“The understandings of the greater part of men are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. The man whose life is spent in performing a few simple operations . . . has no occasion to exert his understanding . . . He generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.”
For certain purposes it’s not too misleading to call our system democracy or capitalism or—better still—industrialism, but its real names are factory fascism and office oligarchy
A thoughtful piece1 about the illusion that people living in democracies have. We are not free and are still bound to a human concept that prevents us from living the life the way we want it. India is not a totalitarian state like Russia or China and yet we are bound to the monetary materialistic pleasures and surrender ourselves to work that does nothing for us physically, intellectually.
We are so close to the world of work that we can’t see what it does to us. We have to rely on outside observers from other times or other cultures to appreciate the extremity and the pathology of our present position. There was a time in our own past when the “work ethic” would have been incomprehensible, and perhaps Weber was on to something when he tied its appearance to a religion, Calvinism, which if it emerged today instead of four centuries ago would immediately and appropriately be labelled a cult. Be that as it may, we have only to draw upon the wisdom of antiquity to put work in perspective. The ancients saw work for what it is, and their view prevailed, the Calvinist cranks notwithstanding, until overthrown by industrialism—but not before receiving the endorsement of its prophets.
It would be nice to live in a world as imagined in this piece. One can always dream, I suppose.
Work is a much better explanation for the creeping cretinization all around us than even such significant moronizing mechanisms as television and education
I just cannot stop chuckling at this last point extolling the reality of our current education system.