HUMAN VOCATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: Contributing to Society, Realizing Oneself as a Human Being - Part VI
by Prof. John McMurtry
Global Research Canada, February, 2, 2012
RECOVERING THE BASES OF OUR LIVES FROM SILENCE AND OCCUPATION:
THE HUMAN VOCATION, THE CIVIL COMMONS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Professor John McMurtry
Professor John McMurtry
A human vocation comes in as many forms as there are ways of contributing one’s share to society by expressing one’s own capabilities as a human being. It enables and obliges the provision of universal life necessities for others, and realizes oneself as human. It is the ultimate human life good and necessity because it links the rights of people to universal human goods to their obligation to contribute to them – the bridge from individual to society, is to ought, and humanity’s development to better. It bonds from within and calls from without as the human vocation linking the individual and society rather than dividing them.
No need and capacity so defines human being, and yet no universal life good is more alienated from us within the money capitalist system. Work is a “disutility” to all ruling economic doctrine since Adam Smith, and only its selling for a price counts as work. It is here most fundamentally that humanity’s meaning is turned upside down. Grotesque consequences of economic organisation follow such as disqualifying the most basic economic contributions such as homecare and child upbringing as not work because it has not been bought and sold.
The obligation of contributory work for the society and world which host one’s life is not coercive for life-value understanding. It is grounded in humanity’s deepest need - to do what is of value to others and meaningful to oneself. This is in truth what makes human beings different from two-legged animals. Two-legged animals are identical with their self-desires in the individual, and are unconnected to each other by rules for mutual life-good provision within herd and peck-orders. This non-human state admits of degrees, but almost all societies we know today are bound in this direction by the ruling system of all competing against one another for means of existence and private profit.
While almost anyone can recognise the human vocation to produce life-value for others beyond self as undeniable –what drives every self-realising occupation - this human vocation has long been conditioned out of conscious recognition. It gets lost in atomic concepts of “self-respect”, or is directly reversed by market doctrine that conceives real work as only what others buy. This onto-axiology thus presupposes a kind of enslavement – one’s vital hours are sold to another as a commodity with no human rights in trade treaties which regulate the world’s ‘economies’.
Constructive activity to produce life-value for others – what we are impelled to do if we are healthy human beings – is thus erased as a form of life and motivation in the market order. While it remains in teaching, health-care and other professions not yet subverted by private money-sequence subjugation, it grows ever scarcer in the macro global system. Revealingly all the while, global-market corporations never stop telling us that they do what they do is for us. They obliquely recognise this condition of human being, but it has been driven into the life-unconscious at the theoretical level.
Being Human: Why We Must Work for Our Own Life Good and Others’ at the Same Time
To read the entire article please click on the link provided below:
The Rights of the "Human" over the "Non-Human": The Undeclared World War of Human Rights versus Corporate Rights. Part I
Life Value, The Common Life Interest of Legitimate Rights and Social Justice - Part II
Human Life: Beyond Money, Ideology and Productive Forces - Part III
The Universal Human Life Necessities: The Life Ground of Economics and Human Rights Defined - Part IV
Individuals Within Society: Human Vocation, Civil Commons and Social Justice - Part V