HISTORY OF IDEAS – Work


One of the things that’s the most peculiar about life in the developed economies in our own time is the way we look at work and in particular, the way we think that work should be about two things: Making money of course. But also in far more strangely: Finding fulfillment, creativity and meaning. It’s a beautiful idea, of course. But it’s also a highly unusual one which causes us quite a few headaches as well. It’s worth taking a look into the history of work… The garden of Eden 3,900BC According to Christian doctrine when Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating an apple that punishment for defying God’s wishes is work. “By the sweat of your brow, you’ll lead your food until you return to the ground”. the Lord informs them. Work is what distinguishes life inparadise from the world we know. Adam will have to work until his 930 years old. Athens 335 PC Aristotle opens his public school: the Lyceum a centre of learning for wealthy and cultured young Athenians. Aistotle make a bold claim: The life of the mind is only open to rich people. “Anyone who has actually to earn money to live is a slave.” Aristotle tells us. However, outwardly grand their life might be, the pursuit of money and good intellectual work is simply impossible, the philosopher declares. and he’s widely believed for hundred of years. Hippo, Roman Africa, 396 AD Saint Augustine becomes the Bishop of Hippo and in his sermons resurrects the Christian notion of work as a result of original sin. In his sermon of the New Testament, Augustine tells his audience: Many of whom slaves, the work is always going to be miserable. From this cup of sorrow, no one may be excused. The cup that Adam has pledged must be drunk. The only relief is to look forward to the next life in God’s kingdom. Rome 1508, The Florentine painter, sculptor, architect and poet Michelangelo begins painting the ceiling of the Sixtine Chapel commissioned by Pope Julius the 2nd. He’s given complete freedom to design the work and promised a lot of money in return. Michelangelo, along with his fellow Italian genius, Leonardo da Vinci embody a new approach to work: They work for money; hiring out their talents to the highest bidders in the courts of Europe but they’re evidently not slave. At the same time they do not work just for the money, They do it for the inherent fulfillment that the work brings. Our modern ideas of work are a lot the Renaissance idea of remunerative creative genius. Our own ambitions are now democratized versions of the aspiration of men like Leonardo and Michelangelo. We too, wish to be paid and creative. Württemberg, Holy Roman Empire 1520 Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, makes mementos point That one could serve God through work of many different kinds and not just as it previously been argued by Catholicism simply by entering the the priesthood. He proposes that, the common work of a servant or handmaiden, can be more acceptable to God than all the fastings and works of a monk or a priest. God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid. For Luther, God has endowed each one of us with talents that can be used to help another out, which is how work becomes moral. Everyone undertaking essential tasks, he mentions cleaning, milking, downing, teaching is wearing what Luther calls the mask of God, since God is behind each task. This, Luther says, demonstrates God’s love. He ensures that we’re endowed with the qualities to look after one another through our work. Work for Luther, is therefore the best means to employ the doctrine of “Love thy neighbor”. Protestantism is responsible for a momentous reevaluation of the worth and dignity of ordinary labor. Paris, France 1750, Diderot and d’Alembert published the first volume of the Encyclopédie which sets out to cover each and every branch of human work There is one chapter in which Diderot writes with particular admiration about bakers There are others on the work of farmers, bellmakers, locksmiths, and cloth weavers. It’s the longest illustrated poem in praise of ordinary work ever written and it has a huge impact on how people perceive the prestige of work. Paris, France, 1844 the exiled Karl Marx finishes his “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844” A series of notes on capitalism containing some of his most interesting thinking about work. He attacks capitalism not because workers don’t get paid enough or are exploited but for a far more interesting reason: because too often, their work is boring. And it doesn’t allow them to develop their characters. That’s the true problem with capitalism in Marx’s eyes. Marx, who worked 12 hours a day most days is no enemy of work. What infuriates him about capitalism, is that it seems to prevent us from enjoying our work, enjoying it as much as he enjoyed his. because it encourages the production of goods, disconnected from the talents and aspirations of the worker. that’s what he so desperately wishes to correct. Communism isn’t a project for getting rid of work, it’s about making work more enjoyable. University of Chicago, USA, 1899 An irritable American academic publishes his first book: The Theory of the leisure class. In it Thorstein Veblen captures very clearly an idea of being upper-class that’s about to die out forever Veblen argues that as soon as people make it in society, they try to show that superiority by displaying signs of what leisurely and idle people they are. Veblen writes that: “The characteristic feature of the rich is a conspicuous exemption from useful employment” Veblen well may be right for his own day… but everything is about to change. Within a few decades, everyone falls prey to a new cult: the cult of working hard and being very very busy all the time Soon, only the unemployed are idle. Everyone else is working away furiously. The richer you are, the more you keep working to show that you’re good and serious. Be idle is the new taboo. Washington DC, USA, 1945, With work newly prestigious, one of the major challenges of societies becomes that of correctly mining the talents of everyone. and helping them to find their way into the right jobs, that is jobs that will fulfill them and make them money. Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers run the first Briggs-Myers Indicated test On George Washington medical school students. This test developed throughout the second World war, indicates personality types, and tries to pair people out with ideal jobs. The test uses 93 questions to figure out which one of 4 main personality types you might be. Introverts/Extroverts; Thinkers/Feelers; Sensers/Intuitives; Judgers/Perceivers. So for example, an introvert will enjoy thinking and working alone in small peaceful groups, and will be suited to work as an accountant, a dentist or librarian. but an extrovert will enjoy action-dominated, high-octane work and might go for acting, salesmanship or trading in financial institutions. The gole Briggs and Myers says: is to find the type of work that suits you best, work is about making the correct lifestyle choice that suits your personnality. It’s not about arbitrary aims, such as money. Living rooms, USA, January 22 1984, Apple Computers launches the only national airing of its famous 1984 advert during the halftime commercials of the Super Bowl. The 60-second advert sees a heroine, dressed in bright running gear, saving army of soulless workers from the conformity of standardized work, by destroying their Big Brother-like leader. It’s an idea as old as the Renaissance: there’s good work and bad work And the good work is the creative kind, except now, unlike in Michelangelo’s day, thanks to technology, this is for everyone. The advert carried the famous tagline: You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984”. The advert underlined the liberating colorful and energetic Mac as a deliverance from the technophobic drudgery of industrial labor. The future of work is going to be fun, original and expressive in Apple’s hands. But, for millions of the unemployed or the unhappily employed, the dream has not turned out to be so easy. It can be doubly painful, when you meant to having such fun at work to find no work at all, or work that doesn’t fulfill your soul. The modern world has made the career crisis one of the central difficulties of existence. We’re asking so much of our working lives. So no wonder they sometimes don’t deliver against the expectations that we now have of them. Too often our jobs are closer to the toil of Adam than the life-enhancing creativity of Michelangelo. That remains the challenge for the future of work.

