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Friday, July 22, 2005


Bertrand Russell, in In Praise of Idleness, published way back in 1932, made the point that we should only work four hours a day. Good man. From that essay:

"Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle. Modern methods of production have given us the possibility of ease and security for all; we have chosen, instead, to have overwork for some and starvation for others. Hitherto we have continued to be as energetic as we were before there were machines; in this we have been foolish, but there is no reason to go on being foolish forever."

Of course, he later came in for a bit of stick for not advocating strongly against the growing repression in the USSR (from 1919 onwards, but especially during Stalin's great purges). He also wrote a bit about anarchism, more reflecting the popularity of the movement at the beginning of the 20th Century than anything else, I think. You can read Proposed Roads to Freedom here.


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