Economic discourse has got me down

C. Petersen ottilie at
Thu Jul 23 00:41:42 PDT 1998

> Have any of you read The Abolition of Work by Bob Black? I reread it the
> other day. I think he overstates the degree to which you can make
> productivive activities enjoyable, but the man makes some excellent points.
> Maybe things would be better if we went back to being hunter-gatherers,
> only with the addition of modern hospitals and sanitation systems. It is a
> pretty powerful statement that such societies, of all human social
> structures, have best approximated the libertarian socialist ideals of
> classlessness and statelessness. This isn't to say they were perfect - I'm
> sure many of them had oppressive traditions, etc. But they achieved some

I read most of that. Supposedly in his private life, he's a big 'ol hypocrite who goes around informing on people to the police for revenge. But anyway, the point is well taken. In the pre industrial society, someone could provide themselves with a house, clothes, and food by farming or fishing plus gathering etc. for 12 hours a day. Now many people in the first world work 8-9 hours, have two hours commute time, in order to provide themselves with housing, clothes, food and an automobile and television, and maybe they still can't even afford medical insurance or any sort of good school for their children. People in maquiladoras in mexico, and USA in the 1890s have it considerably worse than the idealized preindustrial lifestyle (besides high infant death rate or weather induced famine.) But making people on welfare dig holes and fill them in is supposed to automatically be considered superior to letting them be, because industriousness is a high virtue.

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