“Work” and ideals that may never be embraced

This one will be short…

      Over the summer I had some serious issues with working retail. I came up with some ideas that would radically change the way workplaces functioned, but the people I talked to about it said that it was a pointless fight.

      Today I found this excerpt from a manifesto from 1962. It fully and completely encompassed many of the ideas I thought were unique to myself and our millennial era. I cannot stand the way workplaces function, but it turns out that the people who addressed me with feedback might have been right. If we still have the same issues in 2014 that we did in ’62, then is it even worth fighting? (I’d argue “yes”).

      The Port Huron Statement is the 1962 manifesto of the North American student activist movement Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). It was written primarily by Tom Hayden, then the Field Secretary of SDS, with help from 58 other SDS members, and completed on June 15, 1962 [Wikipedia]. It had a lot more to say about the New Left Wing and the Student Rights Movement, but the following passage in particular aligned with my ideas from July, August, and December.

      The Port Huron Statement of 1962 (the start of the Student Movement in the ’60’s) has this to say about how work should be structured:

      “work should involve incentives worthier than money or survival. It should be educative, not stultifying; creative, not mechanical; self-directed, not manipulated, encouraging independence, a respect for others, a sense of dignity, and a willingness to accept social responsibility, since it is this experience that has crucial influence on habits, perceptions, and individual ethics. 
       That the economy itself is of such social importance that it’s major resources and means of production should be open to democratic participation and subject to democratic social regulation.”
   Look the whole document up if you get the chance.

Written by
Jack Fisher

Jack Fisher is an independent journalist. He holds a BAH from the University of Guelph, and a post-graduate certificate from Sheridan College in journalism.
@Jack_Fisher_4 on Twitter and Instagram

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Written by Jack Fisher