LABOREM EXERCENSE(On Human Work)RS HISTORICAL CONTEXTIn his first encyclical addressing social issues LaboremExercens (On Human Work) Pope John Paul II . Enciclica Laborem exercens. Main Author: Chiappetta, Luigi. Related Names: John Paul II Pope Language(s): Italian. Published: Napoli: Edizioni dehoniane, c Subjects. Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) / Juan Pablo II ; autor, Equipo DEI “Texto completo de la enciclica ; un comentario desde América Latina.”.
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To do so would be to practise a serious form of discrimination, that of the strong and healthy against the weak and sick. John Paul draws from this passage the conclusion that work is essential to human nature, and that “man is the subject of work.
In order to meet the danger of unemployment and to ensure employment for all, the agents defined here as “indirect employer” must make provision for overall planning with regard to the different kinds of work by which not only the economic life but also the cultural life of a given society is shaped; they must also give attention to organizing that work in a correct and rational way.
These words refer to the sometimes heavy toil that from then onwards has accompanied human work This method is recognized by Catholic social teaching as legitimate in the proper conditions and within just limits. It is precisely these fundamental affirmations about work that always emerged from the wealth of Christian truth, especially from the very message of the “Gospel of work”, thus creating the basis for a new way of thinking, judging and acting.
And work means any activity by man, whether manual or intellectual, whatever its nature or circumstances; it means any human activity that can and must be recognized as work, in the midst of all the many activities of which man is capable and to which he is predisposed by his very nature, by virtue of humanity itself.
If the biblical words “subdue the earth” addressed to man from the very beginning are understood in the context of the whole modern age, industrial and post-industrial, then they undoubtedly include also a relationship with technology, with the world of machinery which is the fruit of the work of the human intellect and a historical confirmation of man’s dominion over nature.
However, within this context they have a specific character corresponding to the specific nature of human work as outlined above. The conflict originated in the fact that the workers put their powers at the disposal of the entrepreneurs, and these, following the principle of maximum profit, tried to establish the lowest possible wages for the work done by the employees.
This is a vast sector of work on our planet, a sector not restricted to one or other continent, nor limited to the societies which have already attained a certain level of development and progress.
In the first place this involves a regular weekly rest comprising at least Sunday, and also a longer period of rest, namely the holiday or vacation taken once a year or possibly in several shorter periods during the year.
Although the subject of work is always the same, that is to say man, nevertheless wide-ranging changes take place in the objective aspect. In a way, work is a condition for oaborem it possible to found a family, since the family requires the means of subsistence which man normally gains through work.
But it is fitting that they should be able to fulfil their tasks in accordance with their own nature, without being discriminated against and without being excluded from jobs for which they are capable, but also without lack of execens for their family aspirations and for their specific role in contributing, together with men, to the good of society.
Catalog Record: Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) | Hathi Trust Digital Library
Each and every individual is at the same time embraced by it. John Paul expressed concerns about the phenomenon of people who emigrateeither permanently or seasonally, in search of work:. It is determined, in a sense, by all the elements that are decisive for economic life within a given society and state, but also by much wider links and forms of dependence.
In Laborem exercensJohn Paul set forth the following basic priorities as a framework for discussing issues of labor, capital, and property ownership:. If the purchasers insist on the lowest possible prices, the workers in another part of the world are indirectly affected. The interaction between the worker and the tools and means of production has given rise to the development of various forms of capitalism – parallel with various forms of collectivism – into which other socioeconomic elements have entered as a consequence of new concrete circumstances, of the activity of workers’ associations and public autorities, and of the emergence of large transnational enterprises.
Whether the work is done in a system of private ownership of the means of production or in a system where ownership has undergone a certain “socialization”, the relationship between the employer first and foremost the direct employer and the worker is resolved on the basis of the wage, that is through just remuneration for work done.
The disabled person is one of us and participates fully in the same humanity that we possess. All that we can say of everything in the production process which constitutes a whole collection of “things”, the instruments, the capital, is that it conditions man’s work; we cannot assert that it constitutes as it were an impersonal “subject” putting man and man’s work into a position of dependence.
