Matt's Reviews > Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford
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May 29, 11

bookshelves: philosophy
Read in May, 2011

A depressing, yet worthwhile read. The genius of our politics and economy over the last century or so has been the extrication of individual judgement and competence from the people, rendering them free to not know how to think or do anything for themselves. The vaunted white collar career path one is granted access to with a college education is a sham, a variation of the assembly line factory one of yesteryear, with no real thought or knowledge required.

The counter to Crawford's point, is, of course, that it works. The material standard of living for us is the greatest in human history. This great utilitarian materialist project has created man's heaven on Earth.

And what a soulless, numb place it is. Ignorant consumers buying their freedom on credit while paying their bills through performing absurdist truncated tasks called work for unseen customers and unseen employers.

It's little wonder that the lack of true joy and happiness is a common refrain heard today. What little remains exists in those nooks and crannies of life which have escaped the attention of our central state and business planners. Those parts of life in which individuality and humanity prevail.

Just because the secondhand moves forward, that does not mean that progress for mankind is being made. That is, a better life for individual men and women rather than some deluded utopian view.

Crawford hit the nail on the head with this work. I would have preferred a little more examination of how we got here, but he did identify clearly the source. Five stars.
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Matt Or, the end of Western civilization is that men became machines.


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