duminică, 6 iunie 2010

WORKING SUCKS by Tim Righteous- excerpts

"I'll Never Work!"

Day after day we get up early and trudge to work. We swallow our pride and put up with being ordered around by the boss. We sweat and toil at jobs we hate, wasting away our lives. Why do we do it? Because we have to? Because we need the money? Or because we don't know how to live any other way?

We work way too hard. Most of us work 40 or more hours a week from when we are 18 years old until after we turn 60. One in four American workers works more than 49 hours a week. One in eight works more than 60 hours a week and one in ten holds down more than one job.

Working this hard is weird and unnatural. For hundreds and thousands of years before the dawn of history, people lived as hunter-gatherers and simple farmers. Hunting and gathering is a pretty relaxed way to make a living. Modern hunter-gatherers like Native Australians "work" less than four hours a day. Even after we gave up the forests and built cities, we still didn't work very hard. During medieval times in Europe, people worked as few as 120 days a year.

There is no reason for us to be working so hard. As advances in technology help us work more productively, we should be able to work less. Today, American workers are ten times more productive than we were 100 years ago. That means, for every hour we work today, we produce as many goods and services as workers produced in ten hours in 1890. That also means we should be able to work one tenth as much, and live just as well, as people did back then. That would be less than eight hours of work a week.

Since we don't work eight hours a week, where did all that extra productivity go? A lot of it went as profits into the pockets of the rich. The rich in America are richer than any other group of people EVER in the history of the world. If we work harder or better, our bosses aren't under any obligation to pay us more or let us work less. Sadly, that's how capitalism works. Capitalism REALLY sucks, but that's beyond the scope of this pamphlet. There are books listed at the end that go into some depth about how capitalism sucks and what we can do about it.)

The rest of that productivity went into "improving" our standard of living. We made a decision to buy more rather than work less. Some of the things we bought really did improve the way we live. Very few homes in 1890 had running water, electricity or flush toilets. But most of what we bought were fluff consumer products like big cars and color TVs that are fun to own, but that we don't really need. The question is: why did we make this choice? Why did we choose to buy more crap instead of working less?

We didn't. American corporations made the choice for us by brain-washing us with advertising. Advertisements are everywhere, telling us we will be happier, better looking, admired, respected and even loved, if we just buy this or that product. of course, we all know that we can't buy happiness or love, but with advertising poking into every part of our lives. it's hard not to give in to the idea that we can buy a better life. Eventually almost everyone does give in to the dull, exhausting trap of work and spend, work and spend, produce and consume.
The price for this choice is high. Work saps our spirit and crushes our sense of freedom. Kissing our boss's ass all day is humiliating. The worst is when we actually get used to being pushed around. Human beings need to be free to develop our independant selves. The more we work, the less we think like free people and the less we think like free people and the more we think like dogs: dull and obedient.

Work takes time from other, better things like being with our families and friends, travelling, making love, drinking beer, painting, writing, reading, playing music, cooking and eating good food, etc. These are the things that make life rich and interesting. Work makes life boring, short and gray.

Work is also killing us. Twenty five thousand American workers are killed each year on the job. Two million more are disabled and 25 million are injured. These numbers don't include the 50 thousand Americans who arekilled each year in car crashes, many of whom are traveling to or from work.

Finally, we can't afford to keep consuming things the way we do. Americans make up only 5% of the world's population, but we consume more than 25% of the wrold's resources and energy. Soon those resources will run out. Our over-producing industies are filling the sky and water with smoke and sludge. Most of the smog in the air comes from people commuting to work in cars. Our consumption habit is ruining the earth.

To keep up the flow of resources into our country, we force the rest of the world (and many poor Americans) to do our dirty work. Poor people in places like Mexico and South Africa sweat al day in factories and mines so that we can have cheap fabric and coal to make our clothes and heat our homes. The median income world-wide is only $2,000 per person a year. The average American makes 65 times the salary of the poorest half of the world. If we could learn to work and consume less, these por people could spend less time working for us, and more time working to feed and house themselves.

If we want to be free, if we want to really live our lives, if we want to live on a healthy planet, if we want to end suffering and exploitation in the world, we will have to learn to work less.

But if I work less, won't I starve?

Most Americans have a terrible fear that if they stop working all the time, they won't be able to afford food and rent. The trick is learning how to work less by learning how to spend a lot less. Living cheap doesn't mean suffering and starving. You can live cheap and also enjoy a comfortable, plentiful life.

If I don't work, what will I do? Working less doesn't mean being unproductive. Take gardening again: Gardening doesn't pay. To make gardening pay, you would have to work like a farmer. But you can easily grow lots of vegetables, possibly enough to live on, simply by goofing around in your garden. Why work?

Life is an adventure if you have the time. There are so many things to do in the world, one person couldn't possibly do them all. It's sad: we get so caught up in our jobs, that whem we get home, we can't tink of anything better to do with ourselves than watch TV. Don't be a zombie slave - quit your job!

2 comentarii:

Gab spunea...

Haha! M-am uitat si eu peste articolul ala.

"After working less for a while, you will start to really enjoy the extra free time. You may find yourself not wanting to work at all."

Cam aici sunt eu acum :)

need2trip spunea...

hehe :)
si eu la fel.
chiar am renuntat la job de vreo luna.