In Praise of Idleness – Bertrand Russell


“Why do we work? From necessity or love? If the former, then our world is failing us, we are being exploited, being made slaves for the benefit of others. The ethic that work is a ‘good thing’ is a throwback to a Victorian mentality of puritanical pain and denial of our humanity, an ethic that is so far removed from the reality of our human nature as to be pathological.”

This is the fourth essay of a collection of essays written from the anti-work perspective. These essays investigate concepts of freedom, compulsory labor, the ‘work ethic’, the wages system, employment, and “occupations.”

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The essay was first published in In Praise of Idleness – 1932 – and was written by Bertrand Russell.

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