"Indeed the state of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but the most wretched are those who are toiling not even at their own preoccupations, but must regulate their sleep by another’s, and their walk by another’s pace, and obey orders in those freest of all things, loving and hating. If such people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own."
—Seneca the younger, De Brevitate Vitæ (On the shortness of life)

Relevant to what Maymay has been posting about wage slavery as an extension of debt and property. Notice that Seneca is depicting this state of affairs as unnatural and taking it for granted that people would stop living this way, if they just “reflected” adequately on the foolishness of their arrangement. That aside, I think it’s also good proof that forced, money-based employment is not a prerequisite for civilization.

Tags: human batteries normalized abuse discourse