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Will Work for Free (2013)

| Documentary | 2013 (UK)
The film explores the potential for automation in every sector of employment and questions the integrity of our methods of resource distribution going into the future.

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Sam Vallely ... Himself
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The film explores the potential for automation in every sector of employment and questions the integrity of our methods of resource distribution going into the future.

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2013 (UK)  »

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Will Work For Free
9 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is a film that needed to be made decades ago. It remains to be seen how much it owes to the great C.H. Douglas, but it is clearly on the right track. Oscar Wilde once said that work is the curse of the drinking classes, yep, so true.

For most of history, most of mankind has struggled for survival. Now, in the 21st Century, we have new technologies that can erase that struggle and deliver to all of us a standard of living such as even the pharaohs could not have dreamed of. Indeed, in some ways the ordinary working class household has already achieved that; Henry VIII may have lived in a palace and been lord of all he surveyed, but he couldn't get out of bed in London on Monday morning and go to bed in New York the same night. He didn't have the news, weather and endless entertainment on his desktop, and be you King of England or king of the world, you didn't want to go down with appendicitis before the era of modern medicine, nor to break a leg, nor even to suffer toothache.

The big problem is of course and to some extent always has been not how to create wealth, but how to distribute it. The perceived wisdom is by the dubious privilege of earning a living, but technology is rapidly destroying all manner of unskilled jobs. The next generation of computers, robots and the truly wondrous 3-D printer will destroy most of the rest.

And the big question is, are we going to resort to a new Luddism, create work for the sake of it, or are we going to restructure society so that gainful employment becomes a thing of the past? This two hour plus documentary explores this and a lot more, including the perhaps surprising fact that in certain professions, financial rewards above a certain magnitude are counterproductive, far better to give the guys and gals free time to do their own thing.


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