August 14, 2010
Pie in the Sky By and By
A thought for the weekend, from Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren, by John Maynard Keynes:
When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtue.
We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from he love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life — will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at August 14, 2010 06:18 PM
This posting reminds me that I was recently reading "Morning of the Magicians" a French book written in 1960. In the post-World War optimism the authors speak about how society is moving inexorably toward less work, more leisure, free or nearly-free energy sources and what a boon that will be for mankind's evolution. Sounds positively quaint today. How could they have been so naive as to think the money-crowd would allow such human liberation?
In spite of the derailment of such dreams, I do think such hopes will come back-around. And maybe next time the dreamers will be on the watch for sabotage.
I had a friend in the 1970s who earned a master's degree in the field of the future, leisure counseling.
Younger people may laugh, but people in high places were seriously concerned that there wouldn't be enough work to go around by now. They were right about that, but they were wrong that society would share the wealth so we all live in comfort and make sure everybody got a chance to work a few days a week to retain their self-esteem.
The last I heard from this friend, she owned a resume-writing business and, I guess, still helped people cope with excess leisure.