Work is the living negation of human activity, life, satisfaction and enjoyment. Work makes man a stranger to himself, to what he produces, to his own activity and to the human species. Work is nothing other than human activity imprisoned in the framework of class societies and the concretisation of the necessity for the dominant classes to appropriate surplus production by exploiting and crushing the other classes. Capitalism, in liberating (in separating) the exploited from their means of life and production and in destroying old forms of production, has imposed wage labour and generalised free work on the whole of the planet. It has thus reduced man, everywhere, to the condition of labourer, a tortured person ("travail" is derived etymologically from the Latin "traepalium" meaning "instrument of torture").

In work, the proletariat is universally dispossessed of its product, estranged, lost to itself, denied its essence, its life and its enjoyment and rendered a stranger to the product of its own activity.

As well as pouring its sweat, its blood, its life into an activity in which absurdity competes with stupefaction, it is separated from all immediate links with other people as human beings and is thus separated from its own generic life, from the human species.

It is only in the struggle against work, against the activity that they are forced to carry out and against those who make them do it, in the generalisation of this struggle and the consequent calling into question of the totality of society that proletarians reemerge as human beings and take the first steps towards a communist society where the activity of people will finally become human, for the human being.


TH40 : These 40