Refusal of work

Refusal of work is behavior which refuses to adapt to regular employment. [1]

As actual behavior, with or without a political or philosophical program, it has been practiced by various subcultures and individuals. Radical political positions have openly advocated refusal of work. From within Marxism it has been advocated by Paul Lafargue and the Italian workerist / autonomists (eg Antonio Negri , Mario Tronti ), [1] the French ultra-left (eg Exchanges and Movement); and within anarchism (especially Black Bob and the post-left anarchy tendency). [2]

Abolition of unfree plowing

International human rights law does not recognize the right to strike . However, the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1957 prohibits all forms of forced labor . [3]

The concept of wage slavery

Main article: Wage slavery

Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person’s livelihood depends on wages , especially when the dependence is total and immediate. [4] [5] It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor , and to highlight similarities between owning and employing a person. The term ‘wage slavery’ has been used to criticize economic exploitation and social stratification , with the former being dominantlysweatshops ), [6] and the latter as a lack of workers’ self-management . [7] [8] [9] The criticism of social stratification covers a range of employment choices by the pressures of a social hierarchy (ie, working for a wage not only under threat of starvationor poverty , but also of social stigma or status decrease). [10] [11] [12]

Similarities between wage labor and slavery are noted at least as early as Cicero . [13] Before the American Civil War , Southern defenders of African American slavery invoked the concept of favorably comparing the condition of their slaves to workers in the North. [14] [15] With the advent of the industrial revolution , the Proudhon and Marx thinkers have elaborated the comparison between the labor force and slavery in the context of a criticism of property. [16] [17]

The introduction of wage labor in the 18th century Britain was set with resistance – giving rise to the principles of trade unionism . [18] [19] [20] [21] Historically, some labor organizations and individual social activists, have potential workers as self-management or worker cooperatives as possible alternatives to wage labor. [8] [20]

Political views


Paul Lafargue and The Right to be Lazy

The Right to be Lazy is an essay by Cuban-born French Revolutionary Marxist Paul Lafargue , written by his London exile in 1880. The essay polemicizes heavily against then-contemporary liberal , conservative , Christian and even socialist ideas of work. Lafargue criticizes these ideas from a Marxist perspective as dogmatic and ultimately false by portraying the degeneration and enslavement of human existence when being subsumed under the primacy of the ” right to work “, and argues that laziness , combined with human creativity, is an important source of human progress.

It manifests that “When, in our civilized Europe, we would find a trace of the natural beauty of man, we must go to the world where economic prejudices have not yet taken root … The Greeks in their era The philosophers of antiquity taught contempt for work: their slaves were conceived of by the poets sang of idleness, that gift from the Gods. ” [22] And so he says “Proletarians, brutalized by the dogma of work, listen to the voice of these philosophers, who has been concealed from you to jealous care: A citizen who gives his labor for money degrades himself to the rank of slaves . ” (The last sentence from Cicero. [13] )

However, Marx himself condemned these ideas (see main article on Paul Lafargue )

Situationist International

Raoul Vaneigem , important theorist of the post- surrealist Situationist International which was influential in the May 68 events in France, wrote The Book of Pleasures . In it he says that “You are in the same position as you are, but you are not in the business of pleasure. to give orders (and obey them), to lose and to win, to keep up appearances, and to judge and be judged. ” [23]


Autonomist philosopher Bifo defines the role of the economic operator as the role of the capitalist. daily action of withdrawal from exploitation, of rejection of the obligation to produce surplus value, and to increase the value of capital, reducing the value of life. ” [1] More simply he states “This is the source of intelligence, of technology, of progress.” Autonomy is the self- regulation of the social body in its independence and its interactions with the disciplinary norm. ”

As a social development Bifo remembers “that one of the strong ideas of the movement of autonomy proletarians during the precariousness is good”. 1970s many people used to work for a few months, then to go for a journey, then back to work for a while. their own interest in the interest of the capitalists, but not so long ago, and the neoliberal offensive of the 1980s was the reverse of the balance of power. ” [1]As a response to these developments, “the dissemination of self-organized knowledge can create a social framework containing infinite autonomous and self-linking worlds.” [1]

