Thursday, November 29, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 68



Why we shouldn't work for a living

Brandon Moeller

When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my own good looks?

--Allen Ginsberg, "America"

Admittedly, I'm not always the first to catch on to important cultural insurrection campaigns. But I have caught wind of one that must have started
around the era of industrialization.

Before I say more, I'd like my readers to ask themselves an important question: "Do I want to work for a living?"

I would like to think most people would respond with a deafening "no." Why must we leave our dwelling place on an almost daily basis to
commute somewhere to do something we don't want to do with our precious time?

Isn't time our most valuable resource? That's what my dad used to say. When I told him that I'd like to abolish work, he told me I was nuts.

And he said if I had any idea of running off and skimping on paying back my student loans, he'd hunt me down and force me to turn lathes in
precision parts factories.

I think he was kidding, but I am not. I don't want to work for a living and I am committed to find a way around it.

Sure, laugh at my hypocrisy and point out that I make $10 for this utopian spiel. That's the catch. I don't always consider journalism to be work.
"News is fun," I remember one house advertisement declaring in these pages a while back.

One definition of "work" that the enormous dictionary in the Cougar newsroom provides is "the labor, task or duty that affords one his
accustomed means of livelihood."

Most of us, I would hope, are on the right track to not having to work for the rest of our lives. We're college students, meaning we hope to do
something we enjoy for the rest of our lives and be able to make enough money to survive in the process.

With degrees, we pray we'll be able to get any job we desire. Especially one that does not bore us to the point of making our brains feel like
empty chasms of hardly used tissue or one that requires us to sweat and leave the job site feeling physically exhausted.

Our goal should be to find employment that will enable us to enjoy ourselves so much that we're surprised when they pay us.

On an unrelated side note, have you ever wondered why it is that the people who work the hardest usually make the least amount of money?
I'm talking about sweatshop workers, factory workers, kitchen cooks, janitors and the like. In this pure contradiction of Horatio Alger, people end
up slaving for gods and masters who do the least while making the most amount of money. The true "workers" do contribute to the
advancement of society, but they don't seem to do it willingly.

We should abolish that. Nobody should have to go into work not wanting to be there. People should be able to do whatever they want to do (as
long as it stays within the bounds of our reform-needing legal system).

No, I'm not saying people should break laws that benefit society.

The movement to abolish work is not based on anarchy. But it is based on abolishing money. If people didn't have to slave all day long doing
things they didn't want to do just to be able to feed themselves and care for their families, they would have more free time to do as they please.

Not to say that everyone should spend all day in bed. Though there's nothing wrong with occasional spurts of laziness, if people are too lazy,
they'll end up wasting all their lives with the feeling of not having accomplished anything when they die.

As troubling as it sounds, some people would be content with that. So how would society and technology advance without work?

That's where us intellectuals come in. We're smart and well-read because we choose to be. We can use our skills and our learning to advance
society and culture in the way we choose. We can work for ourselves, and the rest of the community, without going home at the end of the day
feeling shortchanged. Because there will be no money. And there will be no hunger, because the bread will be free. And there will be no war
because people will finally have the time and energy to understand each other.

Of course, this is all idealistic mental masturbation -- nothing more than an affirmation that as college students, we have it easy. Most of us
aren't too worn out from laboring all day to be idealistic. And with degrees, we might not have to work a single day of our lives as long as we
enjoy what we do.

Moeller, a junior communication 
major, can be reached at

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