As mentioned in the chapter about behavioural sinks, one of the common phenomena of Clown World is withdrawal. When society just seems absolutely fucked, and no effort to fix it seems like it could pay off, the logical thing to do is to withdraw. This article discusses the modern phenomenon of the NEET, and where it might lead.
‘NEET’ stands for ‘Not in Employment, Education or Training.’ It refers to people who don’t have an occupation. There are essentially two ways to be a NEET: live off your parents or live off welfare.
Living off your parents is the middle-class way to be a NEET. Usually, if your parents are stable and successful, they have a spare room at their house that you can live in rent-free. If they have enough income of their own they might even pay for your board. In such situations, a person can live almost indefinitely.
Living off welfare is the lower-class option, on account of the extra grief that comes with it. This is known as “receiving NEETbux”. One way to achieve this involves going on the dole, or unemployment benefit. This is not an easy option, because it doesn’t offer anywhere near enough money to be happy. It’s also not easy to make it permanent, and a permanent passive income is the holy grail of NEET life.
The increasingly popular option is to claim a disability allowance on the grounds of having a mental illness. The bizarre paradox here is that any genuinely sane person, when exposed to Clown World, will become insane. The only people that can cope with Clown World are the ones that were defective from the beginning. Consequently, an element of Catch-22 exists when it comes to who’s sane.
Some kind of “mental illness” accounts for most NEETs. Although these people are labelled mentally ill, their thoughts and behaviours are often rational and logical reactions to living in Clown World. The demands of the modern workplace are such that not everyone’s mental health can cope, and many people don’t even make it that far, having been driven insane by the school system.
A NEET is very similar to what used to be called a recluse. In Japan, where the phenomenon is very common, such people are known as hikikomoris. It’s someone who has withdrawn so much from society that they’re hardly even part of it anymore. Not in employment, education or training is another way of saying “dropped out”. It’s for people who no longer give a fuck.
In practice, most NEETs are men, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, society values young men less than young women, which incentivises young men to withdraw. For another, young men are much more likely to suffer from the autism that is commonly the ultimate reason for NEETdom.
Although the NEET is stereotyped as having a great life, sitting comfortable while wagies slog their gutses out, in reality NEETlife is mostly wretched.
On a metaphysical level, it’s extremely difficult to live without a sense of purpose. The NEET spends much of his time watching porn and playing vidya, and neither of these activities are fulfilling in any sense. NEETlife is kind of like an extended childhood, particularly when it’s adopted by a young person who never gave adult life a serious crack.
On a psychological level, NEETlife doesn’t provide that which is known to make people happy. Sigmund Freud once said that the formula for happiness was to love and to work. The NEET has extreme difficulty on both counts.
Not working makes it really hard to attract women. Consequently, very few NEETs have quality lovelives. It’s possible to tinderwhore as a NEET but, because the vast majority of sexual encounters happen between people in at least semi-committed relationships, and because women don’t like to form relationships with unemployed men, quality sexual encounters are rare.
Not working also makes it hard to have a social life. Because human existence in Clown World has been reduced to little more than an economic production engine, people are defined by their jobs, and social circles are commonly restricted to workmates only. These two difficulties strongly interplay with each other – a great many relationships form through friends of workmates.
The ultimate question for the NEET is: have I dropped out of society because I am too weak to cope with it, or because society is too shit to be worth engaging in? Either answer could be correct, depending on the individual in question. Some people just don’t give a fuck, others make a genuine and prolonged effort to fit in but just find society too fucked.
The NEET epidemic, like the incel epidemic, shows no sign of abating. As Clown World becomes ever more ridiculous, and as society drifts ever further from reason, an increasingly large number of people will end up dropping out. As shown by the behavioural sink studies mentioned in the opening paragraph, Clown World will probably get worse and worse until one final, glorious climax. The NEET epidemic may play a contributory role here.
This article is an excerpt from Clown World Chronicles, a book about the insanity of life in the post-Industrial West. This is being compiled by Vince McLeod for an expected release in the middle of 2020.
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