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Monday, June 1, 2020

"Human Capital Stock"

It's all right: apparently, it's an accepted and long-used term by economists.
That makes it okay.
Better than.
Who's to argue with economists, after all?
All those Ph.Ds; all that learning!
No one meant anything mean by it;
it's just what people are--human capital stock.

Human capital stock.
When you look at people, when you face
not the economic truth about them,
but the spiritual truth,
the sad fact is--they are indeed exactly that.
Human capital stock.
Worse still, it's how they like being.
Capital. Stock.
The human part isn't so well liked, though.
That pesky conscience thing.
That implacable notion that you're wasting your life
as a herd animal,
that incessant urge to do something better with your life,
more honest, more integral;
that maddening urge to stop denying yourself;
that hateful urge to stop throwing away your precious
and finite hours for a pittance and a mortgage
and a wife who'll blow you once a year;
that fucking urge to face the fact that your McCastle
doesn't quell that goddamn urge, doesn't shut that tiny voice up,
doesn't make you feel better as you face another dull day
along that long, gray highway of American manhood.
(Or womanhood.)

Human cattle stock.
But--you're a good person, you protest!
You're good because you're doing what everyone else is!
You're good because you don't rock the boat!
You're good because you're "safe,"
because you, like the herd animal you are,
aren't going to try to escape your pen,
aren't going to try to tear the tags in your ears out,
aren't going to wake up to your cowardice and conformity,
aren't going to cause a stampede.

Human cattle stock.
It's all okay, right?
At least you've got a regular income,
and regular blowies,
a roof over your head
and ten easy steps,
perfectly conforming grass
and clean streets in your suburban corral;
prescription meds and easy-access porn;
a church that demands conformity,
that believes salvation comes via a recipe;
you've got kids you can train (read: brainwash) to be
human capital stock,
then human cattle stock.

This is what you call "family."
It makes you feel warm and fuzzy at night, doesn't it?
You can shelter in your sterile and leak-proof cookie-cutter home
and feel all self-righteous and "sane";
you can look down on everyone who's escaped,
the very few of us,
those who've torn the tags out of our ears,
who are starved by the system,
and beaten,
and raped,
and forgotten.
We didn't learn our lesson--
we didn't just accept our fates as human cattle stock--
so we deserve what we get.
To hell with us!

Human capital stock.
Human cattle stock.

The truth is this, though.
The word "human" in both is false.
It doesn't belong there.

Capital stock, yes.
Cattle stock, yes.
But human?
Being truly human means refusing the ear tags
and the pens and corrals,
no matter how tempting they are,
how "safe" they appear,
how "secure,"
how shiny.
Most men and women of wisdom--of actual wisdom, that is--
have said this, more or less, throughout history.
They'd shake their heads in dismay
to see that their words, in truth, touch only
one in ten thousand on any given day.
On any good given day.

Now--off to the slaughterhouse with you!