Comments 100

  • O dont care

  • You might do "Social Media"

  • you guys gonna do podcasts errr what?

  • i really like your videos and your on the right track i remember when i was on that point one time ^^ but i believe soon you will go even deeper in the "spiritual world" and then you will see the connection between almost everything in almost all your videos 🙂 keeo going my friend

  • btw, it wasnt an apple that adam and eve ate at the garden of eden. It was just described as fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.

  • There will always be shitty jobs. We need to get rid of the workaholic culture. Reduce hours, so people can have better lives outside of work. Reduce the number of BS jobs, just share the ones that are really needed. The reason we have these existential career crises is because work has consumed our being.

    Or we can just wait till robots do everything for us. Then we'll probably have another existential crisis, the boredom crisis. Either way we'll always have something to complain about.

  • this is all marxist propoganda

  • in the beginning of the video you are wrong… at first, before Adam sinned, work was a gift for man from God (Genesis 2:15)…

  • I guess Africa, Asia, or South America do not have any ideas about work.
    This channel has such a European/North American bias.
    I can't take you seriously when you have such a one sided view of history.
    "Adam 3900BC"??? The first man was born in 3900BC???
    You can't be serious right

  • I only work to earn money, for one day I can work on something I really like and love

  • No other creatures pay to live besides us. Also animals pay with their own lives for our own greed. We're cruel and pretty damn dumb, not all of us are but a whole lot us are.

