Jack Saturday

Monday, February 26, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 118

Thus for the first time since his creation man [sic] will be faced with his real, his permanent prob­lem‑- how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.

The strenuous purposeful money‑makers may carry all of us along with them into the lap of economic abundance. But it will be those peoples, who can keep alive, and cultivate into a fuller perfection, the art of life itself and do not sell themselves for the means of life, who will be able to enjoy the abundance when it comes.
There are changes in other spheres too which we must expect to come. When the accumula­tion of wealth is no longer of high social im­portance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid our­selves of many of the pseudo‑moral principles which have hag‑ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money‑motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession -‑as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life ‑-will be recognised for what it is, a some­what disgusting morbidity, one of those semi­criminal, semi‑pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease. All kinds of social customs and economic practices, affecting the distribu­tion of wealth and of economic rewards and penalties, which we now maintain at all costs, however distasteful and unjust they may be in themselves, because they are tremendously useful in promoting the accumulation of capital, we shall then be free, at last, to discard.

Of course there will still be many people with intense, unsatisfied purposiveness who will blindly pursue wealth‑-unless they can find some plausible substitute. But the rest of us will no longer be under any obligation to applaud and encourage them.
John Maynard Keynes


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