Within Josef Pieper’s Leisure The Basis of Culture, he makes his point clear that the idea of leisure is not a Sunday afternoon planted on the sofa, drinking a cold beer while screaming at the television because your quarterback got sacked. While this can be characterized as such in modern times, Pieper wishes to preserve the idea that true leisure is preserving individual freedoms such as infinite education, culture, as well as a wide realm of liberal arts. In his defense of the word he discusses the “proletarian”, or “the man who is fettered to the process of work.”(57)
This idea of the proletarian is the modern day workaholic which has become the standard in American society. While in context it sounds perfectly suitable, Pieper defines the idea of “process of work” as tireless work done for it’s utilitarian purpose to which the worker becomes so consumed in their meaningful work that they can’t stop. He then goes further as to describe why someone may be a proletarian in the first place. One may not have property which would mean they “own nothing but the power to work.”(57). It is said that one may also have “inner impoverishment” where their world is shrunk and the idea of anything but work would be inconceivable.
This idea interested me because the definition spans across all social classes. A poor man isn’t always a proletarian. While from reading the word gained a negative connotation to me it seems to be highly adaptable to people of all classes. A character who seemed to be a proletarian to me is none other than Bruce Wayne(batman). He is bound to the city of gotham and to the people living within that city. He isn’t interested in being social or enjoying his wealth if it isn’t involving saving a citizen of his city. In this context, Batman gives the term a good conotation and makes it a valuable trait. Unfortunately we can’t all be Batman and therefore, everyone should not be a proletarian.