Idleness is revolutionary


It’s Ferragosto {15 August). What gift is better than a book? And better than a book that teaches the art of idleness? The book “How to be idle” by Tom Hodgkinson. Quoting from the preface: “To be lazy means to be free, and not simply choosing between McDonald’s and Burger King or between a Volvo and a Saab. It means being free to live the life that we want to live, free of bosses, wages, commuting, consuming, debts. Being idle means having a good time, pleasure and joy. There’s a revolution that is brewing, and the wonderful thing is that you have to do absolutely nothing to take part.”

The one who lives only for work is a wretch; the one who is idle is a revolutionary.

In his book called “The Right To Be Lazy” Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx’s son-in-law wrote: “A strange madness possesses the working class of the nations where the capitalist class dominates. It’s a madness that brings with it individual and social miseries that have been torturing sad humanity for two centuries. This madness is the love of work, the existential passion for work, driven even to the exhaustion of the vital forces of the individual and of his progeny.”

Work ennobles the capitalist, the manager, the financier, and it makes miserable the employee, the precarious worker, the cococo {worker with a short term contract} who get to be more and more like a beast in a cage. A beast that has to develop enormous quantities of work to stay alive.

Take your hour of daily boredom, doing nothing, looking out of the window or up at the ceiling. It’s your hour of air, like the hour that is conceded to those in prison. Teach your children about it. Explain to them that doing nothing, not having anyone to tell you what to do is important.

Idleness is the father and mother of all the best ideas. It should be taught at school, like an hour of meditation. We are inside a mechanism that stops us from thinking. A moving walkway from the cradle to the grave.
Stop! Do it now: do nothing.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:55 AM in | Comments (11)
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there are alternatives!!! do nothing it's to hard and exspensive ..working is good for your benefit (learning,growing,earnimg etc..) but if you do it make sure you like it and don't feed the pigs too much..
Nowaday we forced to work extra hours, extra performances, extra stress...when the extra effords goes to unreal tax and bills ..
and this really affect the health wich is the most important thing we have..a good way to rebell yourself from the dittators is to freelance
so you'll have control of your energy ,health and money..don't forget you'll have a lot of responsabilities...
come on!!Just get rid of them!!

Posted by: david r | August 19, 2006 12:32 PM

Marco,Mother Theresa,used to love her work,in the beginning, she used to work seven days a week,until she got sick,and she started taking a day off,because if you do not give to yourself and the battery get flat,you do not have anything to give to anybody,as simple as that,ciao :-)

Posted by: evakulnura | August 18, 2006 09:12 AM

marco, I don't think anybody is suggesting that we should turn into lazy,idle is only that we should stop running all the time...
Just to enjoy a few moments in our daily routine,take time with our family or by ourselves,lood at the sky....I have cought myself,very often I must confess,that I hadn't looked at the sky for days...This is sad.....

Posted by: paola filinesi | August 17, 2006 11:14 AM

For me the best way of life is to find a work that u really love and not work just for survive of the society. Think about a doctor who work with children.... and that love its work .... you suggest him to stop this stupid work and enjoy his lazy time??? I don't think so.
And what about a family man with 3 children to feed and one house to pay... hooo yes take a beak and do nothing... no way. To really enjoy your life you must look deeper, is not just about work and lazy time.

Posted by: marco | August 17, 2006 09:32 AM


My best ideas come out when I'm idle and relaxed.

It's like fuel for the brain.

Too bad that there are a lot of unhappy people out there that are always trying to spoil this deliciousness............

Posted by: High Plains Drifter | August 17, 2006 01:35 AM

Today I spent my time to think about what I'm going to think tomorrow. I don't know what I'm going to do the day after tomorrow...But I noticed that Grillo doesn't stop to put new posts one after the other. I'm still thinking about what to write about the one after last Christmas. If I'm lazy he must be crazy:-)

Posted by: blisco jaio | August 16, 2006 05:31 PM

Most philosophers and intellectuals did that in older times and what was best was that they were considered privileged visitors in the courts of nobility!!
Work was not a capitalistic invention….In communist societies you have to work for the benefit of your country and of others and in capitalistic societies you have to work to acquire more wealth...bottom line is WORK!
As you rightly said it should be taught at school: Meditate and also learn NOT to feel guilty when you are doing nothing for a while.

Posted by: paola filinesi | August 16, 2006 04:32 PM

i think it is a specific and peculiar italian quality

Posted by: fab tom | August 16, 2006 03:55 PM

I appreciate this post very much.
I see a lot of people all around me who can't stop, they have always a lot of things to do, and they feel always bound to do something. Everybody is talking about stress, but the few are ready to renounce of something, because of the fear of remaining alone with themselves.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | August 16, 2006 02:06 PM

Yes really´s funny ´cos just last night, since I am in Copenhagen alone and it has been raining really badly the whole day, I was thinking about the fact that it is just so wonderfull not to HAVE anything to do or to think about.The fact that the weather wouldn´t let me out of my room just made me free from go visit a gallery, or the modern art museum or doing a boat sightseeing trip...I was realeased from all my cultural musts..and I could just relax and do nothing (and visit your blog of course..)!Such an enjoyble day!

Posted by: Antonia Alampi | August 16, 2006 12:51 PM

Brilliant ! You expressed the feelings of people very well. Thinking about your own lifestyle is the best way to get F R E E. It makes you a nicer person, less egoistic to others.

Posted by: van herk | August 16, 2006 11:12 AM

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