NEWS

The Wage Slave's Guide to the Sixth World

  • 202 Replies
  • 47471 Views

Crunch

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2268
« Reply #30 on: <09-05-13/2025:48> »
I've read it. The argument that because things got better once they can never get worse again doesn't seem to hold much water.
Umm that's not the argument at all. Just that when people are free to sell their labor as they see fit, they will always seek the most pay for the least amount of work. That's human nature.

ETA: People will always seek to improve their situation also. Might not work out the way they wanted...but....

Which doesn't seem to be the case in SR world. Remember that this is a world where your boss issues your passport and kidnapping is a common form of talent acquisition. I think you're overestimating the job mobility in the Sixth World.

Lusis

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 511
« Reply #31 on: <09-05-13/2030:23> »
Remember that this is a world where your boss issues your passport and kidnapping is a common form of talent acquisition. I think you're overestimating the job mobility in the Sixth World.
Ah, but while some corps can pull that off, I'd put forth that not all could, nor the majority. It goes back to who actually has extraterritoriality. This in fact would undermine harsh practices since workers (especially ones with desired skills) have options.

The fact is that a world like SR would have far better conditions than say, the USSR did.
SpeechThought Matrix/E-mail/Texting

Crunch

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2268
« Reply #32 on: <09-05-13/2036:17> »
Remember that this is a world where your boss issues your passport and kidnapping is a common form of talent acquisition. I think you're overestimating the job mobility in the Sixth World.
Ah, but while some corps can pull that off, I'd put forth that not all could, nor the majority. It goes back to who actually has extraterritoriality. This in fact would undermine harsh practices since workers (especially ones with desired skills) have options.

The fact is that a world like SR would have far better conditions than say, the USSR did.

I disagree, but honestly that's a conversation that will get political quickly.

firebug

  • *
  • Errata Coordinator
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2991
  • Scraping the bottom of the Resonance Barrel
    • Moth's Mad Path
« Reply #33 on: <09-05-13/2045:17> »
Keep in mind that a lot of what you're describing would be for people with corporate SINs.  There still exists the kind of people who are able to open their own personal stores, musicians still exist that aren't corporate (talent scouts are still even a thing) and I can't say I'm too certain about the 8AM to 9PM thing.  Entertainment is still a massive industry, and not everyone has sleep regulators installed.  People still have tangible free time on their hands.  Capitalism is still a thing, after all, it's part of how the corps still function.  It's just a thousand times more difficult to strike out on your own in the Sixth World because you not only have the megacorps ready to crush you financially, you may very well find people with guns pointed at you should you come close to doing anything truly profitable.

Those who work directly for the corps are treated utterly like drones, of course.  What one man says in "A Battle Fought" shows what I mean.  Working for a corp means you've signed your life away for one thing: perceived security.  It is meant to represent the utter worst of "low risk low reward".  The exact antithesis of what is means to be a runner.

But there's still people on the in-between.  Think about any of your characters' contacts.  A lot of them count themselves among the SINners of the world, working every day while you're out living the life of crime, but they are far from the (may I never have to use this term unironically again) sheeple the corps find ideal.  Street docs, all kinds of armorers, people who run bars and clubs, or even just the otherwise-average people who just work there (everyone knows the bartender knows people).
I'm Madpath Moth on reddit (and other sites).  Feel free to PM me errata questions!
Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

Black

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1620
  • Rocking the Shadows since 1990
« Reply #34 on: <09-05-13/2055:48> »
umm... That's way nicer than working conditions for most people for most of the people during the Industrial Revolution.

Yet things got better; which is my point.

No, your point was that no one would put up with those conditions. Most of humanity has for most of history.
LOL. I know what my point is; which is that people will seek better conditions, or make them. Those in the IR did not put up with them for long. They sought greener pastures.
Only if there are better conditions.  And the fact is, many people work in similar conditions today.  But lets avoid talking about the modern condition. 

Shadowrun is fiction set in a dystopian universe.  Therefore, it adheres to certain requirements, such as the corporate wageslaves will accept the status quo, though every now and then, one of them will maintain enough free will to feel disatisfied with life and seek alternatives.

We could debate endlessly whether humans would accept these conditions and if so, for how long.   But the average wageslave in shadowrun does accept these conditions.  What we could do, instead, is explore why the wage slave does accept and expand upon the idea to develop a working understanding of how the wage slave sees the world.

Note:  There are actually two types of wage slaves.  The wage slaves lucky enough to work for a Megacorp, and the faceless masses who work for smaller businesses or affliates.  Below, I will be focuses on Megacorp employees.

To provide some structure, lets use the Maslow's heirachy of needs

Physiological needs
Well, this ones easy.  Big corporates provide food and shelter via corporate housing.  Wages allow employees to purchase food.  If purchased form company stores, I'm sure there is a number of benefits in quality and quantity.

