What ‘work’ would you do in a post GLI world?
On July 15th tweep @joepdx wrote: “OMG If I had a minimum basic income I would WORK so much: at the (tool) library, on the radio, writing news, landscape maintenance.”
Which leads to the question, if there were a minimum basic income, or guaranteed livable income, guaranteed annual income, citizen’s dividend, lifetime fellowship, or whatever we choose to call it…. What activities would you choose to do?
The idea that people are inherently lazy and would sit around doing nothing is improbable. The idea that people do however, reject soul-sucking work is apparent and could be considered a natural response to an unnatural structure imposed on humans as described in Ivan Illich’s “The Right To Useful Unemployment” and in The Unemployed Self .
In addition, what looks to others like ‘doing nothing’ can be part of a creative process. Pierre Berton in The Smug Minority wrote about famed Canadian writer W.O. Mitchell:
“For years my friend W.O. Mitchell has been wandering about the streets and fields of High River, Alberta, thinking about his work, which is creative writing. For a long time Mitchell puzzled and baffled his neighbors. “When are you going to work, Bill?” they’d ask him, and it was useless for him to try and explain that in his terms he was working. Work to them was ‘a job’ and one of the problems we face in an automated world of the future is this dangerous confusion of terms. “
People like doing activities that are meaningful; they don’t like doing things that seem to be draining their life away moment by painful moment with no meaning, or with a side effect of causing damage to other people or to the environment.
So if there were a guaranteed livable income, what things would you want to be doing? (Keeping in mind, people might need time to ‘do nothing’ before figuring out who they were before they became their job. Conversely, some people might need structure provided by a formally organized volunteer initiative.)
Respond via this blog (click on ‘ask me anything’ and will be posted asap, not automatic) or through twitter to @livable4all (You can also post a photo reply.)