Category: Compulsory Wage Labor

On the Meaning of ‘Buying Time’

“Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, a popular song from the 1970s, became my earworm this week. I’d heard it on the radio often as a kid. But this line from the lyrics never made sense to me: “…all your money won’t another minute buy…” Now that I’m older, however, that line makes perfect sense.

Note To Self: When You Fear You’re Not ‘Productive’ Enough

By D. JoAnne Swanson [Author’s note: this is the first in my “Note To Self” series of personal narratives, written from the perspective of a council of beings offering support, guidance, and self-care from within.] Dear Self: Whenever you start feeling shameful or critical of yourself because of your slow progress on your book manuscripts

‘Earning a Living’ and the Dilemma of Unpaid Work

“Earning a Living” and the Dilemma of Unpaid Work On the Injustice of a World Without Unconditional Basic Income by D. JoAnne Swanson [Author’s note: It is my custom to use quotes for the phrase “earning a living” to call attention to its moral injustice.] All of us have basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, rest,

On the ‘Lazy Bums Who Refuse To Work’ Rhetoric

For quite some time now I’ve had an essay in the works (“USA: Land of Suffering With a Smile”) about some of the ways that living and working in the USA resembles a normalized abusive relationship, writ large. The material for this essay has expanded as I write. It’s adapted from “Do What You Love,

“Get a Job!” by Justin Douglas

[Ed. Note: With the author’s permission, I’m re-publishing essays from his former site asobinomics.net, as they originally appeared in 2012. Here’s the second in the series!] “We don’t want full employment, we want full lives!” — slogan from the 1968 uprising in France I wrote previously about how our use of the phrase “incentive to work”

On The Leisure Track: Book Summary and Chapter Titles

Cultivating leisure. In a culture held in thrall to the  Protestant work ethic, the concept of consciously cultivating a culture of leisure sounds suspect to many people, and conjures up images of  frivolity and uselessness. One of the objections to unconditional basic income, for example, is the notion that too much leisure will lead to

New interview with D. JoAnne Swanson in Positive News

I am interviewed in a new article in the UK-based quarterly Positive News alongside some illustrious company, including Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler and Helena Norberg-Hodge of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, who was a keynote speaker at The Economics of Happiness conference I recently attended in Portland, OR. Both are people whose

What is Radical Unjobbing?

“…a person who is radical is one who examines the roots of issues. And a radical solution to a problem is one that arises from that examination, addressing what we sometimes call the root cause, rather than the more superficial symptoms.” – Wendy Priesnitz, “On the Meaning of Radical”

What I Learned When I Quit My Job: Part One

[The following essay was originally published in 1999, as part of a short-lived monthly column in a webzine called Mr. Ridiculous, and it was later archived on whywork.org. Except for the short bio at the end, this is the original, unedited version. Although I still like the basic approach of this essay – focusing on