivers and it’s prole. Proles are strivers.

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    March 29, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    • Someone someday has got to explain why “striver” is used in negative connotation (atb least thats what I think it is used as in this site). I think I knew what it means but to be sure went and googled that word again. Nope I did not misunderstood the word.

      Why are strivers bad? Don’t we want more strivers in this world (and country). Do we want people to stop striving and just be happy with scraps.

      One of my biggest flaws (among many others) was not striving enough. Doing ok on average as a 1st generation immigrant but compared to a lot of high school buddies (and college buddies) from my home country who also immigrated here I am a big f#### loser.

      mpt

      March 29, 2019 at 6:43 PM

      • FYI: “striver” implies “strives to achieve it by any means necessary”. It’s that second part of characterization that gives the term a negative connotation. Because in Corporate America those means are more frequently than not are immoral.

        mapman

        March 29, 2019 at 11:57 PM

      • Strivers are a threat to those in power.

        njguy73

        March 30, 2019 at 2:19 AM

      • Seeking status is seen as inherently low status.

        After all, if you were high status, you would not seek more.

        At least, that’s the thinking is.

        Justice Duvall

        March 30, 2019 at 2:55 AM

      • Sigh, do I have to explain this to you? It is meant to be used by those who were born into a higher class to denigrate those who actually have to work to achieve status. And usually they don’t even succeed at it because they maintain their prole tastes and telltale low status markers.

        Fact Checker

        March 30, 2019 at 5:55 AM

      • When carrying a negative connotation, “striver” denotes a person whose priorities are fundamentally misplaced. These are people who think money, career, power and “status” are the things that matter in life.

        I don’t disagree with you that in principle, hard work and wanting security for one’s family are bad in and of themselves.

        S.J., Esquire

        March 30, 2019 at 11:31 AM

      • Thanks everyone. Now I get it why its used in the way its used. Been here just over 20 years and still need refresher lessons time to time on prevailing culture or norms. 🙂

        Also want to apologize straight up for making some inflammatory posts in the past (sometimes for rabble rousing but sometimes vindictive in general). Appreciate the posters taking effort in clarifying things to an anonymous poster who has said pretty mean things in the past.

        mpt

        March 30, 2019 at 12:45 PM

      • I think mapman and Esquire gave the best answers. The bad thing about strivers is misplaced priorities and snakish behavior. Stereotypical example might be an ambulance chasing lawyer. Not that Duvall and Fact Checker were wrong, either. Striving for status is definitely a low status preoccupation and one can never truly change their class.

        It’s said that money changes people. But I’d argue it merely reveals what was already there to start with. Australians have an expression — “cashed up bogans”. Which basically means low class people who’ve made a lot of money and buy flashy stuff trying to impress others. Strivers have their own version of this that may not be obvious to themselves but is definitely obvious to others.

        The most obnoxious (and dumbest) thing I did when I could afford it was to buy a large sailboat. I figured that, if a small boat was fun, then a larger boat must be even better. Boy, was I wrong. The two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day he buys it and the day he s̶a̶i̶l̶s̶ sells it. (I’m so punny!) I went back to a small boat that I actually built myself. Other than that misguided adventure, I pretty much live below my means and eschew status whoring. I’ve found I’m better accepted when I don’t try to pretend I’m something I’m not. Not that I’m particularly well-received either way. Nor do I care. I’m focused on the things that really matter. And, on those things, I’m doing pretty well. The rest is all in people’s heads.

        destructure

        March 30, 2019 at 1:38 PM

      • A striver is a person who is high strung about pursuing an intended goal.

        Opposite of a striver is a hipster. Unlike the striver, a hipster is laid back, but equally obnoxious, because the hipster likes to project and status signal in a sheep like fashion.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        March 30, 2019 at 3:46 PM

      • Hipsters are conformists who couldn’t hack it so pretend to be anti-conformist. Do you know how you can tell? Most of them have a similar look and style.