Through this conclusion one rightly comes to recognize the pre-eminence of the subjective meaning of work over the objective one. Movements of solidarity in the sphere of work-a solidarity that must never mean being closed to dialogue and collaboration with others- can be necessary also with reference to the condition of social groups that were not previously included in such movements but which, in changing social systems and conditions of living, are undergoing what is in effect “proletarianization” or which actually already find themselves in a “proletariat” situation, one which, even if not yet given that name, in fact deserves it.
Recently, national communities and international organizations have turned their attention to another question connected with work, one full of implications: Even if in controversial questions the struggle takes on a character of opposition towards others, this is because it aims at the good of social justice, not for the sake of “struggle” exfrcens in order to eliminate the opponent.
The concept of indirect employer is applicable to encicllca society, and in the first place to the State. It is obvious that the question of just legislation enters into the context of the present considerations, especially from the point of view of these rights. It would be radically unworthy of man, and a denial of our common humanity, to admit to the life of the community, and thus admit enckclica work, only those who are fully functional.
Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on enckclica. The world of agriculture, which provides society with the goods it needs for its daily sustenance, is of fundamental importance. However, it is also a fact that, in some instances, technology can cease to be man’s ally and become almost his enemy, as when the mechanization of work “supplants” him, taking away all personal satisfaction and the incentive to creativity and responsibility, when it deprives many workers of their previous employment, or when, through exalting the machine, it reduces man to the status of its slave.
The Church finds in the very first pages ofthe Book of Genesis the source of her conviction that work is a fundamental dimension of human existence lsborem earth. Work which demanded from the worker the exercise of physical strength, eexrcens work of muscles and hands, was considered unworthy of free men, and was therefore given to slaves.
Catalog Record: Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) | Hathi Trust Digital Library
Man has the right to leave his native land for various motives-and also the right to return-in order to seek better conditions of life in another country. It is familiar to women, who, sometimes without proper recognition on the part of society and even of their own families, bear the daily burden and responsibility for their homes and the upbringing of their children. The Church is convinced that work is a fundamental dimension of man’s existence on earth.
As one example, John Paul mentions manufacturing companies in developed countries that purchase raw materials from less developed countries.
But the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide the above-mentioned changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.
Various new systems have been thought out. After outlining the important role that concern for providing employment for all workers plays in safeguarding respect for the inalienable rights of man in view of his work, it is worthwhile taking a closer look at these rights, which in the final analysis are formed within the relationship between worker and direct employer. Historically speaking, this, taken as a whole, has caused great changes in civilization, from the beginning of the “industrial era” to the successive phases of development through new technologies, such as the electronics and the microprocessor technology in recent years.
From the beginning it was part of the Church’s teaching, her concept of man and life in society, and, especially, the social morality which she worked out according to the needs of the different ages.
Relating herself to man, she seeks to express the eternal designs and transcendent destiny which the living God, the Creator and Redeemer, has linked with him.
The true advancement of women requires that labour should be structured in such a way that women do not have to pay for their advancement by abandoning what is specific to them and at the expense of the family, in which women as mothers have an irreplaceable role.
In the light of this fundamental structure of all work-in the light of the fact that, in the final analysis, labour and capital are indispensable components of the process of production in any social system-it is clear that, even if it is because of their work needs that people unite to secure their rights, their union exerfens a constructive factor of social order and solidarity, and it is impossible to ignore it.
This awareness is extinguished within him in a system of excessive bureaucratic centralization, which makes the worker feel that he is just a cog in a huge machine moved from above In the modern world there are many situations that tend to degrade the dignity of work.
This is not to absolve the direct employer from his enciclicq responsibility, but only to draw attention to the whole network of influences that condition his conduct. He takes them over through work and for work.
Indeed, they show its very deepest essence. Nevertheless, these two aspects of work are linked to one another and are mutually complementary in various points. They are indeed a mouthpiece for the struggle for social justice, for the just rights of working people in accordance with their individual professions.
But at the same time, one cannot fail to note that in the process of this development not only do new neciclica of work appear but also others disappear. The International Organizations have an enormous part to play in this area.