  • There's work and than there's a lifestyle. Work is something you do solely for money and a lot of times you hate it. A lifestyle is something that you love to do so much it's nearly just a party of your daily livelihood and the money is nothing but a bonus.

  • Watching this ,sitting on a overcrowded bus ,on your way home from WORK…… Really transport you to a whole new weird place of introspection and self pity !

  • I love the advert line: "You'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984." It gave me a good chuckle.

  • If you have food,clothing a roof, and a friend. anything else is a bonus and people should stop bitching.

  • 2017 – Sweden makes job day to 6 hr a day.

  • This is good work!

  • This should have been called a theology of work since biblical story has very little to do with the history of the world

  • lutheranism is what happens when you take all the bullshit out of Christianity and just leave the common sense.

  • Can't find that ACTUAL Quote/citation from Aristotle, any help? ( it's for a case study and it really means a lot if it really is from aristotle or just made up for this video from his values.. a quote is a quote.. )

    But nonetheless, GREAT Channel, Great videos! lot's of QUICK CULTURE that makes me and hopefuly many people research more deeply some these themes, individuals, facts, etc.
     Keep up with the great work! =)

  • Engineering (the natural one) is the best default option if you can't find other ways to do fulfilling/contributing work. Working on liberating the world from work via technology/science/engineering, doing it while being creative, feeling like you're actually contributing to the world, it's fun/interesting, and always fresh.

  • The whole modern work ethic is ridiculous.The only way it can be defined is an activity for which you receive renumeration.There is nothing "noble" about that.For example.Lionel Messi plays a game of football and is paid.He is working.You turn out for your local pub team on Sunday you are not working although you are doing exactly the same thing.If a professional gambler goes to a casino to win money he is working,when you go to your local bookies you are not working And what about burglars,are they working when they break in to a house?What about Prostitutes?This ridiculous idea about the"nobility and dignity of labour" is the biggest con of modern times.

  • I just love you. Sorry, little drunk

  • Thank you Martin Luther! 😉

  • As work places are being lost by technological advance we are loosing the balance at Society. If someone answer to this is to said "but these people go work in more human jobs". In fact I see is one little PERCENTAGE go work in more human jobs, the others go unemployed. Also new generation with more skills is in the market and the jobs are not enough to people retire with 40 working years coexisting with new generations at a full time. And the paradox: consumerism need all with money and retirement payements need more actual people contributions, and the world overpopulation of 7Billion downgrades instead of help solution. May be solution is timesharing of jobs by persons of same skills alternating between work and formation with food warranty card in the worst case.

  • We work so we can have cool shit. Its the core of capitalism.

  • We work so we can have cool shit. Its the core of capitalism.

  • The Catholic Church always taught what Martin Luther repeated about all types of work being in the service of God. Luther learned that philosophy from the Catholic Church, where he received all his education.

  • A very informative and valuable video, but I am little surprised that the makers chose to only cover the last two thousand years, which is 20% of the agricultural period, and thus ignored 99.9% of the total history of humans on Earth. During the 2 million years of human evolution as simple hunter-gatherers, humans presumably "worked" for their extended family band without remuneration, as modern families still do. Since they were long-adapted to such living, they probably enjoyed their work too!

  • You know, if you watch these videos and he touches on something you know a little about, he gets it about half right.

    In genesis, God puts Adam in the garden to tend it– work. The curse has to do with the sweat of his brow and the ground yielding thistles and such as that. And man is not removed from the garden for eating an apple. An apple?

  • B
    Awesome video…

  • 💜🎥🛀💵🥈🥂 Selena Gomez Sex Video http://leakingwiks.ga/V_z2a

  • Excellent presentation.

  • Not accurate. Even before the expulsion from the garden God told them to work. It was just another word he used, which was "cultivate". The punishment was not work but a broken relationship with God and harmony with nature.

