Way back when the industrial revolution was born, the idealists promised that everyone would be freed up to philosophy and culture, the higher and transcendent pursuits. In fact we would have much more leisure time and we wouldn’t have to work at all. Machines would handle all the necessary work.
Recently, I’ve read a couple anti-establishment essays offering the no work alternative. My first reaction since first I heard this theory has always been, “who’s going to pay us to laise about contemplating our navels?” Yeah, yeah, I know, this comes from a guy born and bred in a capitalist economic system. Yet, I have also deduced that whatever the economic system, capitalist, communist, ad nauseum, whether it benefits the populations is determined solely by who is in charge.
In the U.S. currently, it appears that a perfectly beneficial system has been horribly brutalized and terribly corrupted by a group of people that love to be bullies and who have neither moral compass nor motivation of kindness.
As for the no work ideal, I cannot fathom its depths of foolishness, nor can I reach its heights of idiocy: Whether paid with dollars and cents or with wheat and chickens, nobody is going to get paid for sitting on their duffs humming Beethoven’s fifth.
My conclusion is that those who dream of not having to work secretly want to be in the position currently held by the filthy rich. My question to them is, “How charitable will you be with that power?”