Is it simply a question of survival? To make enough money to cover our basic needs and leisure requirements? Do we seek social identity and recognition by working? Is it true that work fulfils us as people?
We often work at alienating and repetitive jobs, or in conditions of power and exploitation; and when we’re threatened with dismissal, we allow the situation to continue for fear of being left without a job. We even go as far as to reproduce the abuse with those that we consider to be on a lower working and social rung of the ladder.
Is it true that work fulfils us as people?
Do we ever think about the purpose of our profession and the social repercussions of our activity? Are the products or services we produce beneficial or harmful for society? Do we nourish with our work a bigger chain of destruction and oppression? Or do we, on the contrary, contribute to achieving a more just and egalitarian society?
Should we ask ourselves if the union movement, in its zeal to defend jobs and working conditions, can sometimes obstruct or hinder the transition towards new activities or cleaner and more sustainable production activities and means for the environment? Or is this perhaps a merely capitalistic approach?
Today, when the so-called fourth industrial revolution is threatening to destroy 47% of all jobs in the next 20 years, will we be capable of contributing sufficient added value to our performance in order to prevent our replacement by machines, algorithms or robots?
Will we be capable of contributing sufficient added value to our performance in order to prevent our replacement by machines, algorithms or robots?
Would we know how to live without working? Would we be able to manage 16 hours a day of free time? Is it true that if we had a universal basic income citizens would be lazy and apathetic? Or would we spend our time learning and taking care of ourselves and those around us?
Beyond all of these disquisitions, and beneath the paid work, lies an enormous amount of reproductive effort that is neither socially nor economically recognised, and which is, for the time being, sacrosanct. This is the work done by and attributed to women as a result of gender roles and the sexual division of labour, which perpetrates the inequality between men and women and continues to prop up societies.
Film: La mano invisible