‘In Praise of Idleness’

At the last turn of a century I departed salaried employment to ‘have a break’ from corporate life, which then inadvertently transitioned to a few years of low-key self-employment. But the realisation also crept up on me that work wasn’t crucial for my psychological well-being, as relevance deprivation passed.

Fortunately I had a financial buffer, no extra mouths to feed, and simple tastes, but this is not about money so much as attitudes to society, work and life. The ethical dimension to work is so ingrained, that’s it’s difficult to think outside conventional modes of living.

Pundits reflected during the pandemic period of enforced isolation and subsidised unemployment, on the nature of work and more sustainable transformations of the economy. Some salaried punters resigned voluntarily en masse from unhappy jobs.  

Rather than roll out arguments for a Universal Basic Income, or critique of consumer capitalism, or reminder of the limits of growth, this classic 1935 philosophical essay by Bertrand Russell might be of interest in the festive period.

Bertrand Russell – In Praise of Idleness

Related previous posts: Not Jobson Grothe, Magic Pudding, Productivity Prolapse 

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