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Vlad-Ștefan Harbuz

Resources on the Philosophy of Work

Wage labour is when you get paid a salary by a company to do work. It's not a good system because it allows and encourages employees to be exploited, and it also enforces the idea that you have to do a sometimes useless job just to deserve to earn a living.

It's not the only option, though! Other systems are possible, and we can get there little by little. A big part of this change is cultural. This means first realising all the bad things that gross inequality of income and power does, then changing our values to say that everyone deserves to earn a fair living.

Here are some beginner-friendly books and articles on this topic that I have loved, and are both eloquent and fun to read. If you're not sure where to start, I would recommend either “The Tyranny of Merit” or “Bullshit Jobs”.

Please also read my essay, “Alternatives to Wage Labour”.

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
— Buckminster Fuller