  • I hate how work is the central part of our lives, so much so that it seems to consume our essences. The first thing people say when describing themselves is what they do for work "i am…", our likes, tastes, abilities and feelings become all secondary. It's sad.

  • You lost me when you mentioned Communism

  • 6:43 HOLY MOLY! No WONDER why I like MBTI so much. It was made to try and figure out what kind of talents a person has through their natural, individual behaviors and traits.

  • Oh man,
    I learn so much from your video !!
    I hope that my fellow humans would see them too !
    I am only 20 years old but you help me so much with my life, thank you for everything you are doing !

  • wait, if you have to earn money to live you're a slave??!?!?!??>!T13gbk2gvu76edv

  • i don't think any personality would like to work in a factory or cleaning floor in an office unless they have to

  • It wasn’t an apple!

  • Oh now I understand! We will need to live until we are able to live more than the average 70 years till 900!

  • How about making history of the information delivery? in the past it was mainly throught books. A kind of information of course, that which talks lowly even without voice. But it's true. Books have been in a way overcomed. This should be positive and in a large way, even easier, because technology helps us for the self-realization. It helps iin every aspect of our lifes. This also applies to the ways we have for for expressing ourselves. Important thing, really. Althought i think books are a great way to spend time. I think that even if it's still not entirely realized, we have better and more direct ways to talk about the It. Althought not necessarily a first impression and perception of something makes you understand the whole of it, this in a way, helps us a lot for going directly to the It. After all, how many people reads the same book twice or even three times?

  • I don’t like to work. I just want to be free, help people and bring creative

  • هناک ازربایجانی، لکن لیس هناک عربیه😑

  • lol what utter horse shit the mayers briggs is, you are actually taking this whole test all the time in every job constantly.

  • Work will set you free said Adolf Hitler.

  • This video have all the timeline reference from western part of world, I wonder how it would be differnt when you bring in eastern countries.

  • False biblical narrative. The school of life abuses even turteres the word of God. First even before the Garden, Adam and eve were commanded to work in the land so there isn't any verses that refers work as punishement and even uf we considere it , wefind other scriptures in other old testament scriptures that highlight work. I just wanted to pointed out
    For example in Genesis 2:15 , it is said "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend* and keep it"
    *tend=cultivate.
    This means that Man did work in the garden.
    Your references are from Gensis 3: In the verse " by the sweat…" that you mentioned doesn't actually confirm your claim but instead mean that work shall be harder and bad. As I have shown, work in the garden was more comfortable and there was work. Thisclaim does only to show the hardness of work that sin has caused. Overall old testament and even new testament scriptures show the importance of work and the value of it.

  • This is how brainwashing works, this channel supports communism.

  • Most of us in truth are simply not creative enough to earn a living at it. That is why we have a hobby.

  • …..and on the eighth day, God created work.

  • Great short overview of something that we have completely lost sight of as modern material consumerists

  • U bless thanks u and we all have gifts 2 please God and the world

  • 4:07 so, when I was a kid I was reading it right.

  • thank you for the information…. very useful. 💕

  • Myers Briggs test is overrated. I get a different result every time depending on my mood. Also, a lot of hypothetical situations in the questionnaire are foreign to me. It's not a good way to help you determine your live's mission.

  • Well done. God bless.

  • Im a slave!

  • Why don't you term your videos as Western-European history?

    No mention of other non-European figures and ideas

  • Rất hay, bức tranh nói lên nhiều ý nghĩa, minh rât thíc video nay!

  • Most of our problems comes from our foolish stuporstitious (superstitions that put people's minds into a stupor) ideas about how things "aught" to be.

  • The problem is that there will always be objectively shitty jobs that are imperative to a functional society. Is there a Meyers Briggs category for people who want to snake sewage drains or do roofing in triple digit heat?

  • dang he really did it with that apple logo tho

  • So you just disregard us atheists.. That's OK.. But know this. Our history of work is a stunning story of human evolution.

