Thursday, 5 July 2018

Liberty And Leisure

"...how much genuine well-being lay in a glut of gadgets?"
-Poul Anderson, The Dancer From Atlantis, CHAPTER TWELVE, p. 95.

Anderson echoes St Luke:

"A man's life consists not in the abundance of his possessions." (See here.)

The Atlanteans, when visited by Duncan Reid, have:

no signs of poverty;
wealth from the pilgrimage trade and from local industries;
a fertile sea;
a gentle climate;
natural beauty;
freedom from war;
an undemanding government;
ample time for the enjoyment of life;
the opportunity to work harder for a bigger share of available luxuries;
more leisure and liberty than in the US, 1970 A.D.

Anderson evokes a lost golden age.

3 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Even given a gentle climate and a fertile sea, I can't help but think life was not quite that EASY for all Atlanteans. That is, the LABOR of plain old farming and fishing must have been still demanding. After all, farming and fishing today, despite assistance from machines, is still a lot of work.

More important, perhaps, was a mild, "undemanding" gov't, which didn't make excessively harsh demands on its people. Unlike most gov't's today!

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
Yes. PA says that they work hard when they work.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Welcome home! I hope you had a good time in London.

And I recall as well how PA made similar comments in his article "Thud and Blunder." That is, in Medieval times there were many holidays and feast days, but when people worked they did so at a really "killing" pace that most of us today could not sustain.

Sean