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"Us and them" day!
Muse #228 - another way to establish power, order and control?
Today is the first Monday of September. So, it is Labour Day here in Canada and Labor Day for our neighbour, the United States. And a statutory holiday. Giving me the time to muse over things so that I can belabour about a few things today. You just don’t want to rubber-stamp a day and enjoy it as a holiday without querying deeply the meaning of what it stands for and why.
It starts with a fundamental question. What is labour or labor? A definition seems to be generally hard labour of some sort. Many countries celebrate labour day as a celebration of workers who helped build that country or in some narrow focus celebrating labour groups and unionized work - including constructs like the formation of an 8-hour workday or the definitions of the weekend, and so forth.
But I ponder several questions, such as:
Is the focus on labour just manual unskilled labour? Guess not.
What about skilled labour? Guess they are included, if so what skills?
What about unpaid labour, the labour of carrying and delivering babies that the woman do? And the burden of chores, child-raising and family, the brunt of which is borne by women? What about that?
What about creative cognitive work? Is using the brain deeply labour?
Does only blue-collar work be considered labour?
What about white-collared work? Up to what level of white-collared work in management is labour, labour?
Is any work then, labour? Does that include management?
Is there a right to do labour? If there is, is there a right to be self-managed?
In the context of the 21st century is the concept and definition of labour even relevant?
Is labour the new class system? Is labour the new caste system of the yesteryears? Is labour a concept for a new form of “slavery”?
Is the concept of labour being used to generate an “Us” and “them” (labour) - to establish boundaries of power, order and control? What are the boundaries of power, order and control in today’s environment?
And if we are not breaking the boundaries of “Us” and “them” on our way to better humanity, what is the purpose of today? What does this serve? Is just lip service enough?
and on and on and on and on and on…