jueves, 8 de mayo de 2008

The four-hour day

Almost a century after the eight-hour day was established, productivity of the human beings has increased four or five times, as a result of the technology progress. In the last 20 years, informatic revolution has allowed to duplicate productivity. That means you, me and all workers of the world are producing more each time. But that fabulous productivity increase has not been provided for the benefit of the human being, but only for Capital’s, who search to obtain more profits. To us, all who live from our work, the only reward for producing more and more is... the lengthening of our working time.
By means of a worldwide offensive, Capital has succeeded in backtracking the labour standards to the nineteenth century.
Programs for restructuring enterprises, wich enclose lay offs, pressures and threats, outsourcing, moving out, short-term contracts and every kind of tricks, are forcing people to work almost as slaves, for about twelve, fourteen or sixteen hours each day. In some places, real slavery is reappearing (I am talking about real slaves, I mean, people locked up in sheds from wich they never get out, people who sleep and take his scarcy meals in that same places), for the shame of humanity.
In the middle of this gloomy landscape, however, there is a possible response, wich would allow to correct the history’s course, conquering for human beings the free time that we already are worth, after so much effort. And that response is the worldwide strike for the four-hour day.
Does it sound utopic, hard, too much optimistic?. It is not, because it was already done in the nineteenth century, when, by the means of worker’s struggle, labour hours were shorted from 16 to 10. And, in 1919, the eight-hour day was conquered. So, why could not we make a worldwide movement to obtain the most sensible thing which could ever have been desired, the same that would eliminate, with a stroke of one’s pen, unemployment (named the century’s plage by the WHO)?
If in nineteenth century people could form the backbone of a worldwide movement, how could it not be possible to us, today, when we have the most powerfull, extense and horizontal communication network never been (that is, internet)?
The worlwide strike for the four-hour day is the only way out from the universal madness of capitalism.

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