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Thursday, 23 March 2017 19:35

The Liberation of Leisure

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In our modern, fast-paced society that holds servile work and the fanatical pursuit of money to be the primary aim of our very existence, every adult man and woman must have a paid ‘job’ in order to survive and feel ‘dignified’ lest they suffer the curse of unemployment and the poverty and stigma associated with it, and this despite, or perhaps because of, the paltry and condescending ‘dole’ payments the state may hand out to them. We are not only expected to work, we are expected to compete and battle with one another to get that job or to obtain that promotion in order earn the money to pay those expensive bills and to purchase those precious goods that we need to survive and thrive. We must climb that corporate ladder or work that extra hour just to get those few extra dollars to pay off that mortgage or to make one’s marriage last just a little bit longer.

Everything else apart from that is an irrelevance. Leisure, that is free time in which activities that do not involve working in some sort of servile occupation that serves some financial or materialistic end, is deemed ‘useless’, a sign of childishness, unimportant and is even open to outright scorn or viewed as devilish idolatry by our puritanical society, especially by those in charge of politics and high finance. Even in an age of plenty where there are sufficient goods for everyone thanks to industrial automation and mechanized production (which necessitates less and less human labour in production), we are still expected by our beloved politicians to work longer and longer hours. In families, both fathers and mothers are expected to work and the children are shuffled off to commercial daycare centers. The very notion of receiving anything freely, whether through inheritance, gifts, or familial or communal association, is considered scandalous, even in an age where, due to the increasing role of machines performing various tasks, a universal income as a representation of the unearned increment of association in production will need to be paid freely to the citizens as full employment will no longer be achievable. The German Thomistic philosopher, Joseph Pieper, firmly rejected this puritanical mentality in his well-known book Leisure: The Basis of Culture: “The inmost significance of the exaggerated value which is set upon hard work appears to be this: man seems to mistrust everything that is effortless; he can only enjoy, with a good conscience, what he has acquired with toil and trouble; he refused to have anything as a gift.”

Of course, the policy of full employment is certainly no innocent economic or social error. It serves a vital political purpose for the powerful oligarchic elites who are in control of global finance and banking, and who operate the system in favour of their own interests and of no one else’s – unless it somehow benefits their own agenda. The policy is maintained in order to keep the people so busy and struggling to meet the cost of living and attaining or retaining employment that they are prevented from having sufficient leisure time and energy to reflect upon political, moral, and philosophical questions, and to make full use of their creative impulses. They are kept distracted by false flag terrorism, shallow celebrities, and delusional daydreams such as, for example, one of the most grandiose and fraudulent daydream of them all, i.e., the notion that because they live under a universal liberal ‘democracy’, they are thus definitely free from all tyranny. As Clifford Hugh Douglas, the 20th century British engineer who developed Social Credit theory as an alternative economic system, succinctly wrote in his publication Programme for the Third World War: “... if you can control economics, you can keep the business of getting a living the dominant factor of life, and so keep your control of politics – just that long, and no longer.”

The reigning economic model hollows out culture, shatters family life and suppresses the creative impulse which is vital for the cultivation of the arts and philosophy. When people are threatened with the possibility or reality of economic insecurity and poverty, they are placed under tremendous physical and mental stress that can result in health problems, criminal behaviour, greed and unscrupulous competition. Since leisure forms the basis of culture, which is essentially the spiritual expression of the soul of a people, the resulting suppression of leisure by the dysfunctional servile worker economy results in the degeneration and stifling of true art and culture in favour of lesser, more base forms. For example, the angst, ennui, and frustration experienced by many people under existing economic and social conditions has expressed itself in the cultivation of banal, ugly, and sensual forms so often found in modern music, art, architecture, dress, manners, and speech. The infantile rebellion characteristic of the disaffected youth that grow up in such a culture can then be secretly manipulated to further advance the political and cultural agendas of the financial and political oligarchs.

The overall effect of this centering of human existence upon the puritanical obsession with work for the sake of work, an obsession that has been so ingrained into the minds of ordinary people, is well described again by Pieper in his aforementioned work: “Of course the world of work begins to become - threatens to become - our only world, to the exclusion of all else. The demands of the working world grow ever more total, grasping ever more completely the whole of human existence.”

Indeed, this servile worker economic state which the financial oligarchs have imposed on us has created an arena for ruthless dog eat dog competition. This is due to enormous financial and employment pressures being placed on everyone who must struggle and fight one another to survive, to get ahead, and to acquire great wealth and status at all costs and thus at the expense of others. In such a system, the human instinct toward self-preservation will naturally trump the instinct toward self-expression due to the lack of financial security and leisure time. Such a system is profoundly inimical towards the kinds of people who possess great talents, skills, and temperaments for the arts, innovation, philosophy and the intellectual spheres due to their being economically and socially disenfranchised so they are either forced to take up servile employment instead or to face destitution. Such a policy also causes profoundly negative dysgenic effects upon the direction of future societies since employment in paid servile work is the only means for financing the establishment of successful marriages and families and thus being in a position to propagate the next generation. This means that those with talents that are not deemed ‘useful’ to the servile worker state are effectively cancelled out of the gene pool.

