Why I Work A Four Day Week

30 Mar

I heartily agree with Bertrand Russell regarding the arbitrary nature of the five day working week and the sooner we break out of this the better for society. He writes far more eloquently that I in describing why I think it’s such a no-brainer to work part time. I recommend reading his essay In Praise Of Idleness.

Also, given he smokes a pipe with such aplomb, it adds much weight to his erudite words.

Billy Bragg, in his book on what makes England so great, describes well the struggle of the trade unions which ensured that people no longer have to work 12 hour days, seven days a week in terrible conditions. Our forebears worked such horrendously long hours so we should be grateful for the conditions we have today. That said, we shouldn’t let up: there’s still a way to go before we escape the drudgery of having to work for so much of our short lives.

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2 Responses to “Why I Work A Four Day Week”

  1. robertblakemore April 2, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Couldn’t agree more Simon. A great article. Some people seem to think that constant work is good. It isn’t. Not for anyone. And not for society. If the average worked had more free time (and more energy), a larger proportion of ordinary people would be involved in politics, or would find other ways to help society as a whole.

    Also great to see that Bertrand recognises [in 1932] a key drain on the finance in the “system” – landowners gaining hugely from the efforts of others (i.e. the rise in land value caused by the community as a whole) … Bertrand would have supported a Land Value Tax!…

    “Throughout Europe, though not in America, there is a third class of men, more respected than either of the classes of workers. There are men who, through ownership of land, are able to make others pay for the privilege of being allowed to exist and to work. These landowners are idle, and I might therefore be expected to praise them. Unfortunately, their idleness is only rendered possible by the industry of others; indeed their desire for comfortable idleness is historically the source of the whole gospel of work. The last thing they have ever wished is that others should follow their example.”

  2. 5i5i June 15, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    So today I heard that ½ million people in the uk in “senior positions” (define as a salary > 40k) are working part time, 1/3 of those being men.
    Bring it on…

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