Essential Workers

Welcome to when playtime is over, our goal is to stimulate thought and conversation, not to convert your perspective. As always for those who are easily offended emotions will not be needed so please check your feelings at the door.

Your dependency is required.

Dependency applies to many concepts in ways that are personal, interpersonal, substance-related, and financial to name a few, but have you ever considered the dependency of countries and nations? I have considered countries and nations to exhibit the same dependent addictive behavior as an individual.

It is called the Dependency Theory and gained prominence in the United States in the 1950s most certainly as an adaptation to the societal shift in the cheap labor pool. It uses a Marxist concept of Surplus Value applied to our beloved Capitalist society to exploit resources in the form of raw materials but primarily cheap labor for the benefit and advancement of those in power or the elite.

The theory is to mass-produce an excluded class of poor and underdeveloped states or people for the benefit of the wealthy enriching the wealthy at the expense of the subordinate states and people which it creates. In short, a cheap workforce that will be competent but obedient and deemed “essential workers” for the elite’s wealth accumulation.

Dependency is a state of the individual, the collective, or a situation that is controlled to produce a form of reliance and expectation that is almost always viewed in a negative and judgmental way toward the subordinate position. All dependency has an element of submission to perceived power, fear that carries the insecurities of exclusion, or the expectations of some continued benefit.

In other words, a good way to look at it is not so much what is provided but how badly you can be made to rely upon it. Dependency is about an unequal balance of what is provided that is irresistibly desired and what is required for it to be provided. The balance of power is always against the one who is dependent or beneath.

Being beneath the power of that which you are dependent on is a recognition of and submission to it because you feel like you don’t have a choice or dread being without. Dependency submits to a state of despair that lessens your initiative, resistance, and hope. Complacency is used to rock you to sleep by accepting the distortion that you cannot function without it or its guidance but mainly that’s just the way it will be or has been.

The resulting void produces a weakness for the dependency followed by the continued discouragement of opposition that leads to addiction. Your willpower has been compromised and captive to your wants elevating them to something that becomes a need. This mutation of you adapting a want to a perceived need stamp out your power to resist or refuse, elevating this power over you by your very own desires.  Like dope.

Fueled by hope and belief to become the very thing that has power over you not realizing that emulation is not assimilation, that is the carrot the mule chases but never or rarely catches. The illusion to obtain it is part of the psychological motivation but was never the intent to allow you to achieve it.

It is effectively used to exercise control for reproducing the conditions for its survival and advancement while denying yours. The wealth of Europe was largely obtained through this manner of exploitation and force. The more suitable method of exploitation today is coercion and restricting opportunity.

For this to work as a sociological theory for cheap labor to persist since colonialism, it was based on the inhumane and economic abuse and exploitation of a designated class.  This theory had to be expanded to include those who were viewed as undesirable or expendable. All cheap labor is secondary to, virtually interchangeable with, and “essential” to that theory.

Territories and nations were made subordinate to other nations creating a form of economic captivity by suppressing and high jacking their benefits from their own labor and resources. Some of the disguised ways that this was and is accomplished is by establishing debt and using compound interest to create disparities for the utilization of funds and resources. This is by pure systematic economic exploitation of the lower class masses.

Another way quite prevalent and obvious today is overpricing and fees that prevents you from otherwise using your money for your own interest. It places constraints on your prosperity and makes it less likely as well as more difficult to rise above these manipulations of wealth. Just notice a pattern of your money going out as opposed to coming in, takes a lot longer to make it than it does to spend it keeping you in a financial spin cycle.

The tools used to maintain a constant generational supply of an underclass labor population for economic gain are systematic and on purpose. Extending your reach educationally and financially beyond your station can be done but takes an enormous effort to elevate yourself against the system. Oftentimes to achieve and maintain an elevated status you must then adhere to the standards of that status and that creates a different level of benefits but also a different level of constraints.

The more you have, the greater the need to protect and maintain it becomes. Same game different level but more at stake which puts you in a position to have to really embrace the system that you thought you were escaping, dependency.


