: : It is a nasty business, however, I have faith that conditions will improve. Look at the coal mining of the 1900s...
: Every change since then has been the product of the struggle of the labourer, of working people, to be treated as humans rather than assets or machinery. If conservativism was successful in it's incorporation of working people into it's ideology these conditions would not have changed one bit, in the third world they haven't.
Very true. That is why I am not opposed to labor unions. In some cases they are needed. Hopefully a time will come about when they will be obsolete, when companies have to fight to keep their workers in their company.
: As regards automation, it is good that it anihilates disagreeble work but if it renders the population unemployed en masse and the employed dont want to subsidise them endlessly, I know I wouldnt, we have a problem.
This is the biggest criticism of automation, however it has never come about. In fact, with increased automation many high skill jobs are created that require a greater degree of education and are not as mind numbing as the jobs that the automation replaced.
: : That is correct, that is why my parents make me work for the money I recieve, they believe they would be shortchanging me if I weren't given responsibility.
: This is true, what about affluenza? When people become so affluent that their off spring can not fathom the importance of arduous work or disagreeable work in producing wealth/the good life.
The thing is though, is that without a strong work ethic that money often runs out very quickly. Just take a look at all those musicians who at their heyday were worth many millions of dollars, now many of them are bankrupted. People like Steve Forbes who were sons of tycoons have very good work ethics usually instilled in them by their parents.
You find 'affluenza' as you call it more prevalent among the aristrocracy where they recieve an allowance by the monarch or have a shitload of family inheritances and ties to government--like the house of Lords in England (has Blair disbanded it yet?).
: Responsibility and duty are important in creating a stable and happy society and environment but the ultra capitalists of conservatism or propertarianism have forgotten them altogether.
I think that that is an unfair generalization, just like it would be unfair of me to say that socialism creates a bunch of dependent zoned-out hippies.
: : Actually, now that we are on the subject, an interesting quote I heard from my [socialist] uncle was: "The best social program is a good job."
: I agree. A good job isnt just a source of employment it is an opportunity for self-actualisation and source of self respect, a means to expression, a means of empowerment and a source of social networks.
People also need to feel that they are contributing positively in some way, a job provides this. The feeling of accomplishment is the best motivator.
: It's unlikely that we can produce this effectively in the present situtation where the workplace is an authoritarian prison, where the worker is stigmatised, where the work is unappreciated.
Things might be different where you are, but in the U.S. workplaces are becoming far less authoritarian. Especially in production industries managers have found that the old ways of ruling with an iron fist is not productive and they are empowering the employees and allowing them to take more responsibility.
I've read many of my fathers management books that range from organizing a company to keeping labor unions out and they are very similar. They advocate allowing workers to manage themselves and give them more choice in their duties and most of all, educate them. In fact, the labor union book can be summed up in one line: If you don't want your employees forming a union, don't use force. Just don't give them a reason to want to join one. In other words, pay them well, give them benefits, and most of all, communicate with them.
: : : Oh, fully, are you a pro-capitalist? I took you for a pro-capitalist but I may have been wrong.
: : I fasion myself a pro-constitutionally-limited-democracy-using-a-capitalist-economic-system-with-certain-regulations-to-guard-against-feudalism.
: Interesting, against the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, no doubt? What about the invisible leviathan of the capitalist economy? I mean it may not really, really effect you since the owners of the 'new fuedal properties' which are being created through huge scale amalgamations are situated in your country and will be more paternalistic towards their indigenous people but it's civil and social rights death for me and my workplace colleagues.
I am curious to know how things are their (Ireland?), in the U.S. things are actually not as bad as people paint them to be. There are some troubled industries that still cling to the old practices of top down management, but they are dying away.