Should we resign ourselves to a bleak future of work devouring even our old age? Surely we should start planning for a world where we work less, rather than more […] As we work less, our lives become our own.
From a nice comment piece by Owen Jones in the Guardian. He cites some of our favourites–Keynes, Srnicek & Williams (not New Escapologist though, never New Escapologist)–and has lots of angry-making statistics and projections about overwork and the new pensionable age in the UK.
Owen Jones is one of the more outspoken left-wing columnists in the UK. As a lefty myself I’m sometimes asked if work reduction isn’t at odds with Socialism. While it’s true that Socialism seems obsessed with work (job creation, better working conditions) and that reducing the need for labour might look like a right-wing austerity measure, it’s worth remembering that work reduction is a classic demand of the left. Agitating for a shorter work week is a tenet of Marxism (Marx saw capitalism as an alienating force), and every extant worker liberty (weekends, maternity leave, paid holiday, sick leave) is the result of a long and devoted labour movement.