Punching the Clock (from the book Bullshit Jobs)
Source: David Graeber
In this excerpt published by Harper's Magazine from his work Bullshit Jobs, Graeber explores why it is that meaningless work makes us so unhappy. Graeber draws on psychological studies done by Karl Groos, who argued that humans do liesure activities because they wish to exercise their powers as ends in themselves, not merely to serve some greater purpose. But, Graeber argues, "if make-believe play is an expression of human freedom, then make-believe work imposed by others represents a total lack of freedom." This is what Graeber calls a "bullshit job," one that is inherently demoralizing because it is a game of make-believe not of one's own design.