Wala Mango posted:
“Work ethic” was a concept invented to make workers work willingly. They sure as fuck didn’t want to work for a boss. When early capitalism took away alternatives to wage labor, such as common farming land, it tied work with survival. Work ethic tricks the worker into thinking what he’s doing is morally superior to resisting through laziness! Early workers were lazy as hell. Also, taking away pleasures, rituals, boozing, etc. through religious ideals helps maintain a serious worker who will show up on time.
Work exists because of modern production. Capitalist work has always been unnecessary for survival. We only work to create surplus value for the benefit of capitalists. Now, it’s true that increasingly work and social life have been blending together, so modern production is becoming social production. For example, when Google ad-words mines your web activity. So you’re even creating value for corporate profits when you’re surfing the web in your leisure time. Along with just about every other form of worker reproduction (the things we do so we continue to be workers, such as raising children and cleaning), the hours of our actual jobs are not the only form of modern production. The lines between work and play have been blurring due to the commodification of everyday life. We buy love when we buy chocolates. Modern production, then, is affective.
Ever since the 60’s, maybe earlier, radicals have been arguing for abolishing the lines between what’s called “work” and what we would consider our fuller life. To have the freedom to be productive in whatever way we choose to. This production would satisfy human needs, rather than simply Capital. But this breakdown is exactly what’s happening, and Capital has colonized everything, and everything colonized is managed.
So, when we say that work sucks we also have to admit that everything sucks. But nobody needs to be told that.
People have always been trying to flee work. But their dreams have turned into nightmares, as people who need work can’t find it.
But luckily, you’re right. Everything we need to survive and more already exists. It’s up for the taking.