Working It Out

Do you believe in life after work?

Department of Agriculture/National Archives

Leftist intellectual arguments these days often present readers with so many caveats that we must keep pausing and asking what remains. Dotted with more hedges than a prosperous Anglo-American suburb, these propositions use words controversially and titillatingly, but not straightforwardly. “Family abolition” refers more to a reinvention or expansion of the family than to that institution’s elimination; similarly, language of police and prison “abolition” becomes inflammatory drag for the reformist slog of moving money around municipal budgets, from the right hand of the state to its left. The latter may also evoke a horizon for a less stressful future in which there won’t be as many people acting out in dangerous or antisocial ways. None of it means that the left wants you to die alone and unloved at the hands of knife-wielding assailants (phew).

This intellectual landscape contains enticing and, to some, alarming provocation…

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