Jack Saturday

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 117

Work, without enjoyment, for its own sake, is one of the more unhappy measurements of virtue that superstitious man [sic] has imposed on himself. It may not only be caricatured as the "curse of the drinking classes" and the opiate of the people, but also summed up more seriously by Durkheim as, for most men [sic], "a punishment and a scourge." And by Norman Brown as "pure self-punishment." And therefore a pure culture of guilt.

Until lately, mercantile groups have remained under the spell of the pronouncements in Genesis, that because Adam and his mate sinned, we must "earn our bread with the sweat of our faces"-- or in modern office terms, we must at least "put in time"-- seem to work.

For these reasons, proposals to establish a Guaranteed Annual Income cannot help but inspire fear and anger among business people.

The awful thought arises, that a passage to happiness is possible without paying off the gods by going through the mill.

If this is true, then sacrifices through toil merely waste us. We've been tricked. Suffering is a waste of man-hours. Once the law enables loafers to spend the day happily strumming guitars, the structure of symmetrical retribution tumbles down-- and the expiating power of labor stands exposed for what it is: a dismal superstition.
Alan Harrington,


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