        The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look the same

        To illustrate the point, a hipster sued a publication for using his picture on a story about the “hipster effect” only to find out it wasn’t even him

        This got me to thinking about my own style and whether I dress like everyone else. I concluded that, if one is truly independent, they wouldn’t go out of their way to do the opposite of everyone else because they wouldn’t care.

        destructure

        March 30, 2019 at 5:20 PM

  2. the suntan is objectively beautifying in two ways.

    1. it destroys contrast.

    2. it is always accompanied by the glistening and rosy burn. everyone looks better with a tan except gingers.

    ian souglas smith

    March 29, 2019 at 3:18 PM

    • so the idea that the tanned ideal is just class signaling is FALSE.

      ian souglas smith

      March 29, 2019 at 3:19 PM

      • Just re-reading Wuthering Heights. The narrator contrasts the weak, lame pallor of the gentleman suitor Edgar LInton to that of Heathcliff’s rough, sun-tanned, wind-burned complexion. Now, Wuthering Heights is the ur chick/romance novel so of course Catherine finds Heathcliff irresistible, nonetheless, she is embarrassed by his rough ways. In the old days, westerners did look down upon the weathered, tanned physiognomy. Asians and Latin Americans still do. Just talk to Sammy Sosa.

        Daniel Heneghan

        March 29, 2019 at 7:45 PM

      • Tans are ugly.

        Panther of the Blogocube

        March 30, 2019 at 5:56 AM

    • The word for beauty literally was ‘fair’:
      “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest (i.e. lightest skinned) of them all?”

      The answer to that, the ‘fairest’ one of them all, the manifestation of beauty itself, was literally called ‘Snow White.’ The reason that the queen was so jealous was that Snow White was fairer.

      Not one but two mega Hollywood Snow White movies were made in 2012, the year of Obama’s re-election, Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman.

      SJWs, who are as dumb of a bag of rocks, haven’t noticed the theme that is the center of the world’s most beloved fairy tale, but when they finally notice the blindingly obvious (presumably as a herd all at once in the same hour), hilarity will ensue.

      Dan

      March 29, 2019 at 11:00 PM

      • Snow White will go the way of Song of the South — down the memory hole.

        Oswald Spengler

        March 29, 2019 at 11:40 PM

      • “Snow White will go the way of Song of the South — down the memory hole.”

        Naah, she will just be re-imagined as a fiesty latina…excuse me I mean latinx.

        Mike Street Station

        March 31, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    • It creates contrast. Don’t you like to see bikini lines?

      Proof

      March 30, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    • I find tans almost universally revolting, and would say that very few people look “better ” with one. I don’t even know what a “glistening and rosy burn” is supposed to mean.

      S.J., Esquire

      March 30, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    • I don’t personally care for tans. I also find the idea of deliberately trying to get one shallow and silly.

      destructure

      March 30, 2019 at 6:32 PM

  3. This doesn’t line up with the entrepreneurial stories I know. If people strike it rich with a venture they typically retire. Maybe they’ll dabble in angel funding or some part time consulting. The serial entrepreneur is exceptionally rare in practice. For every one you hear about there were a couple dozen guys who are relaxing with their riches.

    This model of work as a status thing is for a weird and small subset of the population.

    bobbybobbob

    March 29, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    • The good feeling from relaxing can only last a finite time. Sitting on a towel at the beach might be a pleasant thing. Idleness then becomes a drab and takes a toll on you.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      March 29, 2019 at 4:42 PM

      • These rich “retirees” don’t do nothing, but they sure don’t work hard at a job anymore. They’ll do some sort of consulting, investing, or serving on a board that doesn’t take anything like 40 hours a week.

        bobbybobbob

        March 30, 2019 at 12:02 AM

    • I agree that that’s what I’d do if I had all the money I needed, but my observations are that lots of people keep working well past any financial need. This is especially true of lawyers. In California, the active ranks are full of 70+ guys who made their $20 mil long ago.

