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Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs

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https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/19/post-work-the-radical-idea-of-a-world-without-jobs

theguardian.com

Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
Work is the master of the modern world. For most people, it is impossible to imagine society without it. It dominates and pervades everyday life - especially in Britain and the US - more completely than at any time in recent history. An obsession with employability runs through education.

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Our culture of work

Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.

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Exploring the abolition of work

  • In 1885, socialist William Morris proposed that in the factories of the future, employees should work only four hours a day.
  • In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that advances in tec...

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Work ideology

The work ideology is not natural nor very old.

  • Before the modern era, all cultures thought of work as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • Once the modern work ethic was est...

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The work culture

The work culture has many critics now. 

Ideas that are challenged are the assumptions of modern employers. Another is the American notion that the solution to any problem is to work hard...

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Life without work

Post-workists, like David Graeber, argue that the absence of work would produce a richer culture. With people having more time, private life could also become more communal like ‘Red Vienna’ in the...

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Post-work society

Part of the appeal of a post-work society is that it is meant to resolve conflicts between different economic interest groups, in the hope that exploitation can finally be ended.

The role of ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Busyness is a myth

Although people feel much busier with work these days, the total time people are working – whether paid or otherwise – has not increased in Europe or North America in recent decades.

The illusion of busyness is caused by:

  • Economies grow and time is more valuable: Any given hour is worth more, so we experience more pressure to squeeze in more work.
  • The type of work we do has changed: We live in an “infinite world" - more incoming emails, meetings, things to read, more ideas to follow up – and digital technology means you can easily crank through them. The result, inevitably, is feeling overwhelmed.

Busyness has become the indicator of status

Though historically, the ultimate symbol of wealth, achievement and social superiority was the freedom not to work. Now we measure our worth not by the results we achieve, but by how much of our time we spend doing things. 

Deep Play

The End of Work in the coming decades may give way to the rise of 'Deep Play', elaborate virtual reality games mixed with religion, consumerism and other ideologies.

You Are Your Job

You Are Your Job

Life has shaped us to do our jobs in a weird, almost comical way.

We are entangled to our jobs, and keep doing it way after our office hours, not because we are scared to lose our j...

Jobs: The Early Years

Dialling back a couple of generations, jobs were just jobs, plain vanilla. No one liked working, but it was a compromise of 40 to 60 hours a week of stressful or boring work. Due to this, our parents could live their lives, enjoying with family in evenings, and weekends, celebrating special days, vacationing once a year and doing other things that were provided by the security of a monthly income.

It paid for the food, the car, our education and the bills. There was nothing romantic about it.

Jobs: Now

Technology and modern consumerism, coupled with peer pressure have created a perfect storm of our work dominating our lives in unheard-of ways. Securing and maintaining a high-profile job is not possible for the laid back slacker, trying to enjoy his weekends doing gardening the whole day.

The older generation is baffled by our approach, and feel that we are doing the impossible by trying to find meaning and purpose in our jobs.

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