Antiwork: a moral alternative

Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots are transforming the world of work and the human condition. The promise of new technology is changing our attitudes to work, life and leisure - change will be forced upon us, not least because the idea that the means to life should be conditional on employment is now bankrupt. The increasing supply of labour is looking for employment within an economy in which demand for labour is falling dramatically. Pricing labour according to supply versus demand has driven millions into destitution - one only has to look at youth unemployment in Europe for the evidence.

The protestant work ethic was a product of the industrial revolution and we've been conditioned from birth to believe that without a job, we are incomplete human beings. Is the right to be lazy immoral or is being enslaved to this abusive and destructive political economy a grave error in human thinking?

Antiwork – a radical shift in how we view “jobs” by Brian Dean
Over a decade into the 21st century, we seem as work-obsessed as ever. Is it time for a progressive reframing of workand leisure?

If you are in any doubt as to what the future holds in terms of employment, watch "Humans need not apply" - that is the cold, hard reality of today's political economy.

Rather than being cause for alarm and distress, it is cause for celebration. Once we disassociate the means to life from employment - which is easily done if we have the will - a vista of new possibilities opens up for us all.

How to change the world


0 #3 Janos Abel 2016-06-26 21:25
Quoting Clive Menzies :
...the dividend must be paid from the wealth of the commons...

Absolutely vital! Hence the need to insist that it is a dividend, in the legal and economic sense of the term, not just some kind of income. It seems that the fund for the dividend has two sources: a)rent of land and other natural resources, b)part of the tokenized (i.e. monetized) value of aggregate wealth streaming from the active co-operation of land and human effort.

This latter source, though, may require more clarification.
0 #2 Clive Menzies 2016-06-24 14:16
Indeed it is the main thing but the dividend must be paid from the wealth of the commons which rightfully belong to no-one.

If we attempt to pay it from income and other taxes, it will be a meagre basic income £70 per week which wont get you a roof over your head let alone fed and clothed. That's the point about political expediency
0 #1 Janos Abel 2016-06-24 14:01
Stephen R. Covey, of 7 Habits... fame, followed his seminal work with The 8th Habit.... Then he released First Things First. The message of this last book is summed up by saying that the fundamental requirement for achieving lasting success in an enterprise is to remember that "...the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing..."

The above article, I believe, directs us to the main thing: the time of our lives and the energies of our person is commandeered by an outdated social system--- a social system that is not allowed to adapt to the full effects of the industrial/ scientific revolution.
The applied phase of that revolution can be dated precisely as 1712. In that year the first steam engine was installed in a mine to do the work of scores of miners who previously worked manual pumps or scurried about with buckets of flood water.

But back to the principle first things firs:
It is an illusion suffered even by the most informed and radical change agent that we can change the system as a spare-time activity, wile being forced to maintain it with our enforced labour.
This illusion must be seen as such. Then, only, can we seriously start thinking about how to achieve the "first thing": unconditional citizens dividend for every legal resident in the UK--- and everywhere else where citizens want to follow the UK example.

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