Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Qualifications


The word qualification, as in a sheet of paper that certifies your completion of a course, whether academic or vocational, bears scrutiny. 

Indeed it can be said that a qualification qualifies a person, that is, sets a limit on them (as in the expression a qualified success in contrast to an unqualified success), perhaps even a quality, but their individuality is nonetheless qualified, i.e. limited, in the shape of this qualification and what this entails for that person's sovereignty. 

Society provides qualifications and requires them because it is not interested in sovereign independent human beings but in qualified, i.e. delimited, human beings who are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to conform to that society's norms, regulations and expectations (including the law of money). 

While it is possible to see that a qualification certifies a quality that you have as the holder of that qualification, that quality in the strict sense need not be a wholesome trait but more of a delimitation, a designation, something that people can ascribe to you on seeing your qualification, a short-hand habit dear to employers. 

In short qualifications qualify people. By defining their limit they signpost what careers and tasks people are suited for in technological society and have managed to efface - or, as one could argue, evince - the infinite potentiality of the unqualified individual on whom no limits, personality traits or societal designations can be pinned.  

The Power of Money


Wherein lies the power of money?

I remember reading a section from a legal textbook back when I was a law student in France about the origins of law, which stated that power lies in making people do things and adopt behaviours they would not otherwise do spontaneously or out of their own volition. The textbook referred specifically to the power to make others do your own bidding, a power which a government has (e.g. over the police and military as well as teachers), either via coercion, which is immoral in the eyes of Natural Law, or through the people's wilful submission to perceived authority, which signals compliance and is not contrary to Natural law. 

Drawing from this observation, it would seem to me that the power of money lies in exactly this phenomenon: it makes people adopt behaviours and act in ways which are not spontaneous or free but calculated to be in money's reach and able to enjoy the benefits of monetary society. Many films show the dark side of this phenomenon, where people do crimes out of motivation for monetary gain. Indeed evil always seeks to bribe and corrupt (see blog post Evil as Test). But on a more mundane level, money is the reason people stay in jobs they hate, wake up at a godless hour in the morning to go to a job, incur debt as part of factory tertiary education in order to get a 'qualification' (see Qualifications) or a roof over their head, sell sex in order to pay bills, wait on tables etc. 

Money makes people do what they would not otherwise do. Therein lies its almighty power.