      Vipltd

      March 29, 2019 at 5:14 PM

      • Happiness for men is purpose through productiveness. Many a retiree with dreams of playing golf all day kicked the bucket fast out of despair.

        fakeemail

        March 30, 2019 at 4:57 PM

    • You think Chelsea Clinton is relaxing, sitting on her ass, or involved in a bunch of nonprofits saving, I mean ruining the world, while skimming millions off the top? She is typical modern upper class, as revolting as that is.

      Fact Checker

      March 30, 2019 at 6:04 AM

  4. As always, Lion is extrapolating wildly from an unrepresentative sample: the tiny percentage of born-wealthy New Yorkers who are obsessed with academic credentials and a certain type of high-status job.

    There are probably more Danube Swabians in this country than there are the people Lion frets about.

    Judge Duvall

    March 29, 2019 at 4:06 PM

    • The reality is that residents who grew up in NYC (including Staten Island, which tries to distance itself from Manhattan) seem to be more grounded than those who grew up in the outlying areas. The most obnoxious and striving breed of transplants or “wannabe” transplants who try to make a mark in NYC happen to be those whom we call the “bridge and tunnel” crowd, and this specific group of bridge and tunnel folks hail from New Jersey and Long Island. Right after them are the striving transplants who come from neighboring staid states like Connecticut, Massachusetts and to certain extent, Pennsylvania. Quite frankly, none of these people are really into academic credentials, but high salaries so they can savor the Manhattan “high life”.

      The closer their place of origin to NYC (with the exception of Upstate NY), the more obnoxious and striving the transplants. This interesting psychological effect comes from the fact these people have been eyeing NYC all their lives at a close range and never got a taste of it until a certain time.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      March 29, 2019 at 7:06 PM

    • Also, Lion apparently misunderstood Fussell. Fussell explicitly defined the “top out-of-sight,” a phrase he coined, as 1) the richest class, and 2) living on large enough properties that the house is not visible from the main road, the literal meaning of “out of sight.” But Lion uses the phrase to refer to this group of people he considers the “highest” class, not the richest, and who are “hiding in plain sight” because if you saw them on the street you would never know they’re independently wealthy.

      Hermes

      March 29, 2019 at 9:16 PM

  5. Skilled trades aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Joe the Plumber will continue to be a third way.

    Seth Largo (@SethLargo)

    March 29, 2019 at 4:07 PM

  6. I know quite a few rich guys. Almost all of them got their money by building and then selling a successful business. Almost all of them cash out and either retire or semi-retire in the Carolinas, Florida or Arizona. If they don’t already have a woman with a great suntan and sizeable rack they go out and they find one. Keep in mind these are the real men that i am talking about. A real man does not need to keep working to prove his value to others. He works to get enough F.U. money to have great sex in exotic locations for the rest of his life.

    The academic, Northeastern SWPL types who fancy themselves upper class and claim to like pale, gaunt intellectual women do not really like women at all. They are gay and they would rather be sleeping with a young boy like Paul Fussell.

    B.T.D.T.

    March 29, 2019 at 4:34 PM

    • “A real man does not need to keep working to prove his value to others. He works to get enough F.U. money to have great sex in exotic locations for the rest of his life.”

      Preach it, brother! Hell, you don’t need the exotic locale if you like your home and the local selection of women.

      NWS4EVR

      April 1, 2019 at 3:58 PM

  7. I recently came across a baby picture of myself and my grandmother is so tanned to bronze we look like different races. She was german.

    Boy did she love to roast in the sun. She believed it was healthy and I don’t think she ever used sunscreen.

    She died of multiple myeloma so her sun habits didn’t technically catch up with her.

    This is the picture for the curious.

    https://toomanymice.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/img_20190328_114930.jpg?resize=900%2C900

    toomanymice

    March 29, 2019 at 4:42 PM

  8. “Work becomes. . . a positional good in its own right.”

