Work and Leisure: An Alternative Perspective
Leisure has been defined in two ways- one, by the philosophers, as ‘a state of being’, and second, by the pragmatists or modern sociologists as ‘non-work’ or ‘residual’. The emphasis in present times has shifted to the second viewpoint. The paper seeks to signify the importance of and revive the ‘cornered’ perspective seeing ‘leisure’ as a state of being; making it central to politico-philosophical theorizing in contemporary times. Arguing against the definition of leisure as ‘residual’, leisure is considered to be a continuum. This rejects a dichotomous relationship between work and leisure. Work can be done in a state of leisure. In such a state, it is not directed towards material aims, and is characterized by a sense of effortlessness and inner satisfaction. Leisure has significant connections with human freedoms and happiness. In advanced industrial societies, capitalism thrives on consuming leisure rather than using it, thus ending all possibilities of harnessing its creative potential. The paper seeks to argue that idle time is leisure made captive, and freeing leisure from the clutches of capitalism, has immense potential to inspire human freedoms. Exploring intrinsic connections between work, creativity and leisure, the paper seeks to argue that to be creative, work needs to be done in a spirit of leisure- ‘creative leisure’. Under capitalist conditions, work, devoid of the ‘creative function’, is reduced to mere economic function; and leisure, devoid of the creative potential, is reduced to idle time to be consumed by recreation.
Index Terms - Creation, Leisure, Production, Work.