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Problems with industrial society

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Problems with industrial society

Postby mattyman » December 19th, 2010, 2:12 pm

Hello, I have recently found a good article that describes in clear detail the many ways in which wage-based industrial society divides and segregates people. It talks about, with many examples how leisure and work were blurred in pre-industrial societies, how people had more freedom and control over their working patterns and how modern working relationships have become more impersonal and organisational. It talks about the importance of informal home and neighbourhood-based work patterns, self-employment, self-sufficiency, cottage industry etc. and how they prevailed in pre-industrial societies.

The biggest problem today is this; work=employment. Work is a very generic term who’s usage extends way beyond employment. We have a system now where full-time employment is seen as the only form of work, whereby you’re only in employment or you’re not working at all. Those that are not employed are stigmatised. This article also explains why dependency on income via employment to provide one’s needs is intrinsically more vulnerable to economic turmoil than a more informal system. This article is a very good critique of that whole system, exploring various alternatives with possible future scenarios for work.

I think that this was written in the 80's 90’s recession, though I believe that what it says is just as relevant today if not even more so. It basically questions whether, with increasing mechanisation of production, full employment is really a viable option for a sustainable future. Anyway, I feel that this highlights many relevant points that have made western societies the way that they are. It is fairly long, though I certainly enjoyed reading through it.
http://www.jamesrobertson.com/book/futurework-section1.pdf
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Postby momopi » December 19th, 2010, 10:37 pm

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Postby The_Adventurer » December 20th, 2010, 9:47 am

That was boring as all get out. The only part I was interested in was about 60%-70% of the way through that long read. I do agree with what he has to say, however, but what can really be done about it? We can't go backwards. Or can we?

If one were willing to make a bit of a sacrifice in exchange for total control over one's life, maybe some of what he talks about can be achieved, but abroad. For example, give up the Playstation 3 and other unnecessary consumer goods, and one could do some very simple work, possible work one loves or creates, on the internet and live very well in the Philippines, with a smoking hot young girl and loads of leisure time!

From what Globetrotter explains about 4th level cities in China, this idea could stretch even further. I could do nothing, letting my websites run by themselves, and live very well in the environments and at the prices he talked about. The great thing is, I wouldn't do nothing. Like that article says, those without work will likely create something of their own. I would spend some time making new cartoons, music and who knows what else while I'm sitting around, and maybe something can turn into a hot property bringing in even more money. This could be money for greater leisure and travel or money to be set for life in my 4th level city.

I think this concept of freedom (what the author calls ownwork) is actually better for the individual or family than employment. I think the person would make a far greater contribution to society in the end, and likely would be rewarded beyond what any job will ever pay.
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