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Full employment is “outmoded and useless,” said John Paul II

on Thursday, 01 June 2006. Posted in Pope John Paul II

The Social Crediters have said for years that the call of politicians for full employment, or human participation in production, is contrary to facts, since, thanks to new inventions, technology, progress, there is less and less need for human labour to produce goods: it is computers, robots, that do the job in our place. Work is just a means to produce goods, not an end in itself: if the work can be done by the machine, that is just great; it will allow man to give his free time over to other activities, in which he can really develop his personality and God-given talents.

This is exactly what Pope John Paul II said on November 18, 1983, when he received in audience the participants in a national conference sponsored by the Italian Episcopal Conference's Commission for Social Problems and Work. Here are excerpts from the Pope's address:

"The primary foundation of work is in fact man himself... Work is for man and not man for work... Furthermore, we cannot fail to be concerned about the opinions of those who today hold that discussion of a more intense participation is now outmoded and useless, and demand that human subjectivity be realized in so-called free time. It does not seem just, in fact, to oppose the time dedicated to work to the time that is free of work, in so far as all man's time must be viewed as a marvellous gift of God for overall and integral humanization. I am nevertheless convinced that free time deserves special attention because it is the time when people can and must fulfil their family, religious, and social obligations. Rather, this time, in order to be liberating and useful socially, is spent with mature ethical awareness in a perspective of solidarity, which is also expressed in forms of generous volunteer services."

(Taken from L'Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English, January 9, 1984, p. 18.)

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