The modern and questionable concept of work


In the past, everyone’s job was almost always determined by the profession of their predecessors and not by personal choice. If you came from a family of stonemasons, you would be a stonemason, and if your family sold in a market, you would almost certainly end up doing the same.

My students of 40 years ago were junk dealers, they sold fruit in the markets, they ended up working on the Barreiros assembly line, or in the RENFE workshops, because it was his parents’ job. Now we all know work is something else and it’s not anymore.

Formerly the Social mobility it was more of a narrow funnel that very few people ended up going through. There was a time when the poor could not do the tasks reserved for the rich and the rich could not lower themselves by doing tasks intended for the outcasts of the earth. There was even a distant time when the rich, the free citizens of any Greek polisThey viewed labor as an endeavor reserved for slaves, serfs, servants.

That of work as something that was part of the human condition and which makes the person worthy is rather a Judeo-Christian heritage.

That of work as something that was part of the human condition and which makes the person worthy, is rather a Judeo-Christian heritage. After all, the Christians’ messiah was the worker’s sona workman, a carpenter.

Following these slogans, every good Christian has the obligation to contribute through his work to community life, as Saint Paul already said in his Letter to the Thessalonians: – He who does not work does not eat. Because we learned that some live without working, very busy doing nothing.

So much so that even those who dedicate their lives to contemplation, to prayer, to silence, in a religious community, have the obligation to work. The work and contemplation They go hand in hand.

Work continues to be an important space for socializing and a place and time to develop our creativity.

These will be certain factions of the Protestantism, already in more modern times, those who will make work and the obtaining of wealth an inexhaustible source of virtue. Now yes, the work passes on one side and the contemplative life on the other.

It is this mentality and this general orientation of the Western world which will give rise to accelerated economic development, to an impressive growth of what we have called the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a brutal technological evolution which ended up giving rise to surplus workers and the phenomenon of unemployment, overwork, appeared.

Despite everything, technological transformations are not done with the work, even if some try to convince us of the end of history and the advent of a society of idlers. The truth is that work continues to be the essential source for obtaining the resources we need to live. Besides the fact that it continues to be an important space for socializing and, in some cases, a place, a time develop our creativityour transformative capacity.

A central problem for our future as humanity is to make sense of human labor in the immediate future.

A central problem for our future as humanity is to make sense of human labor in the immediate future. At this stage, it is not certain that we will be able to achieve this. That we will be able to define a future of stable job with rights. That we manage to ban precariousness, small jobs, slave labor, child labor.

The difference between our survival as a species, or our agonizing medium-term extinction, lies in making possible people’s lives are dignified and their work decent. I don’t know if we still have time, but I’m sure that even if it was against all odds, we have an obligation to try.

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