Commies commies commies!

Milton Glaser in The Believer : I think the worst scam that was ever performed on the innocent American people is this idea that retirement is desirable. It’s only desirable for people who really hate what they do.

Oh, that makes me happy. I get so tired of people who don’t do work that they love. I sympathize when my friends are trying to figure out what they want to do, but I have a lot more fun when somebody is actually excited about a plan.

I remember a class debate in about grade 10 social studies, a typical assignment to argue the merits of capitalism versus communism. The argument that, as I remember it, won the debate for the commies was that money is not a failsafe motivator for work, or everyone would want to be a highly paid doctor or lawyer. People do work for love too, in greater or lesser ways. Some work is so well-loved that nobody can get paid to do it (e.g., most art, parenting).

I go through phases of being frustrated by that, that a lot of great work gets done without pay, and some people can’t afford to do the great work they’re capable of. But right now, I’m just glad for the parade of free work that constitutes the bulk of the internet. Just people making stuff out of love. Bunch of commies!

(Sometimes it is really obvious that I have a tendency to take each new idea that I like and make it the symbol of my life philosophy for a week, until it has been processed and integrated throughout my entire brain. I don’t think a grade 10 class debate really resonated with me as the height of political discourse; it just stuck as the identifiable moment when this particular idea took root with me. Mr. Hansen and his rumoured hippie butterfly tattoo awarding the day to the communists.)