Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Abolition of Work

Via Mandatory Thinking, and also to be found in The Idler (issue 42, I think), Bob Black's essay is well worth a read; not least because of the (to me, at least) brilliant revelation that most socialist schemes about re-distributing power have all assumed that work would still be in place - that is to say, they didn't challenge the fundamental tenets of industrialisation.

Now, of course, this is, at one level, crazy utopian talk. But when there should be a debate about how to re-invigorate the left and social democracy, we should at least be able to challenge one of the baseline assumptions; that only work - work controlled by the workers yes, but still work - makes us free.

Oh, and by the way, this would be a very sexy world too:

Life will become a game, or rather many games, but not — as it is now—a zero/sum game. An optimal sexual encounter is the paradigm of productive play. The participants potentiate each other’s pleasures, nobody keeps score, and everybody wins. The more you give, the more you get. In the ludic life, the best of sex will diffuse into the better part of daily life. Generalized play leads to the libidinization of life. Sex, in turn, can become less urgent and desperate, more playful. If we play our cards right, we can all get more out of life than we put into it; but only if we play for keeps.



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