Will Work For Free

Will Work For Free

2013, Society  -   107 Comments
Ratings: 8.48/10 from 246 users.

What's the biggest threat to humanity you can think of? Pollution, disease, natural disasters, terrorism, crime, drugs...? But do we ever think about our basic life support needs? We usually don't have to because luckily for us we have a system. It's a system where you can gain employment and work for money which of course provides access to food, water and shelter. And it's a good thing we have this system because without money you're as good as dead.

But if you don't have a job you don't need to worry because again we have a system. If you're out of work for whatever reason simply apply for government aid. All the people with jobs pay taxes and since the government understands that a certain level of unemployment as to some degree is to be expected, it simply relocates some of that tax money and hands over to those without jobs through a magical process called redistribution. It makes you wonder, if this is the solution for unemployment than where is the threshold? What level of unemployment is sustainable and what would happen if all these jobs suddenly disappear?

This isn't the first time unemployment has been a threat to this system. Twenty years ago unemployment accounted for 10% of the UK's population. It marked one of the worst recessions in their history with significant waves of rioting. However, in 1993 unemployment took a turn. Somehow the jobs came back and things got better. This growth and employment was just what they needed, however only lasted until 2001. Then the rate stagnated and increased again.

By 2009 they were back to 8%. But it is reassuring to see that recent trends of unemployment have slowed since then, or at least it would be reassuring if it weren't for the fact that the increase of the part-time employment runs almost parallel to the decrease of the full-time employment. Technically more people are unemployed and the rate falsely implies a slight slowdown of job loss. In reality the amount of available work is shrinking and the economy is only getting worse.

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Christian Petersen
1 year ago

Good if you have a job cause that gives you access to food and water?

Way to go, let's get a big round of applaus for modern slavery!
1% owning 95% of the total wealth in the world, that is worse than it was 1000 years ago.

The entire system belongs to the top 5% through "lobbyism", modern democracy is as much a joke as the so-called economical system!

5 years ago

When we were at school back in the eighties we were taught that in the future most tasks would be automated and it was suggested at the time that we would probably then cut our working week down to a few days a week, giving us all time to pursue leisure and creative activities. It sounded great. In fact what has happened instead is mass unemployment and the zero hour contract. Employers have been able to dispense with workers and still make huge profits while the excess workers have been cast aside into poverty. This will only get worse and this is why much as I like the ideas in the documentary they are just not going to happen. We are going to end up with a massively rich elite who travel the globe from luxury residence to luxury residence while the rest of the populace scrabble to get by on welfare. Nothing convinces me we are moving toward any other kind of future. Corporations now have the power rather than Governments and can transfer their wealth from country to country to avoid paying tax. This means our lives are getting worse not better with increased automation as these corporations are no longer contributing to our welfare systems and services. I love some of the ideas the Zeitgeist Movement have but how can they ever be realised when those with all of the power are basically untouchable and have no interest whatsoever in improving the life of the average person.

Brian Gilgore
6 years ago

This doc stinks

7 years ago

Wonderful idealism. The makers of the film glorified technological advances for 2 hours yet devote only 30 seconds to the 'uneasy period of mass poverty and starvation." This period will be very long as the authors do not touch at all upon lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Those are the base instincts of those in control of governments. In order for some percentage of humanity to live in sustainability, another percentage will suffer "wars on everything" in the reshuffling of control of the energy sources necessary to build their ideal world. I, too was an idealist in my 20's, 30's, and 40's. Now, after seeing 14 years of people ignoring the destruction of the Middle East cultures in favor of Western sustainability, I know that there is only survival of the fittest. And there is nothing ideal about that....

