T Nation

Why Do We Even Work?


We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors.

The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

â?? Buckminster Fuller, 1981.


Sounds like your typical philosophical BS. No insult intended ZJStrope.


For a period of time I worked for a patent company. If I had a dime for every useless brainfart that came across my desk Buckminster Fuller would have been right.

Here's a very large percentage of what people come up with when they think of something-

Mechanized toilet seats of some type

A generator connected to another generator so that one runs the other and you get free electricity.

A fishing lure that really works.

A remote locator (no not the GPS version for finding people in an avalanche, a beeper on your TV remote so you can clap your hands and find it in the same place every time).

The funny part about the last one is that it was explicitly stated on the disclosure form that those are not acceptable. The really funny part is that as stupid as that is, it replaced the idea they had before filling out that form.

A new button on their phone that does something else. Yes, a button. No electronic functions or circuitry behind it, just a button that you push which magically does what you think it should.

And occasionally someone who wants to put an electrode in each pole of the earth and use it as a battery.


How can something support everyone if everyone has nothing to buy said something?

The majority of inventions are useless unless there is a market for them. If everyone is "thinking" in school how can anything be bought. For example, the Ipod/Iphone/Ipad are all considered revolutionary, which is why Apple has like a gazillion dollars. All three are useless if no one has a job.

Plus some one has to actually manufacture the products produced from these "ideas", which is a job. Plus someone has to teach at these schools, which last I check is a job.


what the fuck is being taught in school these days.


I also like how can the masses buy anything if they have no extra cash ?


That's not what I said...


no that is what I said :slight_smile:


I was confused by what you wrote. My mistake.


No problem :slightly_smiling:


Do you just mean the youth of America? Is it ok if the youth of other countries have jobs making these technological marvels? Should all the youths around the world stop working? Who will make these items? Are you in favor of forced labor camps?


Buckminster Fuller was a genius. That quote needs to be read in its original context.


Apparently he was the 2nd president of MENSA. Perhaps our resident member can shed some light on the man.


Sounds like the Star Trek: The Next Generation premise.

Interesting guy. I googled him.


Before any one forms an opinion on that quote he needs to recognize that "not earning a living" does not mean "not working." Proceed with that in mind.


Do you have the original quote by chance?


I know guy that claims to be a MENSA he has no job , he lives off of his wife , has poor hygiene . I say my pubic hair is kept better than his unkempt beard. I can not buy the guy is smart


LOL. Marxism, generally, and human-induced climate change.
Check your university lecturer's subject outlines.
You won't like most of them.


He could be. Underutilized it doesn't matter what a persons IQ is. A Bugatti Veyron goes the same speed as a Yugo when they're both collecting dust in a garage.


I haven't been back to respond b/c I haven't had the amount of time appropriate amount of time to respond with an intelligent discussion point.

Thanks zecarlo for putting some color to the quote.

Will do so hopefully later or maybe tomorrow. Until then, keep discussing! I thought it was an interesting quote and should not be viewed from society works today.