With George Fourlas

The necessity of paid work weighs heavy on those who are not born into gratuitous wealth, yet it is taken as given that one must work. Indeed, in the United States there are various moral expectations associated with work, an ethos, such that if one does not work or if one’s labor does not meet the monetary qualifications of dignity, then one will probably be met with various forms of condemnation. And, the decisions one makes about ones life are largely informed by these sorts of background concerns. One who pursues art, philosophy, theater, etc. as an undergraduate concentration comes to expect the response: ‘what will you do with that?’ Or, ‘how will you get a job?’ At the same time, for those who do work, which is most of the world’s population, the experience is marked by pain and an intense longing for a better life. To add to this frustrating situation, and despite the alienation of wage labor, the normative expectations associated with work are most vigorously reproduced and defended by workers.

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