We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Pathological Fixation on Work

by Holger Heide Monday, Sep. 04, 2006 at 9:06 AM
mbatko@lycos.com

Work mania-voluntarily-has become social normality.. We have largely internalized the norms of the work society. In other words, we are susceptible to work mania.

PATHOLOGICAL FIXATION ON WORK

Must Germans work more? The German sociologist Holger Heide says the human relation to work is wrong. Work mania has – voluntarily – become social normality.

[This interview published in: die tageszeitung, 6/24/2003 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web.]



taz: Everyone says we need more work. But that people have long been addicted to work is described as a problem.

Holger Heide: In factories, employees are under pressure: in the sense of stress, intercollegial stress and mobbing. The state of health of workers worsens despite the statistically demonstrable decline in the rate of absenteeism – on account of the high unemployment. Something is not right with the human relation to work. This is caused first of all by outward pressure. Businesses adjust to the increasing pressure of competition on the world market. However outward pressure is not a complete explanation. We have largely internalized the norms of the work society. In other words, we are susceptible to work mania.

You call work mania a national sickness. In fact, the term “dependent employee” also points to a drug addiction. Is a vaccine in sight?

Administering a medicine can heal a few sicknesses. Usually the symptoms are merely suppressed. Even more important, work mania is an artificial social normality. At most, “excesses” are registered as alarming and “undesirable side-effects”: high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, circulatory problems, back pain and many other sufferings that worry every company doctor.

WHAT IS WORK MANIA?

Work mania is a pathological fixation on work. An evasion of unbearable feelings unconsciously underlies this mania as with other manias. I “plunge” into work on account of the high social acceptance of work. However the opposite reaction is also common. Having to perform can become so intense that one can fall into a state of almost complete work inhibition. Colleagues and family members often recognize the characteristics of addiction when the affected isolate themselves and have no time or interest in anything beside work.

One can break ecstasy, schnapps and heroin. Earning a living seems different. Does the work-sick person have possibilities of becoming healthy?

Breaking is not health. As with heroin, healing of mental sickness is ultimately crucial. Doing a job that brings sickness and death cannot be justified by referring to “livelihood.”

Was everything different or better in the past? Do you judge the productivity advances negatively?

We must speak about the term “productivity.” What is the point of constantly increasing productivity? Recall the sentence of John Stuart Mill that is part of classical English sociology: “Whether all the mechanical inventions have relieved the daily toil of some human beings is dubious.” He said, technical and economic progress is always passed off as progress of individuals or humanity. In the phase of the industrial revolution, this “progress” has always had an extremely destructive effect on a part of humanity. This misunderstanding that everything was very terrible in the past should be cleared away. The notion that one has more free time today than in the past is simply false. Still we have to start from what exists now. I must discern what is good for me. When I notice, going to work twelve hours a day is demanded of me – I even demand it of myself – and contacts to the family are broken off or heart problems appear, then I must say: something is wrong. What are central are existential problems, not more money.

What is your opinion of the “happy unemployed” and its concept “Why should I kill myself?”

This is certainly a popularization that is not completely wrong. It offers a possibility for discussing the term “work,” first of all for those who are unemployed and massively exposed to the immediate pressure of stigmatization. They conclude: Unemployment is not desirable for us but we can use the time we have now to our advantage. This would take away a part of the stress from the world of work. Those who have work must grapple with the same questions and understand that solidarity is not simply a warm-hearted sympathy. Rather this society has a fundamental problem. To escape the addicted society, we need new solidarian forms of individuality and collectivity beyond “representation of interests” and “politics.”

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
mania? Le ' dog Monday, Sep. 04, 2006 at 9:33 AM
oh and did I mention robery and extortion? Le ' dog Monday, Sep. 04, 2006 at 9:39 AM
"Work Ethic" is a misnomer TW Monday, Sep. 04, 2006 at 4:18 PM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Attack of Corporations and the Rich on the Rest of Society J22 2:36PM

bataclown J22 12:32PM

bataclone J21 8:08PM

VAN ATTACK HOAX J21 7:35PM

Mobile Royale Hack Online Generator - Get Unlimited Crystals J21 3:03PM

Unification, séparation et fragmentation J21 2:48PM

Testing Upload J21 7:10AM

FARCELONA.2 J20 7:18PM

FAKE NEWS POR SOROS J20 6:11PM

Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM

FAKE NEWS J19 2:31PM

MACROTHSCHILD.2 J19 11:03AM

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy