Re-imagine your world: We want fewer hours of labor

Often the question is asked of socialists (and of each other) what is it you want?

There are many, many answers to this question. A society where everyone has the ability to live healthy, happy, free lives without a ruling class making decisions for them. A society with no imperial powers dominating the world. The return of Native lands and reparations for Natives and the descendants of slaves. A world with no rich or poor.

But there’s no doubt about it: The question of where to start can be a tough one. After all, all we want is the complete re-ordering of society as we know it. How can we even begin to know where to start?

There is one easy place to start: We want less time devoted to wage labor.

We all want more time to devote to our loved ones, our passions, the sheer fun that makes life worth living. But the rich demand more and more of our time, especially now in the ‘gig economy’ where your bosses expect you to be by your email or text messages 24 hours a day.

We should start with a rather tame demand: A 30-hour work week with the same pay we get now. It could be a four-day work week with three days off or a 6-hour work day five days a week. This would serve two purposes: It would give us working folks something we want (more time off) and it would do something else to further our goal of toppling capitalism because it would lower the rich’s profits.

Also, the extra time off would give us more time to come up with alternate structures of socialist governance. More time to forge links of friendship with our neighbors.

The rich have made demand after demand. It is time we start making our own. This is a good place to start.

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