Jack Saturday

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 580-585

As for the causes of long-term unemployment, there's the obvious answer: there simply aren't enough jobs.

Closing that gap would require adding 300,000 jobs every month for the next five years. In August 2010, the economy shed 54,000 jobs. You do the math.
The Black Hole of Long-Term Unemployment
Andy Kroll
October 5, 2010


[Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie's] Montaillou quietly placed itself in the French literary tradition that treats laziness with the gravity and intelligence it deserves. An earlier representative of this tradition is Paul Lafargue's call to arms, The Right to Be Lazy, while a more recent addition to this genre is Corinne Maier's Bonjour Laziness. While Lafargue's pamphlet was published in the late 19th century and Maier's small book appeared in the early 21st century, they address the same phenomenon: the soul-numbing nature of modern work. Whether it takes place at the factory or office, work has become mechanical and meaningless. Rather than a trend, it is a perennial subject in France.

Ladurie notes that for the village's [the small town of Montaillou in the 14th century] shepherds, in particular, wealth was not measured in terms of money, property, or possessions. Instead, a rich life was one filled with travel and daydreaming, conversations and meals with friends.

They willingly worked to live, but most unwillingly lived to work. Rather than devoting themselves to hammering out a better plow or plowing a better field, the peasants of Montaillou did what was necessary to keep food on their table, but nothing more. Instead, they were suckers for lounging on a bench with a friend on a sunny day or sitting in front of a fire with a lover or spouse at night, exchanging stories….
Lafargue approvingly quotes the Enlightenment writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, who declared: "Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy." In a similar fashion, Maier insists that the laziness she abhors is the intellectual and moral laziness encouraged by the corporate world. Instead, she values -- as did the Cathars of Montaillou -- a life fully lived.

Hello laziness? The French never said au revoir. It's no surprise this is annoying to American sensibilities: If we were honest with ourselves, we never would have wanted to say goodbye, either.
In Praise of Laziness

SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

Braude (1975) described the Greek belief that a person's prudence, morality, and wisdom was directly proportional to the amount of leisure time that person had. A person who worked, when there was no need to do so, would run the risk of obliterating the distinction between slave and master.
Roger B. Hill, Ph.D.
There are many different kinds of revolution, roughly speaking, as many kinds as there are possible subversive recodifications of power relations.
Michel Foucault

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.


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