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(en) WORK AND THE FREE SOCIETY - A UK AF pamphlet II. (2/2) (www.af-north.org/work.htm)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 16 May 2003 07:58:53 +0200 (CEST)


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A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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> ARGUMENTS AGAINST WORK
WAGE SLAVERY
"Labour only sustains life by stunting it. Tell me how
much you work and I'll tell you what you are".
When wage-slavery began, and primarily men were
drafted into the ranks of wage-slaves, wage-work was
portrayed by the merchant and industrial classes as
an emancipation from feudal bondage. Over the
course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, many women
started doing piecework at home and some began
leaving home to take paid employment. Many reasons
are suggested for this: war-created need for
additional labour, movements of female emancipation,
greater social aspiration and mobility, the decay of
patriarchal culture. What is usually not talked about is
the reduction in the value of wages offered to men
throughout this period, which turned women into
wage-workers. Women's opposition to patriarchal
norms and their compulsion to take up wage-work
have led many people argue that work outside the
home is a liberating and rewarding experience for
women, one that allows them to fully develop their
intellectual and human potential, a liberation from
domestic drudgery. But wage work in factories or
workshops, in clerical positions, in schools &
laboratories, in production or in retail stores involves
regimentation, repetition, physical burdens and
spiritual turmoil that are hardly liberating, creative, or
fulfilling.

For working class women and men work is neither
joyful nor creative. Wage-work is meaningless. Jobs
are boring and repetitious, they provide no
intellectual or spiritual rewards and provide no
satisfaction. The severe regimentation of factory life,
which now pervades all spheres of life, destroys
vitality and intelligence. It is not paid work but rather
free moments away from jobs and housework that
give meaning to life. Labour, and how it is organised
by the bosses, underpins contemporary relationships
among people on every level of experience: whether
in terms of the rewards it brings, the privileges it
confers, the discipline it demands, the repression it
produces or the social conflicts it generates.

COMPULSION AND DEGRADATION

"In a ton of work, there's not an ounce of love"

The early factory introduced no sweeping
technological advances more important than the
abstraction, rationalization and objectification of
labour, and its embodiment in human beings. The
factory was not born from a need to integrate labour
with modern machinery. It arose from a need to
rationalise the labour process, to intensify and exploit
it more effectively. The initial goal of the factory was
to dominate labour and to destroy the worker's
independence from capital.

And what of the post-Fordist future? Technologies
already present will restructure and stratify work,
dividing labour power into a relatively restricted
upper level of the super-skilled, and a massive lower
level of ordinary doers and executors. It will continue
to separate and divides labour power hierarchically
and spatially and break the framework of collective
bargaining. The process of accumulation will become
more intense, and it is possible there will be a long
period of capitalism without opposition:
turbo-capitalism, marked by an unusual political
stability. The post-Fordist worker will be an individual
who is atomised, flexibilised, increasingly non-union,
kept on low wages and inescapably in jobs that are
always precarious. The state will no longer guarantee
to cover the material costs of the reproduction of
labour power and will further act to limit consumption.
The majority sector of the non-privileged will be
forced to cut back on its standard of living in order to
survive. This may lead to resistance and the
resurrection of traditional forms of organisation and
collective action. We certainly hope so. For without it,
the future for humanity as individual, thinking beings
prompted by internal desires and needs and not
artificially-created compulsions to work and consume
(or not), is bleak indeed.

Anarchists desire to see humanity liberate itself from
work, if by liberation we mean self-government. As
well as hierarchy, the workplace created by power
structures also helps to undermine our abilities. As
Bob Black argues:

"You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid,
monotonous work, chances are you'll end up boring,
stupid, and monotonous. Work is a much better
explanation for the creeping cretinization all around
us than even such significant moronizing mechanisms
as television and education. People who are
regimented all their lives, handed to work from school
and bracketed by the family in the beginning and the
nursing home in the end, are habituated to hierarchy
and psychologically enslaved. Their aptitude for
autonomy is so atrophied that their fear of freedom is
among their few rationally grounded phobias. Their
obedience training at work carries over into the
families they start, thus reproducing the system in
more ways than one, and into politics, culture and
everything else. Once you drain the vitality from
people at work, they'll likely submit to hierarchy and
expertise in everything. They're used to it."

