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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Double Game of French Socialism

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  • The Message
    • II. Doctrine and Strategy in the Socialist Program for France
      • 8. Leisure
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8. Leisure


To complete this absorption, a SP as totalitarian on behalf of the self-managing society as communism is on behalf of the Party, likewise strives to organize and utilize human leisure.

In fact, the Program also covers leisure which, if unregulated, would be the last haven of human freedom in a self-managing world; for man finds in leisure singular possibilities to know and express himself, and to establish relationships and friendships.

Gradualistic as always, the SP states that it recognizes man's right to leisure. The average reader becomes favorably impressed and does not realize that the SP - fundamentally organizing and demanding as far as work is concerned -professes a new concept of leisure which eliminates the distinction between lei­sure and work, making both subject to simultaneous planning. The SP disap­proves of individual and personalizing leisure. It desires collective leisure and plans leisure even inside people's own homes in order to better manipulate and prepare them for the rough and sterile drudgery of self-managing life. 22


22.          "Work is not the only thing in life. The creation of the Ministry of Free Time is a great ambition for bringing it about that free time for living, the liberated time. The society  of  free time must be a society of culture...."

"Cultural expansion will be one of the tasks of local communities" ("Declara­tion of General Policy," pp. 82-83).

"The current separation between work and free time will itself be questioned ... The socialist enterprise will thus evolve into forms of life more and more com­munitarian in their core ... as well as in their periphery (social services, leisure, culture, formation, etc.) (Program, p. 158).

"Let us cite, for example the possibility of common use of household utensils, appliances or certain leisure gear... Likewise, a systematic effort will be made to transform and enliven the urban environment to make it more communitarian and to improve the conditions of collective housing. A considerable effort will be made  to render the latter as attractive... as row houses, which are great consumers of space and energy" (Program, p. 177).

"The associative movement will be the privileged support of the new citizenry, particularly to give value to free time... it will be for us especially to erase social segregation in the realm of free time. We will undertake ... the development of social forms of leisure and tourism" ("Declaration of General Policy, p.151).

"So, another way of living is:

"- first of all to seriously modify the content of work so that eventually the distinction between work and leisure will no longer have the same meaning that it does today.  But while it is true that this goal can only be achieved, first and above all through the transformation of work, the socialists must also propose a parallel transformation of leisure..."

"But it is necessary to delve more deeply into the other concepts of leisure:

"- leisure after the workday, close to one's home or in the home itself, will permit a progressive establishment of new rhythms of life and a change of daily life. This will necessitate, for example, developing light collective equipment for various uses. Such leisure is one of the means of having a familial, cultural and militant life:

"- weekend leisure ..."

" leisure after retirement ..."

"No doubt the content of free time will also be profoundly modified by the proposals made for other fields: the school, continued education, family, decentralization, associative life, sports, the media, health and consumption. They will progressively permit making free time a self-managed time. In any case, there must be room in the Socialist for a free time conceived s one that breaks loose from restraints and permits everyone to expand, be it by individual effort or by participation in collective activities," (Program, pp. 307­ - 309). "

. . . a global conception of social life in which the time of education, the time of work and the time of leisure are no longer considered isolated moments of individual and collective existence by rather as elements of a consistent ensemble" (Pro­gram, p. 289). This "consistency,'' of course, will not be that of the poor "self-­managing" worker but rather that of the SP.

This is the "paradise" of liberty and democracy of the self-managing socialist regime.


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