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CLAWS: Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery

On The Leisure Track

From: Why Work

by D. JoAnne Swanson

I am job-free. Out of the rat race. Unemployed, as they say, but definitely by choice. My self-esteem is intact, thank you, I'm not "in transition", and I have no intention of getting a job again.

That's right – I'm on the leisure track permanently. I don't have a cushy nine-to-five job with profit-sharing, "security", stock options, health insurance, advancement opportunities, or free parking.

Beast of Burden – Rolling Stones – live L.A. '02

From:  Able Danger

IN PRAISE OF THE NATIONAL DIVIDEND

by Brian Simpson

In their paper “Major Douglas’ Proposals for a National Dividend: A Logical Successor to the Wage” (International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 21, 1994, pp. 19-28), Brian Burkitt and Frances Hutchinson defend Major C.H. Douglas’ idea of a national dividend. Conventional economies are based on the exponential growth in production from technological change, which with labour-saving inevitably leads to unemployment. To counter this, Douglas proposed placing “every citizen on a level economic playing-field” with a proposal “derived from the view that all social production originates in a common cultural inheritance of past invention, with present individual effort playing a secondary role”. In doing this, Douglas wished to provide “citizens with freedom to select employment and consumption patterns according to non-market criteria, i.e., to turn economic theory into a tool rather than a dictator of policy”.

van_gogh-noon_rest_from_workFrom: Deoxy.org – by Antler

Are the executives of oil steel aluminum plastic military industrial capitalism to be looked up to as Great Men and Women to be held as fitting examples of enlightened human beings? Or are they miserable failures of greed who betray the Earth and the promise of America? Is who invented napalm to be honored? Is who invented nerve gas to be honored? Slavery did not end. Almost eneryone enslaved to earthdeath accomplish jobs.

A new Emancipation Proclamation is needed. Liberation from an 8 hour day 5 day workweek to a 5 hour day 1 day workweek getting paid the same amount. Or how about a 12 hour day 7 day playweek? Or maybe keep only the least harmful factories and everyone has to factory once during their life for a year, the rest free to learn and create art, travel to wilds and other lands, like Huxley's Island? We think working 8 hours a day a great advance over the time when workers, even children, worked 14 hours a day for lousy wages and conditions. It is better, but 8 hours a day is still too long!

shieldFrom: Deoxy.org

Karl Marx once said that the working class is the only class capable of self-emancipation. But how are workers supposed to free themselves when they are divided by unionization, occupation, income, sex and race? Where will the force, let alone the desire for freedom come from if industrial and agricultural workers shrink to a small percentage of the total workforce? And how can rebellious intellectuals be included in the worker's struggle for freedom? Marx's ideas about the political party, the importance of industrial workers, and the unity of communist militants were meant to answer these questions from the viewpoint that human identity and community are the products of human work.

Work in advanced, industrialized, capitalist societies has become a bore however. Human work doesn't just define human identity and community under present conditions, it strangles their potential by destroying human creativity. Therefore the current Revolt Against Work is nothing less than the first fumbling steps of working class self-emancipation for our times.

stacksFrom: Deoxy.org

Reconsidering work and 'leisure time'

Did you ever wonder why your parents act so disoriented when it comes to 'leisure' activities? Why they start one little hobby, and either fail to follow through with it or become pathologically obsessed with it... even though it doesn't seem to have anything to do with their lives? Maybe they seek to lose themselves in gardening or following the exploits of some basketball team. Maybe your father buys all sorts of fancy tools (the kind of tools many men his age have), but only uses them for a few days before setting them aside — and then buys a lot of skiing equipment the next month. Or perhaps they just spend their time trying figure out how to pay off the debt they owe for that wide screen television they spend the rest of their time watching.

And--have they ever been honest with you about their jobs? Do they enjoy them? Is their work the most fulfilling thing they could be doing, are they able to achieve every goal they always wanted to? Do they feel heroic or proud every day as they return home — or are they exhausted? Do they turn that wide screen television on as soon as they come in the door? Do they have the energy to do anything else?

Did you ever wonder if there might be a better way for them, for you?

aaw-zombiesFrom: Dexoy.org – by Len Bracken

Suggestions to the Slacker Generation on Commencing a Post-Workerist Revolution

Humans are congenitally allergic to work - they don't want to work whenever they have a chance not to work.

The sacrosanct notion of work is the cause of most of humanity's woes. Never trust the priests of work because they've poisoned their minds with it. For example, the quantity of economically necessary work declines, yet politicians and economists tell us that the only way to end unemployment is with more useless work. Why couldn't more people do much less?

businessman-has-rest-from-work-outside-of-city-on-natureFrom Deoxy.orgThe Revolution of Everyday Life – by Raoul Vaneigem
Chapter 5: The decline and fall of work

The obligation to produce alienates the passion for creation. Productive labour is part and parcel of the technology of law and order. The Working day grows shorter as the empire of conditioning expands.

In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy of the desire to create. What spark of humanity, of possible creativity, can remain alive in a being dragged out of sleep at six every morning, jolted about in suburban trains, deafened by the racket of machinery, bleached and steamed by meaningless sounds and gestures, spun dry by statistical controls, and tossed out at the end of the day into the entrance halls of railway stations, those cathedrals of departure for the hell of weekdays and the purgatory paradise of weekends, where the crowd communes in a brutish weariness?

kidfactoryFrom: Deoxy.org – by Penelope RosemontGreen Anarchy #15, Winter 2004

Work, now? Never, never. I'm on strike.Arthur Rimbaud

Depersonalization and alienation from our deepest desires is implanted during childhood via school, church, movies, and TV, and soon reaches the point where an individual's desire is not only a net of contradictions, but also a commodity like all the others. "True life" always seems to be just a bit beyond what a weekly paycheck and credit card can afford, and is thus indefinitely postponed. And each postponement contributes to the reproduction of a social system that practically everyone who is not a multimillionaire or a masochist has come to loathe.

That is the problem facing us all: How to break the pattern of work—of week-to-week slavery, that habit of habits, that addiction of addictions; how to detach ourselves from the grip of Self-Defeating Illusions For Sale, Inc., a.k.a, the corporate consumer State. Especially ingrained is that pattern of working for someone else: making someone else's "goods", producing the wealth that someone else enjoys, thinking someone else's thoughts (sometimes actually believing them one's own), and even dreaming someone else's dreams—in short, living someone else's life, for one's own life, and one's own dream of life, have long since been lost in the shuffle.

workfreeFrom: Deoxy.org – by Bob Black

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost all the evil you'd care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn't mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By "play" I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child's play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn't passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us [will] want [to] act. Oblomovism and Stakhanovism are two sides of same debased coin.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for "reality," the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously—maybe not—all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

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