Walden Two | Study Guide

B. F. Skinner

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Walden Two | Chapter 8 | Summary

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Summary

This chapter focuses on the labor and economics of Walden Two. Frazier outlines the concept of "labor credits." The average amount of labor per credit is two hours, with certain unsavory jobs worth more and more favorable jobs worth less. Frazier explains the division of labor in the community's governance, which includes a board of planners who oversee managers of various divisions, such as food, health, and dairy. Frazier adds the standard of living is high in the community, even though there is little personal wealth because of the disinterest in the accumulation of material objects.

Analysis

When Frazier details at length the efficiency of the labor expectations at Walden Two, Burris is more disbelieving of the economy of Walden Two than Castle is. Frazier asserts it is more favorable than the outside world's because it balances intellectual, artistic, and manual labor and provides the psychological stimulation of working for oneself and the community. Castle concedes Walden Two's labor policy appears to work.

For the second time in the book, Frazier refers to women's work at home as "huzzifry" instead of "housewifery." The term huzzifry was a British substitute for housewifery. In this context it emphasizes the industrialization of housekeeping as Frazier calls it. The "z" creates a buzzing sound, and it also creates a gender-neutral term for taking care of household duties.

As in Thoreau's Walden economics is of prime importance. Thoreau felt simplicity was the route to spirituality. In Walden Two a certain amount of austerity is what leads to social cohesion and diminishes a competitive atmosphere.

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