There is an excellent article on Vox reviewing David Greaber’s ideas on ‘Bullshit Jobs.
“The point of an economy should be to maximize leisure in order to pursue passions, not “make work.”
This is also, I’d suggest, effectively Mariana Mazzucato, who infoms that the state usually creates the origination, as it were, of most original thinking .
Then we have this encouraging stuff:
I think we need a rebellion of what I call the “caring class,” people who care about others and justice. We need to think about how to create a new social movement and change what we value in our work and lives.
That’s the really interesting thing. You expect this outcome with a Soviet-style system, where you have to have full employment so you make up jobs whether a need exists or not. But this shouldn’t happen in a free market system.
I think one of the reasons is there’s huge political pressure to create jobs coming from all directions. We accept the idea that rich people are job creators, and the more jobs we have, the better. It doesn’t matter if those jobs do something useful; we just assume that more jobs is better no matter what.
We’ve created a whole class of flunkies that essentially exist to improve the lives of actual rich people. Rich people throw money at people who are paid to sit around, add to their glory, and learn to see the world from the perspective of the executive class.
I’m an anthropologist, and I can tell you there are plenty of societies where people work three or four hours a day. Most peasant societies worked that. You’d work 12 hours a day during harvest time and in the off-season you’d work two or three hours. The average medieval serf worked way less than we do, and the same is true of tribal societies around the world.
And then this mainstrean idea that is so rarely challenged:
“We imagine that if we take people’s work away, they’ll just sit around, drink beer, watch TV, and be depressed all day. But we just don’t have any experience of having time, but societies that do come up with all sorts of things to do.”
That last paragraph is, to me, very true. It is another deceit, to suggest that the working day is a necessary part of the human condition.
Indeed, with less 9-5, the only danger is we might be able to devote more time to participating in, and getting to work better, our faulty democracy.