We've never had it so good

Published 01/01/2013 | 11:52

Dear Madam, I fear the dream will become a nightmare for many and will become so for many more unless there is a change in how we look at things. Even those not affected are probably more insecure, more frightened of the future and more pessimistic than any time outside warfare.

The perverse tragedy is for the first time in history the "dream" has been achieved; it has been realised and it is reality. And it is turning out to be the problem.

2012 is dying; we are moveing towards 2013; a time of added fear for the superstitious who dread the ill luck of the figure 13. The reality is we are all unbelievably lucky to be living at this time because there never before in the history of humanity was a time as good as this.

We live in a world of pain-free healthy longevity with foods, clothing, accommodation, comforts, education, information, entertainment, travel and multiple facets of life enhancing benefits that were unavailable to royalty only a few short decades ago. We can produce everything we need or want or desire in absolute abundance and for the cherry on the cake we don't have to work so hard any more to achieve this utopia.

The mad scramble for "growth", the mad scramble to produce more and to get everyone back working again, harder and longer, goes on although we are drowning under a sea of surplus and unwanted product that no longer needs our labour to get made. So what the hell are we going to put the hundreds of millions that need employment doing? Nothing?

Machines, ever more sophisticated and ever more powerful, will do all the work necessary so we can sit back and enjoy the leisure. Indeed we have little option but sit back and enjoy the leisure because what typifies the 21st Century more than anything else is that we have conquered the tyranny of labour while at the same time providing everything in abundance. And this achievement has thrown economic philosophy into chaos.

We have little choice really; Technology will not go away. It will get better and provide us with wonders we have not dreamed of yet and eliminate further vast amounts of work. We embrace and enjoy this modern Utopia or it could destroy us. If we do not provide employment society could implode. It would be such a shame to be destroyed by success.

My wish for you in 2013 is that you see the light. This is no "recession"; it is a wonderful world of abundance of everything but work. What the hell should be wrong with that? Please begin to recognise and embrace it. Yours, Padraic Neary Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo

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