This shameful situation is being made worse by the rise of feminism and polyamorous relationships which are also part and parcel of the agenda of those in charge of politics and high finance. Feminism advocates the policy of full employment for women and the simultaneous disenfranchisement of men, especially those men who are rich in artistic or intellectual talent but are financially poor. Polyamory leads to the destruction of the monogamous family unit by sanctioning the practice of having multiple unmarried sex partners and ensures that mating selection ultimately favours the most rapacious, unscrupulous, and culturally degenerate men.

Of course, this trend suits the agenda of the political-financial powers who seek to reduce all hierarchy and social structures to a pool of atomistic individuals who are ready to serve their every need, and who also seek to eliminate those elements in the population who natural excel in creativity and critical thinking. Persons with such temperamental dispositions would be the ones who are most likely to question and resist the oligarchs’ agenda of domination through financial power, the monopoly of money and the artificially imposed ‘State of Full Employment'. It is from this Servile Worker State that the typical personalities of the aptly named ‘bourgeois society’ in all of its competing forms arise, whether they come in the form of the high or low class, the corporate executive or the Marxist proletariat. Pieper explains the resulting degeneration of culture as follows: “A man who needs the unusual to make him ‘wonder’ shows that he has lost the capacity to find the true answer to the wonder of being. The itch for sensation, even though disguised in the mask of Boheme, is a sure indication of a bourgeois mind and a deadened sense of wonder.”

Not surprisingly, the financial system and the Servile Worker State have also corrupted and co-opted higher education by transforming it into a superficial multi-billion dollar consumer industry and a means of indoctrination for various ideologies that serve the interest of high finance. University or college degrees have been reduced from being official recognitions of one’s intellectual merits to consumer products, status symbols, or mere career tickets that do not correlate to genuine intellectual merit or skill and are even detrimental to the same.

However, the reign of this policy of full employment, with servile work being the main source of income for living in industrialized societies, is now coming under grave threat as the computer and mechanized industry increasingly takes over various jobs and even professions from human hands, as technology continues to advance and accelerate faster than ever before. Douglas also anticipated this state of affairs in no uncertain terms in his work Credit Power and Democracy: “The industrial machine is lever, continuously being lengthened by progress, which enables the burden of Atlas (mankind) to be lifted with ever-increasing ease. As the number of men required to work the lever decreases, so the number set free to lengthen it increases.” It is being predicted that up to 50% of existing jobs in the developed countries could be automated in the next 20 to 30 years. This will make full time employment of the whole able bodied population untenable in the future.

This situation now places us at a crossroads and presents us with two options: either we continue to cling to the unsustainable puritan policy of full employment and face further cultural degeneration, economic, and political meltdowns and eventually, ultimate destruction, or we could accept the offer of liberation from the Servile Worker State and embrace the great blessings of the Leisure State which industrial automation has to offer to each and every one of us. It would also be of great relevance to note that even in England during pre-industrial medieval times, up to one third of the year was dedicated to Holy Days which were days of leisure (when no servile work was to be undertaken), whence the origin of the modern term “holiday”.

The Social Credit economic system which was mentioned at the beginning of the article is the proposed means by which this ‘State of Leisure’ could be implemented. Briefly explained, Social Credit involves the public regulation of the financial and banking system in conformity with economy’s objective physical potential and actual performance, with the aim of enhancing the common good of the citizens who make up the nation by fulfilling the true purpose of the economy, that is, the delivery of goods and services, as, when, and where required and with a minimum amount of trouble to everyone.

The current financial system under which we labour is not accurately or justly designed to reflect the real and physical economic production; this is especially the case when it comes to the greater production made possible by machines. It rather artificially limits and distorts the real economy by restricting the flow of money in order to serve the interests of the financial oligarchs. The Social Credit alternative involves the establishment of a National Credit Authority which is a public body that functions in a similar fashion to a bank, except it is publically controlled and run. This credit office will be responsible for creating additional money (as the private banks do) and distributing it as 'debt-free' credits in the form of a national citizen’s dividend. This would be a sum of money distributed equally to every citizen, regardless of his or her employment status, as purchasing power. The amount of money that will be created for the dividend will reflect the surplus total of the nation’s production and will be accounted as a credit for the costs incurred by machines. This way, each individual will be recognized, in virtue of his being a citizen of the nation, as a free shareholder in the total production. The dividend will shatter the power of the private banks and reform the corrupt financial system so that it will become a system that serves humanity (rather than the other way around). Douglas explained this with a simple dictum in his very first book Economic Democracy: "Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic.”

