Post Precariat

A World Without Work from The Atlantic

Derek Thompson draws on Benjamin Hunnicutt.

The post-work proponents acknowledge that, even in the best post-work scenarios, pride and jealousy will persevere, because reputation will always be scarce, even in an economy of abundance. But with the right government provisions, they believe, the end of wage labor will allow for a golden age of well-being. [Benjamin] Hunnicutt said he thinks colleges could reemerge as cultural centers rather than job-prep institutions. The word school, he pointed out, comes from skholē, the Greek word for “leisure.” “We used to teach people to be free,” he said. “Now we teach them to work.”
Thompson goes on to note that unemployed people end up spending majority of time watching television. He makes no mention about any links between disposable income and leisure; instead he returns us to work as the source of meaning: "The unemployed theoretically have the most time to socialize, and yet studies have shown that they feel the most social isolation; it is surprisingly hard to replace the camaraderie of the water cooler." Nice sentiment but further along in the article, Thompson concedes "Less passive and more nourishing forms of mass leisure could develop. Arguably, they already are developing. The Internet, social media, and gaming offer entertainments that are as easy to slip into as is watching TV, but all are more purposeful and often less isolating. " But he raises an objection "[I]t’s hard to imagine that leisure could ever entirely fill the vacuum of accomplishment left by the demise of labor. Most people do need to achieve things through, yes, work to feel a lasting sense of purpose."

Of course, it is important to note that "wage labour" is not "work".

Intrinsically this is a problem of income insecurity or wealth inequality. Something to work on.

And so for day 2284