    Well, that has always been the case; especially for men. A doctor gets a higher quality wife than the janitor EVEN IF the doc somehow made less money than the janitor.

    Human beings are all about the pecking order which is all about the Sexual/Mating Market Place, which *is* zero sum game. That’s why “better to rule in hell than serve in heaven” actually makes sense as a strategy.

    The entire living universe can be understood as a vast battlefield, in which organisms engage in constant struggle in the service of the genes they carry.

    If there is a loving God, He made it incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible/stupid to be “moral” in the conventional understanding of the term. I mean, there is so much to be gained by immorality and no downside if one escapes punishment and can live with themselves.

    fakeemail

    March 29, 2019 at 4:49 PM

  9. OT: WaPo, 03/29/19 – The share of Americans not having sex has reached a record high

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/03/29/share-americans-not-having-sex-has-reached-record-high/?tid=pm_pop

    The share of U.S. adults reporting no sex in the past year reached an all-time high in 2018, underscoring a three-decade trend line marked by an aging population and higher numbers of unattached people. But among the 23 percent of adults — or nearly 1 in 4 — who spent the year in a celibate state, a much larger than expected number of them were 20-something men, according to the latest data from the General Social Survey.

    Experts who study Americans’ bedroom habits say there are a number of factors driving the Great American Sex Drought. Age is one of them: The 60-and-older demographic climbed from 18 percent of the population in 1996 to 26 percent in 2018, according to the survey. The share reporting no sex has consistently hovered around 50 percent, and because that age group is growing relative to everyone else, it has the net effect of reducing the overall population’s likelihood of having sex.

    But changes at the other end of the age spectrum may be playing an even bigger role. The portion of Americans 18 to 29 reporting no sex in the past year more than doubled between 2008 and 2018, to 23 percent…

    The data also show a significant gender divide among 20-somethings. For most of the past three decades, 20-something men and women reported similar rates of sexlessness. But that’s changed in recent years. Since 2008, the share of men younger than 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled, to 28 percent. That’s a much steeper increase than the 8 percentage point increase reported among their female peers.

    There are several potential explanations for this, Twenge said. Labor force participation among young men has fallen, particularly in the aftermath of the last recession. Researchers also see a “connection between labor force participation and stable relationships,” she said.

    The survey showed, for instance, that 54 percent of unemployed Americans didn’t have a steady romantic partner, compared with only 32 percent among the employed.

    Young men also are more likely to be living with their parents than young women: In 2014, for instance, 35 percent of men age 18 to 34 were living in their parents’ home, compared with 29 percent of women in that age group. At the risk of stating the obvious, “when you’re living at home it’s probably harder to bring sexual partners into your bedroom,” Twenge said.

    One final factor that may be affecting Americans’ sexual habits at all ages is technology. “There are a lot more things to do at 10 o’clock at night now than there were 20 years ago,” Twenge said. “Streaming video, social media, console games, everything else.”

    That may speak to the drop-off among the sexually active: The share of people who are having relations once a week or more now sits at 39 percent, compared with 51 percent in 1996.

    E. Rekshun

    March 29, 2019 at 5:04 PM

    • I don’t believe that young men aren’t having sex because they are too busy playing videogames. They aren’t having sex because no woman wants to have sex with them. (Because they don’t have game? Became women don’t need men anymore?)

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2019 at 11:05 PM

      • Because of online dating and Tinder specifically, 10% of the men are having 90% of the women, it was always like that to some extent, maybe 30% / 70% but tinder polarised the sexual market even more.

        Hashed

        March 29, 2019 at 11:20 PM

      • Today, you’ll find women going out with other women more than women going out with men during “date nights”. Many rather not have a guy at all, when mediocrity and below mediocrity men are the majority.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        March 30, 2019 at 12:06 AM

      • I am a 25 year old male. I work 50 hours a week as a programmer and I go to the gym 4 days a week and spend 2 hrs there. I have a six pack and all the rest.

