Moore, Moore, Moore


This model of working – long hours, very few holidays, few breaks, two incomes needed to raise kids, crazed loyalty demanded by huge corporations, the American way – is where we’re heading. Except now the model is even more punishing. It is China. We are expected to compete with an economy whose workers are often closer to indentured slaves than anything else.

This is what striving is, then: dangerous, demoralising, often dirty work. Buckle down. It’s the only way forward, apparently, which is why our glorious leaders are sucking up to China, which is immoral, never mind ridiculously short-term thinking.

So again I must really speak up for the skivers. What we have to understand about austerity is its psychic effects. People must have less. So they must have less leisure, too. The fact is life is about more than work and work is rapidly changing. Skiving in China may get you killed but here it may be a small act of resistance, or it may just be that skivers remind us that there is meaning outside wage-slavery.

I don’t always agree with Ms Moore but today’s instalment of her column is pretty dazzling. I encourage you all to read on.

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

4 Responses to “Moore, Moore, Moore”

  1. Scott says:

    That’s a great piece, thanks for the link. This seems such a key part of the worship of work to me:

    “Now that we have a political and media elite who go from Oxbridge to working for a newspaper or a politician, a lot of nonsense is spouted. These people have not cleaned urinals on a nightshift. They don’t sit lonely in petrol stations manning the till. They don’t have to ask permission for a toilet break in a call centre. Instead, their work provides their own special identity. It is very important.”

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I make a similar point in my book: something about how ‘work as identity’ is a good deal for rock stars or astronauts, but a pretty crummy one for the rest of us.

  3. Spoonman says:

    What wage slaves need to realize is that work is a single point of failure, if you get fired then then your sense of identity gets destroyed as well. Even retirees have trouble leaving work because they don’t know what to do with themselves after they leave work.

  4. Great point, Rob, about “work as identity” being for those with cool jobs and big paycheques. The punditocracy and politicians tend to forget this. It’s all well and good for people in high positions to spout off about the hard working middle class, protestant work ethic, yaddah yaddah. I’m waiting for an honest politician who comes along and says “People of Canada, I say to you…I fucking hate work as much as the rest of you. Always have. That’s why I was a drama teacher before I became Prime Minister. Let’s all start buy buying less unnecessary crap so that we can afford to take more time off.”

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