Safety needs
Corps provide physical security to their employees.  In the dystopian world of shadowrun with gangs roaming the streets, shadowrunners, technomancers, magic threats etc, Security is a major issue.  The fact that Corps harp upon how dangerious the world is to their employees helps emphasis this need.
Corps provide financial security.  Wages are not great, but they sure are reliable.  With no safety net out there in the dangerious world, and savings all tied up in corporate cred, which wage slave would risk their family and sacrifice the security of corporate employment?
Corps provide medical care.  Medical care is expensive and except for some unreliable street clinics (portrayed as organ theives in corp controled tv), who would risk losing their medical cover.  Sure, it has limits, but cheap cyberware and drugs will fix most things.  And if you get a promotion, you get better cover!

Love and Belonging
You are born in a corp facility, raised by a corp family and fed a steady diet of corp-approved education and entertainment.  The bond between wage slaves and the sense of us vs them (everyone else) would be increadible.  Sure, there is the normal friction between people, sometimes dangerious office politics, but for most wage slaves, corp is family.   With such tight bonds, who would leave?  Transfer to a different facility maybe... but actually leave the corporation?  Only the odd wild child... the ex-corp shadowrunner. 

Esteem
Now we start seeing holes in the wage slave's outlook.  Most are told they are valuable citizens in the corporate family... that their jobs are important and the corp needs them!  but the harsh reality is that they are nothing but a small, disposable cog in a massive machine.  And that must be crushing sometimes.  But then, thats when the mindless entertain, chips, drugs and other corp-supplied (or at least not restricted) indulgences help. 
But for the real go-getter?  Well, Corps are meritocracies.  You can get ahead, promoted, ect if you try.  Is it easy?  No.  Does it help if your friends with the Manager? Yes.  But every corp facility has the story of wage slave x who made it big back at head office and now runs an entire production line!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on why Wage Slaves stick with their corporate family.  The corp meets all their needs, and the world out there?  Is cold, dark and dangerious! 



Perception molds reality
Change perception and reality will follow
SR1+SR2+SR3++SR4+hb+++B?UB+IE+W+sa+m-gmM--P

Manyfist

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 6
« Reply #35 on: <09-05-13/2210:09> »
I wonder how small businesses survive. The giant AAA corporations are literally law within themselves, and they're not protected by Corporate Court.

RHat

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 6317
« Reply #36 on: <09-05-13/2222:57> »
Keep in mind that in the Sixth World, there are far more workers than there are jobs.  As such, outside of major talent, workers are pretty much disposable.  Seeking greener pastures requires that someone else have a motive to offer such, and no such motive exists.  Any attempt to create them would be quashed by the Corporate Court.  This status quo continues not out of some natural tendency, but because it is caused to continue by those who control the lion's share of the power.  Changing that situation would first require putting the CC on its heels at the very least.
"Speech"
Thoughts
Matrix <<Text>> "Speech"
Spirits and Sprites

Mirikon

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8985
  • "Everybody lies." --House
« Reply #37 on: <09-05-13/2233:06> »
Lusis, listen to what people are saying. The NICE parts of the 'first world' in Shadowrun are like Detroit today. For any job short of management, you've got at least 20 applicants for every opening, if not more. People at the lowest levels slave away until they're burnt out, because not everyone is cut out to be a criminal, and that's the only way some people can put food on the table. People in the corporate environment are HAPPY to work those hours, partly because of brainwashing, but also because they are legitimately scared that they could be fired at any point, thrown out of the house the corp lets them live in, and have to go live in the *shudder* Barrens, where from all accounts rape and murder are the neighborhood pastimes. There are no unions to go to, and if you make waves, you're out, and the corp finds someone willing to toe the line to replace you. The only people who have a measure of ability to choose their fates are managers, and those with some noticeable talent (top of their field, Awakened, Emerged, etc.).
Greataxe - Apply directly to source of problem, repeat as needed.

My Characters

Lusis

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 511
« Reply #38 on: <09-05-13/2239:28> »
umm... That's way nicer than working conditions for most people for most of the people during the Industrial Revolution.

Yet things got better; which is my point.

No, your point was that no one would put up with those conditions. Most of humanity has for most of history.
LOL. I know what my point is; which is that people will seek better conditions, or make them. Those in the IR did not put up with them for long. They sought greener pastures.
Only if there are better conditions.  And the fact is, many people work in similar conditions today.  But lets avoid talking about the modern condition. 

Shadowrun is fiction set in a dystopian universe.  Therefore, it adheres to certain requirements, such as the corporate wageslaves will accept the status quo, though every now and then, one of them will maintain enough free will to feel disatisfied with life and seek alternatives.

We could debate endlessly whether humans would accept these conditions and if so, for how long.   But the average wageslave in shadowrun does accept these conditions.  What we could do, instead, is explore why the wage slave does accept and expand upon the idea to develop a working understanding of how the wage slave sees the world.

Note:  There are actually two types of wage slaves.  The wage slaves lucky enough to work for a Megacorp, and the faceless masses who work for smaller businesses or affliates.  Below, I will be focuses on Megacorp employees.

To provide some structure, lets use the Maslow's heirachy of needs

Physiological needs
Well, this ones easy.  Big corporates provide food and shelter via corporate housing.  Wages allow employees to purchase food.  If purchased form company stores, I'm sure there is a number of benefits in quality and quantity.

