Labour / Work

The agrarian cycle is all or nothing. Either the work needs to be done or there is no work to be done. It is cyclical. It follows natural seasons. It is meaningful and useful work. No alienation. Productivity is driven by the amount of work there is to be done, not some arbitrary figure dreamed up in a bland office building somewhere. Inactivity (leisure) is just as valid as labour and certainly more valid than prescribed pseudo-activity.

The Industrial cycle is Fordist, mechanised, dehumanising, but involved nonetheless with the business of actual work. Leisure starts to become reified. Alienation begins.

The post-industrial pattern remains regimented but the veneer of productivity has worn thin and work is meaningless, dull, alienating and false. Leisure is totally reified to the point where labour is self-justifying and the our entire lives are subject to the whims of capital. Regulated commodified leisure is the enemy of spontaneity.

The structural nature of relations demands that labour power is bought for less than it is worth, creating a surplus – capital.

What looks like an exchange of equivalence is actually systemic exploitation.

Does the economy work for human beings or do human beings work for the economy?

Industrialisation creates ruthless exploitation but also the tools needed to escape a world of scarcity.

It is down to us to seize the initiative.

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clever lying

Pascal says: ‘Kneel down

move your lips in prayer

and you will believe.’

In western post-Fordist

capitalism we are taught

to consume a niche

and we will be

rendered whole

our work will become

valid and worthwhile

ideology is based on

false assumptions

its all a big lie

a big fucking lie

and we go along

for the ride

a short story about work

it was february and i’d been unemployed and skint for months, my jsa and housing benefit wasn’t enough so my private debt was increasing at a frankly staggering pace. I was desperate. I got a job interview through one of those agencies. It was a phone interview and I aced it. The job was at a call centre. The first week was ‘training’, or… more accurately… dehumanisation, brainwashing, the implementation of a unique form of doublespeak, the process of rooting yr world within a limited perimiter where the only thing that counts is ‘the targets’. We were taught to never take no for an answer and to manipulate vulnerable people into giving us money that they couldn’t afford. On the last day after the training was over we were tested. I passed which was hardly surprising to me, the criteria seemed to be that you had to be either an idiot or good at lying. I’m both. The week’s training crushed my soul into sharp fragments. Sorry boss I need to go home, shards of soul just punctured my ribcage.

On my first day proper I didn’t even make it to the office floor. I had to get up very early, the breakfast team were on teevee and I hate them. Then I had to cycle across town in the snow, that was shit. After locking up my bike I walked to the front desk and felt the id card in my pocket, then I turned around and walked out of there. I spent the day feeding ducks in the park, then I had an impromptu snowball fight with strangers. Must we sacrifice our dignity and morality in order to survive?