Popular embrace of the free dividend and thus the enjoyment of greater leisure would not mean a descent into mass idle mischief. Leisure does not mean idleness, but rather the attainment of a sufficient level of economic security, independence, and financial freedom, that the person is allowed to decide for himself how he is to spend his time, energy, and resources on such things as the arts, crafts, innovation, philosophy, religion, spirituality, hobbies and other creative, intellectual or cultural pursuits. Once again Pieper points us in the right direction: “Leisure is only possible when we are at one with ourselves. We tend to overwork as a means of self-escape, as a way of trying to justify our existence.”

Furthermore, the rise of the Leisure State through Social Credit does not mean an end to all work and its inherent dignity either, but it will do away with any work that has become useless, wasteful, and detrimental towards one’s physical, cultural, and spiritual life. A Social Credit economy with a citizen’s dividend would place the vocation of work back in its proper place and raise the dignity of work to a higher plane insofar as the work being undertaken is useful and necessary for maintaining the economy and society and is truly suited to each individual’s desires and temperament (and not just an end unto itself that is taken up begrudgingly by a person in order to survive in a corrupt and dysfunctional economic and financial system). Douglas spoke clearly of the true value of work in his article Security: Institutional and Personal: “The healthy human individual requires work of some kind, just as he requires food; but he is not a healthy individual, mentally at any rate, if he cannot find work for himself, and probably find work which he can do far better than that which is arranged for him by somebody else.” Since the citizen’s dividend is directly tied to productivity, the amount received from the dividend may rise or fall depending on the rate at which the country is producing goods and services. If too many citizens were to cease working and provoke thereby a severe slowing of production, then the dividend payment will likewise fall and diminish, thus forcing those same citizens to again seek paid employment.

The Social Credit economy does not claim to create a utopian society, as any such endeavor is impossibility (as historical attempts have amply demonstrated), but it does seek to provide the opportunity to individuals to attempt to forge their own utopias. As Douglas explained in his address "International Finance": "what we really demand of existence is not that we shall be put into somebody else's Utopia, but we shall be put in a position to construct a Utopia of our own."

The universal income received by all in the form of the dividend will provide a means for those whose labour is no longer required in the productive economy to live and it will greatly reduce poverty thus leading to a fairer distribution of wealth. The dividend will also replace tax-funded welfare programmes. The traditional family unit will be re-established and strengthened as well as local business enterprises and production. With the liberation from full employment in favour of leisure, mothers and even fathers will once again be able to raise their children at home, rather than having to go out to work and outsource their childcare to third party providers.

The resulting absence of poverty and dysfunction would also lead to significant reductions in crime, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency. Nations would be liberated from debt thus allowing real financial independence for both governments and their people. The Biblical verse from the book of Micah 4:4 clearly encapsulates the philosophical vision of the Social Credit theory: "they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." The dividend, by releasing much of the negative emotions caused by the pressures of the current financial system, will, alongside a greater abundance of leisure, allow for a truly natural and organic development of richer and more noble cultural forms to develop over time, as well as for the further development of authentic local folk cultures, cultures which are otherwise being stifled by the banal and mediocre cosmopolitan culture of the current world financial system. The abundant leisure time will provide everyone with the opportunity to develop and cultivate their own physical, moral, intellectual, and spiritual lives according to each one’s own talents, temperaments, or desires. The liberation of the creative impulse will allow those with gifted artistic abilities to hone their skills and to achieve excellence in their respective fields.

The establishment of a society of leisure will, with time, profoundly change the cultural, social, and political make up of our civilization by shifting the focus of society from the bourgeois man of money and materialism to the man of leisure and culture. No more would the artist, the philosopher, or the inventor, or the intellectual be marginalized, scorned, and suppressed by the Servile Worker State, as they will effectively be economically re-enfranchised by the reception of the citizen’s dividend. Such gifted individuals will once again be free, respected, and encouraged to exercise their positive influences, to leave their personal mark on future generations via reproduction, and perhaps even to re-take their rightful place at the socio-political apex of societies as the “philosopher-kings” which the Greek philosopher Plato conceived as those who were the most ideal and fit rulers of the nations. Thus, with this socio-economic paradigm shift, civilization shall flourish, develop and soar to new heights, perhaps ascending to the artistic and cultural heights of ancient Greece, Rome, Persia, Medieval Christendom, Renaissance Europe, or the Middle Kingdom era in China. And whilst the leisure societies of those aforementioned civilizations were maintained by the servile work of human slaves or peasants, the labour foundations for potential future leisure societies today shall be provided by the work of the machine and the computer instead. Thus, it is only with the implementation of Social Credit within the economic system that we may be able to bring about the liberation of leisure, of culture, of true art, of classical philosophy and in turn, the resurrection of the leisurely man and the liberation of a society’s true aristocracy.



All quotes from Josef Pieper’s book, Leisure the Basis of Culture, were sourced from the following website:

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