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Industrial Blindness and Social Deafness[1]

Working Class Trunks[2]

Move in Obedient Machinery[3]

I feel to be a Cog in Something Turning[4]

Where is this Division of Labor to End – and What Object shall it Finally Serve?[5]

His Individuality Blends ever more Closely with his Work – and seemingly Vanishes Entirely[6]

Teach me Just so much of the World that I can Fit into Certain Types of Labour[7]

Category of Work: Cleaning Birdshit out of Cuckoo Clocks[8]

They can Live only on Condition of being Machines[9]

This is not a Human – but a Co-Worker[10]


They Cannot do their Work – or will not be Paid Enough for doing it[11]

The Hours are Good – but most of the actual Minutes are pretty Lousy[12]

If you knew how Badly we were Paid – you wouldn’t Judge so Harshly[13]

Making Just Enough money to Pay the Salaries of the Workers’ Tormentors[14]

In proportion, as the Repulsiveness of the Work Increases – the Wage Decreases[15]

Obedient Workers: People who are just Smart enough to Work the Machines and do the

Paperwork, but just Dumb enough to accept all these Increasingly Shittier Jobs with the Lower

Pay, the Longer Hours, the Reduced Benefits, the End of Overtime, and the Vanishing Pensions[16]

Someone finally Stood up to the Minimum Wage Worker – and took them Down a few Pegs[17]

We Stand Outcast and Starving – ‘mid the Wonders we have Made[18]

Each man is doing his Life in Dreams for Wages, some Shit’s

Profits, and his own Payment on his Dreamed Family Plan[19]

Modern Man lives more Wretchedly than the Cave Man –

His Producing Power is a Thousand Times Greater[20]


Paid in Criticisms and Insults – as well as Pennies[21]

Bent by the Work he has Done – toward the Work he will Do[22]

A Man who can do Without Sleep – might earn Double Wages[23]

How Loud the Loneliness of Workers Abandoning Villages for Long Shifts[24]

Ever since I started Working, every single Day of my Life has been Worse than the one before[25]

You have become Blind and Deaf to the Rights of man to pursue Life and Happiness, and

You have Crushed those Rights so that the Sacred Rights of Property shall be Preserved[26]

People Yearn for Work, any Work, Harsh or Unsavory as it may be, to Drain the

Harshness from their Lives and Drive from their Minds the Killing Thoughts[27]

Now I All the Day Complain – Joining my Labour to my Pain[28]

Have I no Harvest – but Thorn to let me Blood[29]

I don’t need a Doctor – I need a Different Job[30]


Manager Nods Oppression[31]

Labour Wrought as Wavering Fancy Plans[32]

He who has a Boss is not the Master of his Burden[33]

Run, Run Rabbit Run, Dig that Hole, Forget the Sun, and when at

Last the Work is Done don’t sit down it’s Time to Start Another One[34]

One Man who does Absolutely Nothing that is Useful to amass a Fortune

Of Hundreds of Millions of Dollars, while Millions of Men and Women who

Work All the Days of their Lives secure Barely enough for a Wretched Existence[35]

You Sell your Life for Minimum Wage – now they get your Dreams for Free[36]

He sets them to Work – he gives back to them the Bare Minimum that

Will prevent them from Starving, and the Rest he Keeps for Himself[37]

If you Insist you deserve a Livelihood – you will be Persecuted[38]

Ere dawn my Labor Drives me Forth, tis Night when I am Free,

A Stranger am I to my Child and Stranger my Child to Me[39]

I Owe, I Owe, I Owe – so off to Work I Go[40]


We’ve at least Theoretically Abolished Slavery[41]

The Big Bee Flies High, the Little Bee Makes the Honey – the

Black Folks take the Cotton, and the White Folks get the Money[42]

Like something Sturdier than Time – the Agency Allots my Existence[43]

No prospect is more Hateful and Distasteful to him than that he should

Have to go to Conform to the Daily and Yearly Routine and Obey others[44]

No Relief from the glare of Fluorescent Lights, the Punishment and Drudgery of

Dailiness, a Job – the politics of Surviving in a context in which you have No Control[45]

They say “Trading Slaves is Unlawful” – but isn’t the Trading of Free people more a Crime[46]

They made it Past the Enemy Lines just to become Enslaved in the Assembly Lines[47]

The Masters Left in a Kind of Way – and the Slaves were Freed in a Kind of Way[48]

The Wages he Pays with One hand he Takes back with the Other[49]

The Bees Work, their Work is Taken from them –

We are like the Bees – but it Won’t Last Forever[50]


The Death Work Takes Over[51]

The Life I’ve always Wanted, I guess I’ll never have –

I’ll be Working for Somebody Else, until I’m in my Grave[52]

Was she Told when she was Young that Pain would lead to Pleasure?

