Commercialized society forces man to behave contrary to his nature and his convictions by pushing him into the role of a good salesman, a role that puts financial profit over human experience. Man is forced to wear a smiling mask at all times, irrespective of his inner state, all so that his employer can remove undesirable human elements from the interaction with the customer.
If an employee enjoys their work, their inner state may match their intended role as the employee, and everything will be well. If, however, an employee is unhappy, for whatever reason, the helpful, smiling decorum of their role will be thrust upon them like a terrible mask, turning a simple transaction between two people into an interaction between a man and a slave.
Business interests dictate that people who cannot maintain a pleasant decorum be removed from the system. A person who can remain calm and smiling in the face of a personal crisis or an angry customer is more valuable than an employee who lets their emotions fly. As such, a commercialized society forces people to retreat deep into their minds, forces people to hide their true emotions from the world beneath a thick, false mask of a smiling, happy demeanor of a brand representative.
The enforcement of the decorum can be beneficial. Forcing people to curb their anger, envy and pride by maintaining manners allows for civilized interactions to take place. But it is also the case that some emotions may be useful and warranted, and it is also the case there are situations where a pleasant decorum should not be maintained if one wishes to remain human.
The difference between the sort of control over our emotions that philosophy teaches us and the forced mask of commercialized society is that philosophy helps us manage our emotion in a way that is useful and moral, while business interests alone force people to surrender negative emotions wholly and unconditionally. Philosophy tames the animal within us to fashion the man; commercial forces destroy the humanity in man to fashion him into a tool.
Good manners are good business, yes, but good manners have nothing to do with good business. Good manners are simply good manners – a thing to strive for at all times, irrespective of whether you are at the workplace, on the street or in your friend’s home. Man must behave well because it is moral to do so, not because it is going to make more money. Insisting on a false decorum for the purposes of monetary profit alone is barbaric and immoral and it damages society by confusing the true purpose of self control with that of pleasing your employer. If you want people to smile, give them a good reason, not a mask.