It's Monday. Chances are if you're reading this, you didn't skip into work this morning whistling show-tunes and eager for the day to begin. Perhaps it was all you could do to turn the nagging alarm off, to drag you sorry-arse out of bed and get ready for the epic waste of time that has become 'earning a living'? Well, you're not alone, far from it.
According to a recent American study by a susbidary of ManPower, only 19% of those surveyed were happy in their work. The vast majority were not. Similar stiduies reveal similar pictures of worker dissatisfaction. In the UK another survey in 2011 said: "The results showed that only one in 10 Britons landed their "dream job"
while 31 percent said they were "unhappy" at work and 7 percent said
they "hated" their current job."
But what is so detestable about our daily routine and work? Like so much, it boils down to money. The majority of people have to work, living without work is not optional. Work = income and only the very few can live without working either by opting out of the system and taking an alternative lifestyle, often involving much personal privation and unacceptable living standards for the majority, or at the other extreme because they have so much money they don't need to. For many though, it is the 'have to' part that makes getting up and out to a job the worse part.
To underline this point, it is interesting to note that in the UK, over 19 million people undertake voluntary, unpaid work. 19 million! Of these at least 12 million do this work at least once a month. Many of these do paid work as well, so they must either a) be mad or b) masochistic, or c) get personal satisfaction and / or interest from their voluntary positions that they do not get from their paid ones. Either way it does mean that perhaps the misery os not caused by the job or work itself, but rather the driving reaosns for one being there.
Within capitalism there are many pointless jobs. Jobs connected with the making and counting of money, jobs connected with the security and maintenance of private property. Jobs making crappy products that have no real use other than increasing shareholder profits and filling tips with waste. The list goes on, perhaps your job is amongst them? Either way, what is the alternative? Within capitalism, none, but....
Socialism offers a different persepctive on work. Based on the maxim of 'From each according to their ability, to each according to their need' work would become a thing of pleasure, of beauty and of interest to those engaged in it. Like the volunteer under capitlaism, people wuld choose to do work that is of interest to them and of social use to all. People would not be engaged in pointless activites making plastic-fantastic crap to be bought and sold and thrown away, but would be involved in creating products that are needed and ones that are made to last using proper materails, crafted with care. You would be free to choose what work you wanted to do rather than being forced to choose from limited 'careers' based on your school records and likely use within the labour market. And with the necessary workload spread across all the population, unemployment would be a thing of the past along with long hours - perhaps there would only be a need for you to work a day or two a week instead of 40, 50 or even 60 hours a week that many seem tied to now.
You may, under the current state of affairs find a job you can tolerate or even enjoy if you're lucky. But that would be only you. Under a socialist system, you along with everyone else would be able to choose how you spend your time and how you contribute to the overall scheme of things and that must be a btter way of organising things than we have now. This article may not have giving you the usual crappy tips about career change or even cheered your day, but if you have thought a little bit about how things can change, then it is worth your time reading more. Visit the Socilaist Party of Great Britain's website and see how another world can be built, not based on money but on co-operation. Mondays need ever be the same again!
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