The question is, what happens if we dispense with this bourgeois conception of work and the ego ideal that attends it? Instead of repatriating work from overseas, or reclaiming factory labor from the robots on the shop floor, or increasing public spending to create full employment, what if we said, fuck work? Or, more politely: “We prefer not to. Work and life are not the same thing. And now that work matters less in the making of our character because socially necessary labor is, practically speaking, unavailable, we can create lives less burdened by its demands.”
Then, and only then, will we be able to address the real questions: How to detach income from work without hating ourselves, the recipients, for doing so? How to justify getting something for nothing—receiving income and consuming goods without producing anything of value? How to build individual character in the absence of real or meaningful work that pays a living wage? What is meaningful work, anyway?