8 years ago

one thing robots cant replace is creative thinking, just as planning projects or programming and things like that and once all of there is actually implemented, cost of living would be significantly reduced. Face it 200 years old system of learning in school is tottaly inefficiant for future and all those that are only tought to repeat tasks and not adapt to new tehnologies can be first ones being replased

9 years ago

I watched an interesting vid on Youtube recently about Modern Monetary Theory and the guy on there told a story about an African country(can't remember which) that prior to its colonization by the British, there was no money, and also no unemployment, because everyone had jobs doing the things that pre-modern people do eg farming, herding cattle etc. The British wanted them to work for them, so they gave them something called a crown which they had to pay a hut tax with, and the only way to get these crowns was to work in the mines etc However, only some of the people could get the work and some inevitably became unemployed. The whole concept espoused by the Zeitgeist movement is really just a return to primitive living, except with our existence sustained by technological means.

9 years ago

I love the segment on motivation!!!(the drawings) by "The RSA"

Raederle Phoenix West
9 years ago

Well done documentary. Very informational, inspiring, interesting and captivating. Really made me think and made me feel good at the same time. This is officially one of my favorite top five documentaries right now: Thrive, Will Work For Free, Food Matters, First Earth and The Secret. If you want to really take a dive into inspiring solutions, self-healing and collective healing, freedom from being a wage-slave, ecological solutions, green energy, green architecture and more... Just watch these five documentaries. One a week for five weeks. I promise you'll be glad you did. :)

Joni Sen
9 years ago

I can easily imagine this future....and would love to be around to see it actualized...but unfortunately I think I'm only going to get to witness the downward spiral of the monetary system....I do not believe a Resource Based Economy would be utopia, because with AI, robots, etc new challenges would emerge...but I do believe it would beat the system we have now and have had for the last 300 years or so.... I can't help being reminded of the movie I watched when I was about 10... The Brave New World by Adlus Huxly (sp?).... I keep thinking about the island where they sent the "primitive humans"... which resembled the human sapiens we are today.... I don't know...would we be any happier or is being discontent part of being human????

9 years ago

THIS IS THE BEST documentary about the future! He has great green energy ideas i have never heard of...Its not political either- its just ways to deal issues we will have in the future when robots do the jobs we use to do... Also ways to live when there are no resources to waste anymore.
There was even a machine robot tattoo machine-perfect every time.
It is hard to decide what topic to discuss on this informative eye opening topic.

Janeen Clark
9 years ago

reward and punishment is the place where all problems and corruption stems from.

9 years ago

been reading allot of comments on this section. its all a bit to grand I think we will reach something like the Venus project in are existence but it so far away. I mean the housing stuff we could do but it would be an unbelievable undertaking, impossible if people have to worrie about there meals and housing in the mean time. the west is able to help but wont and even if we changed education tmrw it would take 2 or 3 generations for the west to drop its never ending hunt to be the king of your own little empire.(capitalism a feudal system for everyone. how retarded) I love the farming ideas in this doc and that's where we need to focus if we built a few hundred of these vertical farms in countries like india or Pakistan and told the people there was no charge to use them with in the same 2 or 3 generations community's of truly free individuals could make a living around these towers. free from a money system or class system and just see what happens maybe nothing. maybe life would still look better on the other side we just don't know because we don't try. its not a perfect idea but no more idealistic than anything else iv heard. at the end of the day its all down to education to teach us out of are selfish and aggressive ways. no spiritual bullshit just a new set of learnt behaviours.

9 years ago

In the late 60's early 70's, while living in the Miami area I use to go over to Jacques house every Thurs. night to listen to his dream, I was what 27 then he was already and old man, to a 27yr old. I couldn't wait for Thursday's. There were about five people that came every Thurs. that showed up to listen to Jacques dream and his lectures on the bio system of insects and so on. I was the outspoken one in the room, the pain in the ass that kept asking the questions like, "What about when the trash need to be emptied and the person who was suppose to empty the trash said no i don't want to do it and who gets to live in the pent house and who lives in the basement? After we were finished he would pass the hat around and we'd all anti up. Then we would all go down to the local all night cafe and have hot chocolate with wip cream, that being me who had the hot chocolate, and continue the conversation. This man is not all roses and a sweet little do gooder! I don't have it in me right now to give this comment the attention it needs, I'm tired. I will get back to my comment later. This is an incredible journey folks, very complex.