        And yet I am a virgin. I have never even hugged a girl. Women are friendly to me, but they never go out with me. I don’t get it. I am half Jewish Btw, so I suffer from anxiety and I feel like a loser compared to all the doctors and professors on the Jewish side of my family.

        Destroyedbywow

        March 30, 2019 at 8:37 AM

      • There’s something called the Little Baby Face Foundation. Their mission is to “transform the lives of children born with debilitating facial deformities through world-class reconstructive surgery.”

        https://www.littlebabyface.org/

        I first heard of them when they paid for a teen girl got surgery because she was bullied. There are other videos on YouTube of girls, many of whom were hardly ugly, got surgery due to bullying.

        So why isn’t there a major push for boys to get surgery? How many beta males need to commit atrocities before action is taken?

        njguy73

        March 30, 2019 at 5:51 PM

      • I agree that modern dating sucks for most men and that online dating has made that trend even worse. Technology has made people far more cliquish than before as well. All the best girls are not at bars/clubs anymore either but invitation only parties. That explains why otherwise solid guys can’t get dates anymore even with “game”. You have to be a 7+ male and ideally tall to get noticed but only a male 8 can get girls regularly with little effort.

        redarmyvodka

        March 31, 2019 at 1:01 AM

      • I am a 25 year old male. I work 50 hours a week as a programmer and I go to the gym 4 days a week and spend 2 hrs there. I have a six pack and all the rest.

        If this isn’t a troll, go read the heartiste archives before he became political. I wasn’t a 25 year old virgin but I was playing way below my league. If you really do have visible abs, have a shirtless pic doing something outdoorsy where it doesn’t scream douche. Line up 3-5 dates a week on tinder and practice.

        everybodyhatesscott

        April 1, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    • Not to get too personal, but I’m a thirtysomething guy in the 23% bracket. I’ve always had a low libido, so it’s not as if I’m some pervy George Sodoni type. Honestly, I’m kind of an asexual sperg. I don’t play video games, though.

      When I was in high school, I was freakishly ugly. Not only was I obese, but I had horrendous acne that left my face looking like something out of a horror movie*. So I decided early on that attempting to pursue sexual relations was not an especially good use of my time. I got into the habit of withdrawing into my mental mansion – the proverbial “happy place” – and set about manufacturing all of the thoughts, emotions, and impulses necessary to stave off suicidal ideation. I’ve never been able (or particularly willing) to break that habit.

      Over time it dawned on me that, if I had everything I wanted, I would be insanely bored with life. (After all, what would be the challenge?) So I’ve instilled in my psyche a perpetual sense of profound existential boredom. It makes me feel like a real winner.

      *My back was ten times worse than my face. One time, on a dare, I lifted up my shirt in front of a couple of girls. They screamed so loud that a passing teacher assumed I had exposed myself. I almost got in serious trouble.

      Stan Adams

      March 30, 2019 at 12:31 AM

    • The expansion of the definition of sexual harassment and other attacks on the creation of relationships at work probably has a lot to do with this, along with a drop in participation in activities that let you meet people in a “non-competitive” environment (I can’t think of anyone I know in a relationship who met their SO at a bar or similar environment). If you’re out of college (and relationships are under attack there too) and haven’t developed any friendships that could evolve into something more, your options start to evaporate. The best remaining place I can think of is church, and younger single people tend not to attend a church.

      TWBC

      March 30, 2019 at 2:34 PM

      • I believe the expansion you speak of occurred after, and as a consequence of, the death of boy-girl relationships starting in the mid-90’s – rathef than being a cause of same. Camille Paglia explained it around ’92. She said, “sex is surrender.” Once women decided they’re at war with men over careers, there could be no surrenders, and thus no sex. Since then, all the rest has been just grinding the loser’s face in the dirt.

