Distracted anti-utopians

Even anti-utopians have their utopian distractions. Here’s one of the 20th century’s greatest writers of anti-utopias from his diary entry known as Commune of Workers Without Private Property:

OBLIGATIONS: to possess no money, no valuables, and not to accept any. Only the following possessions are permitted: the most simple dress (to be defined in detail), whatever is necessary for work, books, food for one’s own consumption. Everything else belongs to the poor.

      To get one’s living only by working for it. Not to shrink from any work that one’s strength suffices to perform without damaging one’s health. Either to choose the work oneself or, in the event of this not being possible, to fall in with the arrangements made by the Labor Council, which is responsible to the Government.

      To work for no wages other than what is necessary to support life (to be defined in detail according to various districts) for two days.

      Life to be of the utmost moderation. To eat only what is absolutely necessary, for instance as a minimum wage, which is in a certain sense also a maximum wage: bread, water, dates. Food as eaten by the poorest of the poor, shelter like that of the poorest of the poor.

      The relationship to the employer to be treated as a relation of mutual trust. The intervention of the courts never to be invoked. Each job taken on to be completed, in all circumstances, except for grave reasons of health.

RIGHTS: maximum working time six hours, for manual work four to five hours.

      In sickness and in the incapacity of old age reception into institutions for the aged and into hospitals, these run by the State.

      Working life as a matter of conscience and a matter of one’s faith in one’s fellow men…

Author? Franz Kafka (it’s reported that the diary entries before and after the fragment do not give a clue to his intentions).

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