Wednesday, December 21, 2005

In praise of the lazy life

'Aristotle, for one, was no great fan of toil. In his Politics, he made it clear that ideal citizens should not be tradesmen, mechanics or farmers. "Such a life is ignoble, and inimical to virtue," he wrote. Instead, we must have plenty of free time and the independence to engage in social activity of our choosing. "The first principle of all action," Aristotle concluded, "is leisure." Others agreed. Cicero announced that "repose is an essential condition of happiness." Horace asked plaintively, "Why do we strive so hard in our brief lives for great possessions?"' More


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