  • Well, you finally lost me. Evidently, the Rule of St. Benedict and the ancient Catholic maxim "Ora et labore" means nothing. Neither do the Social Encyclicals for the past two millenia that espouse work as blessed. St. Lawrence on the Practise of the Presence of GOD. Teresa de Avila's constant counsel to "find GOD amongst the pots and pans…."

    Martin Luther was a hack; the work of the common man has always been the Way of Perfection.

  • Fascinating.

  • im not sure about this

  • The Bible doesn't say work is a condemnation. Actually, it's says that God himself worked by creating the world

  • Incorrect notion on work from the Christian tradition. Adam is charged with tending the Garden of Eden BEFORE the Fall. Work is part of the human condition, but not a “burden”. Work becomes difficult following the Fall, another example of the loss of “integration” in traditional Christian theology.

  • Did you begin this vid by saying, "Garden of Eden 3900bc" as if that was true? Where can this garden be found? You sound rock solid on the date but, tell the truth…you sure? Who verified and fact checked your discovery? I want to talk to them too.

  • i hate work

  • 1984: "You'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984."
    2018: "You'll see why 2019 will be like 1984."

  • Marx worked x12 hrs/day??? At what?

  • IT READS MINDLESS BUT,…"THAT WAS SOME CHRONIC SHIT."

  • IT READS MINDLESS BUT,…"THAT WAS SOME CHRONIC SHIT."

  • IT READS MINDLESS BUT,…"THAT WAS SOME CHRONIC SHIT."

  • IT READS MINDLESS BUT,…"THAT WAS SOME CHRONIC SHIT."

  • Eden: Work is an unpleasant punishment.

    Aristotle: Finding fulfillment and doing spectacular things is impossible when you're poor and have to earn money.

    Early Christianity: Work is terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible but we gotta do it anyways cuz God said so.

    Renaissance: Money, ambition, joy and creative genius are best together.

    Martin Luther: We shall use our talents for good. Even small ones are important and please God. Ordinary jobs are sometimes even better.

    Enlightenment: The Encyclopedie, explaining things about different everyday jobs.

    Marks: Boring, uneducational work that doesn't develop one's talents and personality is the worst capitalism does.

    Veblen: rich people are lazy assholes.

    1945: MBTI YAAAY! Also people make a cult out of work, which is not good. Cults aren't good as a whole. But it's great that they choose people by their talent and personality.

    Now: We have very high expectations and are often unfulfilled by our work.

    (don't mind me, this is the most convenient way to take notes)

  • Not an apple. A fruit

  • I made my own work. I love it. I flopped around from job to job for years and I finally realized I would need to make my own work. Best decision I ever made.

  • One of the most important episode that touches our very livelihood.

  • Love the initial bit

  • "Arbeit macht frei." "Work sets you free." Orwellian doublespeak used over the front gates of the concentration and extermination camps of Nazi Germany.

  • The division of labor is a tool to make each workers job so simple that any one can learn any one elses job in a month making all workers expendable

  • I remember now why I'm stopped watching this channel, way too many images of naked female breasts in all their videos I've seen. I'm sure it pleases many viewers but I find it predictable, gratuitous and off-putting.

  • Basically, since the beginning, those in higher positions do everything they can to stay rich and have those under do all of the work to stay that way

  • You know, I always wanted to be a teacher, it was my dream job and I got it. I moved abroad and my first and only job here has been teaching languages. I also have the luck to teach as I want so I can combine what I like with my creativity.

  • 0:33 you don't give a time frame for something that never happened.

  • That’s why I’m studying world history recently, mainly to be aware of the roles of different jobs(fields/careers) in the world, society. As a recent graduate from fine art, i’m not really sure if this is the field i would actually belong.

    Now I look at myself in the past, I was a people pleaser. That’s why i always liked philosophy. Was afraid to express my feelings. I felt great pleasure finding the right words for my emotions in philosophy books. Finding my identity has been always my dream, life goal, purpose of life. And still the same, i want to live in my own skin, not faking myself and emotions. But in order to do that, I need to support myself independently in financial and emotional aspects!