Safety needs
Corps provide physical security to their employees.  In the dystopian world of shadowrun with gangs roaming the streets, shadowrunners, technomancers, magic threats etc, Security is a major issue.  The fact that Corps harp upon how dangerious the world is to their employees helps emphasis this need.
Corps provide financial security.  Wages are not great, but they sure are reliable.  With no safety net out there in the dangerious world, and savings all tied up in corporate cred, which wage slave would risk their family and sacrifice the security of corporate employment?
Corps provide medical care.  Medical care is expensive and except for some unreliable street clinics (portrayed as organ theives in corp controled tv), who would risk losing their medical cover.  Sure, it has limits, but cheap cyberware and drugs will fix most things.  And if you get a promotion, you get better cover!

Love and Belonging
You are born in a corp facility, raised by a corp family and fed a steady diet of corp-approved education and entertainment.  The bond between wage slaves and the sense of us vs them (everyone else) would be increadible.  Sure, there is the normal friction between people, sometimes dangerious office politics, but for most wage slaves, corp is family.   With such tight bonds, who would leave?  Transfer to a different facility maybe... but actually leave the corporation?  Only the odd wild child... the ex-corp shadowrunner. 

Esteem
Now we start seeing holes in the wage slave's outlook.  Most are told they are valuable citizens in the corporate family... that their jobs are important and the corp needs them!  but the harsh reality is that they are nothing but a small, disposable cog in a massive machine.  And that must be crushing sometimes.  But then, thats when the mindless entertain, chips, drugs and other corp-supplied (or at least not restricted) indulgences help. 
But for the real go-getter?  Well, Corps are meritocracies.  You can get ahead, promoted, ect if you try.  Is it easy?  No.  Does it help if your friends with the Manager? Yes.  But every corp facility has the story of wage slave x who made it big back at head office and now runs an entire production line!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on why Wage Slaves stick with their corporate family.  The corp meets all their needs, and the world out there?  Is cold, dark and dangerious!

Thanks Black. That helps out a lot.
SpeechThought Matrix/E-mail/Texting

Lusis

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 511
« Reply #39 on: <09-05-13/2240:49> »
Changing that situation would first require putting the CC on its heels at the very least.

Gotcha. Thanks.
SpeechThought Matrix/E-mail/Texting

Angelone

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1345
  • A decent perfection
« Reply #40 on: <09-05-13/2242:25> »
There are other jobs though. There are smaller companies out there and even mom and pop joints, that surely treat their people better, even government jobs.  The megacorps aren't all there is.

Edit- The UK has Unions in Shadowrun.
REJOICE! For bad things are about to happen.
la vida no vale nada

Mirikon

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8985
  • "Everybody lies." --House
« Reply #41 on: <09-05-13/2311:22> »
There are other jobs though. There are smaller companies out there and even mom and pop joints, that surely treat their people better, even government jobs.  The megacorps aren't all there is.

Edit- The UK has Unions in Shadowrun.
The AAAs control something like 70-80% of the world economy? Maybe more? Toss in the AAs that play by almost the same rules, and you're in the mid 90s, at least. Fact is, there simply aren't that many other jobs out there. Only certain 'types' can get into government work, except for the armed forces, and a mom and pop shop will have what, maybe 5 employees? If they get any bigger, they get bought out, and then there's another McHughes.
Greataxe - Apply directly to source of problem, repeat as needed.

My Characters

Black

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1620
  • Rocking the Shadows since 1990
« Reply #42 on: <09-05-13/2322:20> »
I always got the impression that there was a substaintal number of small to medium sized enterprises.  They may be affiliated with a larger corporation (distributers, service providers, spcialist providers etc), or in some cases, they may be smaller start ups which appear everytime there is a shakeup in the status quo.  First Edition Adventures had lots of smaller businesses hiring shadowruners.

That said, 1st ed adventures demonstrated that successful business get eaten (aka purchased) by the megas if they attract to much attention.

But there were lots of small stores, particularly in the edges of the barrens, and a transport company in Silver Angel, etc.

But people working for them lived at low lifestyle at best for the most case, with the managers on medium and only very successful business owners any higher.  And no housing, no security and you business could go kaput at any time...
Perception molds reality
Change perception and reality will follow
SR1+SR2+SR3++SR4+hb+++B?UB+IE+W+sa+m-gmM--P

Lusis

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 511
« Reply #43 on: <09-05-13/2351:20> »
Yeah, 80% seems ridiculously high, I'd guess more like 60% at the most.
SpeechThought Matrix/E-mail/Texting

RHat

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 6317
« Reply #44 on: <09-05-13/2357:47> »
Yeah, 80% seems ridiculously high, I'd guess more like 60% at the most.

No guessing.  Numbers were provided.  If it seems ridiculously high, it's because you're vastly underestimate the degree to which the Big Ten control the world for the simple purpose of making more money.
"Speech"
Thoughts
Matrix <<Text>> "Speech"
Spirits and Sprites