Welcome to the very first r/antiwork book club! Our goal for these first few weeks is to catch up on some of the antiwork essays we might not have read, promote discussion, and to gauge interest for when we transition into reading full books after this cycle is over.
To get started, we will be discussing the two shorter essays for the first week, and then move onto one per week. For now, this will be _The Mythology of Work_ published on CrimethInc and _Bullshit Jobs_ by David Graeber. All weekly discussions are available, so if you read ahead or have already read the material, check them out!
## **If you are interested in the survey to help us figure out what books to read next, **
Table of Contents and Reading Schedule
* Week 1: The Mythology of Work, On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs
* Week 2: Laziness Does Not Exist – tba
* Week 4: The Abolition of Work] – tba
* Week 5: In Praise of Idleness – tba
# Week 1, Part 1:
> What if nobody worked? Sweatshops would empty out and assembly lines would grind to a halt, at least the ones producing things no one would make voluntarily. Telemarketing would cease. Despicable individuals who only hold sway over others because of wealth and title would have to learn better social skills. Traffic jams would come to an end; so would oil spills. Paper money and job applications would be used as fire starter as people reverted to barter and sharing. Grass and flowers would grow from the cracks in the sidewalk, eventually making way for fruit trees.
> And we would all starve to death. But we’re not exactly subsisting on paperwork and performance evaluations, are we? Most of the things we make and do for money are patently irrelevant to our survival—and to what gives life meaning, besides.
In today’s essay CrimethInc covers the topic of worker alienation. Why is that when we punch in, our morals are left at the door? CrimethInc argues that the economic system we live under makes responsible behavior prohibitively expensive.
# Week 1, Part 2:
> In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.
While has been known as an anarchist activist since Occupy Wall St. , his essay _On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs_ helped him to gain some notoriety, and the strong response to this essay led him into writing In this essay Graeber argues that the reduction in work hours predicted by Keynes never materialized due to the increase in what he terms “bullshit jobs”–jobs which serve no meaningful purpose to society. Rather than automation being used to reduce working hours which would enable people to pursue their passions, we have instead seen the ballooning of unnecessary administrative jobs for no particularly rational purpose, and that this is psychologically destructive.
* What do you think of the essays? Do you agree or disagree?
* Do you think there were any standout sentences or paragraphs?
* If you could ask the authors anything, what would it be?
* Did these essays impact you?
* Did these essays remind you of anything from your life?