Deprogramming capitalist temporality -- the 20 Hour Day
Temporality -- the way people exist in time -- is one of the basic frameworks of human reality. Particular temporalities are constituted by particular societies (or, more accurately, sociocultural systems). In other words, the ways a person experiences and practices time will depend on the ways their society constructs time. And just as the continuing existence of society depends on us continually doing 'society' in our everyday lives, temporality does as well – time, like society, is something we actually *do*, and therefore, if we get a good handle on it, it is something we can do differently.
Thus, the way we practice/enact time should be a prominent issue in the democratic discussion of how we should govern ourselves, how we want to organize our societies and everyday lives. For instance, I would advocate, within this politics of time, that a good society will strive to maximize the amount of FREE TIME its members have.
We here in modern Euroamerica practice time the particular way we do *because* it works effectively for capital accumulation. We have and live a hyper-rationalized time where a difference of 1 out of the 1440 minutes that occur every day can make a real difference in a person's life – no wonder we're so stressed out!
(For a bit more more on "capitalist time" and its discontents, see "Boo to Captain Clock.")
My idea is that part of a process of deprogramming ourselves from our corporate capitalist consumer culture is to begin shifting our way of being in time, finding a temporality that is more humanely paced, which is to say, tuned to the rhythm of a democratically-governed everyday life rather than the needs of plutocratic global capital accumulation.
In that spirit, I humbly propose for democratic discussion -- the 20-HOUR DAY.
I propose we endeavor to begin reorganizing our temporality in a more relaxed, enjoyable, humane way by adopting a whole new clock -- a clock that only goes to 10 twice a day (rather than 12), with fifty minutes in an hour and fifty seconds in a minute. Doing the math shows that one second in 'new time' would last for 1.728 seconds in 'old time.' Theoretically, this slower second/minute/hour would eventually structure a more relaxed everyday life. (To help us get there, I would further propose that our 10-hour clocks have no minute marks and no minute hand.) Part of the system could also be that the typical work day is 5 'new hours' (1/4 of the day, so the equivalent of 6 old hours), so that people have more free time. Over time we could try to make the work day even fewer hours so people could have more time to do whatever they enjoy doing when not pressed for time...