For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren"

by Keynes, John Maynard (2010)

Key Passage

Thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, hispermanent problem-how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares,how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have wonfor him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.The strenuous purposeful money-makers may carry all of us along with theminto the lap of economic abundance. But it will be those peoples, who can keepalive, and cultivate into a fuller perfection, the art of life itself and do not sellthemselves for the means of life, who will be able to enjoy the abundance whenit comes.Yet there is no country and no people, I think, who can look forward to the ageof leisure and of abundance without a dread. For we have been trained too longto strive and not to enjoy. It is a fearful problem for the ordinary person, withno special talents, to occupy himself, especially if he no longer has roots in thesoil or in custom or in the beloved conventions of a traditional society. Tojudge from the behaviour and the achievements of the wealthy classes to-day inany quarter of the world, the outlook is very depressing! For these are, so tospeak, our advance guard-those who are spying out the promised land for therest of us and pitching their camp there. For they have most of them faileddisastrously, so it seems to me-those who have an independent income but noassociations or duties or ties-to solve the problem which has been set them.I feel sure that with a little more experience we shall use the new-found bountyof nature quite differently from the way in which the rich use it to-day, and willmap out for ourselves a plan of life quite otherwise than theirs.For many ages to come the old Adam will be so strong in us that everybodywill need to do some work if he is to be contented. We shall do more things forourselves than is usual with the rich to-day, only too glad to have small dutiesand tasks and routines. But beyond this, we shall endeavour to spread the breadthin on the butter-to make what work there is still to be done to be as widelyshared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off theproblem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy theold Adam in most of us!  ()


Keynes, Economics, End Of Work, Working Day, Post-Work Society


Post-Work Society, Leisure, End of Work, Keynes, Economics

Links to Reference



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