Work as Vice

We tend to think of work as a creative force, but often it’s as or more destructive than it is creative.
In order for the builder to build you a bigger house, trees must be destroyed, and great quantities of ‘fossil fuels’ (ensuing pollution) must be extracted from the earth, to fuel the necessary implements.
The builders too must fuel their bodies with a greater intake of calories, so more animals must be slaughtered, and even more trees slain to make way for the expansion of agriculture.

Human beings, but in particular, much of the work they do, is responsible for extinction of thousands of species, and thousands of species will continue to die because of the work we do, until we’re all dead.
If we’re really serious about saving the planet, than I think doing away with the protestant work ethic and it’s more egoistic, hedonistic and materialistic offshoot, the secular work ethic, is paramount.
Individually, we should work a hell of a lot less, and, we should do work that is a hell of a lot less material and more artistic and philosophical in nature.
Collectively and politically, we should set up a system conducive to leisure, where everyone who can work, still has to, cause I think everyone should still pull their weight, just significantly less.

So much of the work we do merely benefits the upper caste, and is totally worthless, more a product of narcissism, envy, greed or paranoia about going hungry, than a product of necessity, or even real enjoyment, it’s just a 'keeping up with the Jones’s, mentality.
Unless you’re a miser, a cheapskate, than the more work you do, chances are the more of a hedonist and materialist you are, and such things used to be considered vices.
What’s virtuous is working moderately for your needs and the needs of whoever you’re responsible for, the further you go beyond that, the more selfish you are, the more of a glutton you are.
People should also be more selective with the sort of work they do, choose work that looks after peoples needs, instead of their desires.

Now what are some of the other negative consequences of workaholism, environmentally, but also on a personal level, our health, our families and so on?
And what counts for workaholism?
Perhaps the work week ought to be shortened to 20 hours, and anything over that ought to be defined as overtime/workaholism.

I agree with the basis of your sentiments. A 20-25 hr. work week where meaningful/necessary products and services are provided looks good on paper, but what would be the formula for establishing such a change?

Workaholics spend virtually no quality time with their families. People who thrive on the challenge of their work and enthusiastically work overtime are not necessarily workaholics until their personal lives disintegrate. Healthwise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, compensatory addictions for quick stress relief (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, shopping).

Can you lay out a plan for more art? What exactly will everyone have to give up besides their 40 hrs. job? If people lose their establishment purpose, how will they occupy their time without becoming corrupted by leisure and consuming more resources than they had while they held more of a job?

Government could make it illegal to work more than 40 hours a week for profit, it could also force employers to pay time and a half or double time to their employees for working 20-40 hours a week.
Of many course people, especially low income people with families, would have insurmountable difficulty in only working 20-30 a week, so something would have to be done about that.
Either minimum wage would have to increase from just over 10 dollars where it is now in Canada, to something like just over 30 dollars, so everyone can make a decent living, above the poverty line, or government could nationalize some (I wouldn’t recommend all, as there should still be a free market and individual, consumer choice), a large percentage of the food and housing industries.
Reduce the cost of living, make everything affordable, green and organic, and get the overclass to pay for it, or just print money debt free, nationalize the banks, that’s another thing.

Of course working less would probably also make us less competitive in the global market, but not uncompetative, just less, we’d still probably be more competitive than all of the developing world, and hopefully the developed world would follow are example.
We should all be less competitive, our economies need to shrink, and wealth needs to spread out.
Being more competitive by and large only helps the elite, as the overwhelming majority of growth is concentrated in the hands of the very few, it doesn’t help the lower or middle classes, and it certainly doesn’t help the environment, it’s destroying it.
The formula is economic growth = ecological decay, 99 times out of a 100.
Growth is not good, moderation-minimization is good.

As for art and philosophy, when people have more time and energy, and are discouraged from overworking monetarily, I think they will be more interested in these things, as well as the health of theirselves and their communities, naturally, but there could be some government programs to help stimulate such activity.
I think education should either be mostly privatized, like only keep the essentials - arithmetic, reading and writing, adding more practical things like ‘home economics’, politics and law should be taught in public schools, children should be taught a hell of a lot more about how their government really works instead of a lot of abstract stuff about math, and arguably questionable stuff about the physical and social sciences, it should also teach more artistic, philosophical, health and community oriented things.

Now I’m not a communist, at least not in a big way, I would collectivize essential goods and services, but still allowing the free market to operate in even these areas to some extent, but as for the inessential, if anything I would privatize them even more than they are already.
There has to be the right balance of collectivism and individualism, I wouldn’t make things much more collectivized than they are now, so much as equally collectivized, but in different ways, I’d say.

Anyway, all of this stuff is rather idealistic, if good parties never get formed or voted in, that’d implement such policies, we can all just do our part individually by not playing ball, work as little as you can, be frugal, and don’t feel guilty about lying, cheating and scamming the big mega banks and corporations out of money, it’s our money anyway, it belongs to us and the planet.

Link resource for eco-friendly, simpler living.

Collectives that cultivate the land, buy local, trade resources. There is a movement towards simpler living and spirituality. This may be worth a fieldtrip to one of these places for a look-see and tutoring someday. I’ve always wanted to build my own wood furniture. Felling the trees and handling the creative process all the way to the finished pieces would be a happy day. Measure 22 times, cut once. :mrgreen:

I might consider doing something like that one day, or at least take a field trip as you say, to see it in practice.
For now, I’m going to live as simply as I can, as an urban person.