Historians and politicians ask us to accept that the
productive advances unleashed by the factory system
were worth the price of our spiritual degradation. The
idea of 'The End of History' is built upon the notion
that humanity has lost the ability to create new social
relations and will remain largely content to remain -
for ever - trapped in a liberal, bourgeois and capitalist
society of abundance. Capitalism's aim, because it
fears the liberatory potential of the working class, is to
continue the process of degradation until we are
unable to resist. It seeks to create essentially
inorganic beings, spiritually dead automatons.
Insanity, irrationalism, alienation, anomie, the inability
to empathise, to be more than functionally creative,
the routinisation of exploration and adventure, these
are symptoms of a deep and invidious illness deep in
humanity's soul which capitalism has spread amongst
us.

This attempt to change the fundamental nature of
humanity, and to enslave us, does not just occur in
the workplace but exists at all levels of modern
'civilisation'. Mass production and the compulsion to
work is made possible only by vast bureaucracies,
authoritarian 'mega-machines' of socialisation,
investigation, compulsion, control and sanction.
Capitalism reduces the worker to a mere machine
operator, following the orders of his or her boss. And
entirely soulless mass-produced objects create
mechanically deadened people. It has created a
constant process of alienated consumption, as
workers try to find the happiness associated with
productive, creative, self-managed activity in a place
it does not exist - the shopping mall or retail precinct.

To reverse this, we must re-conquer everyday life by
destroying the state. Liberating technologies
presuppose liberating institutions. The forms of
resistance are as widespread and diverse as the
means of control. In the factory, strikes, sabotage,
work stoppages. In the community truancy,
vandalism, protest, direct action, arson. And there are
also positive actions as well. Acts of sabotage or work
refusal (by phoning in sick, for instance) are rarely
individual acts but collective ones, approved of and
assisted by fellow workers. If the rule is silence, we
communicate. If the command is speed up, we slow
down. Resistance creates zones of freedom that we
can extend and make permanent, creating within
them the institutions - the claimant's union, the
rank-and-file workers group, the direct action
campaign - that are the seeds of future liberation.

RESISTANCE IN THE WORKPLACE

Here's just some of the wonderfully inventive ways
workers have found to defy the bosses and take back
a little - in time, dignity and self-respect - that the
bosses try to steal using the need for money to live.

WORK TO RULE

Every industry is covered by a mass of rules,
regulations and agreed working practices, many of
them archaic. If applied strictly they can make
production difficult if not impossible. Many of these
rules exist in any case to protect management in the
event of industrial accidents. They are quite prepared
to close their eyes when these rules are broken in the
interests of keeping production going. Even a modest
overtime ban can be effective, if applied intelligently;
it is particularly effective in industries with uneven
work patterns. Here's just one example of a work to
rule in practice - an effective tactic with little chance
the bosses can do anything about it except suffer:
When, under nationalisation, strikes [on the French
railways] were forbidden, their syndicalist
fellow-workers urged the railmen to carry out the
strict letter of the law... One law tells the engine driver
to make sure of the safety of any bridge over which
his train has to pass. If after personal examination, he
is still doubtful, then he must consult the other
members of the train crew. Of course trains run late!
Another law for which French railwaymen developed a
sudden passion related to the ticket collectors. All
tickets had to be carefully examined on both sides.
The law said nothing about city rush hours!

GO SLOW

This is a very effective tactic where various industrial
processes depend one upon the other and both
supply and distribution are geared to continuous,
steady rates of production, such as in the automotive
or food packing industries. Here's one example of a
go-slow (which is an increasingly common tactic in the
sweatshop factories of the developing world) from
Fords at Dagenham, at the time one of the biggest car
assemblers in the world: The company stated that the
headliners had repeatedly refused to fit more than 13
heads in any one shift, saying that the management's
request was unreasonable. Yet "they had in fact fitted
each headlining in less time than allowed, and spent
the remainder of the time between jobs sitting down.
They took so long over each car that they prevented
other employees on the line from performing their
operations thus causing congestion and frequently
leading to the lines being stopped and sometimes
other employees being sent home. Shop stewards
however, supported by the convener, had always
maintained on these occasions that the employees
concerned were working normally and refused
completely, in spite of numerous appeals, to persuade
their members to remove restrictions".

