An Anti-Work Excerpt from “Steal this Article”, by Charles Davis

Charles Davis of False Dichotomy

It should go without saying but I am neither endorsing nor opposing the morality of stealing.

Everyone hates their boss. Despite all those empty words about the office as a “team,” we all know there’s a hierarchy: The workplace is a coercive environment, and you’re not the one doing the coercing. You are not there because you want to be there, but because the alternative is impoverishment, a fact your boss knows as well as you. No matter how cool the guy or gal in charge, they can ruin your life as soon it becomes convenient. The company your labor helped build could dismiss you any day now.

Besides the constant risk of dismissal, we all know that there’s nothing “fair” about work; those who do the most of it are never the ones to reap most of its benefits, and that careerists who say what those in charge want to hear fare better than the ones who tell those in charge the truth.

Collective action is the ideal, but individual direct actions aren’t without merit, least of all to the individuals in question. You can always lift office supplies at the same time you try to organize fellow office workers.

Consider working less. Not working fewer hours (you get paid for those), but expending less effort. Slow down, speed racer. Worker productivity is not a good thing in the context of capitalism and it should raise a few red flags that those most invested in increasing it are the idle rich. They want you to work harder so they can pay you less. Indeed, Americans are already working harder than ever, the productivity of the average employee increasing more than 80 percent in the last 25 years. That increase in productivity has created an amazing amount of wealth, just not for those who produced it. Don’t feel lousy about taking some of it back from those who took it from you.

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