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Notes on labor for exercise

Ways that I could get exercise through labor:


I believe that in a just society, I would have to do some amount of manual labor rather than just play with computers all day. Meanwhile, in our current society, I need to get more exercise, because I play with computers all day. I could go the gym, or something, but:

  1. I feel compelled to live a life more like the one I would live in a just society. Going to the gym to compensate for an overpaid sedentary job would be directly living out the contradictions of Capitalism. In Kropotkin’s Aux Jeunes Gens, he appeals to the (generic) young doctor, presenting him with the two kinds of patients he will encounter in Capitalist society:

    L’une meurt parce que, toute sa vie durant, elle n’a jamais assez mangé, ne s’est jamais suffisamment reposée ; l’autre languit parce que durant toute sa vie elle n’a jamais su ce que c’est que le travail…

    My translation

    The one is dying because during all her life, she has never had enough to eat, has never been sufficiently rested; the other is languishing, because during all her life she has never known what work is.

    While personally seeking exercise through physical labor will not actually resolve the contradiction in place – the only real solution, Kropotkin says, is Socialism – there is an aesthetic value to not directly enacting it.

  2. If I’m going to exercise, I’d rather accomplish something productive, however insignificant, than just spin my wheels on a treadmill, or whatever.

  3. I have a mental barrier against going to the gym, because I don’t think of myself as the sort of person who does that; “the gym” reminds me of my parents and fitness bros.

  4. Humans evolved getting exercise through quotidian activities, not deliberate exertion. That makes it plausible that the former is better in some way.

Therefore, I want to find ways to exercise that could conceivably count as productive labor.