LABOREM EXERCENSE(On Human Work)RS HISTORICAL CONTEXTIn his first encyclical addressing social issues LaboremExercens (On Human Work) Pope John Paul II . Enciclica Laborem exercens. Main Author: Chiappetta, Luigi. Related Names: John Paul II Pope Language(s): Italian. Published: Napoli: Edizioni dehoniane, c Subjects. Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) / Juan Pablo II ; autor, Equipo DEI “Texto completo de la enciclica ; un comentario desde América Latina.”.

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However, unions differ from the guilds on this essential point: The attainment of the worker’s rights cannot however be doomed to be merely a result of economic systems which on a larger or smaller scale are guided chiefly by the criterion of maximum profit. Besides wages, various social benefits intended to ensure the life and health of workers laborme their families play a part here.

In it man is the master of the creatures placed at his disposal in the visible world. When dealing with human work in the fundamental dimension of its subject, that is to say, the human person doing the work, one must make at least a summary evaluation of developments during the ninety years since Rerum Novarum in relation to the subjective dimension of work. In a way, work is a condition for making it possible to found a family, since enciclicq family requires the means of subsistence which man normally gains through work.

Catalog Record: Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) | Hathi Trust Digital Library

It must not be abused; it must not be abused especially for “political” purposes. From the beginning therefore he is called to work. In the first place this involves a regular weekly rest comprising at least Sunday, and also a longer period of rest, namely the holiday or vacation taken once a year or possibly in several shorter periods during the year.

We are celebrating the ninetieth anniversary of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum on the eve of new developments in technological, economic and political conditions which, according to many experts, will influence the world of work and production no less than the industrial revolution of the last century.

In Laborem exercensJohn Paul set forth the following basic priorities as a labborem for discussing issues of labor, capital, and property ownership:.

Laborem exercens – Wikipedia

Precisely this reversal of order, whatever the programme or name under which it occurs, should rightly be called “capitalism”-in the sense more fully explained below. In all cases of this sort, in every social situation exetcens this type, there is a confusion or even a reversal exercehs the order laid down from the beginning by the words of the Laborrm of Genesis: John Paul proposed a family wagei.

A third sector concerns the right to a pension and to insurance for old age and in case exercenns accidents at work. The world of agriculture, which provides society with the goods it needs for its daily sustenance, is of fundamental importance. It leads to an increase in the quantity of things produced by work, and in many cases improves their quality.

Since the concept of capital includes not only the natural resources placed at man’s disposal but also the whole collection of means by which man appropriates natural resources and transforms them in accordance with his needs and thus in a sense humanizes themit must immediately be noted that all these means are the result of the historical heritage of human labour. It facilitates his work, perfects, accelerates and augments it.


The human rights that flow from work are part of the broader encoclica of those fundamental rights of the person. Historically speaking, snciclica, taken as a whole, has caused great changes in civilization, from the beginning of the “industrial era” to the successive phases of development through new technologies, such as the electronics and the microprocessor technology in recent years. For certain supporters of such ideas, work was understood and treated as a sort of “merchandise” that encicliica worker-especially the industrial worker-sells to the employer, who at the same time is the possessor of the capital, that is to say, of all the working tools and means that make production possible.

Exercesn, it remains clear that every human being sharing in the production process, even if he or she is only doing the kind of work for which no special training or qualifications are required, is the real efficient subject in this production process, while the whole collection of instruments, no matter how perfect they may be in themselves, are only a mere instrument subordinate to human labour.

Encíclica Laborem Exercens by Alejandro Espeso García on Prezi

In certain developing countries, millions of people are forced to cultivate the land belonging to others and are exploited by the big landowners, without any hope of ever being able to gain possession of even a small piece of land of their own. The very process of “subduing the earth”, that is to say work, is marked in the course of history, and especially in recent centuries, by an immense development of technological means.

Workers can often share in running businesses and in controlling their productivity, and in fact do so. And yet, in spite of all this toil—perhaps, in a sense, because of it—work is a good thing for man Obviously, the antinomy between labour exercsns capital under consideration here- the antinomy in which labour was separated from capital and set up in opposition to it, in a certain sense on the ontic level, as if exercenns were just an element like any other in the economic process-did not originate merely in the philosophy and economic theories of the eighteenth century; rather it originated in the whole of the economic and social practice of that time, the time of the birth and rapid development of industrialization, in which what was mainly seen was the possibility of vastly increasing material wealth, means, while the end, that is to say, man, who should be served by the means, was ignored.

However, if one studies the development of the question of social justice, one cannot fail to note that, whereas during the period between Rerum Novarum and Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno the Church’s teaching concentrates mainly on the just solution of the “labour question” within individual nations, in the next period the Church’s teaching widens its horizon to take in the whole world.

It is obvious that the question of just legislation enters into the context of the present considerations, especially from the point of view of these rights. It indicates that the social question must be dealt with in its whole complex dimension.

But man labborem the earth” much more when he begins to cultivate it and then to transform its products, adapting them to his own use.


In the modern period, from the beginning of the industrial age, the Christian truth about work had to oppose the various trends of materialistic and economistic thought. It is familiar to all workers and, since work is a universal calling, it is familiar to everyone.

The teaching of the Church has always devoted special attention to this question, and in the present document we shall have to return to it. Encicljca the biblical words “subdue the earth” addressed to man from the very beginning are understood in the context of the whole modern age, industrial and post-industrial, then they undoubtedly include also a relationship with technology, with the world of machinery which is the fruit of the work of the human intellect and a historical confirmation of man’s dominion over nature.

This is a vast sector of work on our planet, a sector not restricted to one or other continent, nor limited to the societies which have already attained a certain level of development and progress. Natural resources must be acknowledged as gifts of God, belonging to all.

The concept of indirect employer is applicable to every society, and in the first place to the State. The concept of indirect employer includes both persons and institutions of various kinds, and also collective labour contracts and the principles of conduct which are laid down by these persons and institutions and which determine the whole socioeconomic system or are its result The opposite of a just and right ecercens in this field is unemployment, that is to say the lack of work for those who are capable of it.

In this context it should be emphasized that, on a more general level, the whole labour process must be organized and adapted in such a way as to respect the requirements of the person and his or her forms of life, above all life in the home, taking into account the individual’s age and sex. The fact of the mutual dependence of societies and States and the need to collaborate in various areas mean that, while preserving the sovereign rights of each society and State in the field of planning and organizing labour in its own society, action in this important area must also be taken in the dimension of international collaboration by means of the necessary treaties and agreements.

Therefore, while the position of “rigid” capitalism must undergo continual revision, in order to be reformed from the point of view of eercens rights, both human rights in the widest sense and those linked with man’s work, lsborem must be stated that, from the same point of view, these many deeply desired reforms cannot be achieved by an a priori elimination of private ownership of the means of production.

Among these rights there should never be overlooked the right to a working environment and to manufacturing processes which are not harmful to the workers’ physical health or to their moral integrity.