From Follow Friday to Fat Cat Friday

“Follow Friday” is a concept popular with users of the corporate “social” platforms, where success and legitimacy is measured by the number of followers one has. One becomes an “influencer” not thanks to their skills, abilities or personal qualities, but because they are followed by a sufficiently large number of users of the same platform.

Why am I writing about this today? It is not to present an argument against the cult of celebrity which is rendering us increasingly morally bereft as a society. Indeed, Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle already does an admirable job there. No, I am writing this because one morally bankrupt Friday has lent its name to another. Today is Fat Cat Friday.

An article published in the Guardian highlights the fact that, in the few days since the start of the year, top executives have already “earned” what an average person must work for during an entire year. Stop and think about that for a minute. The discrepancy between one and the other is, whichever way you look at it, impossible to justify.

Twenty years ago, top UK executives were paid around 47 times the average wage, now they are given 133 times as much as the working person. Figures in the other large European economies are similar, whilst in the US the difference rises to 312 times. They didn't even need to wait for Friday across the Atlantic.

The system is broken and yet we allow it to perpetuate. We create the celebrities and passively participate in a labour market where a handful of people are given in days what others struggle all year for. Have we really lost all sense of value and decency?

Maybe it's better you don't dwell too long on that question. It's so much easier to let the corporate algorithms feed you information instead…