Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work..."

"How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies - whether organised along private enterprise or collectivist enterprise lines - to work towards the humanisation of work? It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the 'standard of living', and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of 'bread and circuses' can compensate for the damage done - these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence - because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.

The neglect, indeed the rejection, of wisdom has gone so far that most of our intellectuals have not even the faintest idea what the term could mean. As a result, they always tend to try and cure a disease by intensifying its causes. The disease having been caused by allowing cleverness to displace wisdom, no amount of clever research is likely to produce a cure. But what is wisdom? Where can it be found? Here we come to the crux of the matter: it can be read about in numerous publications but it can be found only inside oneself, To be able to find it, one has first to liberate oneself from such masters as greed and envy. The stillness following liberation - even if only momentary - produces the insights of wisdom which are obtainable in no other way."

Schumacher, "Small is Beautiful" p.21ish

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