Time and Work-Discipline

Response to “Time, Work-Discipline and Industrial Capitalism”.


I think that the experience of the Nuer people demonstrates that Time is a mental construct of the human mind.  The familiar equation Distance = Time * Rate; or

Time = Distance / Rate expresses that what we are perceiving as time is a movement or growth that has a particular velocity.   This velocity itself has two components, force and direction.  So in trying to manage time to one’s benefit or the benefit of one’s culture, an important thing that is happening is force is being maximized in a given direction.  Consider the force of a wave in a particular direction.  If multiple waves are coincidental in a particular direction, then that wave will have a greater magnitude and force.  This will shorten perception of “Time” it takes to accomplish the distance or growth aspired to. 



I mention this because it seems to me that when considering time, an essential question is who or what are we giving our “time” to.  What distance or growth movement are we aspiring to, and to whose benefit.  When our “waves” of energy are corralled in the capitalist mode of production, is the worker gaining maximum use of “Time” or “Distance” in a direction that is favorable to his/her aspiration?  I think to label the Mexican, or African lazy because he/she intuitively senses that the direction, and growth of occurring from his/her labor (Force) does not serve his/her interest, is just an attempt to reverse that intuitive sense.  Perhaps the leisure that the Mexican or African “steals” back from the leisure class, is a moment of reflection that will change the direction of growth and development of the Mexican or African. 


Another thought is what would our relation to each other be like if we were able to harness the limitless supply of energy from the sun.  The question I have is would the dominators/oppressors continue to extract the force and time from those they dominate and oppress towards their own imagined augmentation? 


Finally here, the measure of “Time” to me essentially is a measure of growth (distance or expanse) in consciousness.  If this is not happening for and individual, society or humanity as a whole, then “Time” is wasted or said in another way, we are then stalled in our evolutionary progress. 


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