Based on a discussion in my last diary, I have a little thought experiment.
Assume we're in the near future, let's say a few decades from now. Robotics have improved to the point that virtually all extraction, manufacturing and distribution can be done automatically with little or no human input (other than making consumption choices). The entire economy is a closed loop ERP system, where actual demand is used to modify production levels. Only the most intellectual and creative of pursuits actually require humans. All people can be fed, clothed and housed at no cost and with no human labor.
Would this be Utopia?
Based on my experiences over the years, I'm not so sure. There are some people who are entirely self-directed, they have either one or several pursuits that they enjoy and would pursue no matter what kind of pay they receive (above basic existence levels, of course). There are, however, some people who are not. They have no strong passions or areas that engage them. To some people, "you can do anything" is the purest expression of freedom, to others it is a threat.
So would enough people have what we now call a vocation or avocation that they'd revel in their freedom, or would boredom take over the human race? While there are underlying economic questions about the likelihood and implementation details of this hypothetical, my real question here is about human nature.