TOWARDS A CONTINUOUSLY ADVANCING CIVILIZATION Beppe Robiati
On-line articles
PDF articles
© Beppe Robiati   Design & Webmaster: Claudio Malvezzi
Author & ©: Beppe Robiati   Design & Webmaster: Claudio Malvezzi
Author & ©: Beppe Robiati   Design & Webmaster: Claudio Malvezzi
Towards a continuously...
TOWARDS A CONTINUOUSLY ADVANCING CIVILIZATION      As recently as one hundred years ago, agriculture, stock and handicrafts could still be considered the primary sector of human activity. However, with the emergence of technology and industry, the number of people engaged in such activities decreased in favour of industry. This led to a progressive drop in the percentage of the active population employed in agriculture and artisan trades.      Working activity was thus displaced from a prevalently primary context (the country) to industry (the secondary sector), a development that radically transformed the social, economic, and cultural history of the last century, not to mention the structure of towns and cities. Peasants and, soon after, craftsmen also moved to the towns attracted by the higher earnings offered by industry. This move created a whole new category of people - the working class - destined to acquire great social and economic relevance in our own century.      The sense of satisfaction that the peasant or craftsman could derive from the production or creation of complete, well-made articles was replaced in the industrial worker by very different feelings: alienation, frustration, isolation, and rebellion. The organization of work in a factory has its own specific requirements: the workers must be divided into separate sections or teams to perform the automatic, repetitive and simple movements necessary to reproduce rigidly planned operating cycles, and they must work at predetermined speeds that call for constant attention if personal injury is to be avoided.      The individual is thus forced to inhibit his or her creativity and to degrade working gestures, which in former times held no secrets and had a profound cultural significance for man, to the level of mere physical and mental adaptation, nothing more than a series of unnatural automatic movements chosen by some unknown technician. This way of working gradually leads to a loss of any sense of individual responsibility and has no apparent connection with the final product.      The imbalance in production and the advent of a disorderly industrial world based exclusively on competition and profit maximization have brought enormous quantities of goods onto the market, and this has undoubtedly made life easier and more comfortable for a fortunate few. However, through the power of advertising, disproportionate desires have also been generated, and they have profoundly changed traditional cultures without creating any new countervailing values. The absence of a renewed basis for different kinds of interactions has led to a general degeneration, and the industrial world is today going through a serious crisis. This indiscriminate system of production, or rather of overproduction, of consumer goods, generally superfluous, leads to the strident contrast evident between the industrialized and the developing countries. The former undoubtedly possess a growing number of objects of all kinds with increasingly sophisticated refinements, but the fact remains that these goods are designed to satisfy individual and collective needs that are, to a large extent, the product of an information and advertising system which tends to mislead rather than to promote authentic education. The latter are confronted with the problems of economic growth, or they live in conditions of abject poverty. The tendency to consume for consumption's sake induced by advertising involves another very serious drawback: the plundering with no regard for the consequences of the greater part of the known sources of energy and raw materials. Their subsequent use in the worst possible manner raises the already high level of pollution through the return to the environment in the form of waste of all the byproducts of processing as well as the refuse associated with these superfluous possessions, and while the goods are enjoyed only by a few, the waste is harmful to all.