Publication Details

Beder, S, Digging your own grave, in Carroli, L (ed), The Ideas Book, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, 2005, 30-39.


[Extract] The work ethic is one of the most neglected problems in society today, and at the root of many social ills and environmental problems. It’s at the heart of what I propose is a major environmental problem; there is too much production in affluent countries. All of the things we are producing day after day are not only creating a huge environmental impact - in terms of resource use, pollution, waste disposal and so on - but in order to get people to buy this huge amount of products, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements and marketing and turned into hyper-consumers. We are taught to be discontent with our lot. Subsequently, we have a situation in our society where the work ethic has become pathological. It was once very useful and important to the development of Western societies but no longer.