As recently as 150 years ago we went to bed by candlight — derived rom meat fat — or an oil lamp — derived from whales. The immense potential bonanza of energy — 50-fold? 100-fold? — derivable from underground oil or gas was barely suspected.
Considering that everything we do requires spending energy then it would have been reasonable for someone 150 years ago to forecast that today we needn’t be working for more than an hour or two every day. It hasn’t worked out like that. On average each of us works at least twice as much as the average farm worker of 150 years ago and has half the holidays (well over 40 Saints’ Days in previous times).
What has happened? Have we been exploited by capitalists? Not at all. The reason has to do with the concomitant explosion in different jobs and specializations brought about by virtually unlimited energy and each of the job-groups raising protective barriers around themselves. These gradually accumulate all sorts of pseudo-credentials and private practices. Altogether, these immediately selfish practices by groups leads to a woefully inefficient economic system.