“If we didn’t have all the bullshit” —President Donald Trump.
In a book published last year, David Graeber, a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, studies a widespread phenomenon that until now had escaped detection even from the most sharp observers: bullshit jobs. According to him,
“A bullshit job is a form of paid employment that is so pointless unnecessary or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the conditions of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend that it is not the case.” “There are millions of people—HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers—whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs.” 
Of course, even if Graeber doesn’t mention it, but everybody with a modicum of intelligence at the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence knows, nobody pays attention to their National Security Estimates, a fact that has changed their jobs into bullshit jobs. Nevertheless, probably the most bullshit of all bullshit U.S. agencies is the Office of Homeland Security, which was created for the sole purpose of producing bullshit estimates such as “a non-specific threat from a credible source.”
Actually, most government jobs, particularly in the U.S., are pointless, unnecessary and pernicious, that is, they are bullshit jobs. Graeber even quotes a survey showing the amount of time U.S. workers spend on their primary, true duties decreasing from 49 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2016. What do they do in the time they don’t spend doing their jobs? They bullshit around to make believe they are working hard. I’ll bet that today the amount of bullshitting time is higher.
Most American politicians are born bullshitters. To justify their high salaries and perks, they create non-existing problems, scare everyone and his uncle about them (global warming, terrorism anyone?), and bullshit others into finding solutions to solve them. As expected, most of the solutions they propose are bullshit.
Now, who gets the bullshit jobs? Obviously, bullshitters. Actually, the only requirement to get a bullshit job is to be a bullshitter. Another never-mentioned requirement is the never-openly-expressed, but well understood admission that the bullshitter will give his vote to the party of the person who hired him to do the bullshit job.
Where do American bullshitters get their training? For sure, at U.S. universities and colleges. Of course, there is no Bullshit 101 per se or even something similar. Bullshitters are very good at hiding their bullshit. Those bullshit courses are called Feminism 101, Environmental Studies 101, Race and Gender Studies 102, Global Warming 102, Climate Change 103, White Privilege 101, Cultural Appropriation 101. etc. We need to recognize that those universities have been doing a very good job, because currently American bullshitters are second to none. Americans have raised bullshitting to an art form.
Once graduated, bullshitters join their peers and become part of the Bullshitting Secret Society, or something like that. Like Masons, Odfellows and Rosicrucians, bullshitters also have secret identification codes. I discovered by pure chance that one of these identification codes is the phrase “at the end of the day.” If you hear somebody saying it, most likely he is a bullshitter.
Nevertheless, as a profession, bullshitting has reached a saturation point, and currently there are not enough jobs for the new generations of bullshitters graduating from American colleges and universities. Recently graduated students cannot get a job anymore, not even in the very same colleges and universities that are teeming with bullshitting jobs. Instead of a job, what they have got is a huge mountain of student loan debt.
Granted, bullshitting is not an American invention. Most likely it is the one of the earliest professions developed on planet Earth. But Americans are very good at it. Just recently, we had a professional bullshitter — he called himself a “community organizer” — for eight years in the White House, and nobody can dispute that he did an excellent bullshitting job. He was so good at it that he even got a Nobel Prize from a prestigious bullshitting institution.
Now, given the fact that currently the Federal Government is the main employer in the U.S., we must assume that there are millions of professional bullshitters in America doing their bullshit jobs every day from 9 to 6. But bullshitting does not create any tangible value. Bullshitters do not make cars, design clothes or build houses. They don’t grow fruits or vegetables; much less produce milk or bourbon. They don’t make butter, bread, bacon or sushi. They don’t write books, play music, create videogames or produce action films. Their only production consist in pure, unadulterated bovine manure, that is, bullshit.
The bad side of bullshitting is that there is a high economic price we, as a society, are paying for it. Government bullshitters drive to work every day, occupy office space, consume electricity, use expensive computers, print thousand of useless documents, sent billions of emails, get paid vacations and even get medical insurance. A total waste of people’s money and resources. Would not be better to keep them at home?
From the pure economic point of view, it makes a lot of sense to keep bullshitters at home while keep paying them government checks. The result of their bullshit jobs will be the same — actually better, because they will not be able to create artificial problems to justify the existence of their jobs — but, as a society, we will save a lot of money.
In his book, Graeber suggests exactly this: send them home and keep paying them for doing nothing — a sort of universal basic income. But I think this is a bullshit solution. Bullshitters enjoy bulshitting so much they would never accept this second-tier status in American society.
And that’s no bull!
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- Tom Elliott, “Trump: ‘If We Didn’t Have All Of The Bullshit,’ We’d Be Much Further Along,” grabiennews, July 17, 2019. Most likely, Trump had the Mueller Report in mind when he uttered that phrase. He was right. The recent Mueller Senate testimony proved beyond any doubt that his Report was pure bullshit.
- David Graeber, Bullshit Jobs (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2018).
- When I read it, the image that first came to my mind was that of TSA employees. With the exception of the few sexual degenerates who enjoy patting down their victims, most TSA employees are fully aware that their job is bullshit. You can see it in their faces. The TSA is probably the most bullshit organization among the many bullshit organizations created by the U.S. government. No wonder the TSA motto is “See something, say something.” Pure bullshit.
- I use the pronoun “he” in the old, non-politically correct, usage of the word, meaning “he” and “she.” Actually the new generations of American women have proven to be great bullshitters.