The leisure party manifesto

Articol din categoria: Texte in Engleza English

propus: 17 Aug 2006
sursa: Paul Saffo

A specter is haunting the world - the specter of leisure. All the great powers have conspired against it: Popes and presidents, bankers and unionists, hamburger chains and environmentalists. But, mighty as they are, they will soon fail. Machines may exist solely to produce, but humans are awakening from a dark eon of drudgery to the dawning realization that there is more to life than work.
We, the overworked, the stressed-out, the weary, the jet-lagged, declare that the Industrial Revolution is over - and we have won!
It is time to declare the peace dividend.
In the age of thinking machines, leisure is no longer a privilege - it is a fundamental human right.
For thousands of generations, work - dirty, backbreaking, crippling work - has controlled our existence. Apologists for the status quo rationalize that toil is humanity's natural fate and burden. But lo, fellow workers who gather food, erect elaborate shelters, and build great civilizations - labor is not our natural destiny. Inactivity is not a sin!
When not working meant not eating, when the tribe's survival was at stake - those were the times for toil. The genesis of intelligent machines should have freed us to enjoy life, but in our fear of obsolescence we haven't heeded nature's imperative for leisure. Instead, we stagger on, punching buttons, making copies, renting our brains for the fool's gold of ever-greater consumption. Is this our birthright - we, the mighty creators of robot factories, electronic brains, and the virtual civilizations of our imagination?
Do not lions lounge? Do not gulls drift effortlessly on the winds? Do not dolphins play endlessly in the oceans? Are we less deserving than our fellow creatures to partake of the joys of life and the wonders of the planet and human society?
We do not seek to overthrow the system but, rather, to underthrow it.
We do not advocate resistance; we counsel surrender - surrender to your own intuitive sense of what your body and soul need; to your innate right to sloth. We call not for sacrifice, but for indulgence - indulgence of our need for greater fulfillment through play and contemplation.
Leisure is not a promise that makes us press our noses to the grindstone; it is a basic human right. To work for the vague hope of a short respite is criminal extortion. We will achieve the leisure we deserve only when we change our priorities and live the revolution of the deed. Our debt of leisure constantly mounts, but do we ask for our due? Do we realize what we're owed?
Take a nap! Carpe otium! You've earned it.
Leisure is the new currency and your credit has no limit. Relaxation, in its purest form, is an essential component of human creativity. It is the yin to society's infoglut yang.
Wake to the dawning of the age of leisure! Machines have made the need to work obsolete. To continue on is folly. Grab a chair, sit back, and claim what is rightfully yours. Leisure. There is no substitute.
You have nothing to lose but your slavery to the opiate of busyness - and the world of leisure to gain!

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