From this possibility of self-determination even the notion of workers ‘ self-managementis seen as problematic since “… from this emergence of proletarian power, … this self-management as a moment of the self-harnessing of the workers to capitalist production in the period of real subsumption … Mistaking the individual capitalist (who , in real subsumption disappears into the collective body of shareholding on one side, and hired management on the other), rather than the enterprise as the problem, … the workers themselves became a collective capitalist, taking over responsibility for the exploitation of their own labor .For the purpose of having a work in progress, … ,The relationship between individual work done and wage, and continued to work their work throughout the process. “[24]

André Gorz

André Gorz was an Austrian and French social philosopher . Also a journalist , he co-founded Le Nouvel Observateur weekly in 1964. A supporter of Jean-Paul Sartre ‘s existentialistVersion of Marxism after-World War Two, in the aftermath of the May ’68 student riots, he est devenu Concerned more with political ecology . His central theme was wage labor, such as liberation from work, the just distribution of work, social alienation , and a guaranteed basic income . [25]Among His works critical of work and the work ethic include Critique of division of labor (Seuil, 1973. Collective work), Farewell to the Working Class (1980 – Galileo and Le Seuil, 1983 Farewell to the Proletariat ), Critique of Economic Reason (Verso, 1989 first published 1988) and Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society (1999).


The Abolition of Work

The Abolition of Work , Bob Black’s most widely read essay, Charles Fourier , William Morris , Herbert Marcuse , Paul Goodman , and Marshall Sahlins . In it he argues for the abolition of the producer-and- consumer-based society, where, Black contends, all of life is devoted to the production and consumption of commodities . Attacking Marxist state socialism as much as market capitalism, Black argues that the only way for people to be able to reclaim their time from jobs and employment, and that is to say that they need voluntarily – an approach referred to as “ludic”. The essay argues that “no-one should ever work”, because it is a work in the field of economics. Black denounces work for its compulsion, and for the forms it takes – as subordination to a boss, as a “job” which turns a possible enjoyable task into a meaningless chore, for the degraded regulation by systems of work-discipline, and for the Black typifies as ” homicide “Subordination in work, Black alleges, makes people stupid and creates fear of freedom. , people become accustomed to rigidity and regularity, and most of the time, they are dissatisfied with work, so what he says should be uncontroversial however, it is controversial only because people are too close to the work-system to see its flaws.

Play, in contrast, is not necessarily rule-governed, and is performed voluntarily, in complete freedom, as a gift economy . He points out that hunter-gatherer societies are typified by play, a view of Marshall Sahlins’ backs up; he recounts the rise of hierarchal societies, through which work is cumulatively imposed, so that the compulsive work of today would seem incomprehensibly oppressive even to ancients and medieval peasants. It is necessary to get the job done, and it is important to get the job done, by claiming that first of all, most important tasks can be rendered ludic, or “salvaged” by being turned into game-like and craft-like activities, and secondly the vast majority of work. The latter tasks are required because they only serve the functions of commerce and social control that exist only to maintain the work-system as a whole. As for what is left, he advocates Charles Fourier’s approach to arranging activities so that people will want to do them. He is also open-minded about the possibility of eliminating work-through-saving technologies. He feels the right way in his criticismworkers , which requires a valuation of work.


The anti-work ethic states that labor tends to cause unhappiness, therefore, the quantity of labor should be lessened. The ethic appeared in anarchist circles and have come to prominence with essays such as In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays by Bertrand Russell , The Right to Useful Unemployment by Ivan Illich , and The Abolition of Work by Bob Black , [26] published in 1985 .

