Jack Saturday

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1880-1882

 What is needed, surely, is a change of attitude. One must return to the Aristotelian definition of leisure as the freedom from the necessity of labour, by which he meant the necessity of being occupied at any task which you had to perform but didn't want to. Leisure has nothing to do with time; it is a state; and the idea of "using" time is foreign to the idea of leisure.

We come back, then, to freedom. Leisure equals freedom. A society that truly values freedom must also truly value leisure. Leisure also connotes cultural and intellectual activity as well as community service. (In Greek times almost everybody played the flute or the lyre.) John Farina argues that the really free men [sic] of our time are the educated men of leisure: the Vincent Masseys, the Winston Churchills, the John Kennedys. They are free because they are free to make a choice, unfettered by want, ignorance, or the narrow prison of the "job."

Is it too much to expect that in the New Democracy of the future this kind of free choice will be available to all?
Pierre Berton,
The Smug Minority, p. 77

 Three men — Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates — have among them as much wealth as the bottom half of U.S. society. In a society of pervasive ignorance, such wealth is viewed as the outcome of the actions and successes of the individual actors. But in a society in which civic literacy and reason rule, such wealth would be considered characteristic of an economy appropriately named casino capitalism. In a society in which 80 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck, and 20 percent of all children live below the poverty line, such inequalities in wealth and power constitute forms of domestic terrorism — that is, state-initiated violence or terrorism practiced in one’s own country against one’s own people.
Henry A. Giroux,

If men [sic] were not disposed to continue selling their living activity, the impotence of Capital would be revealed; Capital would cease to exist; its last remaining potency would be the power to remind people of a bypassed form of everyday life characterized by daily universal prostitution.
George Woodcock

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1877-1879

I may be on a bit of a loop with this one, but it feels appropriate this morning. The 700-year-old 'forswunk' means 'exhausted from work'. To be 'foreswunk', on the other hand, is to be exhausted before you even begin.
Susie Dent

The language of neoliberalism erases any notion of social responsibility, and in doing so, eliminates the belief that alternative worlds can be imagined. Under the Trump administration, the world of the robust imagination, a vibrant civic literacy, and inspiring and vitalizing ideas are turned into ashes.
Henry A. Giroux,

Bizarrely, it’s precisely the jobs that shift money around – creating next to nothing of tangible value – that net the best salaries. It’s a fascinating, paradoxical state of affairs. How is it possible that all those agents of prosperity – the teachers, the police officers, the nurses – are paid so poorly, while the unimportant, superfluous, and even destructive shifters do so well?
Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers
By Rutger Bregman

Monday, February 04, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1874-1876

A strike by, say, social media consultants, telemarketers, or high-frequency traders might never even make the news at all.
When it comes to garbage collectors, though, it’s different. Any way you look at it, they do a job we can’t do without. And the harsh truth is that an increasing number of people do jobs that we can do just fine without. Were they to suddenly stop working the world wouldn’t get any poorer, uglier, or in any way worse. Take the slick Wall Street traders who line their pockets at the expense of another retirement fund. Take the shrewd lawyers who can draw a corporate lawsuit out until the end of days. Or take the brilliant ad writer who pens the slogan of the year and puts the competition right out of business.
Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers
By Rutger Bregman

[emphasis JS]

Uwe Mauch has called Vienna “home” for more than 30 years. The 52-year-old Austrian journalist and writer lives in a subsidized apartment in the north of the European city, in one of the many low-cost housing complexes built around leafy courtyards by the municipal government.
Mauch pays 300 euros, or the equivalent of $350, a month in rent for his one-bedroom apartment ― only 10 percent of his income.
“It’s great ― I’m really happy living here,” he says. “I like all the green space right outside my window. When people from other countries visit, they can’t believe it’s so nice and also so cheap.”
With its affordable and attractive places to live, the Austrian capital is fast becoming the international gold standard when it comes to public housing, or what Europeans call “social housing” ― in Vienna’s case, government-subsidized housing rented out by the municipality or nonprofit housing associations. Unlike America’s public housing projects, which remain unloved and underfunded, the city’s schemes are generally held to be at the forefront not only of progressive planning policy but also of sustainable design.
Social housing in Vienna has been widespread since the 1920s when the post-war municipality, led by the Social Democrats, began building high-density estates all over the city ― typically six- to eight-story apartment blocks with communal green spaces. Today, anyone earning up to $53,225 a year after taxes is eligible to apply for a subsidized apartment in Vienna in a country where the median gross annual income is about $31,500.
According to the municipality, 62 percent of Vienna’s citizens currently live in social housing.
Vienna’s Affordable Housing Paradise
Adam Forrest

[emphasis JS]

...money is not the same thing as wealth. The idea that money and wealth are the same thing is so deeply entrenched in our culture that it’s hard for us to grasp the folly of it.
The things that we need for our survival – food, shelter, fuel – are wealth. The things that make us feel good – family, community, entertainment – are wealth. The things that help us to get what we need and what we enjoy – machinery, infrastructure, education – are wealth. Money is merely the tool that we use to facilitate the production and transfer of wealth. If we can accept this concept then funding a full UBI becomes not only possible, but economically desirable.
How to Fund a Universal Basic Income
Without Scaring The Horses
Malcolm Henry
Center For Welfare Reform