[Marxism] Why is labour unpleasant?

David Picón Álvarez david at miradoiro.com
Sat Oct 13 10:49:22 MDT 2007


This might seem like a stupid question, and maybe there are established 
answers to it, but if so I don't know them. Why is it so that the vast 
majority of productive work is unpleasant for the workers? One can see why 
industrial work in the XIX century would be unpleasant: overlong working 
days, repetitive alienated tasks, unergonomic conditions, danger of 
industrial accidents, etc. However, in the developed countries and for the 
majority of the workers, most of these things don't hold anymore: the 
working day has grown much shorter, the tasks are more involved and less 
mechanical, working conditions have improved unmeasurably, and so on. That 
said, it is quite clear that most people do not find work pleasant. There 
are many workers that haven't benefitted as much from improvements in 
working environment as I note, but even those workers who have find work 
unpleasant. What is the reason why work appears to be, at least in a 
majority of cases, inherently unpleasant?


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