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3. Working for others

In our modern society there is a large and important area where people are working for others on a daily basis; though strangely enough, we are not always aware of this.

What area is that?


Take the baker for instance; he gets up early every morning to bake fresh bread. While most people are still asleep, he and his colleagues are busy baking bread. Almost every day. For whom does the baker do that?


For whom does the garbage man do his daily work, the labourer doing assembly line work, the bricklayer? For whom do all people who are daily engaged in economic activity, like manufacturing and distributing, work?


Does the baker need the 1,000 or more loaves he bakes daily, all need himself? Is the garbage man only gathering his own garbage, does the assembly line worker only produce for himself, does the bricklayer only build his own house?


No, billions of people around the world are daily producing and distributing things that other people are going to consume. In economy people are working to meet the needs of other people, people we do not know and who often literally live on the other side of the world. We do not know them, we will never meet them, but we work daily to fulfil their economic needs.


When we look at the actual state of affairs in the economy, at the work that is going on and at the flow of products manufactured, distributed and consumed, we see an incredible, global network of people working for other people.


So are we, modern, individualistic and self-centered people, capable to share and work together after all? Miraculously: whether we are aware of it or not, and even whether we like it or not, in reality economic activity shows us a worldwide altruistic, non-selfish organism.


But, because we are used to see the economy and our involvement in it - as a worker and / or as a consumer - only from a money point of view, we hardly notice that modern economy is where modern, individualistic people daily work together and share. *


* This does, however, not mean that economy as we know it is perfect, on the contrary. But that collaboration and sharing are taking place in modern economy, is a fact.

Still, if we want "sharing" and "co-operation" to have the place in the economy they deserve, we absolutely need to take steps. In the Ideas Section on our website you’ll find some thoughts on this in our paragraphs on Associations, Solidarity and Ownership.


John Hogervorst

August 2014

John  |  2014 08 09  |  Permalink  |  Share


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