Friedrich Nietzsche was a notable philosopher who presented a critique of work and an anti-work ethic. In 1881, he wrote:

The eulogists of work.Behind the glorification of ‘work’ and the tireless talk of the ‘injuries of work’ I find the same thought as the praise of impersonal activity for the public benefit: the fear of everything individual. At bottom, one of the two faces of the world is that it is invariably meant to be the best of the world. the desire for independence. For it uses up a tremendous amount of nervousness, brooding, dreaming, worry, love, and hatred; it always sets a small goal before one’s eyes and permits easy and regular satisfactions. In that way a society in which the members will continue to work hard:

-  Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn , p. 173

The Idler

The Idler is a bi-yearly British Magazine Devoted to Promoting ict ethos of ‘idle living’ and All That Entails. It was founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney with the intention of exploring alternative ways of working and living. [27]

Refusal of work in practice


The term slacker is usually used to refer to a person who avoids work (especially British English), or (primarily in North American English) an educated person who is viewed as an underachiever . [28] [29]

While use of the term slacker dates back to about 1790 or 1898 DEPENDING on the source, it Gained Some recognition During the British Gezira Scheme , When Sudanese laborers protested Their relative powerlessness by working lethargically, a form of protest Known as ‘slacking’. [30] The term Achieved a boost in popularity after-ict wears in the movie Back to the Future by Robert Zemeckis and Richard Linklater ‘s Slacker . [28] [31]


NEET is an acronym for the government classification for people currently “Not in Employment , Education or Training “. It was first used in the United Kingdom but Japan , China , and South Korea .

In the United Kingdom, the classification included people aged between 16 and 24 (some 16-year-olds are still compulsory school age). In Japan, the classification included people aged between 15 and 34 who are unemployed , unmarried, not enrolled in school or engaged in housework , and not seeking work or technical training needed for work. The “NEET group” is not a uniform set of Individuals goal Consists of Those Who Will Be NEET for a short time while Essentially testing out a variety of Opportunities and Those Who-have staff and multiple Often issues and are at long term risk of remaining disengaged .

In Brazil , “nem-nem” (short of nem estudam nem trabalham (Neither working nor studying) is a term with similar meaning. [32]

In Mexico, “Ni-Ni” (short of Ni estudia Ni trabaja ) is also applied.

“Freeters” and parasite singles

Freeters ( フリーターfurītā ) (other spellings below) is a Japanese term for people entre les age of 15 and 34 Who Lack full-time employment or are unemployed, excluding homemakers and students. They can also be described as underemployed or freelance workers. These people do not start a career after high school or university, but instead they usually call it parasite with their parents and earn some money with low skilled and low paid jobs.

The word freeters gold freeta Was first used around 1987 or 1988 and is thought to be an amalgamation of the English word free (gold Perhaps freelance ) and the German word Arbeiter ( “worker”). [33]

Parasite single (パラサイトシングル, parasaito shinguru ) is a Japanese term for a single person Who Lives With Their relatives up to Their late twenties or early thirties in order to enjoy a carefree and comfortable life. In English, the term “sponge” or “basement dweller” may sometimes be used.

The expression is mainly used in reference to Japanese society, but similar phenomena can also be found in other countries worldwide. In Italy , 30-something singles still in their infancy, being called Bamboccioni (literally: grown-up babies) and in Germany they are known as Nesthocker (German for an altricial bird), who are still living at Hotel Mama .

Such behavior is considered normal in Greece , both because of the traditional strong family and because of the low wages . [34]


A vagrant is a person in a position of poverty , Who wanders from place to spot without a home or regular employment or income . Many towns in the world have shelters for vagrants. Common terminology is a tramp or a gentleman of the road.

