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Mackenzie Andersen

manager, Andersen Studio

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Pride in one’s work matters to the individual and the society. Work brings life meaning- work is not just a means to an end.

Leslie T Chang is using an “end justifies the means argument”, which purportedly represents the voice and courage of the workers in the global factories but serves the corporate agenda well. Nothing she says is untrue as it is a general truth that people will make the best of whatever circumstances in which they find themselves. Chang’s argument at best works as a collective voice of a collective society and represents a sort of tyranny of the majority in which those that don’t fit the collective world view don’t really matter and as such they become the social outsiders who in this day and age are ripe candidates for the global terrorist movement.

I in this blog post, I pursue the denigration of the act of “making” in which I make the connection between the local ( in my case Maine, USA) and the global. This post is part of an ongoing series.


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    May 26 2013: I apologize for not being clearer. I agree with you that human beings are able to find value even pride in any activity they engage themselves with regardless of what repressive agencies or mundane tasks that might be imposing those activities upon them and, of course, craftsmanship still reaps a premium market recognition.

    What I was decrying was Ms. Chang's - albeit a cross - cultural view that one's value as a human being is based upon whether they are a "productive" member of the current economic - and thereby political - system and that the recognition of that value is to be found in the consumptive lifestyle they enjoy.

    I see change as inevitable, there is nothing in the universe that is static and our human made systems of finance, politics, governance, economics and so on are just that, they are human made. they exist in whatever form we desire them to take. Or at least, the form that those in power wish them to take. This whole "work" and "employment" thing has only been around for a few hundred years, namely since the Industrial Revolution. We don't have to take it so seriously.

    Just as the days of pride in one's shepherding, or smithing, or tinkering or farming or a thousand other personalized tasks of the communities of the day, that pride still flourishes in the lives of a portion of the modern day workforce and the tasks they perform.

    but that pride of accomplishment, or productivity is slowly but surely being shifted back to one's place in and contribution to their community because having a "job", especially a job that provides a safe and secure future, is no longer possible for ever greater segments of the population every day.

    Change is in the air, nothing is static, everything is in transition. But that would be another thread :)
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      May 27 2013: I didn't hear Ms Chang place value on being "production"- only on viewing the job as a means to an end and trying to pull it off as cool- as the worker beating the system, when the worker is only making the best of the system that they can make. She made it sound as if they were learning new things BECAUSE they moved to an urban location to take a job in a factory, when in fact anyone who is alive in life is always learning new things where ever they are.

      I once had a thought that a worker in a low wage labor market could make as much from one sale on ETSY ( not knowing shipping costs) as working a month in a factory but my next thought was that political forces would not allow that to happen. My thinking then was confined to places with low wage labor markets but I have since come to believe that the globalists are threatened every where by small craft enterprises. These enterprises exist because people exist that love to make things- that have the desire to make things and take pride in the act of making things.

      In the state of Maine, our government run economy, which I call Maine State Inc ignores new internet venues and phenomena like Etsy and KickStarter because Maine State Inc is in bed with high growth investors ( tax payer subsidized high growth investors- no less!). They are spinning a yarn for the Maine taxpayers that Maiine State Inc is creating high tech manufacturing jobs for Mainers with top pay and top benefits- as if that is competitive in the global market place! But most Mainers buy their line.

      In the legislation, a different picture emerges. There is something called "foreign trade zones" coming down from the federal government . The warehouse must be state owned. The exemption applies to the goods stored or assembled and repackaged in the ware house and so it is a setup where by goods can be manufactured in low wage markets and assembled state side and so be promoted as "made in America"

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