GOOD WORK

One of the serious problems facing militants in
general and workers in the service industries in
particular is that they can end up hurting the
consumers (mostly fellow workers) more than the
boss. This isolates them from the general mass of the
population, which enables the authorities to whip up
'public opinion' against the strikers. One way round
this problem is to consider techniques which
selectively hurt the boss without affecting other
workers - or better still are to the advantage of the
public. The 'good work' strike is a general term which
means that workers provide consumers with better
service or products than the employer intended. One
good side-effect of the good work strike is that it
places the onus of stopping a service on the
employer. Even if 'good work' leads to a lock-out of
workers by the boss, service-users would still blame
the employer rather than the worker. And lock-outs
can be avoided by 'wildcat' good working: suddenly,
without notice, and for limited periods - repeated at
intervals until the bosses cave in. In New York City
restaurant workers, after losing a strike, won some of
their demands by heeding the advice of organisers to
"pile up the plates, give 'em double helpings" and
figure bills on the lower side. You can imagine similar
situations in other industries, for instance postal
workers behind a counter only accepting unstamped
letters or people working checkouts refusing to work
the tills. Here's a final example: Lisbon bus and train
workers gave free rides to all passengers. They were
protesting because the British-owned Lisbon
Tramways Company had not raised their wages.
Today conductors and tram drivers arrived at work as
usual, but the conductors did not pick up their money
satchels. On the whole the public seems to be on the
side of these take-no-fare strikers.

OPEN MOUTH

Sometimes telling people the simple truth about what
goes on at work can put a lot of pressure on the boss.
Consumer industries (restaurants, packing plants,
hospitals and the like) are the most vulnerable. There
is not a lot the bosses can do about 'open mouth'
action other than improving conditions. There is
nothing illegal about it, so the police cannot be called
in. It also strikes at the fraudulent practices which
business for profit is based on. Commerce today is
founded on fraud. Capitalism's standards of honesty
demand that the worker lies to everybody except the
boss. In the food industry workers, instead of striking,
or when on strike, can expose the way food is
prepared for sale. In restaurants, cooks can tell what
kinds of food they are expected to cook, how stale
foods are treated so they can be served up.
Dishwashers can expose how 'well' dishes are
washed. Construction and factory workers can alert
newspapers and health and safety inspectors to the
shoddy materials being used or cheating on safety
regulations. Workers in public transport can tell of
faulty engines, brakes, and repairs.

THE SICK IN

The sick-in is a way to strike without striking. The idea
is to cripple your workplace by having all or most of
the workforce call in sick on the same day or days.
Unlike the formal walk-out, it can be used effectively
by departments and work areas instead of the whole
workplace, and because its usually informal can
succeed even where no union exists to organise it. At
certain times, just the hint of 'flu doing the rounds'
and the likelihood of it spreading to important areas of
work can work wonders with a stubborn boss or
supervisor. Even workers contacting the personnel
office to see how much sick time they have available
can send a powerful message.

TAKING CHARGE OF WORK

Sometimes the way to get what you want is to take it.
This requires better and stronger organisation than
any other direct action method but is also a powerful
weapon in the worker's arsenal. When workers decide
that they are going to do what they want to do,
instead of what the employers want them to do, there
is not a lot the employers can do about it. There have
been many examples of this taking place, from
timber-felling in the USA, the heavy industries of Italy
and South America and the automotive factories of
USA, Britain and Europe. Here's an example: A
strong IWW Marine Transport Workers Union existed
on trans-Atlantic shipping out of the port of Boston.
One of the main grievances of the workers on these
ships was the quality of the food served aboard ship.
Acceptable menus were decided upon and published
by the Union. The cooks and stewards, being good
union members, refused to cook anything except what
was on the menus - to the satisfaction of everyone
except the bosses. But because work is often made
up of a series of activities, involving different kinds of
workers, it must be carefully co-ordinated and there
must be high levels of solidarity between workers.
This often requires there to be a strong union which
can become just as much a 'manager' of shit work as
it is the protector of liberated work.

OCCUPATIONS AND SIT INS

Sit-Ins are relatively restricted and passive and are
similar to 'go-slows' and 'slow-downs', only with a
clear physical expression - people stop work and sit
down. Occupations are more positive actions, actually
to take over a plant and deny access to the
management. The latter needs a high level of
militancy and solidarity, as well as good rank-and-file
organisation. Unity of purpose is essential for a
successful Sit-In. While there is a fairly long record of
sit-ins in Britain there have been few large-scale
factory occupations such as are common in both
France and Italy. Occupations require a high level of
militancy and organisation on the part of the workers
concerned. It is doomed if the factory remains
isolated from the rest of organised labour, the working
class and community generally but in the right
conditions, it can be dynamite. What is needed is
mass involvement. Workers should not be presented
with a plan: an effective occupation must be preceded
by departmental and mass meetings to plan the
occupation, and lots of propaganda.

