BRITNEY Spears’ latest single Work B**ch is the most recent production in the new genre of motivational work music.
Spears’ lyrical efforts go like this: (You wanna live fancy? / Live in a big mansion? / Party in France? / You better work bitch, you better work bitch…
So it’s all about working hard, getting ahead, reaping the rewards. And yet the common story is of people working harder for less rewards in the hope that their jobs will not be taken over by technology. That’s the reality.
The world often seems divided into people who do things–and people who get the credit.
And we are still, in some ways, governed by the old Protestant work ethic that claims the poor deserve to be so.
According to the theory often espoused by the churches from the start of the Industrial Revolution, the way to salvation was through hard work.
There were early critics, such as John Wesley, who expressed concerns that the Protestant work ethic would produce riches that would increase pride, anger and love of the world.
In fact, there was a time when capitalism was almost an unthinkable concept. Christian churches once banned the charging of interest and rampant consumption was considered as sinful indulgence.
But progress in technology, affluence and lengthened life expectancy prompted optimistic attitudes about life and the world. Religions relaxed attitudes towards consumerism, and then embraced it.