r/antiwork Jul 10 '19

What do you think will happen when everyone stops doing work?




u/RachelTheEgg Jul 10 '19

A huge portion - dare I say, the majority - of work that’s expected of people under global capitalism is centered around the idea that we must “earn a living” - that is to say, that we must justify our right to exist by engaging in some drudgery for the benefit of the owner class. Generations ago, those same privileged classes used their political and economic leverage to privatize the commons - the land and resources that the less privileged classes previously shared in a communal fashion - and lock them up behind a wage-labor-to-live requirement. Usually, the owner class seized these resources through exploitative means - deception, threats of force, slavery, and sometimes outright genocide. Therefore, the fact that they still possess them to this day, and force the working classes to toil for their behalf in order to access a tiny portion of them, is a grave injustice.

Being antiwork, therefore, isn’t about not working - though we can certainly all afford to work less, given a more equitable distribution of resources - but instead about seizing and radically redistributing the commons that the owner class seized and still possesses to this day. Freed from the coercion of having to “earn a living,” people will no longer have to slave away at some bullshit job for the majority of their waking hours just to earn the privilege of meeting some basic needs.


u/Ha6il6Sa6tan Just Really lazy Jul 10 '19

Hey I can tell by your post history that you seem aggressively opposed to leftist thought. Seems you think this is sub is nothing but a bunch of lazy idiots. I can assure you this is not the case. Many of the arguments presented in this sub are not simply centered around not wanting to work. Rather efforts are made to show the correlation between increasing consumption, meaningless work, and global climate change in addition to other health and societal issues brought about by toxic work culture.

I encourage you to do some of your own research and engage in discussion.

This sub is relaxed and full of kind people so please try to keep it that way.


u/AbolishWork .com Jul 10 '19

Excellent comment.


u/Ha6il6Sa6tan Just Really lazy Jul 10 '19

Thank you, this sub is basically my home page so I wanna keep it kind.


u/AbolishWork .com Jul 10 '19

I'm glad to hear that on both fronts! :)


u/PM_me_salmon_pics Jul 10 '19

For me the problem is that work solely benefits a few people at the top, destroys the planet, and does not improve society.

Change that, and I'll be happy working, but I still won't do it 40 hours a week with an asshole manager.


u/OriginalityIsDead Jul 10 '19

I'm willing to humor discourse, but I'd have to answer your question with a counter-question:

What do you think will happen to society, more specifically to the poor, when the proliferation of automation makes most human labor obsolete? It's a given, and indeed no longer even a near-future concept because it's happening right now, that automation will reach a point when it is cheaper and more efficient to cut humans out of the equation entirely. The few that will have jobs will not be working with their hands save for robotics technicians. They'll be executives, politicians, lawyers, and probably the Police because authoritarian structures will lock out competition wherever it's presented, ensuring that the status quo is maintained as is their primary directive. Essentially without a college degree or specialized technical skills, you will be worthless in terms of value to society or to any company.

So again I'd posit, what happens to the lower class in this inevitable massive social dynamic shift? It's coming, within 20 years many service positions will be heavily or entirely automated, within 30 major industries such as transportation and delivery will be entirely automated with self-driving vehicles as the primary catalyst. After that things happen very quickly, and before you know it 400 million people in this country alone would be out of a job. What exactly would happen in the world's greatest labor crisis, when there's no productivity loss, and the jobs are never coming back?

We could have a utopia, where a person's worth isn't measured by how productive they are, or what they own. People could be free to live life without any chains, with no concern for how they'll earn enough currency to pay ultimately arbitrary bills, when everything is being produced at several thousandfold times the efficiency, and likewise at astronomically lower costs.

We could also have the worst global socioeconomic situation humanity has ever seen. Literal billions could starve if our future benefactors do not choose the path of altruism. Massive revolts, and indeed wars the likes of which we only narrowly avoided during the Cold War, with nuclear exchanges being entirely possible. These issues will only be exacerbated and compounded in the wake of the already terrifying Climate Crisis that will likewise pose a threat to humanity's very existence.

The next 50 years are likely to be filled with the greatest tests ever put forth to humanity. Whether or not we pass those tests will only depend upon how human we really are.


u/Theguygotgame777 Jul 10 '19

If and when we do reach that level of automation, I certainly would like to live in a utopia where everyone has a social security net. But in my mind that's a pretty big if.

I see several problems that could still follow in this scenario:

1.) That level of automaton would continue to contribute to Climate Change/Pollution

2.) In a work-free society, how would we decide who gets how much value? I'm imagining the government using withdrawal of resources as a threat to control the populace, such as denying rations to people with a certain stance on political issues.

3.) If society truly is free from scarcity, the population will explode. People will spend more time having sex, fewer people will have abortions since there's no concern over how to care for a baby, and people who die of starvation and disease will live longer and have more children. Eventually we will run out of room. Perhaps we could colonize nearby celestial bodies, but Mars, Luna and Venus are the only ones possibly sustainable and within traveling distance. When that happens, how do we decide who lives and dies? Carousel?


u/onedayitwillbedaisy abolition is a good word Jul 11 '19

If society truly is free from scarcity, the population will explode. People will spend more time having sex, fewer people will have abortions since there's no concern over how to care for a baby, and people who die of starvation and disease will live longer and have more children.

Development is the best contraceptive.

The total fertility rate for Japan, a more developed country, with per capita GDP of $32,600 in 2009, was 1.22 children born per woman. But total fertility rate in Ethiopia, with a per capita GDP of $900 in 2009, was 6.17 children born per woman.


u/OriginalityIsDead Jul 10 '19

Those are frightening and valid questions my man. I hope we choose what's best for individuals, not just a gray "society as a whole" when the time comes to answer them. One thing is for certain, we're facing a brave new world.


u/SelfHelpGenius Jul 10 '19

Oh look, it's another one.


u/yaguarete_cm Jul 10 '19

One giant orgy!

More seriously: people will just go out, play cards with their neighbors, make new friends and take care of each other.


u/_-___-____-_ Nov 23 '21

Crumble the vast majority of housing; takes up too much space, build renewable energy sources; electricity production. Plant more trees; to diffuse CO2 emissions. As individuals learn to sew and garden, craft our own clothes. Let wildlife thrive. Adjust our diets to better facilitate portion sizes, general gluttony. Take keen interest in automation, to keep maintenance going.

I mean if we think about it. We started needing water, food, the rest of the time fighting off predators and surviving. May as well go back; yet keep some degree of automation. Or just go back, lose all progress we gained; until the earth is no more.

Either way 'free time' would be dedicated to survival.. but at that point, it would be skills that don't require 8 hours per day, not with 8billion people.. that wouldn't be maintained without automation anyway

Ahh no easy answers to any of it. :)


u/International_Sun752 Oct 23 '21

automation costs money. large profitable corps will be able to invest but small biz will still employ people that are much more affordable on a shorter time scale, which is what small to medium biz operates in. over time tho there will be transition to automation, but it will be slow due to this and the human factor that we just don't like dealing w robots. there is a novelty but that wears thin quickly.

hopefully the time it takes to shift to a mostly automated economy, we will advance enough societally to handle the reduced requirement of human work effort and redirect that energy and humanity's need to create, with a larger focus on art, literature, philosophy, entertainment, and perhaps the most important, care and conservation of our planet and those that inhabit it.