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I am not writing about anything new. The discussions about this topic are endless. Some agree, some don’t, some accept and carry on. But the reality stays the same. We are all modern slaves and the slaves masters are those 1% who by the end of 2016 will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth (source here).
It is a hard to imagine situation. Too many zeros involved in the equations, too much propaganda, too less valid information. Most of the time we just see and hear what the media tells us (managed by the slave masters) and don’t bother searching or arguing its validity. Probably we just don’t want to be faced with some uncomfortable truths, or we just hit dead-ends.
Continuing on a more ‘down to Earth’ manner, I must say, the incorrectness at a micro level (companies-employees) is just as bad and many as at a macro level (macroeconomics, politics). The ‘mini’- slave masters: CEOs, COOs and other C-somethings act the same. They do whatever necessary to increase their gain. Let’s not forget: the reason each company sets up on the market is to make profit. This is the golden rule. This is the end purpose. And to think this is the first think you’re taught when entering a university… a bit cruel if you ask me. But true non the less.
I heard and saw a lot of inaccuracies. I thought at the beginning that it’s just a matter of company. Maybe I was in the wrong place. Sadly it was not the case. It’s the society, it’s the system, it’s life (?). More than 100 years ago, Henry Ford revolutionised the labour market. One of the principles I like the most about his economic model is: ‘Workers are paid higher “living” wages, so they can afford to purchase the products they make.’ (source here). Is this cool or what?! Our wages should basically allow us to buy the stuff we made (more or less). And the more we buy (=the higher our living wages are), the happier we are, right? WRONG! (But that’s another discussion…).
Henry Ford also had a major role in the standardisation of the 8 hour workday.
‘One of the first businesses to implement this was the Ford Motor Company, in 1914, which not only cut the standard work day to eight hours, but also doubled their worker’s pay in the process. (…) This encouraged other companies to adopt the shorter, eight-hour work day as a standard for their employees.
Finally, in 1937 the eight-hour work day was standardized in the United States and regulated by the federal government according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. It stipulated that workers were not to work more than 44 hours per week and any hours over 40 required of the worker were to be paid with overtime bonuses added to their normal pay rate.‘ (source here).
Ok…let’s get back to present times. Let’s see what changed over the last 100 years (from 1914 to 2015):
1) We have super high-tech computers and gadgets.
2) We have the almighty internet!
3) Cars can drive themselves.
4) We have high-resolution images of Pluto’s surface.
5) We discovered insulin, penicillin and other drugs that saved millions of lives.
Etc, etc… very long list! Which is great!…
xxx) We still work 8 hours/day.
Hmm… not to be a critic or something, but isn’t this a bit weird? I mean, we have such an incredible technology at our disposal, and we still must spend 1/3 of our time working? Sometimes more…
Practices and processes in the labor market are shockingly very similar to those used by our grandparents. I ask myself why? And the only plausible explanation I can find is that the slave masters don’t want to loosen their tight grip. We are the slaves and we should remain the slaves. You want more money? You want more free time? You want a more flexible working schedule? Taught luck! There are at least some hundred other slaves willing to take you place. Fear! This is what keeps up bonded to jobs we hate or make us sick. The masters can replace us at any time.
We can lose our jobs from one day to another (e.g. happened to me) because you branch office is not profitable enough.
We can lose our jobs because we get sick (I know people who did).
But bills have to get paid. Banks don’t wait, landlords don’t care.
You probably ask yourselves what is the point of this post. In case you actually read it until here :)) If you are hoping for a magical solution, I don’t have any. I would just say this: Take care of your body and soul, make time for family, friends and self, don’t put your soul on a plate and give it to your boss. Do what you can, be fair and diligent, respect your colleagues and boss, but never take anything personally, never neglect your health and loved ones for a position you might not have in a few months.
Last but not least, let’s fight for a change in the system. Let’s fight for our time! Why not a 5 hours workday?! Why not a 3 days weekend? Why not the possibility to wake up in the morning and say: fuck it, I will work from home today. It is too cold/ hot outside, I’m not feeling well, etc… We keep complaining about unemployment rates, why not create a new economic system? Less working time => the possibility to hire more people. (Yes bigger costs… but maybe if a boss won’t earn 10 times more than a normal employee, just 4 times more, the company could actually sustain such a system).
Peace! Wish you all a great weekend.
PS: Thank you for reading 🙂 I didn’t intent to write such a long post, but this is a topic which interests me a lot, because it affects all of us.