You are now more invested to produce or whatever to maintain your position only to become a more valuable commodity but still a commodity. To elevate yourself you have to position yourself to have those who are a commodity beneath you to produce for you to maintain their position that supports yours.

According to business, the definition of a commodity is a reasonably interchangeable good or material, bought and sold freely as an article of commerce. A service-based economy depends less on goods or materials than it does you, the service or servant. You are that “service” becoming the interchangeable thing that is bought and sold freely as an article of commerce.

Being interchangeable means being just another brick in the wall easily replaced with another one just like you. You either give out or wear out but eventual time or circumstances prevail to replace you. So being interchangeable also makes you expendable but nonetheless “essential” to generating more commerce.

Check and see if your value to your employer remains the same during good and bad times, especially if they might get the short end. Determine if their benefit is preserved regardless of what might happen to you either by their choice to do it or them being forced to do it and why is it being done other than for profits.

It creates an efficient cycle of reliance where the top of the mountain must sit on a wider base or foundation, meaning there must be more at the bottom to support the top. When applied to a service industry it creates an abnormality from the top-down. All who are below in reliant subordinate positions are conditioned to be obedient and tolerant in order to maintain their dependence or status hoping to raise or sustain it.

Imagine if you are a professional athlete during Covid and the terms of your contract were coerced into far more hazardous working conditions for less pay depending on how those above you do. Participation in the losses but not the surpluses. Now imagine if you are an “essential worker” under the same circumstances and your pay is less or the same under severe hazard of contracting Covid or dealing with a disagreeable public.

The only difference between both is the perceived value of the commodity to generate revenue but not the tariffs to the king to maintain the kingdom and enrich themselves by concessions expected by you despite the value of or risk to the commodity or you as the essential worker.

Reliance is the bait that is held before you to expose your habits that feed your wants revealing just how plain old thirsty you can be made to be and the thirstier, the better. Labor unions and collective bargaining came about as a result of the exploitation of how thirsty you can be made to be in order to maintain a cheap labor force.

A cheap labor force must hustle to increase their individual value but by virtue of design cheap labor works best when it lacks initiative and resistance. Practices of Marxism, Colonialism, Capitalism, and many more at their peak all are cheap labor by design at their base to survive. This labor theory has gone from nations to individuals as a societal structure and its systems that support it for some time now.

This is just a little thought for research and conversation to more fully understand the underlying, the behind-the-scenes, or just flat out in the open for all who want to see to notice. A significant influence in what is going on and the societal objective is to quantify you as a commodity for your benefit but to their much greater benefit, valuation, or expectation.

Whether you get a better job, a bigger house, a more prestigious neighborhood, and let us not forget more money or just hand to mouth surviving with the shoes tight the more you have to hustle to achieve and sustain their expectations to justify your hustle. To excel at the game and play it well there is an expectation that the rules would be honored, and that is why you work hard for a fixed calculated reward.

Congratulations if you enjoy the reward but you should also recognize the efficiency of the design of a societal structure that produces a population for depriving economic mobility by restraining opportunities and resources not in accordance with the labor you invested. For those who can excel at getting the most profit margin from others’ labor, a perspective is sometimes to view those who have not as being less than or being lazy.

There is a comfortability among those who have put themselves in a position to not be affected by the reality of the struggles that those considered beneath them endure. At a time like this one can see how influences beyond our control can put us in positions that we never imagined. In a blink of the eye jeopardizing our lifestyles and wellbeing. Economic dependency is interrelated from the bottom up as well as the top down. You need a paycheck and they need you to produce their wealth. A general needs soldiers, but there are always many soldiers and few generals.

The status of a profession has different levels of prestige within the profession. The more the prestige the farther the fall and the more required to maintain the exploitation, though surely mutual but still exploitive and dependent making you the essential commodity for their wealth accumulation. If you need further proof look at the discontinuation of unemployment benefits and the powers that be eager for you to return to the way it used to be even by economic force. It is mandatory and essential for the machine and cycle of dependency to work. 


Thurston K. Atlas

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