Was Jane Austen a bum?

There are seven billion kinds of people in this world – but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to pick two. Disrupters and Supporters.

Take this recent conversation with an acquaintance who’s just embarking on a promising career as a NEET. What, you ask, is a NEET? (Well, I had to ask, old fogey that I am.) A NEET is what the right wing press call a dole bludger – someone who, in Australia, is prepared to live on meagre welfare payments for the doubtful pleasure of being able to call his time his own (except for those infrequent occasions when he has to pretend to look for a job). In the US, it’s roughly the same, except that instead of living on welfare payments, he’s living on whatever he can collect in his hat.

Me: Work is good for you. Like suffering, it provides necessary contrast. Without work, there’s no weekend!

Aspirational NEET: That’s what the wage-cucks would have us believe, so that they can justify in their own minds the pathetic grind of their work-bound existence.

Me: But don’t you want to make a contribution to mankind? Aren’t you uncomfortable relying on others for the bare necessities of life?

Aspirational NEET: I am making a contribution. By enriching my mind and gathering knowledge. As for depending on others, in more enlightened times, aristocrats did fuck all and nobody called them bludgers. Some of the world’s most famous scientists, novelists and explorers didn’t have to work for their living. So why should I?

Why indeed.

Of course, I’m not that keen on being called a ‘wage cuck’ – but it’s a different perspective. Maybe, I thought, he’s right – there is another way to approach this whole ‘survival in the modern world’ business, other than running after the perpetual pay packet?

My friend likes to think so. But then, he’s full of ‘alternative’ viewpoints. He’s a disrupter, unlike my Uncle Fred, who’s not. Uncle Fred is a fan of the ‘best of all possible worlds’ approach. Whatever is, is there for a reason. Usually a good reason.

Me: Why don’t we legalise drugs? The war is lost!

Uncle Fred: No it’s not. Why, only the other day the police arrested two shady looking marijuana dealers. That’ll put a stop to their dreadful trade.

Me: And then there’s Mexico. And don’t they say 80 percent of high school students get high…grades on a regular basis?

Uncle Fred: And that’s why the Government in its wisdom made drugs illegal. Ha!

As for me, I’m more on the disruptive side than the supportive – but then again, if I’d been around when Lucy the Cave-Engineer invented the wheel, I probably would’ve muttered ‘What’s wrong with walking, anyway!’

What about you? What do you think about wage-cuckery? Are you a disrupter, a supporter – or one of those seven billion minus one others I forgot to mention? If you could pull one big idea out of the box, what would it be?

NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training. Cuck: short for ‘cuckold’


  1. Most people are capable of supporting themselves and should. I do know of a couple who have managed to go off-grid though and lowered their expenses to where they pretty much don’t require much money and their time is their own. But a lot of that time is spent on growing food and producing other basic necessities, so that is their job – they’re just more direct about it.

    1. I agree with you. There’s something character building about supporting yourself. But centuries of aristocrats never did, and they built the British empire. Mind you, maybe that’s why people should work!

  2. Never heard of the term, but I know of the concept and I resent people who do this. They’re takers. They believe they’re too special to work and are entitled to mooch off others, whether fanily, friends, or regular taxpayers. The only reason they’re able to be bums is because mostly everyone else is working, or in the case of retired parents, used to work. Sure, I’d love to be a mooch too and have someone else pay all my bills so I could write poetry all day, but I’m not an irresponsible jerk. Thanks for writing about this and getting me enraged! 😀

    1. Yeah, it’s kinda annoying. But actually there’s more to it when you think about it. Maybe we are all tied to this system where we go out and work our arses off so we can earn money to live, and actually we could do a lot less ‘work’ and still have a pretty good lifestyle. I’m a big fan of work to live rather than live to work.

  3. We spent a few hours with an acquaintance who argued with hubby, the 73-year-old union guy, American vet, still working, over why union laborers are such a bad lot. He, after all, is rich and should get his own way all the time because he’s, well, rich. And those fooking union guys should be lucky enough to work for him and do his bidding even when it’s against union rules. He’s especially happy to employ non-union guys to work for him at lower wages and lower expectations. He’s a patriot, you know, who loves his flag but isn’t a vet, votes against immigrant rights, hires those cheap illegal immigrants, and still promotes his view that rich folks should always get and do exactly whatever the hell they want, fook the rest of the world and all its environmental problems. As for his job? He manages his real estate holdings. Aren’t you surprised?

  4. Well that’s true too. I did get a good inheritance from my parents, not that I wouldn’t far rather they were around and enjoying it themselves. It’s allowed me to live in this country paradise and I’m forever grateful. One of my favourite lyrics goes ‘guess where you end usually depends on where you start’ , Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. Ie people who enjoy privilege and good fortune shouldn’t be smug and make judgements on people who haven’t had that head start.

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