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Arendt - to What Extent Do the Workers Experience Freedom in the Institution?

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Essay title: Arendt - to What Extent Do the Workers Experience Freedom in the Institution?

ARENDT: To what extent do the workers experience freedom in the institution?

Hannah Arendt sees freedom as something that is not just the phenomenon of the will. She sees freedom in the course of politics, wherein there is a public space. This public space is defined by Arendt as a “politically organized world” where man can assert one’s own uniqueness, where man learns freedom through the interaction with other people. For Arendt, freedom can be seen through the action of man, to be free in doing action in the public space. And this action is the beginning of something new. So can freedom be seen in the Noah’s Paper Mill institution?

Through the experiences encountered in the institution, one could observe that workers were not absolutely free in the sense that they were not part of the decision-making body in the organization. They were just the receiver of various rules imposed by the management, but they were not part of the group who determined these rules. They did not choose the kind and amount of product they needed to produce or even the time spent on work was not even their call. Even the kind of work assigned, whether it matched their abilities or not, it didn’t matter, for it’s the head’s decision to what kind of job a worker should be assigned.

However, one encounter showed that the management still valued the opinions of its workers. While working, the boss was only a meter away from the workplace the group was normally assigned to. The boss himself was painting a new kind of glue on the sides of the intermediate pads, which holds the pad paper together. The boss turned over the work to one of his workers, asking him to finish the rest of the task. After half an hour or so, the boss returned and asked how was the glue. The employee told the boss “Boss, mas okay po iyong isang klase ng glue na ginagamit natin dati, mas madaling matuyo at yung kulay mas lumilitaw”. The boss said that’s fine, they would try this one first since it was already ordered and used and that they could always revert back to the old one if this kind of glue proved to be unsatisfactory. In this short encounter, one can see that workers can express their opinions regarding on the things that touches their line of work. But of course, the group cannot generalize this and conclude that in the other aspect of their work in Noah’s Paper Mills, the boss still hears them out. But the one thing we can see is that there is a room for things to improve and that the workers’ voices are not totally unheard.

In spite of this, the repetitive work of cutting, packing and wrapping papers brings us back to Arendt’s notion of action, which is starting something new. With the monotonous and cyclical work of the workers in

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