The 7 Most Dehumanizing Aspects Of The First World
People who live in the modern western world are fortunate. We don’t have to worry about unending famine, routine ethnic cleansings, lethal drone strikes, and other terrifying maladies that other individuals around the world have to face daily, often with no solution(s) in sight.
However, this doesn’t mean that the First World is perfect. Society will always have problems. It should recognize its faults and aspire to correct them. One of these faults is how certain processes and callous truths dehumanize masses of people. Here are seven such things that we might want to work on fixing:
College is often the first truly “dehumanizing” experience in the First World.
In a decent high school, the teachers care at least a little bit about students and how they progress. In college, when one student is just a carbon blob in a lecture hall filled with 75 other soon-to-be-debt-ridden-and-unemployed kids, who cares? Besides, professors get paid to profess, not teach. Their primary tasks are research and writing, not making sure someone did their homework or even attended class.
This wouldn’t be so bad if not coupled with the sordid side of college: Rapaciously greedy schools.
College administrators don’t care about the students, their lives or their career aspirations; Students aren’t people. They’re just a major, a number, and, most importantly an account balance. That’s all they’ll ever be (unless they become famous and/or donate tons of money). The higher ups at colleges don’t view students as the vanguard of a better generation, despite what the advertising campaigns say.
Unfortunately, most students don’t realize this until it’s too late. And, even more unfortunately, the dehumanization found in the First World only continues from here on out.
Debt literally makes you worth less than nothing.
Tell a pretentious economics major or someone wealthy (and by wealthy I mean someone not in debt) about your financial woes and they’ll look at you as if you were a leper. “You’re in debt!?” they’ll cry in disgust.
The average student loan debt is nearly $27,000, up from 2011 when it was just under $23,000. That’s an awful lot of money to pay back, especially when so few can find employment. This financial affliction is soul-sapping. Graduates trade their cap and gown for a green Starbucks apron or some other humiliating regalia. People who graduated as experts on the intricacies of Reichstag politics during Wilhemine Germany or as interns who spent time abroad in distant lands become weary debt slaves and little else.
Even forgetting the student loan
system scam, the average amount of credit card debt per household is around $16,000. That’s still a pretty penny and still a terrible burden to shoulder.
In the age of “the Great Recession,” “in this Economy,” and any other tired, woe-is-the-economy clichés, struggling human beings are reduced to their resumes.
People are forced to apply to companies they’d have never planned on working for in a thousand years (what person dreams of working for insurance companies, financial institutions, et cetera?) because of student loan debt and other circumstances.
When people in this position create a resume, what are they really doing? They’re taking their entire self and boiling it down to a drab, single-paged (god forbid HR departments have to read more than one page) assemblage of buzzwords, exaggerations and half-truths. Their decades on earth are condensed into kilobytes. The person has been replaced with a job title; the personality and soul with a job description. A man/woman is no more. There is only a collection of sad jobs and menial “skills” like proficiency in Microsoft Word.
What do life experiences matter if they can’t get you a job, if they can’t put food on your table? If you can’t add it to a resume, what is its worth?
4. Cover Letters
What is a cover letter but a textual, Times New Roman-clad blow job?
When a person writes a cover letter they attempt to seduce whatever company they’re applying to, showing them how much of an attractive “hire” they are (note that I don’t use “human,” humanity has no place in the HR world, despite the “H” standing for “human”). Then they verbally fellate the company, talking about how amazing of a company they are and how all the experiences of their life have made them want to work for that company above every other organization on earth.
The cover letter forces someone to abandon their life’s true narrative and replace it with one that makes them more hirable.
Just look at the difference between Facebook/ Twitter/ Tumblr/ Pinterest/ Instagram/etc. account(s) and LinkedIn accounts. That shows everything you need to know: who someone really is and who their cover letter says they are. One is a human being; the other is a walking, talking litany of corporate jargon.
5. The DMV
The banality of the Department of Motor Vehicles needs no elucidation.
It’s a stale, lifeless, terrible place that only has three things in abundance: Waiting, misery, and forms — lots and lots of forms.
When you’re there, you’re reduced to all sorts of numbers. To start off, you give up your name and become your ticket number. “John Doe” means nothing because only “EMS129”(or whatever the ticket number may be) will get you to the all-important window to speak with somebody.
Of course, the ticket number isn’t as important as a driver’s license number or a license plate number. Those are the real digits that mean something. They tell life stories in the DMV, nothing else.
Thus, the DMV is almost a sort of cattle farm, but instead of being lead to slaughter, the inhabitants are being lead to costly bureaucratic nonsense and seemingly endless frustration.
6. Passionless Work
Go in at nine, escape at five. Come home. Eat. Shit. Sleep. Wake up. Eat. Shit. Shower. Go in at nine, escape at five…
This is a tragic “life” that so many — too many — have to endure. There’s no passion. There’s no joy. There’s no humanity. All there is, is misery, regret, angst, and longing for something more.
I’ve written about a similar topic and how to avoid malaise that comes from “bad” careers, so I won’t elaborate further, lest I repeat myself.
7. Credit Scores
Do you want a house so that you and your significant other can start a family?
Well, if you made any bad decisions within the last seven years, too bad!
Your merits as a person and status as member-in-good-standing of the Human race don’t matter if you have a bad credit score. As far as the world is concerned, if those three numbers aren’t optimal, you’re on the lowest, untouchable, sub-human rung of the First World caste system.
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