Fifth Estate Collective
Workers of the world...Relax!
The revolt against work
This was the centerfold of the May 1–7, 1975 (we were a weekly then!) Fifth Estate, as part of a special Mayday supplement. The drawing is by Gilbert Shelton, of “Fabulous, Furry, Freak Brothers” fame.
Capitalist work is a slavemaster and a thief; it steals from us our time, our creativity, our health, our humanness. It forces us to work where we don’t want, when we don’t want, to create things we don’t want for people we don’t want. Wage labor is the root of the system that robs us all of our human potential and at the same time it cannot exist without our willful cooperation in it each day we work.
Wage work erodes craftsmanship. Wage work erodes human relationships. Wage work fosters the industrial system which fouls the earth. Wage work forces us at the other end of our activity to become passive consumers of endless streams of worthless commodities. Wage work makes us passive spectators of our lives. “Everything that was once directly lived has moved away into a representation.”