The Individual

What's in it for the average person of average ability?

Well, first of all she (or he) would enjoy a lot more personal freedom than is true today.  Along with this new birth of freedom would come an enlargement in the scope and variety of activities that compose the working day.  Instead of being confined to the routine of a nine-to-five job she would be spending fully half her working hours as her "own person," leading a far more varied existence than is possible today, an existence much closer in spirit to the one in which we evolved as a species, and to which we are still to a considerable extent adapted by nature.

It is probably not a coincidence that those areas of the economy that have most stubbornly resisted the techniques of mass-production -- the care of our children, the construction of our houses, the preparation of our food -- are also the ones that promise the greatest intrinsic rewards.   They afford us opportunities to express ourselves with the work of our hands, to satisfy what a great American sociologist once called the "instinct for workmanship," and in the process to exercise our manifold human capacities for love and affection.

Thus would the pursuit of happiness become a far more agreeable enterprise for the average man and woman in this, our American democracy.  And one with far better prospects of success.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff.