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Is work necessary?

+4 votes
Is work necessary in current society or some hypothetical anarchist/communist society?

edit: realized didn't explain what I meant by work. Work- a compulsory activity/labor devoted to the consumption and production of commodities enforced by economic/political means. I hope that somewhat less vague.
asked Aug 15, 2015 by ? (3,850 points)
edited Aug 15, 2015 by ?

2 Answers

+4 votes

it depends on how you define the term work.

this capitalist world creates a particular context for the word (and coercion plays a huge part in it). most communists i know cannot really think outside of that context in terms of work; they merely change the ownership of the means of production, and the working conditions for the workers. no substantial divergence from a world driven by a hugely disjointed and mediated cycle of production and consumption.

if work means selling one's time (and energy, etc)  in exchange for a wage which can then be used to purchase/barter the necessities (and desirities) of their life, then my anarchist world would have nothing to do with it.

if work means putting one's time (and energy, etc) directly into creating the things they want and need in their life, then fuck yeah!  to paraphrase a particularly abhorrent capitalist phrase: it takes energy to make energy. :-)

edit: i should add that if i want to get someone else to put their time/energy/etc into creating what i want/need in my life, that is between me and them, based solely on our direct relationship. money or other managed medium of exchange would not exist in my world; no authority (or laws) would exist to oversee our relationship or our choices for helping each other out (or not). coercion, should it rear its ugly head, would be dealt with as each person involved sees fit.

answered Aug 15, 2015 by funkyanarchy (10,830 points)
edited Aug 15, 2015 by funkyanarchy
Oops, should've been more clear. I meant work- labor devoted to the consumption and production of commodities. A compulsory activity enforced by economics/political means. Umm... Like capitalists/communists/socialists seem to believe in that, just differ on who owns the means of production.  I'm not sure I'm being clear? I don't mean an activity one enjoys that makes them sweat or expend energy.

definition clarified, thanks.

i'll just point out that my second use of the term does not imply or require enjoyment of the process (of directly creating the things one needs), although that surely makes it easier. and of course, enjoyment should always be a factor in the end result.

0 votes
To some extent, yes. It is necessary to work in order to maintain and keep things nice and tidy. Plus people like you need to eat and getting food is, last I checked, working. You need to do it to keep you and others alive.

If something necessary needs to be done, such as producing necessities like food for example, then the mere fact it needs to be done is all the incentive needed to do it. People will hop to it and make food because it's needed.

You don't need to coerce people to do something when the imperative alone is all the motivation you need to get it done.
answered Aug 16, 2015 by MrEniena (570 points)
edited Aug 18, 2015 by MrEniena
I wasn't meaning work as in an activity that uses energy and time. I meant work as in a compulsory activity/labor devoted to the consumption and production enforced by economic/political means. Compulsory production, one could say.
Oh, forgot to include my ending. My mistake. I've edited it to include what I was originally going to conclude my answer to. I've also shortened it to make for a quicker read.