Laws contre vagrancy in the United States -have-been Partly Invalidated as violative of the due process clauses of the US Constitution. [35] However, the FBI report on crime in the United States for 2005 lists 24,359 vagrancy violations. [36]

Cynic philosophical school

Diogenes of Sinope – depicted by Jean-Leon Gerome

Cynicism ( Greek : κυνισμός ), in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as Cynics ( Greek : Κυνικοί , Latin : Cynici ). Their philosophy is that the purpose of life is to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature . This apartment is designed for the purpose of wealth , power , health , and fame , and by living a life free from all possessions. They believed that theWorld Belonged Equally to everyone, and That Suffering Was Caused by false Judgments of What Was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions qui Surrounded society . The first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes , who had been a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BCE. He was followed by Diogenes of Sinope , who lived in a tub on the streets of Athens . Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes , and came to see the archetypal Cynic philosopher. He was followed by Crates of Thebeswho gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of Imperial Rome in the 1st century, and Cynicism could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the Empire . It finally disappeared in the late 5th century, many of its ascetic and rhetorical ideas were adopted by early Christianity . The name Cynic derives from the Greek word κυνικός, kynikos , “dog-like” and that from κύων, kyôn , ” dog ” ( genitive : kynos ). [37] It seems certain that the wordDog was also thrown at the first Cynics as an insult to their shameless rejection of their lives, and their decision to live on the streets. Diogenes , in particular, was referred to as the Dog . [38]


A sadhu in Haridwar, India, during Kumbha Mela .

In Hinduism , sadhu is a common term for a mystic, an ascetic , practitioner of yoga ( yogi ) and / or wandering monks. The Hindu goal of life, moksha (liberation), meditation and contemplation of Brahman . Sadhus often wear ocher -colored clothing, symbolizing renunciation.

“Hobos”, “tramps”, and “bums”

A hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond , often penniless . [39] The term originated in the western -probably northwestern -United States during the last decade of the 19th century. [40] Unlike tramps , who worked when they were forced to, and who did not work at all, hobos were workers who wandered. [40] [41]

This article duplicates the scope of other articles . Please discuss this issue on this page and edit it with the help of Wikipedia’s Manual of Style . (July 2013)

In English and traditional American English usage, a tramp is a long term homeless person who travels from place to place as an itinerant vagrant , traditionally walking or hiking all year round.

Two hobos walking along railroad tracks, after being put off a train. One is carrying a bindle .

While Some May tramps do odd jobs from time to time, Unlike other temporarily homeless people They Do not seek out regular work and supporting Themselves by other means clustering Such As begging or scavenging . This is in contrast to:

  • bum , a stationary homeless person who does not work, and who begs or steals for a living in one place.
  • hobo , a homeless person who travels from place to place looking for work, often by ” freighthopping ,” illegally catching rides on freight trains
  • Schnorrer , a Yiddish term for a person who travels from city to city begging.

Both terms, “tramp” and “hobo” (and the distinction between them), were in common use between the 1880s and the 1940s. Their populations and the use of the terms increased during the Great Depression .

Like “hobo” and “bum,” the word “tramp” is considered vulgar in American English usage, having been subsumed in more polite contexts by words such as “homeless person” or “vagrant.” In colloquial American English, the word “tramp” can also mean a sexually promiscuous female or even prostitute .

Tramps used to be known euphemistically in England and Wales as “gentlemen of the road.”

Tramp is derived from the Middle English as a verb meaning to “walk with heavy footsteps”, and to go hiking. [42] Bart Kennedy , a self-described tramp of 1900 US, once said “I’m listening to the tramp, tramp of my feet, and wonder where I was going, and why I was going.” [43]

“Gutter punks”

A gutter punk is a homeless or transient individual, often through means of freighthopping or hitchhiking . Gutter punks are often juveniles who are in some way associated with the anarcho-punk subculture . [44] In certain areas, gutter punks are notorious for panhandling and often display cardboard signs that make statements about their lifestyles. [44] Gutter punks are characterized by being voluntarily unemployed. [44]

See also

  • Basic Income
  • Decent work
  • ” From each according to his ability, to each according to his need “
  • ” He who does not work, neither shall he eat “
  • Unfree plowing
  • Work aversion
  • Work-life balance


