Brief Historical Sketch of Home Part I
ons of years ago, the cave was the first natural Home of man who first walked the planet Earth. Soon after man moved out of the cave and discovered a new technology known today as agriculture, and started to till the land way outside the cave, the first man-made Home was built. Home, at that time, was adjacent to nearby fields, where they would plough and farm all day long. Home, then, was occupied by big family with four to five generations working and living together under the same roof. Home was also the school, in which children learned the vital crafts of survival in the agrarian society. It was also the hospital, where the sick and the elderly were nursed and cared for. All in all, Home was then the center of all social activities.
Simultaneously, with the first man-made Home built amidst the agricultural revolution, the first wave of human civilization was born. Ever since then man discovered more advanced technology, igniting wave after wave of change followed by newer civilization replacing the older ones across the centuries, transforming human society into a higher level of development.
The Emergence of “mass” Society
About 300 years ago man discovered another advanced technology and invented the “machine”. All hell broke loose when the machine invaded the farmlands and chased the farmers out of the fields and the beautiful Home life, as our forefathers have ever known, was shattered.
The machine age created another new civilization that forced man to mass migrate into the new cities that now dotted the Earth. Unlike in the village life during the age of agriculture, where community spirit was at its height, the new industrial civilization compelled man to become part of the newly emerging mass society.
The new industrial revolution gave birth to mass production, mass consumption, mass media and mass education. Industries need a mass of workers to “work” like machines in factory and offices. Mass manufacturing industries like auto, steel, rubber, textile etc., to name but a few, have sprung up across the planet.
The very words “labor”, “work” or “workers” were universalized by the system. Land, labor, and capital became the basic factors of production. The 9-5 rat race “work” was invented under the strict “industrial discipline”. To control and discipline man more effectively, another new machine called the clock (and wristwatch) was invented so that workers could wake up and show up, all dressed alike, at the same hour in line with the newly introduced “industrial discipline“ and to work in sync with the whirring and humming sounds of machines in the factory. The biological clock or the natural cock crow that used to awake us up in the morning was rendered obsolete. The old agricultural civilization is giving way to the new industrial civilization. The clock also effectively imposed and controlled man to conform with the 9-5 rat race created by the industrialists.
The Shattered Family
Family life, as our ancestors have known, is now dramatically changed by this new civilization: the husband “working” in the office or factory and the wife staying at Home taking care of the children. Members of the family would not know what “work” really looks like. Once an executive happened to bring along his wife and children to his office, goes a real-life story. Upon seeing his extravagant modern office and having a family lunch together at a nearby first class restaurant, the kids asked: “ Dad, why are you so rich and we are so poor?” This is but just one classic example of how the Home or family life has been shattered into one “rich” bread earner and the “poor” family members, following the advent of the industrial age.
During the agricultural age, all family members were on the same page, ploughing the fields and farming together. But Home and family life, as we knew in the agricultural age, has now been shattered. The industrial age has changed it dramatically.
Even where women and children were involved in the 9-5 labor market, they were considered “non-productive”. So they were exploited and discriminated with lower wages, as working in the factory demands strong muscles. Muscular men, considered to be more productive, were paid more. The evil 9-5 rat race gave way to farming, where women, men, and children once ploughed the fields together, each according to their own capacity and happily sharing whatever resources they have together produced as a family.
The video below shows how industrialists dehumanized “WORK” in Charlie Chaplin’s Factory Work, one of his genius satire films.
This is not to condemn everything to do with industrialization in favor of the past agricultural age. There is no reason to blindly glorify the agricultural age, where peasants were made miserable victims of local tyrants, landowners, noblemen and feudal lords without being given any kind of democratic rights, as we know today. There is no reason for us to romanticize the ancient past. We only need to move forward into the future, which is now arriving rapidly and intruding into our lives every day.
Generally speaking, small authoritarian ruling class dominated the agrarian society, where very few people, if ever, participated in political or economic decision making. In contrast to the simple agrarian society, which was organized and run by a small group of hereditary elites, the increasing load of decision-making in a new complex industrial society demands a wider political and socioeconomic participation of the people. This further paved the way to explosive democratic revolutions demanding more participation. In fact, the industrialization gave birth to democracy, with more people involved in the decision-making process and the modern man enjoyed unprecedented freedom, unheard of during the preceding generations.
Emergence of mass education
Once industrialization was introduced, the system needed to prepare for a continuous flow of “disciplined industrial labor force”, entering mass education. Kids were made to arrive the school assembly hall in time, become acquainted to the chime of the school bells, fit in straight rows in exact resemblance to factory workers.
The mass education system was basically meant to prepare and train students to become future good “workers”, either in the office or factory.
“Go to school, get educated, get a university degree and later work in the office and earn a decent living.” This was the norm and the correct way of living. We were brainwashed to believe that living paycheck to paycheck is living smart. Those who fared below average in schools or the uneducated were punished to join the labor force.
In contrast to the noisy Home of the agrarian era, Home now became a silent and lonesome place generally occupied by women doing housework while the children were at school and dads were busy working under the 9-5 rat race.