Kansas Devil
9 years ago

HMMM. A robot-built eco-friendly housing center with a 24 hour vend-store and a 3-d printer in every utility closet built next to a vertical farm all surrounded by win turbines, solar panels, and geothermal energy systems.
A guy with lots of unused land and money rusting in tax havens could find that profitable. After all, most everyone likes to be surrounded by the conformity that comes with a pre-deterministic culture.

Janeen Clark
9 years ago

we live in a world of punishment and reward. they are the strategy of domination. they create an enemy image, an image of the good guy and the bad guy, they also create judgments and assumptions, none of these can work in harmony with co-operation, so if you want a world without violence war poverty and destruction there can be no childish reward and punishments .

Matt Kukowski
9 years ago

When people start to talk about people becoming lazy. This experiment is not a material experiment, the robots took care of the material aspect. If you had all the time in the world, to not work in a cube what would you do? Do you really think you would give up and die? Maybe it is OK if you want to just watch TV... but most people will want to travel and see all this tehnology in action and see the world. If it is all automated, it is 100% efficient... near 0 accident prone. People will be FREE. So, what if they want to relax. We have a stigma against just being able to relax.

We have forever, been under stress. Maybe that is why people ACTUALLY FEAR being able to live a stress free life. Devote your time to education, traveling and learning who we really are.

9 years ago

I like the Venus Project and what it stands for. I want the best for everyone and at least the Venus Project is a start for a utopia on earth.

9 years ago

Interesting documentary.

That said, I would like to see a documentary that is more
critical of the Venus Project. Although it has some great ideas, there is a lot of questions surrounding incentives, and how to stop people becoming lazy. Also what happens if someone wants something that is of limited supply? Do luxury cars get banned? Expensive watches? Clothing brands? Jewelry? and so on. Although there would probably be no crime, and presumably no drugs....?

I am not entirely sure lots of humans would want such a system tho. As much as most of us hate getting up to go to our boring robotic jobs, would we want to trade it all in for a simpler life without brands? Personally I would love to trade it all in, and have a nice little smart apartment, that runs on green energy and a fridge full of organic produce and a park where I can read a book on my kindle, without having to worry about being mugged or stepping in dog poo. (That's a point will pets be banned in these mega cities?). Or will there be mega cities for people that like pets and mega cities for those that don't?

That said, I think it would be difficult to accommodate for everyone's preferences. Also what are human suppose to be doing? We just sit around working on various cancer cures all day everyday? Surely you can only have so many people working on one thing at once. Okay there is a universe to explore as well, but in a world where humans have little to do, is there still a need for 7 billion people? Plus with less stress and less physical work and better medical facilities, people will live even longer.........?

Presumably there comes a point where someone has to make a choice between a smaller populated hi-tech earth or we start to spread out across the galaxy like some kind of self-righteous planet grabbing virus? Also will humans not get bored?. There is only so many great films to watch and great video games to complete, then what? ....... Clubbing on mars? Scuba diving on the moons of Jupiter? And presumably as more and more diseases get cured, will humans not become more promiscuous? I guess its not a massive issue, as robots will eventually be able to do the job of human parents.

I remember when I used to work at a super-market, and
self-service checkouts arrived one day. It was a great day!, But not everyone was happy, some customers still refuse to use them (as some people are incredibly stupid, and some weirdly insist that a human should be there, these tend to be the same people that still buy newspapers and have never heard of a Kindle/Tablet) and some staff were worried they would be out of a job in 10
years time.

(Currently in the UK self service checkouts are still a minority,
and for some strange reason we still insist of employing humans to sit on a chair at a till for 8/9 hours a day to scan things).
Eventually RF tags will come in, and hopefully one day you can just push your trolley through a gate,and x amount of money will be deducted from your account.

