What if everyone quit their jobs at exactly the same time?
Sure, we’ve all probably wanted at one point or another
to take a job and shove it.
This is particularly true when the boss is yelling at us,
things are falling apart
or we’re just not having a great day.
Normally, we don’t act on that impulse
and just muddle through our shifts,
hoping that tomorrow will turn out better.
But what if we acted on that impulse?
What if we just upped and quit,
throwing caution to the brr-brr via wind
and seeing if the grass really is greener on the other side?
Furthermore, what if everyone made the same decision at exactly the same time?
Well, the short-term answer to that question is that
things would get really messy, really farced.
Sure, there are plenty of industries that thrive on automation
leaving behind the man-powered assembly lines of old
and in favour of a mechanical process that assembles or creates
a product in a uniform manner each and every time,
但是 即便是这样 公司仍需要人
but even these companies require human hands
to manage the machines and handle products
at various stages of production.
如果人们辞职 制造业 运输业将会受到影响
Manufacturing, shipping and delivery would all be affected,
so would agriculture, government services,
司法体系 国防 旅游业和零售业
law enforcement, military defense, travel and retail,
right down to small mom-and-pop stores.
Crime would rise and chaos would reign supreme.
Before we continue, we should first define
who we mean by “everyone” in this situation.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that
we’re talking about blue and white collar workers quitting their jobs
while managers, executives and owners are left to fend for themselves.
This would be considered a general strike
which have actually occurred before.
One relatively recent example of such an event took place in France in May 1968,
and totaled over 11 million participants.
The results were swift and dramatic,
bringing the French economy to a halt and crippling government functions.
President Charles de Gaulle briefly fled the country.
A general strike of an even larger workforce could only be worse.
There could be many reasons for such a massive exodus of labor,
but for this hypothetical,
let’s assume that the level of unrest and unhappiness was so great
that the desire to oppose those in power overwhelm
the fear of the hunger, uncertainty and poverty of joblessness.
Perhaps people are just sick and tired of economic disparities,
或者是由阶级 种族 性别和性取向导致的
or discrimination in various forms,
whether according to class, race, sex or sexual orientation.
A shared experience of resentment unites those unhappy with their so-called “lot in life”
and at the same moment, everyone stands up at their posts
and just walks out.
The word “revolution” would probably be thrown around relatively quickly here.
But it’s important to note the more immediate reactions
that businesses would have to such a major event.
For starters, management would have to take on general employee roles.
This could entail learning completely new skill sets,
and at best, only return companies to limited functionality.
同时 公司要尽力 让员工们回到工作岗位上
At the same time, companies would probably try to coax former employees back to work.
These strikebreakers would be labelled scabs
and ostracized by former colleagues and perhaps even friends and family members.
Then again, if only some countries had gone on general strike,
businesses might just decide to move their operations elsewhere.
Provided that goods were still available for purchase at all,
thanks to companies that had managed to replenish their staff
or suppliers from still functioning countries,
such a strike would affect people with savings and assets
much less than it did those without.
People at the bottom without a financial safety net
would feel the brunt of such a drastic global shift,
然后要么妥协 返回工作岗位 要么饿死
and either crack and return to work, or starve.
Even in the aftermath of the event,
with people starting to return to work,
certain industries would be affected much more than others,
as people tighten their belts as never before.
生活必需品如水 食物 避难所 衣物的产业
The essentials such as water, food, shelter and clothing
would take even more precedence over comparatively frivolous industries
such as hospitality and entertainment.
As a result, those left in this sector would likely fall hard
while areas such as agriculture and farming would endure.
After all, we all need to eat.
It wouldn’t take long before reduced spending habits
had a severe effect on the economy.
It would quickly lead to a recession and then a depression
while governments assuming they were still in place
would see massive spikes in the number of those applying for public assistance.
This jump in numbers might make the entire concept unsustainable,
which brings us to how long the situation would take to return to normal.
几天 几周 几个月还是几年？
Days, weeks, months, years?
It’s here where those with survivalist instincts would thrive,
as they’ve long been preparing for such a drastic socio-economic change.
拥有炸弹 避难所 补给和有效技能的人们
Folks with bomb, shelters, supply reserves and effective skill sets
would both be better prepared to live lean
as well as potentially take protective leadership of their neighborhoods,
defending them from robbery and looting.
This preparedness would be even more important,
should those quitting their jobs rush simultaneously
to pull their money out of banks and other financial institutions.
We might see financial ruin the likes of
which have not been seen since the Great Depression
with currency collapsing, banks falling left and right,
and the chances of government bailouts being slim to none.
Fortunately, such a scenario is extremely improbable.
While we’ve all read books or watched movies
反应社会动荡 包括暴乱 破坏和革命
in which the reactions to social collapse
include rioting, destruction and revolution,
it’s difficult to envision a general strike of such a broad nature
occurring in the near future.
This isn’t to say that major general strikes won’t happen again in our lifetime,
but rather that their existences will not likely
be quite so widespread or be long-term.
Even in the case of the may 1968 general strike in France,
workers did eventually return to their jobs
and the party of French president Charles de Gaulle
even won parliamentary elections held at the end of June.
If everyone really did quit their jobs at exactly the same time,
effects might be similar,
a brief period of intense turmoil, followed by resolution
and finally in the long run, normalcy.
It would be an explosive situation but one
which would force both sides to return to the negotiating table eventually.