SABOTAGE

Workers and the work they do are a commodity, to be
bought and sold like everything else. And in the
marketplace, a low price often means shoddy goods.
Why shouldn't the same rule apply for workers? For
low pay and bad working conditions, inefficient work.
Working class sabotage is used more often than you
would think. Although often used by frustrated
individuals, it is most effective - like all direct action
tactics - when all or most of the workers on a job are in
on it. Here's an example: When [the line] got over
sixty, say, someone would just accidentally drop a
bolt in the line and as soon as it worked its way round
to the end, bang, the line would stop. Then there
would be a delay and everybody would take their
break. The same sort of thing goes on in every
industry: neglecting to maintain or lubricate
machinery at the correct intervals, punching buttons
on complicated electronic gear in the wrong order,
putting pieces in the wrong way, running machines at
the wrong speeds or feeds, dropping foreign bodies in
gear boxes, 'technological indiscipline': each industry
and trade has its established practices, its own
traditions.

THE STRIKE

Even the traditional unofficial walkout can be made
much more effective than it normally is. The
participation of the ordinary worker is often limited to
attending the occasional mass meeting. They then
stay at home, in isolation, watching the progress of
their own dispute on the TV. Bosses have got wise to
this tactic, and governments have begun to threaten
unions with sequestration and deny hardship benefits
to striking workers. Workers have responded with
'guerilla' strikes, involving different workers and
without any fixed pattern minimise the cost of strikes
to the workers yet maximise their disruptive effect.
There is the chessboard strike, where every other
department stops. The brushfire or articulated strike,
which, over a period, rolls through every key section
of a works. The pay-book strike, where every worker
whose payroll number is odd goes on strike on certain
days, with even numbers on strike on the other days.
And strikes where blue-collar workers down tools in
the morning but return after lunch, only to find that
the white-collar workers and foremen are now out,
making all work impossible thus achieving a full day's
stoppage for only half a day's loss of pay.

INFORMAL RESISTANCE

One of the greatest unsung stories of the industrial
working class is that of resistance at the point of
production. Work is so unpleasant that it is not
surprising it is resented. Informal resistance- in the
form of piecework ceilings, agreements among
workers as to what constitutes a fair day's work and
the refusal by workers to participate in their own
exploitation - is what makes the difference between
potential and actual production. Informal resistance
and its effect on 'productivity', explains the steady
and massive expansion of work-study, job evaluation,
quality control, inspection, etc. Management also tries
to solve this problem by introducing 'workers
participation', to motivate their employees to identify
with the interests of the company. In the long term all
these measures will fail, as the basic problem, boring,
unpleasant and often dangerous work, will not be
removed.

WORK IN THE FREE SOCIETY

Freedom begins where work ends

The ideology of work has begun to be challenged by
recent changes in capitalism itself, by chronic mass
unemployment and under-employment, the
phenomenon of temporary and casual work,
short-term contracts and flexibility. The notion of a job
for life has become a thing of the past for most
working people outside the so-called professions.
Work is transitory, fragmented and periods of
unemployment regarded as a natural condition. Many
young working class people have never experienced
the 'dignity' that labour is supposed to bestow and
those who have never known the 'world of work' feel
little guilt in not being part of it. Work as the basis for
the way capitalism integrates people into society in
order to control them is being undermined by chronic
global economic crises caused by the radical
restructuring of national economies in the search for
profit (World Bank, WTO, Doha et al) and new
technologies which are making certain classes of
workers entirely redundant.

Where does this leave libertarian revolutionaries and
our vision of social change? Will our arguments for a
society without 'employment', without bosses and
wage labour, make more sense to working class
people for whom work has already become an
unendurable means to an end, and for whom work has
little meaning? Is there the possibility that a
weakening of workers' identification with their
'occupation' will bring about a weakening of their
identification with the status quo? Or maybe the
atomisation of large sections of the working class by
the capitalism's continuing development will cause a
further decrease in class consciousness? Whatever
the consequences of the decline of the work ethic and
ideology, it is certain that wage labour will remain an
alienated and alienating experience for those who are
forced to take part in it and the exploitation inherent
within work under capitalism will not go away.

The only solution is to reclaim for ourselves the right
to work when we want to, doing what we want to do,
when we want to do it, or to not work at all! But this
emancipation from the crushing coils of wage slavery
may meet an individual need for freedom but does
nothing to end the destructive and malign institution
that is capitalism today. After all, there are plenty
more potential wage slaves where you come from! No,
liberation from work must be a collective, global act,
involving millions upon millions of toiling people,
people who for a day, a week, a month or however
long it takes, refuse to work and begin destroying the
means by which capitalism makes us work.

