The alternative to work


The true business of people should be to go back to school and
think about whatever it was they were thinking about
before somebody came along and told them
that they had to earn a living.”
(Richard Buckminster Fuller, system theorist and author)

Richard Buckminster Fuller probably wasn’t thinking about athletes when he said that, but in my opinion sports is a good example.

Does a football player work?

Does a tennis player work?

We don’t work sports, even though it is hard work”.

Or is it? Do we perceive it that way?

And some of the athletes do earn a lot of money, most don’t though. This of course, has, besides the quality of the athlete – again – to do with potential advertising and/or sponsoring revenues. But that is a different story.

Attitude matters.

Why don’t we “play” other “jobs” as well?

We could, if we were really passionate about what we were doing, couldn’t we?

But wouldn’t society consider this to be immoral?

“Ora et labora.”
(Rule of St. Benedict)

Aren’t we society?

And isn’t there a true alternative to work?

That – and not the future of work – is the real creative challenge in my opinion. And if there is an alternative to work, we must rethink the work ethic – the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance our character – as well. Richard Buckminster Fuller was onto something when he claimed that “we must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living”.

An interesting observation in this context is that humans only started to “work”, once they settled down during the Neolithic period. Nomads, i.e. hunters and gatherers, didn’t really work.

Wouldn’t you agree that the time has come to de-stigmatize the nomads?

Why do we have to settle down?

Because it is more efficient?

Because it facilitates control?

Geographical proximity isn’t really that important in an increasingly automated world connected online, remember?

And have we reached peak people? Are there too many people on this planet?

Not in terms of available food and water, but in terms of “useful” things to do?

What is “useful”?

With the decline of work and jobs, what will 7 billion and more people do all the time?

Would Übermensch seek to control and ultimately reduce that number?

“Man is going to be displaced all together as a specialist
by the computer. Man himself is being forced to reestablish,
employ and enjoy his innate “comprehensivity”. Coping with
Spaceship Earth and the universe is ahead for all of us.”
(Richard Buckminster Fuller, system theorist and author)

Comments are closed.