Utopias often involve a lot of being together. What’s funny about this, is that to get to utopia we have to work together. Working together has a totally different attitude and vibe towards that public good of togetherness, as opposed to the public good that emerges from being together (also, see the last post).
Those who really believe that utopia is possible, will never truly be satisfied with being together after working together (i.e. going out for drinks). For those who believe in utopia, these moments of reprieve are but way stations along an impossible journey.
Those that don’t believe in utopia, are also never satisfied with being together after working together, because they either see it as a distraction from the hustle, or they see it as a vice that they are unworthy of. They are either a committed capitalist or a sad protestant-capitalist worker bee.
To wit, a thesis…
Therefore, both a marxist and a capitalist will be unsatisfying drinking partners, for they are both committed to a kind of game. One is simply taking a rest between matches, while the other is resigned to the exhaustion of the long-distance runner (I’m still not sure who is whom). The tired worker bee, who feels guilty for simply being together, is the saddest drinking partner of all. None of these characters actually taste the wine.
How can we resolve these attitudes towards working and being? Should we resolve that when working together, we also strive to be together and when being together, we also strive to work together? Is this what “work-life integration” would entail?
There are very few people and organizations asking these questions, but I believe that those that are, are on the cutting edge of social innovation as it applies to the question of how to find meaning and purpose in work, labour and life, solve problems, and taste the wine.
So, how can we find joy in tackling a problem as a group, especially when the going gets tough?