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Opinion | How to Fight Back Against the Inhumanity of Modern Work


Job site Real reported in 2021 that 61 percent of teleworkers and 53 percent of onsite workers find it harder to “unplug” from the workplace during breaks than it was before the pandemic began. head. Nearly 40% of all workers said they check email outside of normal business hours every day. Derek Thompson make a compelling case in the Atlantic, although everyone talks about “quiet smoking,” it’s mostly a fad and a contrived idea, the kind of thing that very online captures to have something to do with. talk about. The productivity of workers really did not decrease. However, Thompson also says that neoliberalism is at the heart of “chronic labor problems, such as the lack of representation by unions or the deep pressure from Americans to become auditors. health check”.

When a careerist culture meets a digital revolution that allows unlimited access to work, something has to be given away. And in America, what tends to be is not the need for the job but the soul of the person instead. The rise of digital technology requires us, as culturalists, to rethink what it means to be humane. As we do so, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us in the labor movement. They provided us with a model to start this retest.

The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries gave birth to the labor movement, which sought to curb excesses of capitalism and new technology. There was a time when hunter-gatherers and then farmers just worked as much as they could to survive, according to a Reported by NPR, usually less than 40 hours a week. With the advent of factories, working hours were longer and less flexible. The labor movement has struggled to change both culture and policy to limit our workweeks, and 40 hours a week has finally become the norm. What is clear is that people do not suddenly become lazy and want to work less. Instead, the change in technology has created a new way of working that requires feedback. We find ourselves facing this again with today’s digital revolution.

During the early labor movement, a broad and diverse base of religious followers found common ground around the Sabbath law. These laws (often referred to as green laws) are now often seen as examples of archaic, purist, even theocratic impulses: early religious people running around trying to ensure told no one to enjoy a beer on Sunday afternoon. Sabbatarians, however, see their work as an act against greed and a fight for workers.

When Philip Schaff, a German-Swiss theologian of the 19th century, immigrated to the United States, he was struck by the political cooperation of ideologically different religious groups to resolve the issue. social evils. For Schaff and many others, a key issue in the North’s burgeoning industrial economy was maintaining time for worship, rest, and family life to preserve the dignity of the people. labor. In part, they turned to the Sabbath law to help achieve this. Schaff emphasized that Sabbath observance was not merely a religious observance but also served a civic function. It is a practical way, throughout time, to treat workers as valuable human beings with a lifetime to be lived.

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