        Walter Condley

        March 30, 2019 at 7:21 PM

  10. A little OT but if you’ve ever wondered why MRA’s advise not to get married, here’s a great example (note the snark by the White Knight law prof.):
    http://calapp.blogspot.com/2019/03/molinaro-v-molinaro-cal-ct-app-march-29.html?m=1

    Marty

    March 29, 2019 at 5:04 PM

    • He was stupid to block the driveway and mouth off to the judge. He was also stupid keeping the 250k in a joint account. If she had time to install locks on her bedroom door, then he had time to move the funds.

      toomanymice

      March 30, 2019 at 8:02 AM

      • I was more interested in the trial judge challenging him, “why is it okay to discuss the pleadings with the children?” Why in hell would that be taboo? That stands free speech on its head. The judge should have the burden of explaining why it’s not okay, and hubby was fully justifying in describing her as insane. The appellate court reversed the judge on facebook postings, but upheld the ruling penalizing him for showing the pleadings to the 13-year old. Weird.

        Marty

        March 30, 2019 at 11:30 AM

  11. It’s simple. People either have to work or they don’t. And most people who don’t have to work aren’t going to do things they don’t want to do.

    destructure

    March 29, 2019 at 6:23 PM

  12. This is the basis of the world of The Orville (and by extension Star Trek). People don’t work for subsist; they work prestige.

    JayMan

    March 29, 2019 at 6:29 PM

  13. So we are moving from a world in which poor people work because otherwise they will starve to death, to a world where working is a privilege for the rich and well connected while poor people will live off of Andrew Yang’s “Freedom Dividend.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoDominium#The_United_States

    CoDominium is a series of future history novels written by American writer Jerry Pournelle, along with several co-authors, primarily Larry Niven.

    The United States of the CoDominium era is a welfare state divided into two social classes: Citizens and Taxpayers. “Citizens” are welfare dependents who are required to live in walled sections of cities called “Welfare Islands.” People are given whatever they need, including the drugs like Borloi to keep them pacified. There are no limits to how long they can stay on welfare, except that they must live in a Welfare Island. Although people are free to gain an education and work or become a colonist, many citizens did not, preferring to live their whole lives supported by the government. Generally citizens are uneducated and illiterate. Some BuReLoc involuntary colonists are Citizens. By the late CD era, the Welfare Islands were three generations old. “Taxpayers” are the working, educated, and privileged upper class. They carry identification cards to separate them from Citizens.

    Oswald Spengler

    March 29, 2019 at 6:30 PM

    • Taxpayers. Great word. Now it means unarchitecturally distinguished, humble buildings squatting on strategically located property that the landowner wants to develop into a higher, “better” building at a future time to make a profit. In the meantime, the “temporary” building, the taxpayer, hosts a restaurant, bar, etc. Some of the best places in the world, that we use every day, are or have been taxpayers.

      Mumbletypeg

      March 30, 2019 at 10:01 PM

    • I may have to go back and re-read those CoDominium books and stories. I read them in the 70’s and 80’s on one level, as SF military action, but now I’m beginning to appreciate Jerry Pournelle’s rightest sympathies. I remember one (can’t remember which one) in which the mercenaries come up with a Pinochet-like solution to commie immigrant voters.

      Mike Street Station

      March 31, 2019 at 10:41 AM

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince_(anthology)

        The Prince is a science fiction compilation by Jerry Pournelle and S. M. Stirling. It is part of the CoDominium future history series. The Prince is a compilation of four previously published novels: Falkenberg’s Legion, Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell The Spartans, and Prince of Sparta. Of the original novels, the first two were written by Pournelle alone; the last two were cowrittten with Stirling.

        The CoDominium is a formal alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union which holds power over Earth, with a cynically hegemonistic foreign policy toward all the other nations of Earth and Earth’s off-world colonies. The action occurs over a period from the 2060s to the 2090s in the CoDominium universe.

