Let's free ourselves! From the chains of work and consumption, by Abdennour Bidar
Edition Les Liens qui Libèrent, May 16, 2018 - 112 Pages
Abdennour Bidar explores the transformation of society towards another conception of work and the existential challenge of "liberated time".
"Your whole life will depend on the money you make in our businesses, and all your happiness will depend on the products you buy in our stores. "This could be the motto attributed to this capitalist servitude that strangles us with the double chain of work and consumption..."
Let us free ourselves from these absurd slavery! But how? By the establishment of a universal income, granted unconditionally to all those who request it, and sufficient to lead a decent life. Utopia? Yesterday yes, today no. Our level of technological and industrial development now produces such a quantity of wealth that it has become perfectly realistic... if the distribution of this wealth becomes equitable.
The real question is elsewhere, and has never yet been asked: if we no longer spend most of our lives working, what are we going to do with all this freed time? As early as 1930, John Maynard Keynes invited us to reflect on this mutation of humanity where "old Adam" would no longer have to earn his living by the sweat of his brow but would have to learn to assume the formidable vertigo of an entirely new freedom.
Well, here we are. Are we going to be able to devote ourselves at last, as he hoped, "to our real problems, those of life and relations between men, those of the creations of the spirit" and to the means of "leading a wise, pleasant and good life"?
In short, the challenge of universal income is twofold: to deliver us from capitalist slavery, and to make the essential questions of our condition no longer a soul supplement for evenings and weekends but the daily quest for a life endowed with meaning.
Abdennour Bidar has a doctorate in philosophy and is a specialist in the evolution of contemporary Islam. He has been a member of the Observatory of Secularism since 2013 and is in charge of the pedagogy of secularism at the Ministry of National Education. Since January 2015, he has taken over the programme "Cultures d'islam" on France Culture. He is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Open Letter to the Muslim World published by Les Liens qui Libèrent, The Weavers published by Les Liens qui Libèrent and Advocacy for Brotherhood published by Albin Michel.