In Praise Of Idleness And Other Essays Pdf

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It is rather like the stillness in the conversation of lovers, which is fed by their oneness.

I have attempted to portray similar ideas, in regards to a universal wage, to friends and family. Each time I'm met with "What stops some people from not working" and they refuse to move past that. They see people who work less, or don't work as a detriment to society.

In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays

I have attempted to portray similar ideas, in regards to a universal wage, to friends and family. Each time I'm met with "What stops some people from not working" and they refuse to move past that. They see people who work less, or don't work as a detriment to society.

What sort of changes can be made to change people's viewpoint on hard work as a virtue? I always pitch universal wage and refusal of work to most people with whom I have meaningful conversations.

By their reaction I'm certain that these ideas will be unpopular for the rest of our lifetime. The best you can do is to keep preaching them if you believe in them. If the other person is a thinker, most people don't want to be thinkers, you might try to pitch them post-scarcity economics or explain that historically people never worked as much as they do nowadays.

Also explain that most human progress came from 'play time' not 'work time'. You won't change the world, just accept that, the world does not want to be changed. Most people invest a lot of effort in complying with the status quo. It takes generations to change this kind of social conventions.

Also, "Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.

A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

My wife and I travel a great deal and have had the chance to spend at least a little time in relatively undeveloped areas where people still fish, farm and so on to provide some or all of their regular diet.

Note that it being a primarily agrarian situation is important. The situation is very different for poor people working in factories for example. Particularly in the afternoon its really common to see lots of people children, adults and old people simply hanging out. Typically they have very limited capacity to store food so once you have enough fish for the next day or two, for example, there is very little value in catching any more.

Although there are periods of very hard work planting crops and harvesting crops in particular there are plenty of occasions when the day's work is done relatively quickly.

Your home is adequate against the weather, firewood is adequately stockpiled and your family's food supply is secure for the near to medium term so there is little value in performing additional work. LunaSea on Feb 9, But their life expectancy is lower and elder people live with their their children.

They have no healthcare and a low level education. All these things make it so that a person or family is much more independent of their government. They might have more free time but they don't have a lot of the other things that contribute to the quality of life we have in the western world. It's disingenuous to think that it is possible to have a universal salary while maintaining a decent quality of life.

I really think we have to pitch it along the lines of the Alaska permanent fund which is in fact a guaranteed minimum income, just smaller in magnitude than what most people think of and is never opposed by anyone ever. For example, it might be more politically palatable to say, "Dear John Doe, here is your check for the oil and coal revenues that were collected in your name from beneath your homeland.

Also there is some money from the toll bridges that we operate for you and the sales taxes we collected in your name from merchants operating in your area. Btw's we also gave the same check to all your neighbors because they live here too.

Why not just start now? There's not much standing in the way of a group of people voluntarily providing a minimum income to impoverished people right now. I honestly don't intend this as a snarky response. I'm genuinely curious if supporters of minimum income would provide someone else a minimum income voluntarily, right now.

Well, my country does provide a minimum income. Maybe there are a portion of people who are allergic to productivity. Not just work, but doing anything of import or use. No matter what social pressures there might be, they will always shirk responsibility, do the bare minimum or even less, and never have greater ambitions. The type of people who will always wait to take the garbage out until someone stands over them and doesn't leave until they've done it.

I don't agree that these people are very many. I think they're extraordinarily rare, but it makes us feel better about ourselves if we think that they are common, and we have managed to rise above the common.

But regardless, if they don't want to be doing anything worthwhile, and they're willing to accept the many social and economic consequences of that no fun vacations, very hard time finding a partner, no gadgets or new cool stuff, no fancy dinners out , then I'd rather not force them to work side by side with people who want to be there. Give them a universal income, so they can rent a roof over their head, buy somes clothes and food, and then leave them be.

I don't think people are static objects. Even if you've come into contact with one of these "types" of people, chances are that they are living on a meager amount of energy. When people are energy drained, they are either in poor health mentally, emotionally, socially, or physically.

They might have expended an extraordinary amount of energy into something with no compensation. They might have broken their bodies, minds, and hearts over the kind of work they do. The human evaluation of what constitutes as value added to society is not perfect.

