A NEW VISION OF WORK
The big revolutions in ideas, attitudes and in behaviours are not demonstrated with uproar and deafening clamour, but rather they go slipping secretly through the social weave raising quiet and loyal support that ends up transforming society almost without us realizing. One of those peaceful revolutions is the one concerning the willingness with which people face their particular professional work. A new era begins when the perception that citizenship has of work radically changes.
The difficulties in finding employment that leave many involuntarily in the inactive sector of society, as well as the improvement and humanization of all work instruments for innovative advance, have transformed the perception of work and industry. If before it was considered as something negative that alienated and brutalized as a consequence of a punishment that we should all bear with resignation, today the positive, cheerful and self humanising vision of work is widespread, of any work that is really work. The lack of employment has generated a positive effect regarding the perception of professional effort. Employment is perceived now as a sole hope more than as a punishment.
The rudiments of primitive industrial technology, together with the removal of aggressive dominion and conquest in the managerial environment, took us to a kind of new slavery locked in factories and warehouses. The aggressive conceptions which are fruit of working class misery, routine mechanization and industrial Taylorism are already very far and anachronistic in the West. Very few employees feel like enslaved proletarians that curse their luck and try to change it with violent utopian revolutions. The processes of zero sum and negative that told us that the introduction of machines left thousands of people out of work, and that its acceleration would produce fearful crisis of unemployment and poverty, are forgotten and obsolete. The company is no longer considered as a machine and its members as an inert game of wheels and repetitive pulleys. Nobody believes now that inside the capitalist regime the workers, old workers, will never be able to improve their situation. People feel more and more uncomfortable when the State seeks to point out to each one their sphere of activity, what they have to produce, in what forms, who to exchange production with and at what price. They are also uncomfortable with the excessively rigid and pyramidal rationalist character of the managerial hierarchies. Responsible freedom in the different components of the human factor becomes indispensable.
The diffusion of science and new technologies, on the other hand, predicts a future that is already present, in which a certain return is facilitated to personal handicraft where the originality of each person in their work position is a nuclear factor in managerial success. Today many work paying attention to detail, materializing service and feeling humanized in the development of their own profession. The professionals of different activities feel proud of contributing to the progress of civilization. That deep feeling of being useful from this or that small corner of labour activity, generates perseverance in the effort and joint creativity that are spread anonymously through the whole social economic framework.
On the other hand, widespread access to the use of highly sophisticated capital instruments, and with an enormous potential of canned labour force, requires perseverance in formation and ethical education in the increase of responsibility. Hard-working youths, maybe without much experience, can manage machines of a capacity and accuracy unknown only a few decades ago, with simplicity and comfort. The danger lies in not working with a service mentality. If one does not work with an open mind towards other people’s requirements, the dark slope of individualism appears encapsulated in itself that smoothes, impoverishes and narrows our meaning of life.
The creative and liberating potential of this new vision of human work is immense if we consider that, contrary to the cliché that was widespread for decades, new employments generate more employments in an endless process. If human nature is fragile, the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms are also weak. They are ruined and decay in a process of continuous obsolescence. For all that, human work will always be scarce. A renewed effort will always be needed to reorder Nature’s anarchy, to clean its tendency to dirt and ugliness, to reactivate its vivacity every day when a macabre inclination is presented, and to always maintain it in ecological tension available to service.