An approach to the ideas of Bertrand Russell in "In Praise of Idleness" after 80 years
All of these are happened in the leisure time of those people. Russell said that "without the leisure class, mankind would never emerged from barbarism." In "In Praise of Idleness" Bertrand Russell, who is a British philosopher, mathematician, writer and historian, puts forward dissident ideas about the belief of money, balance between production and consumption and the detrimental belief of hard working and its effect on our leisure time activities status.
Even though, Russell has got some disordered and incompatible ideas for our day. But in "In praise of Idleness" it is very visible that Russell is a very visioned and anticipated person, because most of the ideas that he produced in "In Praise of Idleness" are still valid and these ideas have their discernible outcomes. In this essay the author analyses the validity of Bertrand Russell's ideas in his "In Praise of Idleness".
An approach to the ideas of “In Praise of Idleness” after 80 years
The notion of leisure has changed a lot with the continuity of humankind. But, this notion, it was always there with us. The caveman played with stone, and he found fire. The baroque man played with piano and violin, and he produced a language which is universal. The bourgeois man had a lot of time and prosperity to think about physics and maths, he(Sir Isaac Newton) found the gravity law and produced new ideas about our modern natural sciences which has promoted the humanity. All of these, are happened in the leisure time of those people. Russell said that “Without the leisure class, mankind would never emerged from barbarism.”(8). In, In Praise of Idleness, Bertrand Russell who is a British philosopher, mathematician, writer and historian puts forward dissident ideas about the be- lief of money, balance between production and consumption and the detrimental belief of hard working and it’s effect on our leisure time activities status. Even though, Russell has got some disordered and incompatible ideas for our day. But in, In praise of Idleness, it is very visible that Russell is a very visioned and anticipated person, because most of the ideas that he produced in, In Praise of Idleness, are still valid and these ideas have their discernible outcomes.
One of the most noteworthy idea in the article that Russell asserts is Spending money benefits both the economy and society. Saving money is harmful. This idea is the back- bone of economics. As long as the money flows between individuals and firms, the busi- ness cycle will continue. With the words of Whitney “When people spend money the econ- omy grows. That means the goal of economic policy should be maintain a level of spend- ing”(1). Also, spending money gives employment to the receiver, and this receiver spends this money and gives employment to another person and the increasing level of employ- ment leads an increase in the general level of investments too. “Way, way too much mon- ey is sitting around in savings and chequing accounts as well as money market funds. This money isn't at risk, but the people squirrelling it away are hurting themselves financially. They're missing a chance to participate in the stock market recovery and they're wasting opportunities to pay down debt”(Carrick, 1). This cycle continues like that. Moreover, spending money increases the welfare of the economy and of course the welfare of the society. From the outside of a spender society, it is easy for economists to say that this so- ciety has a level of welfare. Additionally, there is a belief of “bread” among the elders and grownups which is very visible. To encapsulate this “bread” belief with a citation “As long a man spends his income, he puts as much bread into people’s mouths.”(Russell, 1). This argument of Russell will exist(will be valid) as long as the humankind exist.
The other idea that Russell asserts is, there should be a balance between production and consumption. Anciently, the human produces, and the human consumes as much as he or she produces. After the occur of the land lords and rulers, the human has forced to produce for their sake too. Because of this, the human became more responsible and that led him or her to work more. Briefly, the notion of “Eat as much as you produce” has changed dramatically. “…a man could, as a rule, produce by hard work little more that was required for the subsistence of himself and his family”(Russell, 3). That’s what Russell said. In addition to that. In my opinion the noble belief of working more than you have to has became the forefoot of slavery. Not the cruel notion of slavery, but it could be called as the modern slavery. Because the human redirected to work with a noble belief(evil lie) that the rulers faked up. To avoid this immoderate situation we, as humanity, we need to stable our production and consumption level. If we can determine a standard between our con- sumption and production, we can go back to our true nature , the nature of eating the pro- duced. In addition to that, there is a splendid balance between production and consump- tion in our Earth’s mechanisms. Why, do humans persistently pushes this system ? This argument of Russell, is a valid argument for the proper human nature, but we as hu- mankind, our true nature contains a demerit named “greed.” So, as long as we exist there will be greed and that will lead the human to a greedy way, however, sadly we are living in an era that determined by consumption.
One of the ideas that Russell especially asserts is too much work causes exhaustion and that drives us to be more passive. Never a true word spoken. The division of leisure between the urban human and rural human is very visible. One of them earns money, a lot of money. But hasn’t got time to spend it in operative, active and rousing activities. On the contrary, the rural one, earns enough for himself or herself and the family, but has got time for activities which are energetic. For example, the rural one goes for village dance , and games festivals, meetings etc.. But the urban one goes to cinema. (In my opinion cinema is counted as a luxury activity in our time crowded modern day, for urban person. The ones who goes to cinema thinks they are doing a rare activity.) “ The pleasures of urban popula- tions have become mainly passive. Going to cinemas, watching television, listening to the radio, and so on. This result, from the fact that their active energies are fully taken up with work. “If they had more leisure, they would again enjoy pleasures in which they took an active part.”(Russell, 8). Briefly, as long as the urban human works more and more, the notion of leisure he or she got will stay passive. This argument of Russell is still valid. Just like in the beginning of the paragraph. “Never a true word spoken.”