    My people pleasing habit was mainly started after I got bullied by girls who got jealous of me. I was born with good physical, talents, genuine positivity, good financial support from family and was active on sports so I got a lot of affection from others. It’s not what I went out to seek for, but it’s just what happened to me. Boys tried to help me when I was being bullied, but girls were getting more jealous. I was just so afraid. I remember myself being really depressed on 11. Since bullying, I have always been by side of those whom are called minorities. And that interest led me into taste of fine art. And I think this is the knot I should release to go forward. I always raised my voice for them. I guess I was hurt and empathising, and wanted to be helped too maybe. But by time, on next grade, still I was always in those major group in the class but in a bit different way, just accepted whatever others do. And always apologising even i did nothing wrong, if any trouble occured. Because I was afraid of violence.

    And now I realise. The help to minorities are worth, only when I am settled in majorities. Only when I am in the higher place, I am safe. If I try to share the same temperature with hurt people, I would be taken advantages of. Because they have a lot to take away from me, but I don’t expect advantages from them. I might sound ignorant but i don’t know, it’s what I felt. Not all, but a lot of hurt people do hurt others without even noticing and try to take advantages. It was a big shock for me.. by gas-lighting or ect. I empathise with celebrities, pop culture and bourgeoises and those with a lot of attention from others. People want to be popular, but I don’t want to. I had so many people in my life, now I just want to be myself with some true friends but still I think is inevitable in my life to be on high place. I still want to help people, love harmony, love people and joy. In order to keep my desire, I must be in a safe place first. I met a lot of people tried to win me, because they felt threatened by my existence(???) or smth. Idk. It’s like they would try to act superior and trying to make me like a doormat if I open my vulnerability to them. I think people become friends with similar people to each others. And I couldn’t find one in art field. Most of them are offended by popularity or fame, money, but honestly, i don’t think there are a lot of pure ones with integrity like they act. They would do the same, if they could. Most people in ‘indie’ are those who can’t go to the ‘major’. Even in indie scene, they still have hierarchy. Paradox.

    So now I think, I just need to get along with the nature I have, embrace it, and need to find a good environment where people have some self-awareness yet realistic ‘daily-work’, in a bit of bourgeoise mind. What I mean by that is.. umm.. people who are not willing to win others to make themselves happier, higher or richer, just people with some high quality sense. I hate people who drag others down to feel better, I would rather just work on myself to be fairly better. And I find these competitive traits are quite common with people from middle class background or lower class. I’m sure everyone has their own cultures of life but for me this is really important matter to find a tribe I can belong.

    I like outdoor activities and put myself out there and building relationships with good people. Dancing, having fun, occasional night out, good restaurants, just ordinary things.

    Business seems way fake to me, art/ religion/ philosophy are too entitled with themselves, academias are book smart, police/ lawyers/ doctors are always fighting with darkness…
    Where can I belong?

    If you read this long comment, again, thank you.

    Ps, i am Ravenclaw with hufflepuff undertones.. if that helps!! Haha. Then griffindor and got 0% slytherin. My thriving for finding the right tribe 🌱

  • The garden of eden isnt a a part of history

  • Well I pressure wash sometimes it is fulfilling. get tips occasionally.
    The other day a past customer actually sent a thank you card to our boss. I guess outside work is pretty gratifying sometimes. Def dont want to pressure wash my whole life, hopefully i can keep learning while eventually finding my own work.

  • THERE ARE ONLY TWO REASONS WHY WORK IS HARD . (1) WE WORK FOR OTHERS WHO PROFIT FROM US . (2) WE COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER RATHER THAN COOPERATE . in short if we all worked for the benefit of the community then work would be easy .

  • Transition between two apples 😟😟😟

  • Work is like a casino you make the casino rich, while you go broke

  • Work, where very few humans figured out that the human race is merely another domesticated livestock to be trained in obedience for treats and adoration from our masters. When we don't perform well for our masters our treats and adoration are cut and we are abused livestock living in misery and it's our own fault for not performing to the pleasures of the giving masters.

  • …oh but she can can i

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