This general and social strike is our aim, the refusal of
work by all working people, for all time. It will be, we
hope, a gentle insurrection, a welling up of anger and
despair and the creation of a stubborn and
unstoppable desire for freedom. We will take our
hands from the plough and the loom, rise up from our
desks, cast off our boots and overalls, walk out of the
hotels and restaurants, leave the factory and office,
meeting with others to join in their refusal to work as
they celebrate ours.

And if this is a global act, how can the capitalist class
resist us? We know how to live with nothing, do they?
The working people of the world get by with no money
and little food, without power and water for weeks on
end, without servants or holidays or chauffeurs. We
don't need them. They need us, to work. And if we
refuse to work, they have no power to compel us. And
so, we mustn't strike for this or that, for 5% here or
10% there, things that be granted today and taken
back tomorrow. Our refusal to work must be for
freedom from work, and that alone, for freedom, once
taken, can never be reclaimed.

Once capitalism has been destroyed, we can set
about the exciting task of fulfilling our individual
potential and shaping this new community. Of course,
in a world that may have been disrupted by the
process of revolutionary war, we will first need to
ensure that we can feed and shelter everyone. This
need not be the brutal task the
counter-revolutionaries try to scare us with. In the
world there are more than enough buildings and food
to provide for everyone. What matters, of course, is to
distribute these fairly, using newly seized
communications such as radio stations, roads and
railways.

Capitalism creates a culture in which it is a virtue to
work, to strive to outdo or overcome, to contribute on
society's terms. We fight against the false logic of
capitalist thought, which uses concepts as 'Progress',
'Growth', and 'Development' to justify its compulsion
of people (by open and more subtle means) to work
and work harder. The economic system is not
something that should hurtle out of control but must,
like technology, be subordinated to human need. This
leads us to question the work ethic and the nature of
work - so we wrote this pamphlet. The revolution will
fundamentally transform the nature of work. Where
we live and work will be considerably altered. We will
re-organise industry so that we only produce what is
socially useful. We will introduce the ecological
management of production and consumption,
balancing the needs of society against the desires of
its members. And in doing this we will massively
reduce the amount of work that must be done to
sustain society, work that itself will be freely chosen,
increasing the time available to us for all the other
things that make living worthwhile.

VOLUNTARISM

Work will be a voluntary act, a personal choice to work
or not to work, to work now or later, to work hard or
slowly or carefully, with our hands or our minds or
both. Because the meaning of work lies within the
personal benefit to ourselves and the social benefit to
others, it must be freely chosen. Nothing in society
will compel us to do work we do not want to do in
ways we find wrong or alien to ourselves. Nor will
there be any incentives to do this or that work. There
will, for instance, be no more prestige or status
attached to one social function compared to another
and where a person can do the work, there will be no
artificial barrier (a union card, a qualification, a tribal
affiliation, a greased palm) to doing it. With this
freedom comes a generalised responsibility to ensure
society maintains itself. If the free society is generally
beneficial to all, we will want to keep it going. We will
need to develop a sense of what needs to be done
and whether and how we can contribute to that aim. In
part that will come, as it does now, from education
and socialisation, the millions of interactions we have
with our fellow human beings that shape who we are
and define what we want to do with our lives. But the
key part in all this will be ourselves, our social
conscience, our sense of what is best for both our
society and ourselves. The measure of our society
and its worth to humanity will be the extent to which
what needs to be done is done, by free choice and
without compulsion and the pleasure humanity gets in
the doing of it.

CO-OPERATION

As revolutionaries we argue for egalitarian structures
accountable and accessible to all. It seems most likely
that these structures will emerge from the workers
and community councils that the working class create
during the Revolution. We also foresee that a federal
structure will emerge globally to co-ordinate such
things as the production and distribution of resources,
determining the kinds of things that need to be done
and how to get them done, with decisions being taken
at the lowest appropriate level: the individual worker,
the small craft shop, the neighbourhood, the town,
industry or region and so on. Agriculture and industry
will be undertaken by communities that are part of
local and global networks distributing their produce.