        Humanity has developed interstellar flight (the Alderson Drive) and has colonized many planets outside the Solar System, simply moving in and setting up shop on some, terraforming others with a not-specified Terraforming Package that transforms an alien world into a planet that supports all Terran life forms, from bacteria to plants to animals to humans. A recurring theme through the stories is the result of the CoDominium’s policy of shipping large numbers of voluntary and involuntary colonists from Earth to the colonized planets. The involuntary colonists cause much trouble, knowing nothing but a welfare state existence in government ghettos (called Welfare Islands), where free drugs, booze, and entertainment, paid for by the productive members of society (“Taxpayers”), keep them pacified. Shanghaied to the colony worlds by the Bureau of Relocation (“BuReLoc”) in an attempt to keep Earth’s population down, they gather in city centers and shanty towns, reverting to their parasitical or criminal lifestyles depending on their personal inclinations.

        While some convict and involuntary transportees do assimilate into their new planets’ societies, most band together against the original colonists of whatever world they end up on. Political parties always form to demand a consumer-oriented welfare state, ostensibly to promote social fairness but with agendas meant to advance the welfare state at the expense of the productive. The welfare state demanded by the influx of Terrans from the Welfare Islands who do not have the concept of “work” in their mental universes requires cheap energy, consumer industry, and an unrealistically large tax base. Even without explicit knowledge of the agenda of the socialists, the productive members of each planet’s society are outraged by encroachments and banditry forcing them to yield lands or businesses which they have worked hard to establish.

        Pournelle pays attention to the soldier′s dilemma of being expected to obey orders without regard to the consequences to the people of the colony planets. Pournelle repeatedly discusses the resentment of the CoDominium Navy and Line Marines used to subdue local defiance of CoDominium rule to garner fortunes for Senator Bronson, other Grand Senators, their cronies, and multinational corporations without the opportunity of “leaving things in working order.”

        These stories may also illustrate Pournelle′s own convictions, which echo those of Robert A. Heinlein, such as democracy is not the only proper form of government; and indeed may not always be the best, given the realities of economics and ecology. In each of the stories, those on the side of rapid industrial development (to the benefit of the Establishment) are seen to be likely to lead their societies towards anarchy or industrial feudalism. The results of Falkenberg′s actions are sometimes little better in moral terms, but his actions often prevent the descent into barbarism Bronson’s policies would otherwise cause.

        Falkenberg’s Mercenary Legion is a force in opposition to the policies of Earth’s politicians, the Humanity League, and the socialists. Working with Grand Admiral Lermontov, the admiral in command of the CoDominium Space Navy, the Legion acts to suppress the bandits, rebels and insurgents who prey on landowners, and works against corrupt politicians bent on exploiting natural resources on the newly settled planets with very little benefit to the people living on the new planets….

        Oswald Spengler

        March 31, 2019 at 7:05 PM

      • did the pinochet-like solution save the poor country?

        gm

        March 31, 2019 at 11:47 PM

      • “did the pinochet-like solution save the poor country?”

        It was a planet. This is science fiction after all. And that’s where the book ended, so the results are unclear.

        Mike Street Station

        April 1, 2019 at 8:54 AM

  14. Suntans have always been low class.

    Anyone who has to read a book about class doesn’t really understand it.

    gothamette

    March 29, 2019 at 6:54 PM

  15. OT: Lion check out this video. 1979, Man on the street interviews with prole New York City office workers. Proles were better looking back then. No tattoos, no piercing, slimmer. And dig those New York City accents. Hey Lion, do you speak with a New York City accent?

    Daniel Heneghan

    March 29, 2019 at 7:51 PM

    • The two computer programmers are white American local guys wearing suits. You won’t see that today.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2019 at 11:13 PM

    • How are they prole? Since when is having an office job and speaking well prole?

