work

The virtue of idleness - Tom Hodgkinson

Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler, draws upon a wealth of resources to shrug off the capitalist work ethic in favour of 'love, anarchy, freedom'.

In praise of idleness - Bertrand Russell

Can't switch off from work? Envy those 'lazy' strikers? In this 1932 essay, Bertrand Russell, socialist and winner of some minor award called the Nobel Prize in Literature, presents the case for idleness. One can also download and/ or listen to an audio version here.

A worker's critique of parecon

Criticism of the idea of participatory economics, or parecon, from the perspective of a worker. Despite its theoreticians' grand plans, we resist work now and we would continue to do so under parecon, Steven argues. Michael Albert subsequently responds.

Beyond work - Nina Power

'Work sucks' - Sisyphus

Nina Power on the need to not just resist workfare, but work as we know it.

Work experience

photograph by Rob Pinney www.robpinney.com

In light of the recent controversey about the Work Experience schemes that McDonalds has taken part in and workfare in general, I thought I would share the most interesting experience of the two Work Experience schemes I have been subjected to.

The lost honor of labor - Robert Kurz

In this provocative and wide-ranging 1991 essay, Robert Kurz marshals Marx’s critique of the basic categories of capitalism and argues for “liberation from labor”, meaning the “‘abstract labor’ embodied in the form of value” that functions “tautologically” as a “self-referential” “end-in-itself” with destructive results for humanity (not to be confused with “human reproductive activity or with the process of metabolism with nature”); rejecting both technical regression (the “poverty of needs”) and obsolete reformism (the “Marxism of the workers movement”) he advocates “the planning and direction of the material nexus of reproduction in a directly social manner”.

Women, the unions and work, or… what is not to be done - Selma James

Excellent critique of the structural position of unions, work, and unwaged labour from a feminist perspective. By Selma James (1972).

Miserable worker

The first of a bulletin produced by workers around the Manchester area, tirading against work, published in the Subversion journal.

Notes on the manifesto against labor - Jaime Semprun

Jaime Semprun criticizes the Krisis Group's Manifesto Against Labor for clinging to what he refers to as the "obsolete" idea that the existing productive forces of capitalist big industry can be re-appropriated for the purposes of revolutionary change, when such events as Hiroshima and Chernobyl clearly show that these forces have long since crossed the threshold that stands between "productive forces" and "destructive forces", and claims that the "machinery that has paralyzed" "humanity's vital forces" must be destroyed rather than re-appropriated.