Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs

Work has ruled our lives for centuries, and it does so today more than ever. But a new generation of thinkers insists there is an alternative. By Andy Beckett

Work is the master of the modern world. For most people, it is impossible to imagine society without it. It dominates and pervades everyday life – especially in Britain and the US – more completely than at any time in recent history. An obsession with employability runs through education. Even severely disabled welfare claimants are required to be work-seekers. Corporate superstars show off their epic work schedules. “Hard-working families” are idealised by politicians. Friends pitch each other business ideas. Tech companies persuade their employees that round-the-clock work is play. Gig economy companies claim that round-the-clock work is freedom. Workers commute further, strike less, retire later. Digital technology lets work invade leisure.

In all these mutually reinforcing ways, work increasingly forms our routines and psyches, and squeezes out other influences. As Joanna Biggs put it in her quietly disturbing 2015 book All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work, “Work is … how we give our lives meaning when religion, party politics and community fall away.”

Related: Do you work more than 39 hours a week? Your job could be killing you

Related: What happens when the jobs dry up in the new world? The left must have an answer | John Harris

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Enormous Galaxy Cluster = 3 Million Billion Suns

Hubble Weighs in on Mass of Three Million Billion Suns click for ginormous image Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS     NASA: In 2014, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope found that this enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns — so it’s little wonder that it has…

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