International Workers' Day (May 1) and the New Class: Mobile Creatives   (May 1, 2014)

The Mobile Creative credo: trust the network, not the corporation or the state.

In America's Nine Classes: The New Class Hierarchy, I described a "wild card" new class of workers that doesn't fit the conventional paradigms: Mobile Creatives. I use the word mobile here not to suggest mobility between physical places (though that is one factor in this class's flexibility) but mobility between sectors, tools and ways of earning income.

The key characteristic of the Mobile Creative class is that they live by this credo: trust the network, not the corporation or the state. The essence of neofeudalism is debt penury and wage-slave loyalty to the New Nobility that owns the debt.

The essence of state-cartel capitalism (the dominant form of capitalism) is the state dismantles all social connections and wealth between the state and the atomized individual recipient of state welfare so the individual depends entirely on the state for his/her identity and essentials of life.

Where once existed a complex ecosystem of public life, social capital and networks of reciprocity and economic meaning, now lies a wasteland, stripmined by the state to leave nothing but the state and its ever-growing armies of dependents.

The global corporation profits from this same wasteland: the ideal arrangement to maximize debt-based consumption is an atomized individual who has no identity or self-worth other than consumerist worship of brands and corporate-supplied convenience, in other words, a permanent adolescent driven by insecurity, fear and impulse-driven consumption.

The Mobile Creative class operates outside these two states of dependency. It also operates outside the conventional labor-management divide of Marxism and socialism. Since global capital is mobile, and the state enforces central banking and cartel pricing, the class of "owners" and the state are one entity.

You either resist the entire state-cartel system or your resistance is nothing but meaningless gestures aimed at chimera.

Longtime correspondent Kevin Mercadante (Out of Your Rut) noted that being a Mobile Creative isn't just a different mode of livelihood--it's a different way of living, thinking and being.

"Mobile Creatives" describes me to the letter - I felt as if I was reading a script of my own life (at least since the financial meltdown). It also takes in a few of my friends, so it's a very real category.

This is beyond the scope of the article, but one of the things I've found to be a revelation is that the mobile creative lifestyle extends well beyond career and workstyle. Once you adopt it, everything else in your life falls in behind it.

Because of the creativity and independence that the lifestyle provides, there's less need for high cost entertainment. Vacations and weekends are less important - there's joy and adventure to be had every day. You're less concerned with retirement. You develop a sense that you'll survive what ever happens. You see more opportunities and fewer obstacles. At the same time, you're also painfully aware that things don't always work out. But you also learn that failure isn't terminal. That's huge.

Spending patterns change too. You find less expensive ways to do everything - to buy food and clothing, to fix your car, and even to entertain yourself. Free thought expands, and you find yourself drawn to other mobile creatives. Conversations with others are deeper and more meaningful - when you meet to discuss work, you're really paying attention, always on high alert for new opportunities and potential joint ventures.

On the surface, being a mobile creative is less secure than traditional careers, but I wouldn't trade it. I've been in so-called stable careers, only to discover that they're only secure until the big picture game changes. Being a mobile creative enables you to adapt to change, rather than getting rolled over by it.

By giving this emergent class a name, you're contributing to it's survival and growth. Mobile creatives could be the class that finally replaces the factory- and service-workers classes as the new "backbone" of American socio-economic life. That's what's been missing for at least 15 years. By giving the class a name you're formally declaring its existence, providing a framework for the lifestyle, and even establishing it as a legitimate goal.

Thank you, Kevin, for describing the Mobile Creative class better than I could. Who better to describe this way of living better than one who is living it every day?

In essence, my new book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy is a blueprint for becoming a Mobile Creative.

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Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.

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