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Against labour-for life

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Against labor - for life

Call for a demonstration 6 May 2003

In every society people will build houses and produce food and other necessities. Of course it would make no sense to protest against that. But we declare that labor is only one particular, historical way that people satisfy their needs:

  1. Labor is an activity done to earn money.
  2. Labor is split off from the rest of life, a separate sphere operating under the logic of business management.
  3. Labor is absolutely necessary to produce surplus value and thus maintain capitalism. Labor and capitalism are two sides of the same coin.

The goal of capitalism, and thus also of labor, is not to fulfill any concrete need but rather the constant accumulation of money. If it turns to profit, every shit can be done. So for example no houses are built when money isn't there for them, even though they're needed and there are people with the necessary knowledge and time to do the work and even though enough raw materials and machines are available. Again, labor's objective goal is to make money, not to satisfy concrete needs. Labor and concrete needs are subjugated to the laws of finance. A scandal: human existence has to be worth it! Only those who can sell the commodity of their working power are permitted to exist. Which means on the other hand that those who don't sell their working power cannot exist.

With increasing computerization the sale of the commodity working power is becoming increasingly superfluous. The system of labor is finding itself in a crisis. As a fatal consequence of this crisis, people run after the few jobs still available and do them even under the worst conditions. This is because many people have an absolute belief in the system of labor and the deeper in crisis that system comes, the more they are pushed to believe that labor will solve their problems. Every child knows that full employment will never again be achieved, but still this fact is not publicly acknowledged. For the public, clever plans are concocted to fight unemployment, but from the start these political plans are measured only on the scale on which labor is based: money. Every well meaning concept is humbled before the seat of financial judgement. When speaking off the record, even proponents of these sad political concepts admit that they don't really believe in them.

Systematic hypocrisy makes good company with systematic repression: the two are unified in the institutions of the Abeitsamt and the Sozialamt. Measures like PSA, temp-worker companies, Billiglohn, Ich-AG, and senseless continuing education programs are nothing more than lies to maintain compulsory labor. Who after the third such measure would still seriously believe that they will be employed again? The Harz concept is nothing more than a further step towards social apartheid.

Plodding Ressentiments with an undercurrent of fear are widespread among those who cannot sell their commodity working power. In social darwinist arguments, those who fall between the cracks are called parasites and cynicaly told to find a job. We are feeling only too clearly that the titanic boat of labor is getting smaller all the time and there is space for fewer and fewer people at the rudder.

But it is not our goal to only take the side of those people who don't have jobs any more. The system of labor is not only unfair for those who are left out of it, but also for those who are trapped in it. Under the law of "It has to be worth it", most activities become one big impertinence. To repeat the same stupid and nerve-killing actions eight or more hours a day is the reality of most working people. And even the few who like their jobs would admit that if it wasn't for the necessity of profit, their activities would look very different.

This is about an alliance against labor, an alliance of employed and unemployed people, an alliance for the fulfillment of people's needs. We must break with the principle of labor, with the criterion of finance, with the principle of effectiveness in business. All of these cut people off from fulfilling their needs, endangers their existence, and forces them into senseless activity. A first step for an alliance against labor would be public discussion about the indefensible system of labor. We don't promise a Schlaraffenland, but we are certain that a society is possible in which the concrete needs of people are the center point, not money, because capitalism is not a law of nature.

When the principle of labor puts human existence into question, then it's high time to question the principle of labor.

Against labor - for people

Employed and unemployed people from thüringen


Letzte Aktivitäten 2004. Die Kritik der Arbeit bleibt aktuell.