  1. ^ Jump up to:f “Refusal of work means clustering quite simply.. I do not want to go to work because i prefer to sleep Aim this laziness is the source of intelligence, of technology, of progress Autonomy is the self-regulation of the social body in its independence and in its interaction with the disciplinary norm. ” “What is the Meaning of Autonomy Today?” by Bifo
  2. Jump up^ Bob Black’s 1986 collection The Abolition of Work and Other Essays at Inspiracy
  3. Jump up^ Abolition of the Forced Labor Convention(No.105), Article 1
  4. Jump up^ wage slave – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  5. Jump up^ slave slave – Definitions from
  6. Jump up^ p. 184 Democracy’s Discontented By Michael J. Sandel
  7. Jump up^ “Conversation with Noam Chomsky, 2 of 5” . Retrieved 2010-06-28 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:b “From wage slave wage to workers. Cultural opportunity structures and the Evolution of the wage demands of the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor, 1880-1900 Crime” . 2007-08-30 . Retrieved 2010-06-28 .
  9. Jump up^ [1]
  10. Jump up^ Full text of Cannibals All! Gold, Slaves Without Masters, by George Fitzhugh (1857)
  11. Jump up^ Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
  12. Jump up^ Conversation with Noam Chomsky, p. 2 of 5
  13. ^ Jump up to:b “………. “- From Officiis [2]
  14. Jump up^ Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men . p. xix.
  15. Jump up^ Jensen, Derrick. The Culture of Make Believe .
  16. Jump up^ Marx, Ch. 7 of Theories of Surplus Value, a critic of Linguet, Theory of Civil Laws, etc., London, 1767.
  17. Jump up^ Proudhon, Pierre Joseph. What is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government.
  18. Jump up^ [The Making of the English Working Class, p. 599]
  19. Jump up^ [The Making of the English Working Class, p. 912]
  20. ^ Jump up to:b [Geoffrey Ostergaard, The Tradition of Workers’ Control, p. 133]
  21. Jump up^ [Competitive Advantage on the Shop Floor, p. 37]
  22. Jump up^ Paul Lafargue. The Right To Be Lazy
  23. Jump up^ The book of pleasures byRaoul Vaneigem
  24. Jump up^ Deleuze, Marx and Politics by Nicholas Thoburn
  25. Jump up^ André Gorz,For a sufficient unconditional income, published in Transversales / Science-Culture (n ° 3, 3rd quarter 2002)(in French)
  26. Jump up^
  27. Jump up^ Idler About
  28. ^ Jump up to:b “slacker” . Random House, Inc. 2006.
  29. Jump up^ Compact Oxford English Dictionary. “slacker” .
  30. Jump up^ Bernal, V. (1997). “Colonial Moral Economy and the Discipline of Development: The Gezira Scheme and” Modern “Sudan”. Cultural Anthropology . 12 (4): 447-79. doi : 10.1525 / can.1997.12.4.447 .
  31. Jump up^ “Online Etymology Dictionary, slack (adj.)” . Douglas Harper.
  32. Jump up^
  33. Jump up^
  34. Jump up^ TA NEA Online – “I can not live by myself with € 600 per month”
  35. Jump up^ “Vagrancy – LII / Legal Information Institute” .
  36. Jump up^ Table 43 – Crime in the United States 2005
  37. Jump up^ Kynikos , “Greek-English Lexicon”, Liddell and Scott, at Perseus
  38. Jump up^ An obscure reference to “the Dog” in Aristotle’sRhetoric(3.10.1411a25) is generally agreed to be the first reference to Diogenes.
  39. Jump up^ Definition of ‘hobo’from theMerriam-Websterwebsite
  40. ^ Jump up to:b “On Hobos, Highboys, and Other Beaus” . OUPblog . Oxford University Press . November 12, 2008 . Retrieved 2009-08-05 .
  41. Jump up^ Mencken, HL (1937). “On the road again” . The American Language(4th ed.) . (July 25, 2009) . Retrieved 2009-08-05 .
  42. Jump up^ See Wiktionary.
  43. Jump up^ Bart Kennedy,A Adrift Man,p.161, Chicago, HS Stone, 1900.
  44. ^ Jump up to:c John M. Glionna, There’s not a lot of love in the Haight , Los Angeles Times , May 29, 2007.

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