Ironic: it is in nature, and in our nature, to strive. Nature itself is a challenge. It gives life, but it threatens death. Its inclemencies are exigencies: to defy it, we need the loincloth, the dress, the canopy, the hut, the house... and then tools - flint, fire, stone axe, the bridge, wheel, cart, road, steam, electricity... machines.
Natural needs drive research, technology. Subsistence first, and then its higher and higher derivations. Workshops become factories become industrial manufacturing zones with higher and higher output capacities. A product in high desire halfway around the world ramps production, displacing armies of workers - no longer artisans or craftspeople - machine operators, makers of parts-not-wholes. And thus labor separates from laborer; the worker, from the workmanship.
Industrial machinery estranges humans from their work and thus from themselves. I find it very important to note, at this point, that this has nothing to do with capitalism.
Mass production causes the separation of labor, and this costs the worker his dignity. As homo faber, she is little but cog, piece of the production line, material of the transformative process, subject to operations research and rightsizing. Such thinking and doing has been part and parcel of scientific and technical "progress" - unavoidable in Western factories as much as in the anti-capitalist combines and cooperatives.
Nature, which through its exigencies forces such progress, estranges humankind from itself. Anthropomorphically speaking, nature has begun to take revenge for the sins of such progress. Pollution, deforestation, increasing stress levels, competition, freedom limited to vacations and off-work. Somewhere and somewhen, man became guilty of overdoing progress as incited by his very nature.*
And now, with full automation and robotic processes just around the corner, our collective elites sigh and say: millions will be out of work! What a drama.
Let me say just this: rejoice! We may once again be free of the logic of the machine, of the reductionist view of what it is to be alive, free to apply ourselves beyond the horizons of the cog. Rejoice!
*The English language does not have a sufficiently poetic third person non-gendered pronoun. #metoo, if you will.