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Thoughts about work 1/2

Slavery is when one has to work to live. Thus defined, and except to be rentier, most humans are slaves. The master is the money and, collectively, those who distribute it. In order to reduce men to slavery, it was necessary to make them dependent on money (reduce empathy and solidarity), and to ensure that one was the sole supplier (monopoly of central banks).

In France, social advances in recent decades have enabled slaves to be treated fairly well: free time for everyone, 35 hours work week, 5 weeks yearly paid holidays and institutionalized solidarity (unemployment, sickness, retirement). Those good conditions have a cost and they are not being met elsewhere. With free trade being levelled by prices, globalisation will happen at the expense of working conditions.

It is worrisome that we have ended up adhering very irrationally to our own slavery. The popular consensus is reflected in political discourse: unemployment is a scourge that must be fought. Not having a job inspires compassion at best, contempt at worst. Are we all victims of the Stockholm syndrome?

Why don’t we change our perspective? Let us consider for a moment that work is a plague (according to its Latin etymology of trepalium), and that unemployment is therefore a synonym for liberation.

What about compensation? There again we are victims of the well maintained amalgam since the dawn of time that it is necessary to work to live. But at a time when the value of labour is decreasing, and that of capital is increasing, this amalgam would deserve being questioned… in a future article.

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