In Bertland Russell’s essay, In Praise of Idleness, he describes a very vague opinion on what work is. I was shocked by the way he described the two “ways to work”. Russell states that the two ways people work are by, “…first altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling people to do so” (Russell 2). This language Russell uses to put his point across confused me in many ways. He speaks about the term work originally in a scientific and physical form, and then belittles that definition by shortening it to, “telling people to do so”.
I found it hard to come to an understanding of what he meant in that moment. The previous text had been focused on how people spent money, and he then changed it to the difference in people working. I wonder what his goal was by touching base on both of those ideas. This specific line and change in topic encouraged me to compare his opinions on both of these ideas to see if there were similarities.
The end of the second page left me with a few questions:
Is Russell speaking of human nature?
Is Russell speaking about these ideas in full detail?