I was chatting with a colleague of mine at work. Someone who would probably in other circumstances even be a friend. But the exigencies of bureaucracy being what they are, this isn’t really the done thing.
In any case, we were chatting about our sense of vocation. He has, for a variety of reasons, had trouble recently maintaining his. These reasons include (of course) the trauma of the pandemic and its second-order effects (e.g., the corrosive effects of living in WebEx, never going on vacation), the fast-approaching catastrophe of climate change and its second-order effects (e.g., why the hell are we doing our jobs, if if if all the awful things come to pass?), but perhaps most of all the include having to answer to someone who embodies in theory and in practice the dickery of business.
In the course of this chat, I remarked — and this surprised me — that part of the reason why I’ve been able to maintain my own sense of vocation in these times is that I have never, not in the least, been under any kind of illusions as to either the technical efficiency, leadership effectiveness, nor moral worth of businesspeople. To put it bluntly, I don’t exactly respect business as a mode of economic organization, and I certainly don’t respect business as a school for the development of character. And this lack of respect derives directly from my deep reading of Marxist theory. Which education, for the record, took place at a university endowed by various captains of industry.
Or, to say it more explicitly, some people look to Ephesians to inspire them to put on the full armor of God against the day of evil. I look to the Manifesto to inspire me to put on the full armor of dialectical materialism.