“Since Sunday was always the official holiday, it was usually the days following that were added on. This produced a regular custom of staying away from work on Monday, frequently also on Tuesday . . .  This practice became so common that it was called ‘keeping Saint Monday’.

Chesterton maintained that the truest form of leisure was the freedom to do nothing. This was precisely the choice that the worker who kept Saint Monday made. This involved not only taking a particular day off but also the idea that it was the individual who was the master of his–and, more rarely, her–leisure.”

“In fact, the realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilised man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. Freedom in this field can only consist in socialised man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of, their human nature. But it nonetheless still remains a realm of necessity. Beyond it begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis. The shortening of the working-day is its basic prerequisite.”

“A rational being belongs to the kingdom of ends as a member when he legislates in it universal laws while also being himself subject to these laws. He belongs to it as sovereign, when as legislator he is himself subject to the will of no other.

A rational being must always regard himself as legislator in a kingdom of ends rendered possible by freedom of the will, whether as member or as sovereign.”

  • Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals