Life without work - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

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

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 early 20th century, when the city government built housing estates with communal laundries, workshops, and shared living spaces that were quite luxurious.

People might at first be unable to organize their unstructured free time, but our capacity for things other than work can be build up again.

146 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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

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

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

theguardian.com

6

Key Ideas

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.

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 technology would lead to an age of leisure where people might work 15 hours a week.
  • Since the early 2010s, these ideas have been developed further, creating a growing critique of work as an ideology, and exploring alternatives to work.
  • Post-work offers enormous promises: In a life of much less work, life would be calmer, more equal, more communal, more pleasurable, more thoughtful, more politically engaged, more fulfilled.

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 established, working patterns started to shift. Between 1800 and 1900, the average working week shrank from 80 hours to 60 hours, and in the 1970s to roughly 40 hours.
  • In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz related in his book that people who had given up their jobs reported feelings of "wholeness." During the same period, because wages were high enough, it became possible for most people to work less.
  • During the 80s, work ideology was reimposed by aggressively pro-business governments who were motivated by a desire for social control.
  • By the early 21st century, the work culture seems inescapable.

    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 harder. In the UK, the extent of the work's crises is raised. In France in 2000, a 35-hour week for all employees was introduced with the slogan, "Work less - live more."

    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 work has changed before and will change again. In some ways, we're already in a post-work society, albeit a dystopic one.

    EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

    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.

    Problems with the Work Ethic
    • For centuries, the promise of America has been built on the work ethic, with everyone aspiring to have a job that pays them.
    • Work Ethic as it is has not provided any social, moral or s...
    The Unfulfilled Promise of Work

    What working a decent job means is slowing losing ground, as we are not deriving meaning from our work.

    Having a job means getting paid for our talents, but it may not be the case for many. Work ethic is supposed to provide us a good life, but in reality, the opposite is happening.

    Following The Orders

    Most workers rely on the whims and fancies of the so-called 'Job Creators', a class of people who own a business and can employ staff. Job creators hold power on the worker's time, behavior and conditions of employment.

    These employers also monitor and sanction what workers post on social media, what they eat or drink, how frequently and for how long are they going to the bathroom, and what are their political leanings.

    3 more ideas