imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Is Work a Basic Social Right?

by Thomas Kuczynski Friday, Nov. 18, 2005 at 5:41 AM
mbatko@lycos.com

"Hard work including persuasive work is necessary so the ruled free themselves from the worries of the rulers and then become the rulers themsevles."

IS WORK A BASIC SOCIAL RIGHT?

By Thomas Kuczynski

[This article published in: Ossietzky, 10/26/2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.linksnet.de/artikel.php?id=2010.]




One of Bertolt Brecht’s stories is titled “The Worries of the Rulers are not the Worries of the Ruled.” This title is marvelous and can serve as a starting point for my reflections.

Full of worry, the rulers in Germany declare to the ruled that work is too expensive and cannot be financed any more. We don’t have enough money to pay for you and your work.

The question about the real origin of the ruler’s money is not answered. They have too little to finance work in Germany. They also do not need to explain how this land with its allegedly high labor costs remains competitive on the world market and has been an export world master for years.

The argument of excessively high labor costs is as old as the capitalist industrial society. In order not to go far into the past, I quote the British parliamentarian Stapleton: “When China becomes a great industrial land, I do not see how the European working class population can survive the struggle without descending to the level of its rivals.” This statement was made in September 1873. The argument is not different today after the self-elimination of command socialism.

We are still far removed in Germany from Chinese wages. If the rulers want to force down the wages of the ruled to this level, wage cuts of ninety percent, not ten percent, will be necessary. Obviously they want to gradually reach this goal and are doing this successfully.

Many of the ruled have adopted the worries of the rulers and speak in the same way. One piece of evidence is the rapidly growing number of wage contracts in which wage cuts, job shifts and dismantled social benefits were supposedly consistent with the goal of job security. Despite all the concessions of the ruled, the total number of jobs in Germany continues falling. The number of those who have no work or only low-paying or one-Euro jobs climbs.

No wonder that philanthropic or humane social palliatives, that is pain-relievers, are considered in this situation and that debates focus on the amount of a basic security for the unemployed, persons unfit for work and so on. Whoever suffers pain treasures the pain-relieving effect of palliatives.

From medicine we know that palliatives a=do not remove the causes of pain and even make people dependent in the long run. This is also true for the money paid to the unemployed year after year in ever-smaller amounts. People cannot live but only survive from that. They cannot live under their own steam. Their powers diminish. Whoever is long hindered from working cannot usually work since he has forgotten how to work. The long-tem effect of an unemployment benefit – regardless of the amount – is the same as a palliative. The pain is soothed and its causes remain untreated. Treatment becomes increasingly difficult.

Many years later the “society” lacks work, not only money to pay for work. The “end of the work society” is announced. Even people who count themselves politically leftist join in this choir and obviously ignore the many jobs not done in Germany, in environmental protection and nature conservation, social and medical care, education, culture and science.

To be sure, most of this work does not “count” from a management perspective. Therefore old liberals like Adam Smith were once convinced that the state was responsible for these projects. However the neoliberals now organize this more and more administratively. For them, nearly everything must “count” except for “defending freedom” at Hindukusch, the high Central Asian mountains, eavesdropping on apartments and many other similar ventures for which there are vast funds.

Work is not all that is lacking. Some modern leftists even think some do not want to work and nevertheless must make ends meet. The basic question remains why people are unwilling to work.

In most cases, unwillingness to work is the result of disablement and not vice versa. Whoever has never learned to work or forgotten this due to long-term unemployment cannot work but has become disabled. Youths showered with demonstrations of the meaninglessness of all work day after day in the parental home, school and mass media will usually not learn to work. The acquired unwillingness to work can seem confirmed by talk of the “end of the work society.”

Far away from the New Testament canon (“whoever does not want to work should not eat”) or different epics and myths of work, a person creates himself on the basis of two things, outward nature and work. As William Petty formulated, his wealth had two sources: work as his father and the earth as his mother. Marx’ saying adopted from an anonymous English author agrees: True riches are the developed productive power of all individuals. Freely disposable time is the measure of wealth, not working hours. Both the developed productive power of all individuals and the3ir freely disposable time presuppose effectively organized and highly productive work. The right to laziness formulated so beautifully by Paul Lafargue can only be carried out on this basis.

From this starting-point, the question whether there is something like a basic social right or a human right to work can be questioned. If work is a necessity like a law of nature for the reproduction of the human species, there is just as little a right of work as there is a right of biological reproduction.

On the other hand, when work is seen in the empirical daily routine of Germany and not as a natural law, the answer to the question about a right to work is almost opposite because this right is only the right of workers to be exploited. Who of us would champion such a right?

In 1850 Marx said the right to work is a “first awkward formula summarizing the revolutionary claims of the proletariat.” On the other hand, it is an absurdity in the middle class sense, a miserable pious desire. “The power over capital stands behind the right to work. Appropriation of the means of production and their submission under the working class stands behind the authority over capital. He concludes with the statement: “The June insurrection, the June 1848 revolt of Paris stood behind the right to work.”

Given the awkward reform formulas of some leftists today, this last formula of the revolutionary claim of a right to work should be remembered. We also remember that the middle class government in 1848 changed the right to work. In Marx’ words, “it was changed into the droit a l'assistance, the right to public support. What modern state did not feed its paupers (its poor) in one form or another?”

In fact the struggle for basic social security is nothing but a struggle over the amount of the alms. We must battle for a society in which no one depends on alms any more. Philanthropy is not enough. Hard work including persuasive work is necessary so the ruled free themselves from the worries of the rulers and then become the rulers themselves.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy