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The Tragedy of Middle Age

 The Manchester Guardian of June 8th and 9th, 1937, publishes two articles dealing with the unemployed women in the cotton towns. Socialists are continually being told that Socialism will destroy the sanctity of the home and family life, and the Guardian gives some interesting examples of what capitalism has done. The article commences:

Working Without Jobs

From 'Radio Times' (12.9.80)

I thought the speakers in The Collapse of Work (13 August Radio 4) tended to confuse rather than clarify. 'Work’ is the expenditure of muscular and mental energy: ‘employment’ is the result of a buying and selling transaction in which muscular and mental energy is sold to an employer in return for wages.

To suggest that employment is necessary to get satisfaction from life is a gross misrepresentation of its nature. The majority of us have to do monotonous, repetitive. unsatisfying jobs for most of our lives in order to receive the means whereby to live, and the work involved is not motivated by a need to satisfy a basic instinct, or to serve society. It is an undesirable aspect of our lives which is imposed on us by the structure of society. ‘Work' on the other hand, is a basic need in man’s make-up and he doesn’t need the incentive of wages to do it.

Is It Work We Want?

"It is work we want, not charity," said a spokesman of the unemployed at a street corner meeting. This sums up the outlook of the average worker of to-day. He can see no other method of life than toiling or existing on charity. The fear of having to beg for bread, or go into the workhouse, spurs him on to find a job, though the conditions of work become ever more degrading.

How strange that such a view should find general acceptance among people already worn out with work; and at a time when wealth can be produced with such ease and abundance! It is stranger still that some must work hard and spend niggardly, whilst others work not and yet spend lavishly. If the former cease work for a brief while they come suddenly to the end of their resources; the latter buy palaces and furnish them brilliantly, live in magnificence, and yet at the end of their days they are more wealthy than at the commencement.

Voice From the Back

The Control Of Ideas

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