From the period after the Civil War to the end of World War II, labor movements in the United States waged a fierce campaign to liberate the citizenry of the country from undemocratic centers of power seen within corporate monopolies, plutocratic politics, and aristocratic oligarchies. Much of our current conception of labor laws were formed during this period. This was the time in which child labor was abolished, the 40 hour work week was created, and worker rights were formed to provide economic security; among may other socio-economic-political changes. The efforts in which the citizenry went towards restructuring the economy was a vital inspiration in worker movements around the world for the preceding decades; including one of the most famous uprisings, the Russian revolution of February 1917.
Today in the year 2017, a century after that revolution, the United States rests at a point in time where inequality is incomparable to any other in history, worker rights and the labor movement are echoes of their former selves, and new illegitimate forms of power have developed out of the same undemocratic centers of corporate, plutocratic, and aristocratic oligarchic powers once fought in the past. Additionally, the memory of these uprisings and the labor history has been attempted to be deliberately erased from collective society.
The amnesia of this can be largely seen in the meme of "adulting". This meme is one that portrays the responsibilities of life beyond work generated for surplus value (i.e. wage labor, salaries, etc) requires a level of effort that forms a level of workaholic insanity. An insanity that over stresses the individual into working longer hours at a place of business in order to generate monetary value, while spending free time working on the non-business activities of adult life in order to function within the paradigm of society. Thus, removing hours of "play" to be designated for more working hours for money and work in terms of personal organization as a member of society. This has been increasing over the last several decades, expanding to consume all of the 8 hours designated for "play", and bleeding into the 8 designated for "sleep".
The insanity of this work intensive oriented lifestyle is not only harm for the health of the worker, but also obsolete in relations to the potential of mechanical labor in phasing out human labor. Estimates from decades past, as far back as the 1960s, 1940s, even the early decades of the 20th century; calculated that the rate of technological progression would inevitably provide a labor force capable of greater efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness well beyond human labor capacity. It was therefore projected that working hours for humans in the late 20th and early 21st-century would be reducing to the point that a single individual could provide for a family of four working 4-6 hours a day, 3-4 days a week.
The adverse affects of an over stressed workforce, such as in United States over the last 40 to 50 years, demonstrates that an increase in productivity without the surplus value of said productivity being reverted back to the labor producing; breakdown and collapse is an inevitability due to the obsolete strain and obsolete reliance on human labor. The heritage of the labor movement is ingrained in every faculty of United States civilization and is one that has and will continue to shape the legitimate fate of the nation.
Adulting is a lie and deception we all jokingly tell ourselves as a means of masking our recognition that the reality of adult life is a form of insanity that slowly destroys the individuals involved. As a famous member of the worker movement, Emma Goldman, once said "When we can't dream any longer we die." Adulting is the antithesis of dreaming; Dreaming is acting like an adult. Play, personal fulfillment, and social happiness are integral parts of any cohesive and complex civilization. Let us remember the century old slogan of designating 1/3 of our day to play in order to break the psychosis of workaholicism as a society.