Knowing what to do: occupational alienation in a pandemic

Please read this great thoughtful blog by a wonderful lady. X

Living in a glasshouse

It’s hard to know what to do in a pandemic. There are so many things we can’t do the way we’d like to do them. There are other things we know we could do, but it’s hard to get started. Occupational alienation is a concept that can help us understand this situation. Karl Marx first named occupational alienation in his early work, seeing how factory workers became part of a machine, for the first time separated from the products of their labour. In other words, they worked hard, but were rewarded by money rather than seeing the direct impact of their work on the world. Job satisfaction was undermined because the workers had so little control over what was happening. Marx did not offer an obvious solution other than to attend to the power of workers, a solution which led to the development of his later, better-known ideas. That’s all…

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