What Is Your Relationship With Work?

by Andy Carloff - Date: 2009-08-17 - Word Count: 606 Share This!

"If society be held desirable, it surely must be free, equal, and reciprocal society, where benefits are conferred as well as received, and not such as the dependent finds with his patron or the poor with the rich."

--Thomas Malthus
"An Essay on the Principle of Population," Chapter 4, 1798.

"Still men accept servility in order to acquire wealth; as if they could acquire anything of their own when they cannot even assert that they belong to themselves, or as if anyone could possess under a tyrant a single thing in his own name."

--Étienne de La Boétie
"Discourse on Voluntary Servitude," 1548.

"The worker is in the position of a serf because this terrible threat of starvation which daily hangs over his head and over his family, will force him to accept any conditions imposed by the gainful calculations of the capitalist, the industrialist, the employer."

--Mikhail Bakunin
"The Capitalist System," ~1860's-1870's.

"The masses plod on, partly because their senses have been dulled by the deadly routine of work and because they must eke out an existence. This applies with even greater force to the political fabric of today. There is no place in its texture for free choice of independent thought and activity."

--Emma Goldman
"The Place of the Individual in Society," 1940.

Everything in your life is determined by your relationship with work. Your opportunity to make money, to satisfy your wants, is all dependent upon your job.

Your wages translate into your daily existence. Paying for rent, food, and bills, everything requires that you have money; and working is the only option available for the majority of the population. If you have a family, then your wages also translates into satisfying their needs; paying for baby food, diapers, child day care, school supplies, college, and an endless amount of costs.

You are dependent upon your work. Whether you can eat or not, whether you have a place to sleep or not, everything in your life depends on your job.

What happens when your company mismanages itself? Or what about a recession, where many companies mismanage themselves? Unemployment rises, and you could be laid off or fired. You needed the company for food and a place to live. But the owner only needed it to pay for their yacht and mansion.

And beyond that, you have no control over your terms of work. The hours you work, which department you work in, where you work in the building, the rules on dress code and keeping track of time -- all of this is organized by your manager. You spend four to eight hours a day doing this job, and you know it better than anyone else. Your ideas would make your job easier for you, or they could make it more efficient. But you have absolutely no control over how to organize your job. You are powerless over the thing that you need: your work.

Your boss and supervisor don't make things better for you. Their sole job is to make decisions over positions and jobs that they don't do. Then they collect a significantly higher paycheck, which is paid for with the work that you do. To make sure they're helpful to the company, they'll make many small changes to your job. Instead of helping you, they'll suffocate you in micromanagement. For this or that reason, your job will keep changing every week, without much change to efficiency.

If you want to become independent of work, form a union with your co-workers. No single laborer has liberated themselves from their dependence on work; it has always required all of us acting together, for our own shared interests. It is the same as all past revolutions. Collective action to create individual liberty!


Related Tags: employment, career, work, job, ceo, corporate, investor, boss, economics, union, employer, autonomy, exploit, exploitation, capitalist, industrialist

Punkerslut (or Andy Carloff) has traveled all across the United States and has experienced American life in the urban centers, as a homeless squatter and as a blue-collar, working-class laborer. Since high school and early development, he has composed a variety of ideas on education, politics, and economy. His positions are ultra-leftist: politically an Anarchist, economically a Socialist, and culturally a Syndicalist. His writings are available through his website: www.punkerslut.com

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