Personally I cant wait for more automation/robotics. Our
current system sucks, its boring and lots of us work in jobs which are basically robotic jobs. No wonder we get home and drink beer and eat fast food and watch Utopian documentaries promising a better world in the future.

Ilona Randall
9 years ago

Great documentary, everyone should watch it.

It shows how jobs are being lost to technology and jobs are becoming very redundant. The few jobs that are not replaced by tech are mainly from people who love what they're doing and would continue to do it. It is not all doom and gloom though because in the end, is this a bad thing? Losing jobs and money is bad in this society but what if we changed that?

We chose which path we want to take, either embrace this and live completely different revolutionary lives in which everyone thrives or we can continue on this path until we destroy ourselves. I know which one I prefer (hint: it's the one where everyone thrives).

Krikor Guvlekjian
9 years ago

Loud, tasteless and irritating background music. I quit watching after about 10 minutes.

9 years ago

Need population control.

9 years ago

unemployment in the UK is quickly being replaced by underemployment.

Gwayne Li
9 years ago

Not the Venus project again! D:

not that i have anything against it...

Mark Filby
9 years ago

One Global Electronic Non-Profit Bank with only one point of debit and credit which captures everyone bar none! A bank run by society for society and NEVER by owners, rent takers, greedy corporations, insane money junkies or ego driven psychos atypical of our "successful" types.
No funding of WAR ever. No poverty. No Fraud. Complete accountability from everyone. EVERY transaction is open to scrutiny because the alleged 'privacy' we have to hide our share of nothing, is only the hiding place for the elites! That is why 'they' gave you privacy at all. It is a lie. Global insanity has ensured 'we' have NO privacy now, NSA etc., so how about we KNOW exactly what the extent of personal greed is for the stratos dwellers.
We have the technology. Can we save ourselves or are we all pathetic losers needing a Nanny Planet? Monopoly should only have ever been a board game to teach us what NOT to become.
Or do we just accept the defeat of humanity by the bankers and royalty and roll over and continue to kiss arse forever.
This is NOT the thinking that caused the problem. This is a solution.

9 years ago

Before us westerners can tackle the problem of automation in the manual workforce of western countries, perhaps we need to deal with the one-sided exploitation of Africas natural resources, not to mention the heartwarming encouragement and participation we show towards turning the middle east into an uninhabitable sectarian warzone. Oh, and I forgot about China and southeast Asia, maybe we should 3D-print our own electronics and clothes before they come to the inevitable conclusion that our money isn't worth squat?

9 years ago

It's a Zeitgeist (or Venus Project) show. There, I ruined it for you.

9 years ago

It's pretty long folks, but it is interesting & kept my attention for most of the time it took to watch/listen. I always enjoy the RSA Animations & the inclusion of such in this doc was well done.

I was disappointed & a little put off by the ending. I won't be a spoiler but I actually groaned out loud & thought to myself that I should have known better & realised this doc's agenda earlier than I did.

Janeen Clark
9 years ago

evolution of humanity, to a higher level built from co-operation, i predict is inevitable.

Paul Gloor
9 years ago

The only problem in this scenario is how to implement it. It has to be done on a large scale with the understanding that the profit motive will be moot, that any acquired fortunes will become meaningless, that work and living will become mutually separable and that creativity will be the new culture over fashion, religion and possessions.

9 years ago

This documentary film gave a very detailed explanation of technological unemployment and what it might means for our future. I Highly recommend watching it if you're at all interested in this sort of topic.

Martin Thompson
9 years ago

Any chance of replacing politicians with robots?

9 years ago

Long, dizzying, (is that even a word?), interesting and optimistic. Not what I was expecting at all but worth taking the time to watch.

9 years ago

A voluntary abstinence of using this technology and becoming self efficient can make a change in modern society

~Oliver B Koslik Esq
9 years ago


Top ten documentary on TDF!
Totally worth the 2 hrs.

Thanks Sam Vallely!!!