Consumerism has done this weird trick of pushing "convenience" as a kind of moral sentiment. It does not apply to "work" (or "labor" to those on the left) which is supposed to be non-fun but required.

The central idea seem to be that anything that is not one's "job" should involve as little effort as possible. Laziness is a virtue and anything that requires effort is dismissed as foolish, old-fashioned drudgery. But don't most rewarding things require effort?

If we want people to move away from corporate hegemony, we will also need to convince people that convenience is often not a virtue and that doing things the hard way can be fun, interesting and convivial (not to mention more sustainable, local and humane).

@praxeology I sort of disagree. Convenience is fine. Convenience is pretty much the whole point of civilization.

Convenience that creates hard, stifling dependencies on corporate structures is not.

Just because the current way of providing convenience involves planned obsolescence, services, subscriptions and waste, doesn't mean it's a hard requirement.

@temporal So do things like playing the trumpet, hosting dinner parties, raising children, having pets, gardening – do you consider them less civilized?
My theory is that somewhere along the line, especially in the west, the idea of pleasure got warped into convenience. But maybe I misunderstand you?

@praxeology Convenience is what gives you the ability to spend more time on the things you've listed, and less time on chores and ensuring your own survival.

It may be that the idea of pleasure got warped into convenience, but I'm not too convinced of that - I have a competing hypothesis, that people tend to have a sort of Stockholm syndrome around generalized suffering. "Death gives life meaning", your worth is determined by your work, etc. Convenience is about reducing some of that pointless suffering.

@temporal But those activities I cite are incredibly inconvenient, no? Raising pets or a garden or learning the violin involve hours and hours of "generalized suffering". The only difference is that culturally we slot them into a category of "leisure" vs. "labor". I think we both have the same starting point, more or less around the stoic, masochistic idea of a "protestant work ethic". My argument is that we have a messed up attitude towards anything involving effort that is exploited by organizations that convince us to give up control and responsibility in the name of "convenience".

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