Work does not redeem but rather embrutes

This text was originally published by Antagonismo, a Mexican anarchist project, on May 6th, 2018. What follows is our translation.

This text was distributed on May 1st, 2018 in Mexico City, at the end of the usual union procession, celebrating Worker’s Day.

No, we don’t love work;
We hate it.
It is not our liberation,
It condemns us!
It does not raise up or free us of vices;
It beats us down
And morally annihilates us
To such a degree
That is leaves us incapacitated. (1)


Dispossessed of everything that would allow us to recognize ourselves as human beings, we continue to live in the time of being chained to boring and absurd jobs. What do we have? What is it that we possess? All kinds of debt: rent, cell phone bills, car payments and the costs of all the rags which show that we’re hip. What is really ours? A mocking and miserable future which awaits us at every second with only one real affirmation, the sole certainty our lives hold:  to be owners of nothing but our labor power: our minds, arms, legs, vaginas, asses that we sell to the highest bidder, who will pay us whatever dollar amount, who will be the owner of our body & mind, our dreams and wishes.

Work is servitude, we are somebody else’s workers bought off for their stores, factories, offices, fields; we study so that we can serve them some day, so that even our intellectual studies in the best and worst schools also belong to them; selling in the street and being our own bosses is not synonymous with freedom; we sell what others produce, we are only our own capacities; all these ways of getting by only show that we are all part of production relations placed upon our shoulders throughout history; we are the product of past failures, we are a class of humans that only are united to serve, to produce and to consume.

We work to survive and to perpetuate the capitalist system; we work to get commodities that gives us a certain value which allows us to enter into a competition to better sell ourselves; our work is not our own; we are useless and easily replaceable; our need is no longer to be able to survive the inclemencies of nature, our needs have been extended to the way we survive; we are obliged to walk in the ream of the thing, in which we are but another commodity which is infinitely exchanged for other commodities; every day we create a new need to extend and create a new production line and to this end we lead our lives: we are strangers unto ourselves and those around us; our sole truth is to work, make money, to encourage the exchange of ourselves and things in this capitalist style; the final product is happiness, or at least what they tell us is is or should be.

Our free time is not ours, it is an extension of work on our shoulders; it is the time where we recover our strength, so that we may work return to work in a few hours or in a few days… no one escapes the organism which keeps the machine alive.

Everything is premeditated and calculated, ready for us; ready to initiate and ever-perpetuate the cycle of production; by way of ideology we are inculcated with respect for authority; they send us off to schools so that we may qualify to be workers in some branch – though the one we choose doesn’t matter, we are free choose who exploits us as we see fit!

They tell us that work dignifies us, they inject us with the discourse of honor found in producing something which others find useful; they encourage us to not remove a single gear in the social machinery which supports this necrophile system.

We have the right to work…to work so as to not die.

We have the right to create wealth by producing, pulling and extracting it from the Earth, but the great majority of us who work will have have no access to them… Have you ever thought about how ridiculous that you work making coats while your children only have a few rags to cover their misery? Have you felt hunger standing in front of exquisite delicacies? We’ve felt hunger, we’ve felt cold but we have settled for this downgrade, we have settled for the leftovers… the worst thing is that this absurd and maddening humility is not something we’ve thought up ourselves but rather thought up by the ideology which tells us to settle for rot while it reserves wealth for those who maintain this system; this system which engenders in itself the lie that keeps it alive and which we reproduce and if we don’t want to settle for having so little then fucking get to work! Work hard and you can be somebody, work hard and you will have what you want… that’s what they tell us.

This production system of wage labor, this form of relating to each other as commodities is capitalism and its structure has divided humanity into two antagonistic classes, both which work in some way to maintain this system; nonetheless, one which openly enjoys the benefits of defending it above all at the expense of the blood and pain or millions throughout the history of the mode of production; these two humanities are continuously at war, one side will never give up on their mission, the other has historically refused to assume role imposed by the other character, who will die of hunger if they don’t work, who make up the dead of wars for power, who want everything for everyone and which has no mothers for itself…

The bourgeoisie’s and capitalist monster’s game has been dealt and played, their movements on the board are played by pawns disguised and labeled as trade unionists, the religious, political parties, telecommunications buffoons who proclaim here and there their ideology of death; their mission is our voluntary acceptance and resignation to the reproduction of this reality.

To feel that it’s all pretty shitty is not difficult, neither is viewing this reality and wanting to throw up; no one else but ourselves can reveal what we feel facing this exploitation and the lack of satiation of our needs;  it’s not complicated to recognize ourselves as interchangeable trinkets on the market; what is truly difficult is to cease assigning ourselves some value like vulgar objects, to cease to be a production relation, to cease to be a piece of meat selling ourselves; what is difficult is understanding that to work more and more only benefits Capital and not those we care for; what is difficult is to catch a glimpse of our capacity to create another way of living and fight for it…

Improving our condition as workers does not point to the real problem and neither is it a triumph, nor does it represent true well-being; to claim ourselves as workers or to have worker’s pride, to believe ourselves worthy before an imposed morality by being workers does not signify anything else but a garbage ideology; a heroic discourse by which they have kept us servile in their world.

“The more we work the less time we have to dedicate ourselves to intellectual or ideal activities; the less we can enjoy life, its beauty, the satisfaction which it can offer us; the less we enjoy of its joys, its pleasures, its love.”(2)

We are are the negated, the exploited, the betrayed…over and over again.

We are the part of humanity which daily struggles to survive, but we also wage war against Capital; we are not workers, we are exploited proletarians and we do not want to be such; we want another way to be, another way to live; we want to live and we struggle like grass against concrete, like the sea we want to transcend the rocky beach; we don’t want to manage the means of production — factories, schools, prisons, offices, restaurants, politics, the State, the police, preachers — we want to destroy it all — we don’t want to save anything from this world, we want to build another.

We do not want to celebrate, commemorate or offer odes to work, but rather we want to struggle everyday, every moment against it and against the totality which is capitalism; the best commemoration, the best evocation for those who have struggled against this system materializes in the action, in the extension and propagation of the anti-capitalist struggle; escaping from the myths, breaking with the supposed alternatives, clarifying the content of our struggles; we have no other certainty than the need for the effective destruction of the capitalist system; we want to create so as to satisfy our needs, we want to create so as to place things in common, the proletariat will wipe out this system when, far from all ideology and falsification, it struggles together to destroy itself as proletariat/commodity and to build itself as humanity.


1 & 2.- Severino Di Giovanni, The Right to Laziness and Individual Expropriation…The complete text (in Spanish) can be read here.

The original flyer (in Spanish) can be read here.





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