Monday, September 2, 2019
Workaholism, Leisure And Pleasure Essay -- essays research papers
<a href="http://www.geocities.com/vaksam/">Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites The official working week is being reduced to 35 hours a week. In most countries in the world, it is limited to 45 hours a week. The trend during the last century seems to be unequivocal : less work, more play. Yet, what may be true for blue collar workers or state employees Ã¢â¬â is not necessarily so for white collar members of the liberal professions. It is not rare for these people Ã¢â¬â lawyers, accountants, consultants, managers, academics Ã¢â¬â to put in 80 hour weeks. The phenomenon is so widespread and its social consequences so damaging that it acquired the unflattering nickname workaholism, a combination of the words Ã¢â¬Å"workÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"alcoholismÃ¢â¬ . Family life is disrupted, intellectual horizons narrow, the consequences to the workaholicÃ¢â¬â¢s health are severe : fat, lack of exercise, stress take their toll. Classified as Ã¢â¬Å"alphaÃ¢â¬ types, workaholics suffer three times as many heart attacks as their peers. But what are the social and economic roots of this phenomenon ? Put succinctly, it is the result of the blurring borders and differences between work and leisure. The distinction between these two types of time Ã¢â¬â the one dedicated to labour and the one spent in the pursuit of oneÃ¢â¬â¢s interests Ã¢â¬â was so clear for thousands of years that its gradual disappearance is one of the most important and profound social changes in human history. A host of other shifts in the character of the work and domestic environments of humans converged to produce this momentous change. Arguably the most important was the increase in labour mobility and the fluid nature of the very concept of work and the workplace. The transitions from agricultural to industrial, then to the services and now to the information and knowledge societies, each, in turn, increased the mobility of the workforce. A farmer is the least mobile. His means of production are fixed, his produce was mostly consumed locally because of lack of proper refrigeration, preservation and transportation methods. A marginal group of people became nomad-traders. This group exploded in size with the advent of the industrial revolution. True, the bulk of the workforce was still immobile and affixed to the production floor. But raw materials and the finished products travelled long distances ... ...eneurs, the managers, the businessmen. They are the movers, the shakers, the pushers, the energy. Without them, we have socialist economies, where everything belongs to everyone and, actually to none. In these economies of Ã¢â¬Å"collective ownershipÃ¢â¬ people go to work because they have to, they try to avoid it, to sabotage the workplace, they harbour negative feelings. Slowly, they wither and die (professionally) Ã¢â¬â because no one can live long in hatred and deceit. Joy is an essential ingredient. And this is the true meaning of capitalism : the abolition of work and leisure and the pursuit of both with the same zeal and satisfaction. Above all, the (increasing) liberty to do it whenever, wherever, with whomever you choose. Unless and until the Homo East Europeansis changes his set of mind Ã¢â¬â there will be no real transition. Because transition happens in the human mind much before it takes form in reality. It is no use to dictate, to legislate, to finance, to cajole, to offer Ã¢â¬â the human being must change first. It was Marx (a devout non-capitalist) who said : it is consciousness that determines reality. How right was he. Witness the USA and witness the miserable failure of communism.