The Radical Idea of a World Without Jobs

The Guardian, 2018




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Work means different things to different people: an economic necessity, a source of self-fulfillment, a status symbol or all of the above. Yet up until recently, few Westerners have questioned the value or necessity of work itself. This is now changing, as Andy Beckett explains in his article for The Guardian. He gives voice to a growing number of intellectuals and political activists who think that our work-centric society is becoming obsolete. In outlining some main lines of thinking within the emerging post-work movement, Beckett provides much food for thought for anybody interested in the future of work.


Work has become an integral part of people’s identity and daily routines. Yet more and more workers no longer get what they expect from salaried employment. Stagnating or low wages contribute to ever-larger numbers of working poor in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. A dearth of suitable job openings for college-educated people prevents many recent graduates from working themselves up the social ladder or deriving self-fulfillment from work. Many people with jobs are disengaged or suffer from stress-related health issues. A lot of full-time jobs have become so all-consuming that workers have scant time and...

About the Author

Andy Beckett is a feature writer for The Guardian and author of Promised You a Miracle: Why 1980-82 Made Modern Britain.

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