arbeit macht frei

Arbeit Macht Frei, by CR/MM/SRS, oils on board, commenced 2005 finished 2014, 54.5 x 74.5 cmPainting by SRS/CR/MM, oils on board, 54.5 x 74.5 cm. "Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase meaning "Work shall set you free" found above the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Nearly 70 years later, almost everyone is an inmate of the global concentration camp of modern human culture. Work doesn't make us free, it enslaves us.

A person at work is a person with no identity. Ze is not a person, just a uniform, a suit...

A person at work has no mind of zer own, no brains, no head. As the painting suggests, the body of a person at work ends at the neck.

The corporatisation of human life and culture proceeds at an accelerating rate. One of the results is the destruction of our humanity itself. A person at work is a psychopath with no personal values, just a fake but hearty enthusiasm for the so-called values of the corporation.

We're all psychopaths, these days, or sociopaths if you're into labels. We repress and suppress our personhood, our empathy, at the behest of the employer. That's why there are cruel red eyes in the lapels of a pin-striped suit. They are the insane eyes of one who has lost zer personhood.

According to the Bible, Jesus was not in favour of work. "Consider the lilies of the field, and how they grow" he is reported to have said, "they toil not, nor do they spin". And here we are, 2000 years later, toiling and spinning for dear life, and not loving it very much at all.

Here's a little poem to illustrate.


No agenda was tabled
No meeting was chaired
All came who were abled
No-one was spared.

No minutes were red
The suits were all blue
All heard what was said
About what they should do.

No actions were listed
As open or closed
No task-owners queried
No deadlines imposed.

The guest speaker rose
He got to his feet
Assumed a cool pose
Said “Hi there, I’m Pete!”

That’s what he said
When he got up to speak
No hat on his head
At the meeting that week.

So why was he there
At the Monday team meeting?
Dark suit and great hair
Fake warmth in his greeting?

And what did he say
That well-groomed consultant
On that awful day
What was the resultant?


Awarewolf & Other Chrymes Against Humanity, illustrated
Available at

We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception if it were sufficiently hellgrown, twisted and wicked. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes, more than 50 in total.

eBooks by Cosmic Rapture:

NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS This so-called "book" will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching and frothing on the carpet. More than 60 dark and feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) copiously illustrated by over 20 grotesque images you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?) We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception for this sick and twisted stuff. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features more than 50 satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes.

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mgeorge said...

Effort was always supposed to pay off. That is the basis of the dominant religion - capitalism including its variants for serfs. Not too long ago, a certain "superpower" appeared comical in keeping its collective head buried in "denialism." Now that the facts of climate change are clear, has anything changed significantly in any country - "democratic", "rational", "advanced" or whatever? Are there any concrete actions or immediate plans?

The reality is just too bitter - that we must forsake centuries of "progress." Of course, this progress principally benefitted our overlords.

masterymistery said...

mgeorge, Have you read Weber's "Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"? Not only is effort always supposed to pay off, but the mere occurrence of payoff proves you are a good, upright, god-fearing person. And conversely, the absence of payoff means you're a bad, lazy, stupid, godless, POOR person. Wealth as evidence of worthiness,

Sadly, no, nothing has changed. No actions. No plans. Just a "commitment to continue to focus" whatever that means. (Nothing.)

As you say, it's all too hard. At least, that's the perception. And what a great excuse it is!

We just can't admit to ourselves that we got it wrong for hundreds (maybe thousands?) of years.

The big question is, have we actually made any progress at all?Have we at least come to understand we are not making progress?

Based on what I have observed about the interaction between people and corporations -- especially but not exclusively the employee/employer interaction -- I doubt we will ever make any progress. People are just too willing if not eager to be told what to do, say, think and feel.

Thanks for your comments: insightful and interesting as ever. Cheers, MM/CR/SRS

mgeorge said...

In philosophy, I never got past the introduction of an introductory book. Much of it seems to be validations of the status quo - the witch doctor serving the thug chieftain in a more scholarly garb.

While the elite obsess and scheme over their privileges, the faithful gleefully believe that their specific variant of magical thinking will exempt them from the coming travails - a triuphant "I told you so."

The propaganda machine is hard at work. Today, I happened to see a music clip in which of romance is juxtaposed against battle. This is from a part of the world the pundits describe as "troubled." Here are some articles by modern prophets I happened to come across on the propaganda blitz.

masterymistery said...

mgeorge, yes it really does seem as if we are becoming stupider and stupider by the day...

Thanks for the links -- depressing reading indeed.

This culture is disintegrating -- I just wish it would get a move on. Observing a slow motion cataclysm gets boring after a while. The ending is known, and it's not a happy ending. Cheers, MM/CR/SRS

Cheesemeister said...

I have become what I had hoped never to be: a cog in the machine. It doesn't matter that I don't work in a factory. Workers in other industries (including health care, which is where I work) are treated the same way.
As always, I like the picture. I enjoy surrealism, and this one has it, in my opinion.

masterymistery said...

Cheesemeister, yes I think the machine is expanding, and the number and type of cogs is increasing, in all countries, regions, industries. The contrast between the elites and the rest is growing sharper and sharper. The polarity is increasing exponentially. The system is inherently unstable and must ultimately collapse. Whether it takes 10 years or 20, it's underway IMO. It's still not too late to turn back and choose another path, in theory, but I don't think we've got it in us to change quickly enough to the extent required, though I'm open to being pleasantly surprised...
Thanks for your comments, Cheers. MM/CR/SRS