Did medieval peasants have more vacation time than us?
Agree completely. I would even step back and say that HC is misunderstanding the nature of work. Work is our term for productive activity. His argument thus is a celebration of peasants not being as productive. Today, I can work a temp low skilled job and make 20 times what a peasant could ever hope for. Or I can invest in an education and skills and work 60 hours a week and create immense value not just for my family, but for other human beings.
Thus I can somewhat choose how productive I want to be based upon how much work and effort I want to invest.
Great elaboration of HC’s latest video! Comparing medieval leisure and work with modern leisure and work is definitely not apples to apples.
The main takeaway from the video was that we have plenty of capacity as a civilization to work less. HC assumes we lack the ambition to do so, collectively. But I think with the shift to remote work and more flexible “hybrid” schedules we’re actually seeing more and more leisure time, which is great. If one is fortunate enough to have such a job, anyways.
Sure pre-industrial societies suffered famine and tyrannical landlords, but neither of these were alleviated by the industrial revolution.
Are there any prospective reforms that are likely to make work chiller and extend leisure time without crushing productivity?