The human evaluation of what to do is not perfect. Sometimes people just don't know what to do. Also, social pressure shouldn't be the motivator. That's motivation that comes from fear. It is literally like living solely for the sake of dying, and all I can do is feel a tremendous amount of pain for people if they experience such a thing.

SomeThings on Feb 8, Those are trivialities in my subjective opinion. I took it as examples. Ways one might enjoy the fruits of their labor in the context of modern western society. Your reply made me realize another way to think of it though. If all these things we spend money on are trivial, then that supports the notion. Money is a poor measure of one's productivity. Having a very hard time finding a partner is a triviality in your opinion? If so, I suspect that puts you in a very small minority.

That one kind of sticks out as being rather disconnected from the rest. I think his point is that most people don't work for fancy holidays or trinkets or whatever. Most people work to put a roof over their head and eat. Everything else is secondary - both trivial in terms of desire it's less important , and trivial in terms of cost a new 24" LCD might cost 3 days rent in some areas. I don't think that is really true. If all people were working for was a roof over their head and food, they could get by on very little.

Most people work because they want to live in an expensive neighborhood and like to have new cars, new clothes, new electronics. Otherwise they would move somewhere where house is extremely cheap and where they don't have to commute every day. I don't know how it is in the US, but here in Germany you can have an apartment in a medium sized city and food for Euro a month.

You don't have to work for 40 hours a week to make that much. I don't want to live where I do because it's an expensive neighbourhood. I want to live where I do because it's where everyone I know lives. Living somewhere else would mean abandoning friends and family. Fundamentally that's the only thing that stops me from leaving the UK this second.

You make it sound as if it's an innate desire to feel important by living in a fancy place. Chinjut on Feb 8, Hey, no one said they had to go for the cheapest roof! I think 'hard work as a virtue' is a misguided way of thinking about it.

It's about the judgement call of deciding that a person should suffer as a result of their actions or personality, if outside their control. I think that working hard is a virtue. I think that doing whatever you do, a lot, and well, makes you a better person. Regardless of what that is. What that doesn't mean is that I think those incapable or unwilling to do so should either starve and die, or work in terrible conditions.

They are human beings, they deserve better, and we can provide that without great sacrifice. Remind them that they don't know how to program and probably won't have a job in ten years.

Lots of programmers won't have jobs in ten years. What, you think Amazon are going to stop when they've put all the sysadmins out of work? DennisP on Feb 8, Programmers have been writing code that automates their own work ever since the first assembler.

There's actually a very good argument in favor of BI that is compatible with and even supported by the "hard work as a virtue" philosophy. Supply and Demand. The relative demand for labor decreases over time due to automation.

In Praise of Idleness

An extract from Bertrand Russell's essay in Praise of Idleness. Four demonstrators and a spectator were The libcom library contains nearly 20, articles. If it's your first time on the site, or you're looking for something specific, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, there's a range of ways you can filter the library content to suit your needs, from casual browsing to researching a particular topic.

This article will be permanently flagged as inappropriate and made unaccessible to everyone. Are you certain this article is inappropriate? Email Address:. The collection includes essays on the subjects of sociology , philosophy , and economics. In the eponymous essay, Russell argues that if everyone worked only four hours per day, unemployment would decrease and human happiness would increase due to the increase in leisure time. The following is the summary provided by Bertrand Russell in the preface of the book: "This book contains essays on such aspects of social questions as tend to be ignored in the clash of politics. It emphasizes the dangers of too much organization in the realm of thought and too much strenuousness in action.

In Praise Of Idleness And Other Essays

The collection includes essays on the subjects of sociology , philosophy and economics. In the eponymous essay, Russell argues that if labour was equitably shared out amongst everyone, resulting in shorter work days, unemployment would decrease and human happiness would increase due to the increase in leisure time, further resulting in increased involvement in the arts and sciences. In , the book was published by Routledge , with a new introduction by the historian Anthony Gottlieb. This article about a philosophy -related book is a stub.

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies.

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Russell Published Sociology.

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In Praise Of Idleness

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In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays

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