Why do modern Britons work harder than medieval peasants?This is a very pertinent question, the answer to which lies in the Darwinian nature of civilization, which despite its central importance for understanding our situation and the existential problems now facing us, is not just being overlooked, but actively denied and suppressed: we mustn't go there, we tell ourselves, because it leads to Social Darwinism and Nazism. Which is true enough, it did, but only because we were mislead down the wrong path. There is, however, another path, with leads to the most profound insights into the nature of our civilization.
With the rise of civilization, what humans did, was domesticate themselves, much as they had already domesticated certain animals, and (this is the really important thing which anthropologists and historians seem to have missed) for the SAME purpose, which was to facilitate their, i.e. our own, exploitation - to the advantage of some over others.
That may take a while to get one's head around, but once you do, the reason why modern Britons, like most modern people, work harder than medieval peasants becomes clear. It is a manifestation of the self-exploitation we have (subconsciously) conditioned ourselves for, and which state and economy developed to facilitate, to the advantage of society's powerful and privileged elites, of course, thereby increasing, potentially at least, their individual members' chances for survival and reproductive success.