"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Leisure Society?

EXTRACT: "Under the rule of the working class, as opposed to that of the capitalist class, we could do away with unemployment virtually at a stroke - by offering everyone useful work in nationalised industries and workplaces. At the same time we would abolish such unnecessary and parasitical sectors such as advertising, insurance, speculative banking, etc. In that way, we can certainly get average working hours down to 21 hours - no wild-eyed Shangri-La, as the likes of the Adam Smith Institute would have us believe, but an eminently practical project that can be delivered right here on earth. We fight not just for the right of workers to have the time to think, to do politics, absolutely vital though that is - but also for the right to daydream, to be lazy, just as the privileged intellectual strata has done since the dawn of class society. By such means, the working class as a whole ceases to be a slave class and can become the ruling class."
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Chris said...

This report by the New Economics Foundation immediately grabbed my attention. Personally I like this kind of utopianism; I think the current level of class consciousness demands it. And it really speaks out to those whose working conditions are currently under attack. And speaking as someone who works in the public sector I can say the attack is in full swing. It is clear to me that so called work-life balance was brought in to extend the opening hours of council services, i.e. it was done because it was in the interests of the organisation. It was also offered as a carrot against the stick of greater pressure at work. The trick has been that currently those carrots are being taken away and the sticks remain firmly in place. Beware Greeks bearing gifts.

Anyway, after that lengthy diversion I just wanted to say that we should not just look at reduced working hours but the nature of work itself, I see communism as offering the possibility of more flexibility in choosing a career, trying out different jobs etc.

tonyhelps said...

At times of national hardship they say we should all muck in with lower wages, longer hours,tighter belts,less expectations, later retirement, etc but it's always the have less that are expected to give more. God it makes me mad.