Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The right ordering of work

"It is natural that the worker should seek an increase of wages and shorter hours. There is no longer any relationship between their work and themselves, other than that of its being a marketable commodity, to be governed by the same laws as govern other commodities. Such work is a curse and the only hope of the worker, of the country, is that the periodical revolt for higher wages and shorter hours will be diverted into what should be its real end, a demand for a return to the right ordering of work in accordance with the nature of man. The greatest of all dangers is that men shall accept this state of things and consent to their complete degradation, for the spiritual outlook was crushed out in the early days of the [industrial] revolution. The great strides made in the perfecting of the system, the enormous extension of the use of machinery and the greater efficiency of the same, the blind acceptance of the system by the people generally as being inevitable, and greatest of all, the physical comforts made possible at the price of his soul, all combine to make it very difficult for the workman to visualize a state of things more in accordance with the dignity of labour."

George Maxwell
From his essay, "The Reconstruction of the Crafts"
which was Chapter IX in the book, 'Flee to the Fields, The Founding Papers of the Catholic Land Movement'
Originally published in 1934, currently available through IHS Press