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The Fall of the Employment Age

A man should dream his work
I was in Istanbul when the national daily press reported the news that this year over 3 million applicants had taken the KPSS Kamu Personeli Secme Sinavi. By the end of the year, only three out of 100 applicants will reach the coveted fixed employment position, a stable job, and be placed in one of the various government institutions as civil servants. I visualized this boundless number of young people waiting in line, like a far-reaching human ribbon, flowing past a fierce examiner, and a main computer that on the basis of a test will discard or assign them some work. Similar to thousands of coequals in the private sector, the ‘winners’ will be assigned a ‘permanent position’ in the infernal circles of the organizations. I felt compassion for their destiny, as I knew that they were condemned to unhappiness. I rememberd the words of the Dreamer: “A man should ‘dream’ his work and choose it according to his intention and his inclination. Being chosen is below one’s dignity.”

The Intolerable Servitude
Millions of youth every year come out of schools and universities willing to barter their freedom for the illusory assurance of a pay-check, and they make every effort to become part of the multitude of men and women who will become dependent all their lives – hidden in the folds of lifeless organizations, behind a miniscule desk, confined to few square meters, like a convict. They will do a form of work that they do not like, with people they have not chosen, imprisoned in a role, with their faces marked by a perpetual grimace of pain. This widespread planetary condition belongs to modernity; it is a phenomenon previously unknown to the whole history of mankind. Classical Greece and Rome nourished an aversion – even a repugnance, for every form of work, be it physical or intellectual.  For the Greeks, who were so attached to freedom, depending on someone else for daily survival was an intolerable servitude. In their vision, the exercise of political virtue was impracticable and impossible for those who led the life of a hired worker, or who were tradesmen with retributive work that prevented elevation and comfort of the soul.

The Employment Age
Our times’ subordination, the hired workers’ condition, is the new shape taken by slavery – is, in fact, its modern equivalent. This phenomenon, which has become the symbol of modern times, has resulted in the name “The Organizational Age”, and has its roots in the parallel occurrence of two trends: on the one hand, the industrial revolution and modern capitalism, with the birth of big enterprises requiring masses of subordinate workers and corporate slaves, and on the other hand, the growth of an immense number of human beings – of a crowd of millions and millions of common people, educated to be dependent, and ready to barter their time for pay, a salary or a wage.

The Clerical Race 
In the course of its evolution, mankind has undergone a “speciation”, that is, the formation of a distinct species: a “clerical race.” This is a human group of world-wide dimensions, serving the needs of many organizations, capable of accepting those awful conditions of life and able to tolerate the indescribable painfulness of dependence without even noticing it. Generation after generation, through genetic and cultural processes, somatic transformations took place, together with behaviours reminiscent of those appearing during animal domestication and in the breeding of farm animals: muscle relaxation, adiposity, flabby and slack stomach, shortening of the skull and of the limbs.

Dependence is fear
They are the product of a mass education which prepares its students to accept the intolerable condition of depending. Dependence is fear. It is absence of love. To be dependent, even if involuntarily, is always a personal choice. Nothing and no one can force a man into dependency. Only you can do that to yourself. Being dependent is not the effect of a contract; it is not related to any role, nor is it the result of one’s social class.  Dependency is the consequence of a degradation of Being that in the external world takes the form of a job – of a fixed salary, and assumes all the aspects of a subordinate position. An employee is a man who has stopped dreaming.

Organizations are mortally sad
As a sociologist, observing them from the inside; I discovered that human organizations are mortally sad – true industries of pain. Factories and offices, and even before them, schools and universities, seem to have been designed and organized to produce and nourish apparently useless suffering. Huge quantities of energy are wasted through divisions and conflicts between groups and individuals, and through useless and unpleasant emotions, states of anguish, anxiety and conditions of worry, uncertainty and irritability. I realized that  paradoxically while raw materials, at the end of the day, come out of the factories, and of any industrial process, enriched and transformed, men and women are likely to leave poorer and disheartened. I came to ask myself why in organizations, there stubbornly seems to exist, beyond every scientific and entrepreneurial effort, a ‘perverse’ mechanism that constantly produces and feeds a condition of disagreement, a painful situation of tension and conflict, for all those who work there.

The Fall of Employment Age
From the last decade of the past century, however, the scenario has changed. The rational, provincial, nineteenth-century capitalism that dominated the economy for more than two hundred years, is before our eyes turning into an intuitive, emotional, creative capitalism of worldwide dimensions. With it, a need has been growing to transform an economy based mainly on – more or less – heavy types of subordination, into an economy based on freedom, on creativity, and on men who love and work for passion. One who loves what he does, one who dreams, even if he is apparently working for an organization, he is pursuing the most important goal in his life: its integrity. One who works without loving his job is working for someone else; he is harming himself.

Factories of Uniformity
Schools and universities seem to be unaware of this revolution and stubbornly remain institutions geared to transfer a ready-made set of convictions and beliefs to youth, suffocating their essence, and clipping their higher senses of intuition and dreaming. These institutions have forgotten their raison d’etre: to teach the individual how to tear down any fence, and to overcome inner limits, and to cultivate independent thinking in their students, and a true passion for freedom and greatness. They should be institutions where ideas, art, harmony and beauty in its every form are cultivated, and where music, theatre, philosophy and the search for truth are the tools used to lift up the individual conscience, so creating the irreplaceable condition for a wider freedom and a greater wealth for all mankind.

The Individual Revolution
A mankind free from fear, destructive thoughts and negative emotions will start an individual revolution. A future humanity will no longer accept living in a society that still conceives of work as strain and hyperactivity. They will reject the idea that in order to operate society must educate legions of fakirs capable of tolerating the indescribable painfulness of dependence. Education, as we know it, is the physical offspring of this psychology. In schools of any order and degree, all over the planet, the young receive one global piece of advice: be dependent! Since childhood, students spend hours and hours sitting at a desk, learning to live as captives without any ambition toward freedom. This is a necessary training in order to one day be employed for life, clinging to the richness of others, incapable of producing their own wealth, and belonging by right to the corporate club of anguish.

We need to turn work into dream.
It is possible to change our destiny. We have to change man’s psychology – the hypnotic world-story rooted in his system of convictions and beliefs. We must change the dream. The motto of  any school should be: Love what you do. Do only what you love. Their main subject should be  self-discovery – the study of oneself. If you do what you love, you will never work one day in all your life. Only the individual can discover this, and apply it to his life. And that is why a School is needed: a School of Being – potent enough to bring about a planetary revolution in education, to overturn teaching programs and methods, exalting the individual and amplifying his vision. Our teachers are the first persons who would need to change. Positivism and happiness about the future of mankind will inevitably go along with a progressive decrease in their working activity and a decline in their work-strain. The fall of the Employment Age is powerfully knocking on our door, born out of the revolution of the individual; this is a psychological exodus of biblical dimensions, is as visionary and epic as the rebellion of Spartacus.