15 thoughts on “Why Work? Book now out!

  1. Pingback: Future of Western Civilization » Blog Archive » Energetics: The Pain and the Promise- Peter Merry on Leading from the Field.

  2. Hello Peter,
    Your paper is very interesting. When you wrote it in 1997, some of the solutions you present would seem a bit strange, such as the community-based economy, but nowadays, things are changing, and that’s a good sign.
    However, some of your suggestions, such as the basic citizen’s income and the redistribution of work, are quite dangerous for those who support austerity measures in Europe and elsewhere: in France, many people criticize the measures that set up the 35 working hours/week, because “competitivity decreased” and “France needs to be competitive in global markets”. Besides, some politicians like Angela Merkel state that Southern Europeans should work during more hours and have less summer holidays. How can this trend be reversed in such troubled times?
    Anyway, it’s urgent to bring sense to work, so that people live their lives in a fulfilling way.
    With est regards and the best holiday wishes.
    Carla Guerreiro

  3. Thanks Carla. Yes, the “international competitiveness” argument tends to get in the way. We either have to wait for things to get so dire that nation states take unilateral action or hope that something like Simultaneous Policy (www.simpol.org) works.

    • Hello Peter,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately, I have to agree with you: it seems that everybody is waiting for the chaos. As for Simultaneous Police, I had never heard of it before. I’m going to take a look at their site.

  4. Hi Peter, thanks for posting this part of your work. Three things that I see now is one the testing of the hypothesis that people are inherently lazy or not, two the exspected loss of jobs due to the robotizing of society and three the need to prevent too much people in poverty to keep things going versus international competiveness..

  5. Given all the recent interest in basic income and other policies covered in the paper, I am planning to update and get the book republished as an e-book and print on demand in the near future. I’ll be sharing some of the endorsements I get as they come in. Feel free to add your own!

  6. Great endorsement from Prof Wayne Visser – who was there when I wrote the original :-):

    Why Work? is a brave treatise that refuses to shy away from Western capitalism’s most vexing dilemmas, such as how to create meaningful work and halt the social cancer of growing inequality. Merry effortlessly weaves together philosophical, economic, political and even spiritual perspectives into a highly readable book that is as grounded in pragmatic solutions as it is uplifted by inspiring aspirations. Many of the policy ideas are rooted in the decades old “new economics” and “green politics” movements, which are only recently being taken up and stress tested by various governments around the world, especially in Europe. This makes the book highly contemporary and recommended reading for changemakers in government, business, civil society and academia. A fertile and far-reaching book of possible futures.
    — Prof Wayne Visser, director of Kaleidoscope Futures, author of Sustainable Frontiers and Senior Associate at Cambridge University

  7. A short yet unequivocal endorsement from Dr. Bernard Lietaer:

    “Radical, Necessary, Different, and most importantly Timely!!”
    – Bernard Lietaer PhD, author or co-author of 17 books and numerous articles written in five languages and co-designer and implementer of the European Currency Union.

  8. Great overview and endorsement from Dr Jim Garrison:

    This is a brilliant exploration on the deep significance of work in the life of the individual and community. Work is what most of us spend most of our waking time engaged in and thus the challenge of how to make work meaningful and ecologically sustainable is perhaps the single most important priority for society, especially at a time such as ours in which alienation, exploitation, and social unrest are endemic worldwide. If we could crack the code for work that empowers individuals and communities, we could create a paradise on earth. Peter’s book points the way.

    Jim Garrison PhD was educated at Cambridge and Harvard universities, is the founder and president of Ubiquity University and has served as President of the Gorbachev Foundation and State of the World Forum.

  9. Great to have this endorsement from Herman Wijffels too:

    “When Peter wrote this he was ahead of his time, as ever. This book is not only still relevant but very current.”

    Herman Wijffels is the “best Prime Minster the Netherlands never had” – former CEO of the Rabobank, head of the Dutch Social Economic Council and Dutch representative at the World Bank.

  10. Many thanks to Ken Wilber for this:

    “Peter Merry’s book addresses a central question faced by every human: Why should we work? His overview is lively, direct, readable, and very timely. With technological advances threatening to continue to eat away at employable jobs, new solutions are ever-more urgently required for human daily survival. Peter’s work looks at this issue head-on, with both analyses and possible solutions. Well done!”

    Ken Wilber—Philosopher and author of over 20 books, including The Integral Vision. Originator of Integral Theory.

  11. From Barrett Brown:

    “Once again, Peter Merry is years ahead with his thinking about global flourishing and what it takes for us to bring about a future that works for all. In this work he deftly weaves a tapestry of hope for our future from the threads of ecological economics, consciousness development, and social change theory. This mash-up of paradigms and trans-disciplinary thinking, combined with examples of practical, liberating structures for the individual and collective, is precisely the grounded wisdom that will stimulate real change. With this text, he will continue to positively influence those with authority, power and influence for many years to come.”

    Barrett C. Brown, PhD, organizational consultant and author of The Future of Leadership for Conscious Capitalism

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