Friday, December 31, 2010

Our New Year Resolution

"Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy."

So began Paul Lafargue (quoting Gotthold Ephraim Lessing) in his 1883 critique of the capitalist work ethic - 'The Right to be Lazy'.

Lafargue realised that an alternative to the drudgery and grind of wage slavery had become a real possibility. Under a system common ownership and democratic control, people would be free to choose how they worked and how they consumed; instead of toiling to enrich the wealth of a tiny minority.

In 1998 Ken Knabb put it this way:
"If a household gets a washing machine, you never hear the family members who used to do the laundry by hand complain that this "puts them out of work." But strangely enough, if a similar development occurs on a broader social scale it is seen as a serious problem — "unemployment" — which can only be solved by inventing more jobs for people to do. Proposals to spread the work around by implementing a slightly shorter work week seem at first sight to address the matter more rationally. But ... the absurdity of 90% of existing jobs is never mentioned. In a sane society, the elimination of all these absurd jobs (not only those that produce or market ridiculous and unnecessary commodities, but the far larger number directly or indirectly involved in promoting and protecting the whole commodity system) would reduce necessary tasks to such a trivial level (probably less than 10 hours per week) that they could easily be taken care of voluntarily and cooperatively, eliminating the need for the whole apparatus of economic incentives and state enforcement."

So in 2011 it really is time to exercise the right to be lazy!


DP said...

If you can an regiser take a break from being lazy you commitment on facebook here:

Magellan Solutions Outsourcing said...

"Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy."

nice one!!