View Full Version : Free Work Versus Forced Employment

08-14-2008, 04:07 AM
Free work versus forced employment

Why do you go to work? Is it because you enjoy what you do? Did you choose to work at what you do in the way you do? Would you do your job were it not for the money?
A few lucky people can do what they like. These include a certain class of people who have the economic privilege of not needing to work. They can live by exploiting the work of others. This exploitation enables them to live by appropriating rent, interest and profit. They can do what they like with their lives. They can sleep all day. They can travel. They can spend their time shooting animals for fun or shooting drugs into their bodies. If they wish, they can be philanthropists and "do good" for the poor—who are poor only because the rich are rich.
While the capitalist minority who own and control the means of producing and distributing wealth are free not to have to work, the majority of us are unfree. We are dependent upon working in order to obtain a wage or salary. We sell our mental and physical abilities in a relationship called employment.
Work and employment are not the same. Humans need to work because work is the expenditure of energy and unless we use some of it we rot away. Even the most parasitical aristocratic layabout occasionally does the odd stroke of work. Looking after a garden or painting pictures or cooking fine food are all work activities, but if you do them freely they are not employment. To be employed is to work for someone else: to be at their beck and call; to be given money by them in return for producing values for them. Capitalists will only employ workers if there is a prospect of them making a profit out of us. They make their profit by receiving from us more value than the value of our wages or salaries. Without this surplus value they would not employ us - which is why millions of able-bodied and skilled people who want to find jobs are unemployed; there is no prospect of a profit in making them work. There is no point in asking the capitalists to give everyone employment regardless of profit. That would not be in their interests and we should not expect them to invest in us unless they can exploit us.
So, the majority works not by choice but in an unfree relationship of employment. We are wage or salary slaves. We are employed not for the good of our health but so that capitalists can live in luxury without working. Employment is a form of institutionalised exploitation - or legalised robbery.

A World Without Wages

Most of us want to work. What we hate is employment. We want to work for ourselves, our families and friends, our community, not some thieving parasite who can laugh as long as we're dependent on his wages.
The abolition of wage slavery is no less than the abolition of class society. Because there are only two main classes left in society today--capitalists and workers—the abolition of capitalist exploitation must mean the beginning of free labour.
How will work be organised in a socialist society? Everyone who can work will work. They will work at what they do best, not for wages but as co-operative contributors to society. In return for giving according to their abilities they will be free to take from the common store according to their needs. There will be no wages. There will be no money. Instead of the market there will be free access for all to goods and services. It will be a more relaxed society. People in a socialist society will not have jobs but will do work. It is unlikely that any of us will choose to do only one kind of work all week or between the ages of sixteen and sixty-five. It is quite probable that the hours each week that each of us will be needed to work will be less than at present. Certainly, working conditions will be pleasant--because the object of work will be social satisfaction and not pumping as much toil out of each person as is humanly possible. People in a socialist society will have much more control than now over how their work is organised; the labour process will be democratised and no longer under the dictatorship of Capital and its managerial Gestapo.
Under capitalism what we call leisure is a snatched period of free time to use for rest and relaxation. In a socialist society the distinction between work and leisure will diminish—perhaps even disappear. People will have an opportunity to use their hobbies and enthusiasms for the social good: to enjoy being useful. Whereas now much of the work that most workers perform is totally useless—from counting money to making munitions to guarding property—every human in a socialist society will know that their work is part of a process of producing for use.
We are not presenting the socialist alternative of a world without wages as a utopian dream for the century after next. This is practical now. Socialism is the sensible next step for humankind to take, away from a social system that wastes our energies, abuses or skills and stunts or creativity.


08-14-2008, 04:15 AM
This worked really, really well for the USSR.

08-14-2008, 04:17 AM
Now wait a second.

This is a post with very little actual content, and a lot of political propaganda.

It doesn't belong here.

I'm personally thoroughly annoyed that you've posted a political screed, in its entirely, taken from a blog (http://theworldsocialist.blogspot.com/2008/08/free-work-versus-forced-employment.html).

You don't cite it, nor do you indicate that you have the rights nor do you sign it.

You need to go read the Newbie Guide right now, and contemplate things like ethics and the socio-cultural phenomena of online communities.

08-14-2008, 04:23 AM
Do you know what any of this means, or is it just parroting for the sake of it?

And do you maintain the MySpace link, or did you "borrow" that, too?

08-14-2008, 04:30 AM

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-14-2008, 04:35 AM
You're too quick for me, Lisa! I was googlin' and you were postin'. ;)

08-14-2008, 04:36 AM
Maybe his next piece will be "The Wrong Foot, and How To Get Off On It."

08-14-2008, 04:46 AM
And do you maintain the MySpace link

I just had to check out that link, although I very rarely have clicked on personal links like myspace. I think this is the second time ever.

I noticed how the USSR, Cuba, and China 'don't count'. So much for the 'Great Experiment', eh?

Silver King
08-14-2008, 04:50 AM
Plagiarism notwithstanding, as a business owner who has hired and worked with hundreds of people for more than twenty years, I take exception to nearly every ill-conceived argument brought up in the OP's passage.

I'd share my thoughts freely right now and cite my experiences if the original post hadn't been lifted from another site without attribution. But at this point, I prefer not to respond to what amounts to the theft of intellectual property.

08-14-2008, 04:52 AM
Thread under mod review.