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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10531/the-pleasures-and-sorrows-of-work/

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

August 27, 2009 by

Thus the ironic timing of Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work: at least one out ten of us here in America (and maybe as many as one in five, depending upon which government numbers you believe) is without employment. Many of us are without a place to go five days a week, with nothing to produce, no service to provide — identity temporarily vanished.

What de Botton captures so artfully is how important work is to our lives. The paychecks pass through our fingers; where the money goes we can’t remember. But we remember all of our jobs. Maybe the dates get a little fuzzy when a sprucing of the resume is required, but customers, bosses, and coworkers are all unforgettable. FULL ARTICLE

{ 6 comments }

Matt August 27, 2009 at 9:28 am

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.

Ahh as we continue deeper and deeper into socialistic government’s take and control of our labors the pleasures of work diminish and the sorrows of work increase.
We live on the tail end of the momentum of past freedoms that fade day by day.
Thank goodness for those who are still optimistic and keep the system afloat.

Stephan Kinsella August 27, 2009 at 10:47 am

Doug, have you seen the brou-haha about the author’s mishandling of a critical book review? It’s pretty amusing. From reading the book review itself and de Botton’s comments, I can’t tell who’s correct about the book itself. The quotes the reviewer, Caleb Crain, pulled seem pretty bad, but de Botton claims they are out of context.

See How Not to Respond to a Bad Book Review; which links to Review of Alain de Botton’s “Pleasures and Sorrows of Work” by Caleb Crain. de Botton adds in a comment thre, ” I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude.”

He later says he regretted it. See also Alain de Botton tells New York Times reviewer: ‘I will hate you until I die’

HL August 27, 2009 at 11:50 am

I forced myself to stop reading the NYT Book Review a long time ago. Finally, last year, I managed to break my horrible habit of reading the NYT at all. My life is now better. Mr. Botton should do the same. I lie ignored is still a lie; but who gives a damn then?

Tom Harrington August 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm

An interesting review. However, I’ve never considered Alain de Botton a friend of capitalism. He has benefited enormously from capitalism personally, but is more than happy to misrepresent its nature.

This is from one of his recent articles:

“Capitalism has always had a problem with holidays; it would rather do away with them. The idea of a 24-hour society may leave most of us exhausted and frightened, but it is the ideal state of affairs for employers: an uninterrupted length of time in which to coordinate activities, sell produce and accumulate profits.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/5136843/Put-down-those-tools-time-off-work-is-sacred.html

However my opinion of Naomi Wolf improved after listening to Lew Rockwell’s fascinating conversation with her:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/podcast/?p=episode&name=2008-10-30_058_americas_slow_motion_fascist_coup.mp3

Michael A. Clem August 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm

No, real life is the logistics the author describes in chapter one: goods being manufactured somewhere, shipped somewhere else, warehoused, and shipped finally to where the consumer has the opportunity to buy them.
Exactly. But it’s still hard for me to see real life as exciting or dramatic (except on occasions)–its the tedium of real life that I think makes us try to create larger-than-life drama, as most movies will attest to.

Franklin August 27, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Tom astutely references a de Botton article, “Capitalism has always had a problem with holidays; it would rather do away with them….”
I’ll state the obvious (sorry). Who’s this guy Capitalism, and what’s his beef with holidays?
As soon as nonsense personification is employed, the writer loses all credibility. The paradigm is pathetic.
An aside, while we’re at it: Puh-leeze…. Wolf is as brain-dead as the poor sod who’s casket is being driven around to the stares of the slaves who pay homage to that mess of a man. So she (and he) were on the right side of the war. So what, it’s the broken-clock-being-right-twice-a-day syndrome.

Sorry, this was about “work” and de Botton. But you really got me going. Hell of a racket, these leftist mouthpieces got; she and Ted seemed never to want for a five-star dinner. Cha-ching went their bank accounts, as they feign sympathy for the unwashed masses, and tout the rubbish of every leftist who can’t stand liberty. Well, first it was her beauty tripe, poo-poo-ing women who wanted better titties; then the porno pontificating; and more recently, the dictators-are-coming (aka George Bush). Naomi’s Fascist-in-Chief now, however, is A-OK. Give her an F for credibility too.

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