SCHOOL / “If the real world is virtual, work can not be a victim”

There is a shortage of servants and seasonal work: the blame for citizenship income? Or the low wages? There is a lot of debate these days about this dilemma, omitting a fact: paid or not, the manual labor, the boys (not all, but many) do not want to do it. Simply why not, because they see their future in a different light. So much so that there are no more carpenters, plumbers, gardeners, and the few who are left are coveted and controversial. They also gave it a name for this phenomenon: Neet, those who between 15 and 30 years do not have a job, but do not even look for it. And they are a quarter of the total number of children. So instead of discussing the effects, why not say something about the causes?

It is a fact that there has been a genetic shift in all professions as the assistive technology has come to an end. And it does not depend on the individual, but on a structure that obliges us not to look up. In school, the programs take precedence over the pedagogical relationship, as described in the beautiful books by Paola Mastrocola. In politics, the party ideal has given in to the politician’s two new competencies: rhetoric and adapting programs to the state budget. In the healthcare sector, the transformation of hospitals into companies has led to doctors becoming operators and patients becoming customers. In the world of work, the sociality of the place has provided space for teleworking, which is certainly convenient, but which destroys collaborations and social demands. It is a race for achievement, well described by Herbert Marcuse, who explained that it leads to an impoverishment for the benefit of those who hold the reins of capital. And as sociologist Berry Schwartz explains, it leads to mediocrity at best.

But mediocrity is not a problem for the technology society, on the contrary, it is an added value, because in that way no one gets in the way: everyone loyal to their role.

And the technological world knows how to teach; it teaches that if you have the technique, work must no longer be combined with sacrifice, that any barrier can be overcome, that any dream can be realized. Too bad this is only practically true: immersed in a smartphone Giga you start to think that this is the technique that you control, conquer, generate everything with. This is the message. And launching the successes of youtubers, influencers, ticktockers as magical ideals imposes it as a social model.

Then the work is disconnected from the commitment, the profit is disconnected from the work, the success is disconnected from the profit. “Just a click” repeat the ads. And the more the media avalanche imposes on this model, the more the real world (school, politics, work, healthcare) follows it without realizing that it is losing touch with reality. “Unfortunate generation,” Pasolini said, lamenting this distancing of young people from reality: “you reach the Middle Ages without having enjoyed what you were entitled to enjoy.”

Of course, there are fewer peasants, fewer carpenters, fewer cooks because they are labor; and the “hand”, ie physical contact, has now become a legacy to be ashamed of. Gunther Anders, one of the greatest philosophers of the last century, spoke of this when he explained that Western man has become envious of machines, he wants to be cold, automatically, programmed as a machine, to lose the illusion of freedom it is only an obstacle to the pursuit of technological perfection.

If the physical contact is lost, the specificity of the human is lost, which on the one hand is the sociality with the claims and the great constructions it entails, and on the other hand the awareness of each individual diversity and uniqueness, something very evident in the jam world. cultural, where any gender difference must be swept away (as the philosopher Ivan Illich already complained in the book Sex), any age difference must be ignored (which can unfortunately be seen in health care, where the specific pediatrician is being lost), and any geographical difference must not exist (all to the detriment of poor countries).

Without distinction, the world to be reached is ticktockers. So why be surprised if young people stay home for years without looking for work, if they shut themselves in and try to make faces and fake scoops to end up on Youtube, or if they consider school a boring interval between one influencer and another ? Still and all down, like happy slaves, as JJ Rousseau would have said. And the signs can be seen: the boys no longer know how to write, they give them clues to follow and no longer develop themes; in France at maturity they rebelled because a clue used the word incomprehensible to them: “legendary”; and in Italy they had to put notes on Pascoli’s poetry otherwise no one (apparently) understood what “difila” means.

The world in the hands of the virtual is not the fault of the virtual, but the driving forces of society, which has been slowly declining. It was easy for the great ideals and the great moral forces to get out of the struggles with the medieval barbarians, it was less easy but possible to get out of the totalitarianism of the twentieth century; but against the spread of technology, the battle seems to be lost. We do not see Gandhi, King, Sturzo or Berlinguer on our horizon; but not even activists like Rosa Sparks or Salvo d’Acquisto: the activists today determine them and give them to us of the media world, and they keep the time to get a cup of coffee, just as it takes the aforementioned world to pretend to have a breath of freedom.

We can only hope for improbable centers of rebirth, as they were for the Benedictine monasteries of Europe, or the surviving American nuclei of Mapuche or Navajos, from which the seeds of civilization are silently transmitted in the drama of the surrounding catastrophe.

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