Of the last post, Symbolique has this to add, which I’d like to share:
“I do remember Adorno’s Essay on “Free Time” and how it actually is an extension of the capitalist process. Basically, free time is just a means for human beings, under the capitalist process, to recuperate their lost energy and lost “will” to work.
Compared to circumstances before capitalism, free time, or if i can remember it correctly, leisure, was pursued for the sake of it and was not pursued to relieve one’s self of stress.”
What is “free time”? Adorno points out that free time is the opposite of “un-free time”, which is time “occupied by labor”. In other words, the expression “free time” is meant only to mark off those time intervals in which we aren’t working.
As Marx argued, labour becomes a commodity under capitalist conditions. It becomes reified (i.e. thought of as an exchangeable object, rather than a collective of meaningful social relations).
It has not always been this way. Societies are configured differently throughout different historical epochs. The concept of “free time” we have today would not have made sense in pre-capitalist conditions. Well, especially not when our free time is usually spent on last-minute christmas shopping and holiday getaways (both tragically linked to consumerism). But we are doing our best. We are doing our best.
Introduction to Adorno’s “Free Time” by J Bernstein, in Adorno’s “The Culture Industry: Selected essays on mass culture” (1991)
(Photo via likeafieldmouse; by Fuelisms)