Sunday, August 14, 2016

Radical leisure, or in defense of laziness

Lately I've been exploring the idea of how we spend our days. We have already decided that being stuck inside a job and selling our presence for money is not how we want to spend our lives, especially when we have young children to raise. But, then what? How do we want to spend our time? Well, I think it's in pursuit of learning naturally. That is, we could spend our days pursing things that interest us and our children: food gardening, keeping livestock, playing music, making art, dancing, writing screenplays, making beer and wine and cheese, the list goes on. See these articles below for a better explanation of what we have in mind:

"In consonance with what we might call this “leisure ethic” of pre-capitalism, which rejects the work-intensifying proclivities of bosses, the recorded history of early capitalist production in Europe and North America—at least outside of slavery—shows work as an integrated part of daily life, accompanied by eating and socializing, much to the chagrin of emerging industrialists. As Eric Wolf writes in his classic Europe and the People Without History, in European economies on the eve of industrialization, as long as industrial work was merely supplementary to the central work of keeping a farm, and had to compete with far more attractive recreational activities, such as holidays and family life, the organizers of industrial production would be searching for ways to “subdue the refractory tempers of work-people accustomed to irregular paroxysms of diligence,” in the words of one industrialist in 1835. The working-class life of balancing subsistence with leisure, which so irked the bourgeoisie, incorporated just enough production for capitalists as was necessary to satisfy a boss or tax man or to keep the wolf from the door, and no more."

Above, an unschooling version of this same argument. In other words, radical leisure for kids.