atans1

What is “work”?

In Uncategorized on 12/04/2018 at 4:10 am

Komlosy identifies three very different historical attitudes towards work. The first, common in ancient Greece, was that work was a burden that had to be overcome so that we could lead a contemplative life. The second, espoused later by the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, was that work was not a cursed punishment but a blessing from God. The third view, championed by the labour and women’s movements in the 19th century, was that work could be transformational, turning toilsome effort into creativity and social alienation into self-actualisation. The advocates of a basic income sometimes argue that we need to reacquaint ourselves with the contemplative life of ancient Greece — only this time including more than just a small male elite. We have the wealth, knowledge and means to fix the future. But, first, we will need to redefine what we mean by human work in our robot world.

The Last 1,000 Years, by Andrea Komlosy, Verso, RRP£16.99/$26.95, 272 pages

FT review

Me? I agree with the ancient Greeks that work was a burden that had to be overcome so that we could lead a contemplative life.

My Bumi boss once said I never did an honest day’s work. He said hard to believe I was Chinese.

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