      Destroyedbywow

      March 30, 2019 at 6:29 PM

    • Thanks, man! This is the NYC I grew up in. Takes me back…makes me want to wawk down to fawty fawth street and get myself a pizza. 😉

      SFG

      March 31, 2019 at 11:27 PM

  16. Suntan is indeed prole again. Bill Gates is quite pale. Mr. Trump has his peculiar coloration (however attained) and is culturally prole. Prole bad! Queens bad! Those in power represent a poisoning of the natural aristocracy of this country the Founding Fathers expected, one of merit.

    Anthony

    March 29, 2019 at 10:48 PM

    • but white = bad so I would think it would be better to hide it as much as possible. Unless SWPL elites really are white supremacists, which I wouldn’t put past them. DR3 FTW

      Fact Checker

      March 30, 2019 at 6:15 AM

  17. It is like white eggs vs. brown eggs. Depending on where you live, suntan is either high class or low class. If you live in the south, no suntan is high class. If you live in the north, suntan is high class.

    My 2¢

    March 30, 2019 at 12:36 AM

  18. Some of these comments are crazy. Do you really believe that the people flying into Aspen on private jets to ski are prole? How about Sun Valley?Did you think because they apply sunblock they don’t get a tan? Speaking of Aspen, I once heard the owner of a MLB team and his wife, telling how they ran into the team’s second baseman at the Aspen airport, a contract violation if he’d been skiing. The wife goes, “I looked him in the eye and asked him, ‘Robby, have you been skiing?’ And he lied to me!” That owner was famously gentlemanly, and the wife was quite homely.

    You know me

    March 30, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    • Anything that elicits the reptilian sector of the brain is prole vs an intellectual activity that stimulates reasoning and rationalization.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      March 30, 2019 at 3:51 PM

      • Is anger prole?

        njguy73

        March 30, 2019 at 5:44 PM

      • Anger is prole, snark is swpl

        Gm

        April 1, 2019 at 11:32 AM

  19. Thanks for posting this. In 1979 they weren’t as media savvy, so they seem less intelligent even though they’re not. Man-on-the-street interviews were a novelty then–notice the flocks of people in the background, as if this were a big event, being interviewed in front of a camera. They all repeat the question, too, as they try to think of a word. Much more self-conscious than we would be today, I imagine. If you tried to do the same thing in front of Federal Hall today you’d get no crowd and have to beg or pay passersby to respond.

    Weegee

    March 30, 2019 at 2:54 PM

  20. rich ppl who want to work bc of “status” concerns are idiots, seriously i wish they would just give their money to me so i could use it to not work and have fun.

    james n.s.w

    March 30, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    • It’s arrogant and patrician to volunteer for anything. You’re depriving people of a job. Volunteers at any level of society deserve no respect.

      Eat the Rich

      March 30, 2019 at 9:12 PM

  21. Suntans were unfashionable up until the 1920’s when Coco Channel created the look, apparently by accident, when she returned burned from a trip to the Riviera. Up until then women sensibly tried to avoid the sun. In the Victorian period, upper middle class women commonly carried parasols to protect their skin,
    having no wish to look like a farmhand.

    In any event, if you have a burning desire to prematurely age your skin, so that for you 60 will be the new 80, go right ahead and tan away. Prole or not, tanning is simply dumb.

    “Moderate exposure to direct sunlight contributes to the production of melanin and vitamin D by the body, but excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays has negative health effects, including sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer,[1] as well as depressed immune system function and accelerated aging of the skin. Some people tan or sunburn more easily than others. This may be the result of different skin types and natural skin color, and these may be a result of genetics.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_tanning

    Thanks by the way, for the NYC video – The girl is semi-cute until she speaks. Then she sounds like the dialogue coach for My Cousin Vinnie – “Computer: Numbas”. Wow!

    Is It Just Me or Do Male Celebs Turn Into Tan Mom as They Get Older?
    https://www.distractify.com/entertainment/2018/10/01/mXYQx/celebrity-men-aging

    Nedd Ludd

    March 31, 2019 at 7:41 AM


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