If the alternative is starvation, work is never truly voluntary. The fact that people overlook this contradiction never ceases to amaze me.
I know the common rebuttal here is an appeal to nature- “Well, people have always looked for food or starved!” which ignores a few things.
First, that the same ancestors who lived in those ancient conditions were also gatherer-hunting nomads, out of necessity. They could not stay still in one place, like we do today. The second they settled and began to grow food was the second that people could afford not to produce food, and thus could do other things. This, in itself, must have seemed a drastic economic change. One wonders - were these first non-food-producing humans resented because they did not help to produce what they ate?
Second, we are now producing a lot more food than we need, with a lot less people than it used to take. We’ve gone from a world where you needed a small village to support just a few full-time non-food producers, to one where 40% of the global workforce, a minority of people, works in agriculture.
The circumstances have changed. We have the capability, as evidenced, to construct economies where the majority are not directly producing the means of life.
It is therefore a choice, not a necessity, to construct a world in which people starve if they do not work.
Provided we maintain the current system? We have other incentives, both negative and positive, which we can use to fulfill the same social function of encouraging people to work - all without recourse to threats.
Nothing necessitates starvation except for the desire to exercise power over others.