Work in 2021: What Makes a “Good Job” Good?
Yves here. This post focuses on the nature of work, as well as having a job, as in paid employment. I am personally offended by those who try to take the position that everyone should get an income and no one should work. How do you propose to have your abode cleaned, not just the labor involved but the various implements and cleansers? How about your food? Do you also posit that God will provide manna? And please describe childrearing. Who does that? How do the wee savages become educated and socialized? And how do you get medical care if no one is trained and incentivized to do that? To put none too fine a point on it, Aristotle’s life of leisure and contemplation is a refined version of a top 1% fantasy. In his day, it depended on slaves.
And please don’t tell me you plan to become a subsistence farmer. My gene pool on my father’s side for >10 generations until his grandparents was entirely Yankee farmers and fishermen. Living off the land or sea is hard work. And even then, they used implements made by others: knives, butter churns, plows, tillers, anchors and rope, sails.
In other words, you have to go to lower than Little House on the Prairie standards of living to escape the modern paradigm of paid, specialized labor providing goods and services for use by others.
Similarly, a lot of what makes work valuable is not so much the task but having some measure of control over
When I was young, I believed in the view presented by Elile Durkheim in