Did she Understand it when they said that a man must Break his Back

To Earn his Day of Leisure – will she still Believe it when he’s Dead?[53]

In order to get Work out of men and women who have Nothing to Gain

Except the Absence of Pain, you have to be willing to Beat, Maim and Kill[54]

There are so Many of us for One Job it matters little if 143 of us are Burned to Death[55]

I can Hire One Half of the Working Class – to Kill the Other Half[56]

You Work for a Living – Why do you Kill yourself Working?[57]

The Bosses ride fine Horses while we Walk in the Mud, their

Banner is the Dollar Sign – while ours is Striped with Blood[58]

“We’re out of a Job” – “Don’t you mean Extinct?”[59]

Take their Wages – and are Dead[60]


He’s never held a Job in any of his Lives that’s quite up his Alley[61]

The Labor power of their bodies has been Wrenched Away from

Their Heads, where their Thoughts and Imaginings continue, but De-

Prived now of the Possession of their own Days and Working Energy[62]

Assigning a Body Endowed with a Noble Spirit to an Inferior Profession[63]

The Strongest and Smartest men who have ever Lived are Pumping Gas and Waiting Tables[64]

He has a Depth of Feeling and a Quickness of Thought that are quite a Contrast to his Profession[65]

What I Dream of is the very thing it’s Lacking in: it’s Work without Poetry – without Meaning[66]

How may we have Pride in Our Work when the Entire Basis for this Work is Immoral?[67]

Working for Wages only takes care of the Body – the Soul is Another Matter entirely[68]

He has a Rooted Dislike to any sort of Work by which a man may Earn his Living[69]

I am Tired of Planning and Toiling in the crowded Hives of Men –

Heart-Weary of Building and Spoiling, and Spoiling and Building

Again … for a Dreamer lives Forever and a Toiler Dies in a day[70]


A Shorter Day – means Bigger Pay[71]

We are but Warriors for the Working Day[72]

Our Lives shall not be Sweated from Birth until life Closes[73]

The Hours are Long, the Pay is Small – so Take your Time and Buck them all[74]

Love can’t Flourish in a Society based upon Money and Meaningless Work: it

Requires Complete Economic as well as Personal Freedom, Leisure time and the

Opportunity to Engage in Intensely Absorbing, Emotionally Satisfying Activities[75]

As more humans Awaken – the word Work is going to Disappear from our Vocabulary[76]

Come unto to me All ye who Labor and are Heavy Laden – and I will Give you Rest[77]

I have not been Employed – and therefore have become Accomplished in the Arts[78]

I take a Long Lunch Hour – All Day sometimes[79]

You ought to Spare the World your Labor[80]


Capital Never could have Existed without Labor –

Hence Labor is Superior, Greatly Superior to Capital[81]

We find Capitalists ever Watchful of their Interests – why

Should not Laborers be Equally Watchful of their interests[82]

As the Laborer becomes more Intelligent he will Develop what Capital al-

Ready possesses – the power to Combine and Organize for its own Protection[83]

Let us Divide our Labours – thou where Choice Leads thee, or where Most Needs[84]

We shall never cease to Demand more until we have Received the Results of our Labor[85]

Direct Action: the Workers on the Job shall Tell the Boss When and Where

He shall Work, how Long, for what Wages and Under what Conditions[86]

Whoever Produces anything by Weary Labor does not need a Revelation

From Heaven to teach him that he has a Right to the Thing Produced[87]

Those whose Labor and Life-Activity have been Keeping the Coun-

Try Running are Precisely the people who should Run the Country[88]

They have taken Untold Millions that they never Toiled to Earn

But without our Brain and Muscle not a Single Wheel can Turn[89]

When the Workers set about it Practically on a Mass Scale, they

Will Organize it a Hundred Times better than any Theoretician[90]


Love and Work are Cornerstones to our Humanness[91]

Beautiful Hands are those that do Work that is Honest and

Brave and True, Moment by Moment the Long Day through[92]

Oh may we Find our Hands have done Work of Glorious Pains[93]

We put the Thought of All that we Love – into All that we Make[94]

For all Employments – we have more Regard to Good Morals than to Great Abilities[95]

That our Loyalty to one Another and our Loyalty to our Work not be set in False Conflict[96]

She longs for Work which is directly Beneficent like the Sunshine and the Rain[97]

A Work remains – the work of Surpassing All we have Done[98]

Let us Labor also that we may Pass into Eternal Blessedness[99]

Large Professions – and Little Deeds[100]

