“In Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, the late David Graeber laments the proliferation of meaningless sectors and jobs that are not productive but seem to exist solely to keep people working. Plenty of jobs have been automated out of existence, he argues, but rather than allowing us more leisure time, the fear of unemployment and threat to the Great American Work Ethic has led to the explosion of useless work.

The thing about bullshit jobs is, the people working them know they’re bullshit. “This is a profound psychological violence here,” Graeber writes. “How can one even begin to speak of dignity in labor when one secretly feels one’s job should not exist? How can it not create a sense of deep rage and resentment?” While many of us in real life may justify these jobs by either projecting value where there is none or just accepting that it’s a paycheck, our culture largely sees them for what they are and treats them accordingly.”

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