What would happen if we all stopped working?

At two o’clock this morning I was awakened with the realization that some of the jobs we do to survive are quite insane when considered from an outsider’s point of view. Jobs that have people climbing poles in the wind to attach wires or fix things. Jobs where people get hit and bit and abused. Even the jobs where people sit in a box and tap on buttons felt like insanity when I awoke.

Along with the realization of the things we endure for the sake of money I asked myself what would happen if we just stopped.

That thought was even more frightening. I realized that I’ve been so acclimated to a society where we are forced to work just to live that I am terrified of a society in which we don’t.

It makes me wonder, however. What would happen if we decided to stop at least some of the insanity? What would happen if those of us who face abuse or mistreatment in our jobs walked away?

Would society change at all if we at the least decided to stop trading hours of our lives for worthless baubles?

What would happen?

3 responses to “What would happen if we all stopped working?”

  1. Annie, look up the term “General Strike” as I think that is the type of thing that you are describing. I remember encountering the concept years ago in a few of Jack London’s short stories influenced by his political views which leaned toward communism in the face of the evils of capitalism. An oversimplified version of the dream of an ideal “General Strike” where basically if 100% of the lower 99% of society were to all stop working at the same time (think not just corporate jobs but also all utility workers as well so it would be a 100% blackout shutdown) than within a matter of a few weeks if not days it would bring the top 1% on their knees to the other 99% begging them to reopen society at any price. Of course realistically there is an almost 0% chance of something like this ever happening because people are selfish and thus can open to giving into manipulation and “petty bribes” which are ultimately against their long term interest by causing division against each other instead of the “common enemy”. Still despite its oversimplified it does make for some interesting stories to get people thinking about what is really important.

    1. Thanks, John!

  2. Simply put., people die. It might take days or weeks in some cases, but there are reasons seniors worry about health care workers going on strike. Trucking stops, then food and other needed supplies stop flowing. People who get hit and bitten may be caring for others or protecting the rest of us from the biters. Communications and utility workers stop, then those who depend on them are left without a way to summon emergency help, assuming it even exists in your scenario. People who are in hospital or who need surgery, die. Life becomes a war zone without as many explosions.

    Meanwhile, the rich outsource their needs or move to another country until the trouble blows over.