It can’t be true. In the UK unemployment is being redefined as a psychological disorder as part of an effort to cut the welfare bill by $12 billion. And, says an article in the New Scientist (can’t find the link), the UK
- joins nations such as Australia and the US in increasingly requiring claimants to comply with interventions intended to modify emotions, beliefs and personality.
They say “claimants must demonstrate characteristics deemed desirable in workplaces, like confidence and enthusiasm, in return for welfare.”
Failure to do so means you could be
- coerced into “confidence building” programmes, made to join humiliating psychological group activities (like building paper-clip towers), and to take meaningless and unethical psychological tests to determine “strengths”.
- key outcomes specified to companies contracted to provide these interventions are “employability” and “job readiness” – achieving a “mindset that will appeal to employers”, as one course puts it.
Alternatively you could be shunted into workfare, roughly what we call ‘work-for-the-dole’. There is active resistance to workfare in the UK. Also the latest legislative manifestation seems to have split the Labour Party.
The New Scientist article was by Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn, who, it turns out, have published an academic paper on the subject. The NS article is in part reproduced if you scroll down here. Felicity Callard and Robert Stearn have an article at The Conversation. See also at the Socialist Worker.
As the article at The Conversation says:
- A narrow set of approved psychological and personality traits are widely touted as essential to getting and keeping a job: confidence, optimism, positive, aspirational, motivated, and infinitely flexible.
If you don’t have these characteristics, as measured by the authorities, you are deemed personally and psychologically defective. As such you then need to be modified or punished.
You might feel like this:
But you’ll need to present like this: