The section which most interested me in Pieper’s text Leisure: The Basis of Culture was on pages 58 through 60. In the first full paragraph on page 58 Pieper is making the explicit claim that those whose lives are filled by their work cannot even function significantly outside of work. In the following paragraphs, Pieper continues to express his thoughts of the proletariats, saying such things as “his life has shrunk inwardly” and “he is bound by the orders of others”. Pieper is essentially claiming that those who live to work have small, “spiritually-impoverished” lives and are living in an illusion because they are shackled to their work.
I disagree with Pieper on the basis that the proletariat is living such a confined and “spiritually impoverished life.” Personally, I feels as if Pieper is being somewhat condescending; he makes himself out to be greater than the workers because he does not conform to only “servile work” and explores the spheres of the liberal arts. While many people may be miserable in their day-to-day jobs of servile work and only working to live – Pieper may be discounting those who are not miserable with their work. Some people actually enjoy their daily job, their daily so-called “servile work”. It may be a shop keeper who finds joy in tending to their shop and interacting with customers. Just because his job is “bound by the orders of other” and is necessary for the economy does not mean his life is any more shrunken or spiritually-lacking than Pieper’s. Whether somebody dedicates their life to being well-rounded and studying liberally or focusing solely on one specific task does not make on person better than the other.