Work! Do you like it or hate it?

Very interesting subject. What sort of life is a healthy life. Does more work make us more healthy?

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James Livingston says “fuck work”! That was the original title of the book that now appears as No More Work: Why Full Employment Is A Bad Idea (2016).

 For centuries we have believed that work is where we build character, and that the labor market allocates incomes more or less rationally. These beliefs have become delusions. What then? Why do we hold fast to full employment as the cure for what ails us, and retain faith in the labor market’s efficiencies?

Livingston is Professor of History at Rutgers., and delivered this lecture at the University of Pittsburgh on March 18, 2017 as part of boundary 2’s conference, “Neoliberalism, Its Ontology and Genealogy”:

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4 thoughts on “Work! Do you like it or hate it?

  1. Yes, that ‘work’ is overrated. You can tell it is demoralizing looking at those sad faces on the tube or bus. It is not healthy.
    A good job or ‘work’ is to create something, a garden, growing things, painting, writing, acting, improving social cohesion.

    1. Gerard, thank you very much for your comment. I think so too that people like to create something.
      When I was a young adult in the 1950s, we had a 48 hour week. After we had finished work, we were free to pursue our own interests. At the time, there was talk that a 45 hour week could be introduced, then a 40 hour week . . . It went so far that a 35 hour week could be imagined. So what is wrong with that, earning a crust within 35 hours and after that be free to do your own thing? So we thought. At the time we had no idea that a reduced workforce would become a constant threat.
      These days it is not unusual that people in full time jobs have to work more than 50 hours a week, others are being employed only part time or casually with no job security.On top of it some very unlucky people are not being employable at all anymore.
      As far as employment for women is concerned, in our present day society most women have to earn some money just to keep the family afloat, and on the whole women do still earn considerably less than men, Accordingly, a lot of jobs on the lower end are often rather given to women than men. These men at the lower end often feel that they are being made redundant.
      It looks to me that times are tough for people who rely on employment to earn a crust. If you are capable of creating your own business without getting too much into debt. then you are one of the lucky ones! 🙂

  2. Yes Uta, Thank you too for your well thought-out answer.

    Australia is not doing well at the moment. Young people especially are finding it difficult getting employment even when they have studied for university degrees.

    Apart from the popularity of Australian wines and some successful medical innovations, we have difficulty finding our industrial or manufacturing legs, differentiating us from the rest of the world.
    I suspect that our education system is not encouraging innovation or fomenting creative ideas, concentrating instead on conformity with emphasis in continuing what has been rather than enthusiastically embracing the new and what is yet to come.

    The World-Court wins against the giants of the tobacco industry with plain packaging of tobacco products was one of those rare moments where Australia was shining on the world’s stage. A leader! It was the federal Health minister Roxon and a woman! Australia needs more women in leading managerial positions and politics.

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