The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

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"We Got Plenty of Nothin"

written by Community Solutions Fellow, wimbi


Now what I am about to say is not any sort of attempt at anything serious, Oh, No, that would not be cool. So, if you read it, don’t get yourself all fired  up to lecturing me on my total misunderstanding of our beloved capitalist system, which, as we all know, has given us everything we got.

No, this is  just a movie script, or in the immortal words of the great Clint Eastwood, “Nothin’ but a Flick”.  

--Here’s the outline--

Our hero wakes up one Monday and is told that the Gods of Olympus have decided to play a little game, and all those people whose job isn’t actually doing anybody any good has to not go to work anymore, unless of course, they miss their buddies there. Whether or not they decide to go to work, they aren’t to actually do any of that job that doesn’t do anybody any good.

But nothing else changes a bit.  Everybody gets paid their usual amount, everybody spends the same on all those nots, and everybody whose job actually does do people any good keeps doing it.

So, our hero, whose job is to write blurbs for  soft drinks,  does not have to go to work,  And ditto with the stock broker and the designer of the attack submarine, and  all those others we all know about. They are now doing nothing instead of whatever it was they had been doing, and getting paid for it same as always.  

So, the whole world is all of a sudden way better off, because doing nothing is so much better than doing anything bad, and so should get at least the same pay.

Pretty soon there are clubs and bars and so on filled with the not-doing people, yakking it up and pretending to be busy doing their nothing. But this gets old real fast, and some of them start thinking “I am not a stock broker, and making a lot of money at it, I could take that money and time and get to doing something useful with it-- but then I really don’t know what to ”.  but  the not-nuclear bomb designer chimes in and says “ well, I do know lots of good stuff to do, all of it real simple compared to H-bombs, but I don’t know how to manage getting the people all together”.  And then the not-special forces commander says “well, I do-simple-you get a bunch of people with the whole spectrum of  talents, divvy them up properly among the jobs you want done, give them the old fight-fight speech, and--”

And so pretty soon all the not-people have turned into real people again, and all that time, effort, inventiveness, material, energy and so on which they had been using for doing bads is now doing all the goods that we all know should be done-like solar energy, clean transportation, real education and all the rest, and doing them fast because they have so much of everything they need --talent, money, factories, everything that had previously been used doing things that were bad, and that is A WHOLE LOT.  So, the world is saved at last- people get done what should be done, everybody knows what they are doing is good for everybody, now and in the future, and they all feel mighty good about being actually  useful for once. 

Scene switches back to the Gods, being pleasantly entertained by this curious little drama. 

One of the rude, cynical gods, who had bet that the idea would flop and that humans would simply continue their headlong rush to suicide, says to Athena, the goddess of Wisdom,“Athena, I gotta hand it to you, that was really clever what you thought up there, but  I am absolutely astounded that it actually worked- who woulda thought it!”.  

Athena, smiling that lovely smile of compassion/condescension  that only goddesses of the highest rank can pull off, replies sweetly, “Ah, no, Hephaestus, it is good of you to say that, but, in the real world, (pointing down to messy humanity), you were in fact quite right after all. See, they are still running down the track   to Hades as fast as their little shortsighted heads can guide them. After all, what you have just seen was (wistful sigh) -" Nothin’ but a Flick”.