PERSONAL CHOICE

pecific examples of changed social relations will serve
to show what we mean by social revolution. No human
being will be prepared or compelled to do particular
kinds of work. People may choose to continue a
tradition of particular kinds of work, going into the
same kinds of work as their peers (on the one hand) or
may choose an esoteric form of work they spend their
whole life learning how to do. Women will not have the
maintenance of the home and child-rearing as their
major social function, because such tasks will be the
responsibility of the whole community. Children will
do the work they can and want to do (and also have
time for education and leisure) as soon as they can.

It is a fundamental belief of anarchist communists
that the working class already have the skills needed
to run society. Not everyone has all of these, of
course, and equality does not mean that we all take it
in turns to perform heart surgery! Some specialisation
will be necessary. We will work as we want, so long as
the thing we are doing at the time meets our personal
and social needs. If you want to work long and hard at
a particular task you are free to do so, gaining the
fulfilment such action brings. If you wish to work a bit
here, then play, then work again at something else,
changing jobs as you like, travelling to different
places to do it, working with different people as your
mood determines, then do it.

The only lesson society will teach its members is that
there are times to work and to rest, to labour and to
play, to work hard or a little, to do what needs to be
done sometimes and what we want to do a lot, to use
our hands or our brains or both as needed, to find the
value in every activity and to have enjoyed the doing
and the not-doing in equal measure.

PRODUCTIVE WORK

Work will be more enjoyable because, unlike
capitalism, it will have a point to it and because we
will work in ways that maximise fulfilment, not profit.
Less pleasant but none the less necessary tasks will
be shared out entirely equally and the rest of our time
can be spent in enjoyable and creative pursuits. Of
course, fields will have to be ploughed, drains cleaned
and domestic work performed, but no one will be 'a
farm labourer', a 'sewage worker' or 'a housewife',
because these task will be shared out equally and
performed in collectively run farms, workplaces,
launderettes and crèches etc, and occupy the
minimum of time for each person (unless they like
doing them!). In addition, these tasks will no longer be
performed for a boss, a council bureaucracy or a
husband, because we will not be answerable to any
more powerful individual but to our anarchist
communist society, i.e. each other.

Don't get us wrong: we are not stakhanovites who
endlessly extol the pleasure and virtues of toil! If the
free society of the future can only be sustained by
long hours of drudgery and the self-abasement of the
people to the god 'production', we want none of it. But
we know, because it has been proven over and over
again, that the amount of necessary work that will be
shared amongst those people able to do it amounts to
no more than 2-3 hours, leaving the rest of the day for
play, creativity, sex, idleness, socialising, recreation,
study, whatever we want.

THE PLEASURE OF WORK: THE WORK OF
PLEASURE

The liberation of work can only come about with the
liberation from work, from the capitalist reduction of
life to work

Most work under capitalism is mindless and pointless,
unless you are a boss. All activity after the Revolution
will take place not for profit or the maintenance of the
status quo, as it does now, but for the fulfilment of the
individual, although never to the detriment of society.
There will be no place for useless work such as the
production of consumer goods for profit or the
maintenance of social control because these 'normal'
aspects of society will be irrelevant after the
Revolution. Each person will therefore have more time
on their hands, but this is fundamentally different to
'unemployment' because no one will be 'employed'.
Productive activity is an important way of developing
our inner-powers and expressing ourselves, in other
words being creative. As Alexander Berkman argues:

"We do not live by bread alone. True, existence is not
possible without opportunity to satisfy our physical
needs. But the gratification of these by no means
constitutes all of life. In a sensible society........ [t]he
feelings of human sympathy, of justice and right
would have a chance to develop, to be satisfied, to
broaden and grow."

Anarchists desire to change the nature of both work
and life and create a society based upon freedom in
all aspects of life. In the free society, the contribution
a person makes to society or the social value of work
will not be measured in economic terms as it is under
capitalism. It will not be measured at all. What matters
is that each individual feels that the work they do is
personally fulfilling. If it makes a positive contribution
to society as well, this is a bonus for us and you.

Work will become, primarily, the expression of a
person's pleasure in what they are doing and become
like an art - an expression of their creativity and
individuality. Work as an art will become expressed in
the workplace as well as the work process, with
workplaces transformed and integrated into the local
community and environment.

We hope that this short pamphlet about explains why
anarchists want to abolish work and seek to escape
the imposition of work upon us and upon the toiling
millions of the earth. We also hope that it leads you to
begin to question your own involvement in the world
of work and stimulate a desire to work for the
liberation of those millions. The future will decide
upon the nature of work in the future, of work as a
creative, liberating, productive and fulfilling activity.
To us falls the task of breaking our chains. What our
children make from them is their work and the only
work that will matter in the free society of our future.



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