[1] Helen Keller, Why I Became a Socialist

[2] Miller Oberman, This and That at the Frick

[3] George Barker, Sacred Elegy: Separation of Man from God

[4] Joni Mitchell, Woodstock

[5] Henry David Thoreau, Walden

[6] Ernst Cassirer & James Haden on Immanuel Kant, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[7] Sipho Sepamla, Measure for Measure

[8] Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

[9] Joseph Conrad, An Outpost of Progress

[10] Olga Ravn tr. Martin Aitken, The Employees

[11] E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

[12] Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

[13] Franz Kafka tr. John Williams, The Trial

[14] Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

[15] Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

[16] George Carlin, Life is Worth Losing

[17] Jimmy Dore, Sentenced to Live

[18] Jane Sapp, Pete Seger & Si Kahn, Solidarity Forever

[19] Alan Dugan, Morning at Speed Products

[20] Jack London, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[21] George Monbiot, Kleptoremuneration

[22] Wendell Berry,Grief

[23] Homer tr. Samuel Butler, The Odyssey

[24] Naomi Shihab Nye, Gray Road North From Shenzhen

[25] Mike Judge, Office Space

[26] Jack White, American Syndicalism

[27] Philip Roth, Indignation

[28] Andrew Marvell, Damon the Mower

[29] George Herbert, The Harvest

[30] Sylvester Stallone, Rocky

[31] Rayon Lennon, Follow Me

[32] John William Burgon, Pedra

[33] Bambara proverb

[34] Pink Floyd, Breathe

[35] Eugene Debs, Statement to the Court, September 18, 1918

[36] Richard Linklater, Waking Life

[37] George Orwell, Animal Farm

[38] Patrick Durgin, Case Comparison

[39] Morris Rosenfeld, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[40] Bumper sticker, quoted by Arnold Stead in Always on Strike

[41] Primo Levi tr. Raymond Rosenthal, Dear Horace

[42] Lead Belly, quoted in Preface to Book of Dissent

[43] Hilary Leichter, Temporary

[44] Hermann Hesse tr. Basil Creighton, Steppenwolf

[45] Alexandra Grilikhes, But What Is Our Happiness?

[46] Abu Salma, My Country on Partition Day

[47] Regina Spektor, Blue Lips

[48] Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

[49] Pullman Workers, Statement to the American Railway Union

[50] Langston Hughes, Black Workers

[51] Hanif Kureishi, Weddings and Beheadings

[52] Tracy Chapman, Mountains O’ Things

[53] John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Girl

[54] Edmund Morgan, quoted by Paul LeBlanc in A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[55] Rose Shneiderman, on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, quoted by Paul LeBlanc in A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[56] Jay Gould, quoted by Paul LeBlanc in A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[57] Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, & Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

[58] Aunt Molly Jackson, I Am a Union Woman

[59] David Koepp, Jurassic Park

[60] A.E. Houseman, Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

[61] Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

[62] John Berger, And Our Hearts, My Face, Brief As Photos

[63] Giovanni Boccaccio tr. Wayne Rebhorn, The Decameron

[64] Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

[65] Hans Christian Andersen, What the Moon Saw

[66] Anton Chekhov tr. Constance Garnett, Three Sisters

[67] Honeywell Worker (on Cluster Bombs), quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[68] Arnold Stead, Always on Strike

[69] Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle

[70] John Boyle O’Reilly, The Cry of a Dreamer

[71] Bill Haywood, quoted by Arnold Stead in Always on Strike

[72] William Shakespeare, Henry V

[73] Lawernce Strikers, Bread and Roses

[74] IWW Jingle, quoted by Arnold Stead in Always on Strike

[75] Valerie Solanas,SCUM Manifesto

[76] Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

[77] Matthew 11:28 (King James)

[78] Confucius tr. Edward Slingerland, Analects 9.7

[79] Robert Town, Chinatown

[80] Vampire Weekend, Obvious Bicycle

[81] Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union 1861

[82] William Sylvis, quoted by Paul LeBlanc in A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[83] Frederick Douglass, quoted by Paul LeBlanc in A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[84] John Milton, Paradise Lost

[85] Samuel Gompers, quoted at National Museum of American History

[86] I.W.W. Pamphlet, quoted by Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States

[87] Robert Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

[88] Paul LeBlanc, A Brief History of the U.S. Working Class

[89] Pete Seeger, Solidarity Forever

[90] V.I. Lenin tr. Bernard Isaacs, The April Theses

[91] Sigmund Freud

[92] Ellen P. Allerton, Beautiful Things

[93] Eliza Cook, Song for the New Year

[94] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

[95] Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

[96] Denise Levertov, Prayer For Revolutionary Love

[97] George Eliot, Middlemarch

[98] Walt Whitman, By Blue Ontario’s Shores

[99] The Seafarer tr. Richard Hamer

[100] Josiah Gilbert Holland, God, Give Us Men!

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