Following Peter’s lead, I’m attempting a Labor Day post that involves as little actual labor on my part as possible.
From Wayne Koestenbaum’s Humiliation, which I’m currently making my way through:
“Employment is humiliating. Who hasn’t heard–or told–a story about workplace humiliation. My boss is a monster. My employees call me Fatso behind my back: I’ve read their emails. In the TV show The Office, the smarmy boss cheerfully humiliates his staff, and the show is a hit, because any working person want to reinterpret daily indignities–the pus-filled blister of functioning within a bureaucracy–as farce, a style of theater that, as political catalyst, may be more effective than melodrama.”
The Whitest Kids U Know:
From Antonio Negri’s “Proletarians And The State”:
“The offensive against work, against the time of enslavement under the boss’s command, the offensive against the wage, that is, the demand for a socially unifying wage that can recompose the struggle, the manifestation of the recomposed unity of productive social labor against the social extraction of profit and the state guarantee of capitalist reproduction: at this turning point the workers know that these objectives cannot be attained in union or party contract negotiation, but only in the form of decrees, or rather in the conquest and destruction of the bosses’ state as the first act of dictatorship. The drastic reduction of labor time, equal social wages for all, the end of the division of labor and the obligation to productive labor, and the liberation of invention-power are the workers’ and proletarian objectives that are growing in the continuous everyday struggle, that are necessarily transforming themselves into a political program of proletarian dictatorship against the state.”
From Union of Arsonists, a pamphlet by The Phoenix Class War Council:
“There’s a saying that goes like this: ‘That’s an idea so ridiculous only an intellectual could believe it.’ Well, it’s the same with the organizers of the working class. The bosses are right about us. We hate work, we hate our jobs and we hate them. They are right to distrust us. Pride in work as we know it is an idea so ridiculous only a union organizer could believe it because the truth of the workweek is something quite different. Biting your tongue, hiding in the bathroom, grabbing a smoke or pretending to be doing something are the most common activities at any modern job.
Working in a call center and get hung up on? Let it hang there for a few minutes. No need to rush. Just let that dial tone ring for a bit and grab back part of your life a few minutes at a time. That’s the reality. Who would want to democratize most of this? Can you imagine the drudgery of the Slurpee committee meeting at the collectivized 7-11? Surely better just to put it to the torch and be done with all illusions. No thanks, budding union bureaucrats: the arsonist is a much better shop steward these days.”
If you like this article, please subscribe.