This is Paul Jorion’s preface to Fuck work! Pour une vie sans travail (Flammarion), translated by Matthew Barlow and Bruce Robbins. The text you are about to read will energize you. I took great pleasure in reading Livingston’s book, and I hope you will not deny yourself that pleasure. I first came across his ideas in the journal Aeon in November 2016. I read his article, laughed a lot, and looked for someone who could, despite its length, translate it for my Blog de Paul Jorion. Its publication in September 2017, followed by a response by Madeleine Théodore in December, brought over two hundred comments. But what is Livingston’s argument? Does he say that work is an abomination and if we had an ounce of reason, we would never have learned to love it? Or does he say that there is no more work and that we should mourn it? These are, of course, different conclusions and their assumptions are different. In the first case, if we should never have learned to love work, then our present era doesn’t differ at all from those that preceded it, and our own stupidity – of which our love of work would be the confirmation – is a constant. Why did we love work? Because, according to Paul Lafargue (1842-1911), Karl Marx’s son-in-law (and mischievous critic of his father-in-law), in his Right...Read More
Author: Paul Jorion
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