Why Do People Work

"And while there is nothing inherently wrong with leisure (in fact, it is the goal of most human activity)"
I read this in Peter Schiff's book How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes. It's a really short line but I find it very striking. That's why people work, I assume, to make their lives better. And the concept of "better" is different for everyone in the way that everyone has a different definition of what "leisure" is. It is the goal of most human activity, Peter Schiff says.

Trailer of How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes

To me, leisure is having no work. It doesn't matter where you are or what you are doing (or not doing). If you are not working then it is leisure time. If you're not doing anything at that time then you are wasting leisure time (unless you find leisure and satisfaction in wasting leisure time; it's different for everyone as I have said).

Maybe that's why some people say that they work hard because they want to retire early. And that's exactly what retirement is—not having to do any work. Having leisure time all the time (the goal of all human activity).

Even in my younger years I was influenced by this text The Abolition of Work by Bob Black. At first, it's all so seemingly against my libertarian leanings. The first glance makes us think that it promotes laziness and discourages productivity. To me, it just shows us the value of having no work, of leisure time, of retirement, the goal of human activity as Peter Schiff put it.

Of course, I was also exposed to Marxist ideas about the alienation of work (the internet is corrupting the minds of our children! Quick, tell the government to regulate it!). Noam Chomsky says that some people don't have a choice but to succumb to this alienation. Of course, the main difference in the Marxist concept is that they don't want to earn this leisure time.

They deem the solution as destroying property rights. Making everything owned by every one. This doesn't make sense because exclusivity is a defining factor in the concept of ownership. If everything is owned by every one then you also lose self-ownership—you lose yourself—thus making it impossible to have leisure time: because leisure time is time that you own and not owned by anyone else.

You see, I don't have work. My parents are not fond of it, relatives and friends don't understand it, almost everyone in society hates it. It is expected of me. It is part of the "real world" that I have been trained for. They argue in defense of work and in abolishing free time. They speak against it, they are tolerant yet disappointed.

What people don't see is that I don't have work but I am working on something. Those are different things. When people ask me "where do you work now?" I wish I can reply with "I don't have work per se but I am working on something". I am working on a bunch of things, in fact, that may one day be the solution to having no work at all. A great deal of this involves thinking and free time.

The problem with some people is they'd rather surrender to a routine in exchange of compensation than spend time thinking. Of course, these things I am working on may lead to nothing but just as it is told in Peter Schiff's book I am involved in risking and underconsumption. And I would rather fail many times at thinking and working on things than succeed in finding "work" that I can do. And yes, my goals are time-bound, and when the time expires I shall look for work. You know, Sun Tzu's knowing when to fight, retreating today and fighting tomorrow, something like that. But this doesn't mean that I have given up on the goal of all human activity.

There are many things that hindered my plans or are hindering my on-going plans. You can plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict the weather, says the song.

I didn't expect that losing some variables may drastically change future plans. All things are chaotic but I want to be determined to find order. I am in a learning process of self-discovery. Throughout all the risking and underconsumption, I am learning many valuable things. I am also able to advance a lot of my passions (music, writing, etc.).

I am blessed with the luxury of free time, blessed with hardworking parents that have provided me with so much and still somehow, no matter how unwillingly, tolerate my dissidence (my "working on things"). Yes, this free time, this luxury, is something I have inherited, and attribute greatly to their hard work and innovative business-mindedness .

I don't really know where I am going with this. I am writing with no rhyme or reason, really. A friend once warned me that I should be careful what I write about—up to today, he warns me, Hillary Clinton is still criticized for her college thesis relating to Saul Alinsky.

So I guess I'll just end all this before anything in the future is ruined by this article (I did try to refute the solutions proposed by Marxism and hope to have made it clear that I am against them). I guess it's only right that I answer the title of my post: why do people work?

Well, as I have realized and tried to point out, people work because they don't want to work. It's quite paradoxical, I think. But hey, I hope I made sense of all this somehow.

No comments

Just another one of the blogs of Harry Santos. Powered by Blogger.