It might be true that today people are better off than the kings and privileged ever were in the past. However, there is a little bit difference where they still are not. It is their time, their work and their freedom. Sure, they are free and they can do almost everything that the laws or their personal ethics do not forbid them. But first they have to have money to do that. And most people were not born into a family with huge property and almost endless opportunities.
Most people have to exchange their time, their talent, their energy and their effort for money, so that they could afford to have food, shelter, clothes and some useful stuff and experiences. They cannot do what they really want unless they earn enough money for it. And most people still cannot earn enough money to fulfill their real needs, the needs which could be fulfilled if they had millions or billions of dollars and would not have to care how much their needs cost.
And the necessity to work and not to be able to have servants for everyday routine tasks are, in my view, the main difference between today masses and yesterday privileged. It is of course changing. Many things are automatic today and more people can afford to pay someone to do things for them. However, in most cases they still have to work, and mostly more than forty hours a week.
As you will see below, I am a big supporter of the good things of our today’s system but I am also a big critic of the wrong things. Even as a centre-right classical liberal, moderate conservative and christian democrat I am still in the first place a universal humanist. And I understand the critics of what left-wing oriented intellectuals call neoliberalism.
If you imagiine behind this concept the consumerism, hurry, materialism, superficiality, commercialism, false not-added values, stress, artificiality, lack of real education, minimum time for family, for exploring, for arts, culture, humanity or spirituality, the extreme inequalities which are very often unfair, the false freedom of choice, the problem with orientation on profit and egoism, the emphasis on competition instead of cooperation, then I understand you. Before I will offer my opinions about the future of work and about what it means to be really rich, let me propose some fictional stories where I can demonstrate the problems better.
Part 9: Will we work in the future?