Mod­ern work is in a cri­sis state

Metro Canada (Halifax) - - VIEWS -

we know it in North Amer­ica. The story of new Cana­di­ans grab­bing any work they can ind is just one kind of mu­ti­la­tion of an ideal, that work could be less ar­du­ous, bet­ter paid and lift all boats, not just the yachts. Ever since Up­ton Sin­clair wrote The Jun­gle in 1906 about the Amer­i­can meat pack­ing in­dus­try, it was thought that even mucky, vi­o­lent work could be made cleaner and skimp and in­dus­tries die o .

Women, fac­ing a grow­ing back­lash against fem­i­nism, are shut out of tech jobs, fear tak­ing ma­ter­nity leave, and lash out at each other in­stead of pa­tri­archy. Men choose the wrong op­po­nent, blam­ing women for dar­ing to com­pete.

There are many causes, in­clud­ing the wor­ship of the God of Cheap, im­ported goods, sta­tus anx­i­ety, tech­nol­ogy, so­cial iso­la­tion, the valu­ing of the present over the fu­ture, dumb­ing down, the de­cline of unions, the strange lure of the hard-right for the poor and un­e­d­u­cated, ur­ban­iza­tion, the de­val­u­a­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion, and longer lives.

Work — and its de­creas­ing re­wards — is al­ways in­ter­est­ing. I’d rather read oral his­to­ries of peo­ple talk­ing about their jobs than read New York Mag­a­zine’s very ine Sex Di­aries. Shop­ping is equally in­ter­est­ing. Get­ting and spend­ing, we lay waste our pow­ers.

The Fi­nan­cial Times, which is purely about money as op­posed to work — they should call it Money & How to Make It — has a fas­ci­nat­ing sec­tion called, with char­ac­ter­is­tic can­dour, How To Spend It. Even spend­ing money is a kind of work for the rich.

Those fool­ish enough to dis­re­gard money as a fac­tor have no idea what is shift­ing be­neath their feet.

I see Mo­jte­hedzadeh’s work as “dou­ble dig­ging,” a gardening term for loos­en­ing two lay­ers of soil and adding or­ganic mat­ter. It’s hard work dig­ging this deep, re­peat­edly, and then re­assem­bling it. Most gar­den­ers avoid it. It’s only done when gar­den beds are in a state of emer­gency.

Mod­ern work is like this now. It needs aer­a­tion and ex­am­i­na­tion.

There are many causes, in­clud­ing the wor­ship of the God of Cheap, im­ported goods, sta­tus anx­i­ety, tech­nol­ogy, so­cial iso­la­tion, the valu­ing of the present over the fu­ture, dumb­ing down, the de­cline of unions, the strange lure of the hard-right for the poor and un­e­d­u­cated, ur­ban­iza­tion, the de­val­u­a­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion, and longer lives.

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