For a long time in my life, I was not a fan of having to work for a living. I worked crappy jobs that weren’t particularly satisfying and didn’t really fit who I was as an individual. I really wanted to reach that point in life when I could retire and not have to do anything.
All that was keeping me from that dream was the right six numbers on a lottery ticket.
Yet at no point did I somehow believe society owed me a life of leisure. I didn’t want to work, but I understood the necessity of it.
Over the last little while, there’s been a growing movement called “anti-work.” Basically, these people think they shouldn’t have to work for a living and they resent the hell out of their capitalistic societies that require them to work.
Now, let’s understand these people for a moment.
Generally, they’re people who work crap jobs and have little prospect at getting better work. They’re miserable in their lives and they’re spoon-fed a diet of people with even fewer skills who have become “influencers” living the dream.
It’s kind of hard not to get a little resentful, I suppose.
Then there’s the thinking that if you have to work for someone else, are you really free? Or is society keeping you enslaved to some degree where even if you quit a job, you still have to go work at another one?
To make matters worse, they’ve often also been handed a load of Marxist BS about how the system is designed to keep them down.
Yet, despite all the understanding I may wish to give these people, at its heart, the anti-work movement is really anti-reality.
See, if no one should have to work for a living, then who does the crappy jobs no one would do unless they had to for some reason?
Oh, there’d be no shortage of artists, video game developers, writers, and creative types. There likely would be sufficient lawyers and administrators and other such folks as well.
But while I suspect there would be plenty of chefs, there wouldn’t be many waiters, as an example.
That’s fine, though, because I doubt there would be much food. After all, farm work is dangerous, tedious, exhausting, and not a lot of fun. Working in slaughterhouses isn’t a blast either. Canneries are probably better jobs, but they’re boring and still potentially dangerous.
Then we have the so-called “menial” jobs like janitors and garbage collectors. Do you really think people would voluntarily do these jobs just for the fun of it?
Many of the anti-work crowd already fill these roles, so it’s safe to say they wouldn’t do them if they didn’t have to. What they fail to ask is why would anyone else do them?
Yet there is no such thing as non-essential jobs. Every job is important for some reason or another. Someone has to do that work.
Anti-work is predicated on the idea that while those jobs may be important, people should somehow want to fill those roles just for fun…all while not wanting to fill those roles.
It’s kind of insane.
Capitalism is often decried by some of the anti-work crowd, but they fail to acknowledge that capitalism at least provides opportunity.
Yes, everyone has to work, but capitalism is a system where anyone can pull themselves up. It’s not easy to become Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, but you can still do better for yourself if you are willing to put forth the effort.
It also recognizes that people need incentives to do less desirable work. No one goes into septic tank work because it looks like fun. No one works garbage collection because it was a life-long dream.
No, they go into that work because they need a paycheck. Because some of those jobs just really suck but are really necessary, they actually pay pretty well considering the level of training required. That’s because the Law of Supply and Demand applies to labor as well. They get paid more because there aren’t that many people willing to supply labor for those jobs.
This is a simple fact that the anti-work folks need to at least acknowledge if they want to be taken seriously.
As it is, they look like nothing more than petulant children who are crying because they have to move out of their parents’ basements and get a job.
When I was a kid, the Democratic Party was the party of "the working man."
Now, it's the party of the man "who doesn't want to work."
Sad, but true.