Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Work versus Toil

Useful Work versus Useless Toil is an ancient distinction, perhaps most famously made by William Morris. Work is open-ended, controlled by the worker and to a worthwhile (e.g. Socially beneficial or socially neutral) end. Toil is what you do when you are forced to by the threat of starvation, for a boss who tells you how to do it, what to do, then takes the profit for himself.
This has been going on, under industrialism, by methods like ‘Taylorism, scientific management’ etc. for 2 centuries. Adam Smith, alleged patron saint of capitalists, was sharp on the disastrous human effects of a division of labour, that could leave humans as “stupid as it is possible to imagine”.

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