An Automatic Progress Prevention System

Classroom.[or “How to Make Sure a Society doesn’t Advance too Fast“]

Modern societies, especially capitalistic ones, revolve around the concept of money, and more specifically, profit. People chase profit to secure resources (buyable with money) necessary to survive, enjoy luxury etc. This has many consequences, but one of the most obvious ones is that almost all available resources – time, attention and focus – are directed towards goals which are between a few hours and a few months away. That, in turn, has many consequences of its own and one of them is that such extreme focus on the immediate future hides and therefore facilitates a severely debilitating effect on a society because its consequences become obvious decades after the damage has already been done. It works something like this…

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The Secret Salary

The Secret SalaryFor a society in which so much revolves around money, money surprisingly somehow turns out to be a dirty conversation subject. While comments such as “everything is so expensive these days” or “how much did you pay for the bike?” are generally accepted, others would at least raise eyebrows: “no, no, the Chardonnay is a bit too expensive for me, I’ll have the other one” or “how much do you earn?” I imagine the title of the article gives me away: this last question is the one I would like to talk a little bit about.

If you work in the public sector, your income is public. If you’re in a union, your income is quite likely public. If you live and work in Norway, your income is public. Yes, that applies to all Norwegian tax payers. If you are a public official in most democratic countries, not only is your income public, but also the value of everything you earned prior to entering into service, regardless of how you earned it. However, a lot of private companies try to put a veil over salaries, sometimes informally, sometimes as formally as through explicit contractual obligations. What happens under those conditions?

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