Why we shouldn't work
for a living
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
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
Our goal should be to find employment that
will enable us to enjoy ourselves so much that we're surprised when they
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
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.