Resignation rates in the so-called United States have been increasing far above the usual upper limit of 2.4% from the last 20 years. They have gone up to 3% as of November 2021 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic has made work even more miserable than it already was before, and people are sick and tired of it. It’s understandable then, why people are quitting their jobs. This phenomenon has become well-known as The Great Resignation, and could potentially be a long-term trend following the end of the pandemic. In other words, the normal we knew before 2020 is not what we will see on the other side.
Due to these recent events, it’s now a great time to talk about anti-work, and bring the necessity of work into question. Bob Black in The Abolition of Work best sums the views which lead many people to despise work thusly, “One person does one productive task all the time on an or-else basis. Even if that task has a quantum [small portion] of intrinsic interest (as increasingly many jobs don’t) the monotony of its obligatory exclusivity drains its [playful] potential.” Play does not necessarily mean playing video games all day, but rather, doing things which are enjoyable. Play means taking your passion, and doing it without worrying about any “work-life balance” or authority to tell you otherwise. It is on your terms, not anyone else’s. Play is what can replace work in our lives, should we seize them back.
If we are to abolish work, we must take serious steps towards it. This means doing things in your life which can reduce your reliance on your boss (if you don’t have one, GOOD!). Think about your needs, and plan for how you might be able to satisfy them without a job. Failing that, find ways to reduce the amount of work in your day. At work, waste time and procrastinate as much as you can. You’re worth more than company time. Most importantly, tell other people about the benefits of abolishing work, as we cannot strive to build a world without it alone.