Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/25/13

If Ecocide and World War Are To Be Avoided, Must We Somehow Step Off the Hyperproduction-Hyperconsumption Treadmill?

By       (Page 1 of 8 pages)   6 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Richard Clark
Become a Fan
  (108 fans)

Overpopulation is not the main problem.   Rather, it's the maldistribution of income that is the first part of the problem.   The second part of the problem is that such a huge proportion of our labor force is wasted on the production of increasingly superfluous stuff.


Why is it wasted that way?   Because billions in profits can be made by certain companies and individuals from the sale of all that stuff.


If by some means we could reorganize society in such a way that people had alternatives to participating in this huge orgy of wasted labor and resources, there would be far more people available to, say, build and maintain affordable housing for all, make cities beautiful and more functional, provide more and better education for one and all, and protect the environment and thereby our health.   And if incomes were then to be distributed more equitably, say to the extent that it was in the late 1950s or 60s, people who now live in cramped quarters and "bad neighborhoods' would have the income that was required to rent or buy larger living quarters.


Yes this presumes they had all been afforded an education that was maximally beneficial to them and which prepared them for some kind of job that was sufficiently useful to society.   But in the larger scheme of things, is that really a prohibitively large presumption or requirement?


Freedom from excessive labor and long work-hours


In a truly free society, of a kind just suggested, blessed by such advanced technology as ours is and would be, people would not then be compelled to work anymore than they really wanted to.   Yet, as Elliot Sperber recently pointed out, even though the mechanization and automation of agricultural and industrial work has been developing for well over a century, it has not (since the advent of the 40-hr week after WWII) resulted in an overall reduction in work-hours, but rather an increase.   But how could this be?


One would imagine, as Alfred Keynes and Bertrand Russell did, that a free society would employ these new technologies in a manner that would create _more_ free time, not less.   Indeed, in the 1930s, people commonly supposed that the continuing mechanization/automation of production would lead to a three-day work week!   And this was indeed the goal of the more critical factions of the labor movement -- not more jobs and ever more work, but the _elimination_ of long-hour jobs and excessive work, and the development of an ever more just and leisurely society!  


Needless to say, this goal was not realized.   Instead, for the past 60+ years, most people have been working steadily more hours.  


Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Funny 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Clark Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Was Pat Tillman Murdered by an American Sharpshooter to Shut Him up?

New JFK assassination bombshells

Two U.S. presidents implicated by ex-CIA black-ops assassin

The cholesterol - heart disease scam: How the medical-industrial complex is raking in billions at our expense

Four Ticking Time Bombs That Will Soon Ignite a Revolution

The Ultimate Goal of the Bankster-led Political-economic Warfare Being Waged Against Us Is . . . ?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend