r/antiwork Jan 27 '22 Helpful (Pro) 1 Silver 3 Helpful 4 Wholesome 2 This 1

I didn't think this sub was literally anti-work.

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u/vmsrii Jan 27 '22 Helpful Wholesome

I always took it like, anti-work doesn’t mean Anti-Labor, it means Anti-defining-your-value-to-society-by-the-bourgeoisie-who-pay-you, and Anti-forced-to-work-to-not-starve.

Like, striving for a future where nobody will have to work, while acknowledging in the present that work does have to be done, that work should be as fulfilling for the worker as possible, while also separating basic human value from the Capital they produce in an exploitative system.

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u/throwawayRAbbqrib Jan 27 '22

If you actually read the resources and engage with the sub critically, that's what we all agree on implicitly.

It's the same arguments people were making about "free tuition" or "free healthcare", they would respond "nothing in life is free!" Then read more and be like "oh , not free but i just dont have to pay for it twice! Of course i support that!"

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

Yep, not to mention that quite a few communists, socialists, and other left wing ideologies are on the same page here.

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u/pgsimon77 Jan 27 '22

It seems like most of us want to do things that contribute to the well being of our fellow humans (and that usually includes some kind of purpose driven activity) ....we just resent having to lead such a precarious existence, while the people our labor enriches have it so much better that 90% of society ....

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

That kind of hits at the core of antiwork, which more people support than they realize. Too many people put too much stock in labels and parties.

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u/brian111786 Jan 28 '22

Red scare still working it's magic. I told my wife that I think I might be a communist, and she looked at me in horror. We're in our mid 30's....

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u/[deleted] Jan 28 '22

lol, true. Most left wing ideologies still have massive stigmas attached. Communism, socialism, anarchism, etc. True of a lot of things though. Anything not considered "normal" is met with horror, disgust, confusion, or any combination of negative reactions.

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u/JazzBoatman Jan 28 '22

Did she swoon and collapse or call the cops and say shes found an accomplice of Sacco and Vanzetti?

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u/[deleted] Jan 28 '22

This right here!!!

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u/Ax222 Jan 27 '22

Yes, this. I would absolutely have a job if I didn't need to work to survive, if only for socializing and getting out of the house. But I am currently shackled to my job because I would absolutely not be able to survive without working a job I find exhausting (thanks empathy fatigue during a global fucking pandemic!). It's unreasonable that this is supposed to be our lot in life while there is a privileged class that believes they should own everything, and basically does.

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u/throwawayRAbbqrib Jan 27 '22

Right like I don't have to agree with your entire political ideology to think something is a good idea and its principles are good. We got to the same destination using different methods, like math.

I have an issue with the liberals and right-wingers on this sub who aren't even interested in the same destination but keep trying to limit the movement. It's okay if it's just not for you.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

For sure. The purity testing has always annoyed me. Obvious contradictions aside.

I can see why they closed down for a bit. Trolling, undermining, and scapegoating is out of control.

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u/TemporaryInflation8 Jan 27 '22

You all pissed off all of corporate America.. course they had to clean house.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 28 '22 Silver All-Seeing Upvote

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u/Wiwwil Jan 27 '22

Soon my friend, the socialist revolution will win

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u/M3g4d37h Jan 27 '22

I love the sentiment, let's just walk before we try to fly this time.

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u/Wiwwil Jan 27 '22

I would go as far as let's learn to stand up first

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u/SJM_93 Jan 27 '22

Unionise, that's the first step. We can't demand anything unless we're united, united we bargain divided we beg.

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u/Imaginary_Pangolin73 Jan 27 '22

Well? We’re still waiting, and we have been for over 100 years!

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u/eternalgrey22 Jan 27 '22

You sir, have my respect and admiration for articulating your point so magnificently. You have my vote.

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u/Foolspeare Jan 27 '22

Also I think, if we're honest with ourselves, a lot of commies/anarchists etc can admit America is a hell of a long way away from a system like that, and in the meantime basic reforms are what we need to work on

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u/rhythmjones COVID Furlough Jan 27 '22

Bro we've been trying to reform for 200 years.

Reform cannot work. the reforms will just be chipped away at over time.

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u/Foolspeare Jan 27 '22

Yes and the movement has to put safeguards in place to stop that, overturning Citizens United, etc.

I'm down to burn all of this shit down if that's what we're going to do, but you're going to have a much harder time convincing people of that

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u/OakFolk Eco-Anarchist Jan 27 '22

We don't have time for small, incremental change. We are in the process of plunging deep into climate catastrophe, and the same system responsible for us burying our heads with climate change is the same system responsible for all the workplace abuses everyone posts on here.

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u/ComradeBirv Jan 27 '22

“rEaD tHeOrY!”

“Read the fucking sidebar”

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u/throwawayRAbbqrib Jan 27 '22

I think it's funny that we're being called lazy but the people calling us that can't even read the answers to the questions they are asking that have already been compiled for them.

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u/kitteh619 Jan 27 '22

This really is it. The sub is a big tent for leftism, but its core principles are more along the lines of basic income, automation leading to a utopia where work is optional, and, like you said, against the idea that starvation is used as a threat to force us to labor.

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u/Unfazed_Alchemical Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 27 '22 Bravo Grande!

I say this in good faith, and only to needle down on what I see the issue being:

Is this actually a big tent for leftism? Because I see a lot of people arguing about this the past week. Some are claiming this sub needs to to be about actual anarcho-XYZ. Others are saying that it's an aspirational goal that will never be achieved, but lead to a better leftist programme. Others yet are saying they're here for the material/practical uses of unionization, worker protection, labour reform and market regulation.

Personally, I think we're all heading in the same direction, just arguing about the destination. So I'm fine teaming up with people I don't necessarily agree with 100% on the left, because the alternative is letting people I 100% disagree with on the right win.

But the question does need to be answered : is this going to be a big tent left wing sub? Or are we going to fight over doctrine and theory and hope for some kind ideological consensus before moving forward? Some people prefer the latter, it seems.

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u/Gines_Murciano Jan 27 '22 Silver

It is a big tent for leftists, but that doesn't mean it represents the libs that came to the subreddit acting as if the idea that "if you have a job you shouldn't fucking starve" is a revolutionary hot take. People shouldn't fucking starve, period.

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u/Ryekir Jan 27 '22

And the US was 1 of 2 counties in the UN to vote against food as a human right (versus all other 180 counties voted for) https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/gashc4336.doc.htm

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u/Unfazed_Alchemical Jan 27 '22

No argument here.

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u/Z86144 Jan 27 '22

Yeah I see this fundamental point getting missed in the results of yesterday and it makes me sad. Thanks to you for making it

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u/kaett Jan 27 '22

while i'm seeing a shit-ton of (well-earned) anger towards the mods and their ham-handed, utterly missing the mark attempt to represent the sub, what i'm not seeing is an option to start up a new sub. maybe call it r/peopleshouldntstarve, or something.

rome conquered the world, once, but it wasn't built in a day. neither was the union pro-labor movement that was doing well until republicans insisted profits were more important than people.

do we clean up the scraps of this sub, or do we start over and do it right?

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u/1BlindNinja Jan 27 '22

R/Dignity@Work?

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u/Xervicx Jan 27 '22

A subreddit with such a narrow scope kind of misses the entire point of the movement, doesn't it?

Conservatives will already tell you that they believe that people shouldn't starve... but they'll also speak of starvation as an individual failing.

The problem is, starvation isn't the problem. It's a symptom of a greater problem, and that problem is "work". Not labor. Work.

If I work somewhere, I do not receive currency or resources reflective of the value of my work. I receive less, and more often than not will receive far less. And for many people, that has resulted in poverty, starvation, homelessness, etc.

You can't tackle a big problem by having such a narrow focus on a single symptom. At best, you'll manage to talk about how bad it is that people starve, but without focusing on the problem that causes starvation in the first place, all you'll ever manage to do is talk.

You'll effectively create the need for a different subreddit all over again, while doing nothing to actually help solve problems in any respect. At least this subreddit got many people to realize that our work culture is incredibly toxic, and that we all need to take action.

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u/NotScaredofYourDad Jan 27 '22

Anarcho-XYZs are generally leftist ideals other than Anarcho-capitalists. Anarchism isn't even inherently anti-labor.

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u/UnorthodoxJew27 Jan 27 '22

I’m fine with a big tent, as long as it’s not so big as to include liberals who will actively fight against leftist /socialist goals

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u/plremina Jan 27 '22

I like the idea of a big tent for leftists, it's easier to work together for a better world than against each other. It's very strange/sad seeing any idea more radical than "higher pay, universal healthcare" immediately shot down, like the liberal voice may have gotten louder but that's not the only voice and isn't representative of the entire sub. It sounds pathetic but this whole debacle and the way the mod team has acted has made me pretty sad tbh, I know the movement doesn't end with a subreddit, but seeing people get together and fight for a better life was nice, and even seeing right wing people come around to see that a lot of their misconceptions about other people's lives was nice as well.

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u/Genivaria91 Anarchist Jan 27 '22

Big tent for leftists but liberal capitalists aren't leftists.

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u/coreythestar Jan 27 '22

A fractured left always looks like a win to the right. They will do everything to divide the left.

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u/adhocflamingo Jan 28 '22

My understanding was that the sub:

  • is explicitly leftist and anti-capitalist
  • is strongly rooted in anarchist and communist ideas
  • welcomes anyone who is interested in rethinking our relationship to work and labor as a society

I think the membership of the sub has shifted to a far more moderate position over the last year, so I don’t really blame members of the old guard for wanting to refocus a bit. Especially since so many people don’t seem to have read what the sub is supposed to be about.

Mostly what I’ve seen, though, is requests to be open to reading and thinking about ideas on work and labor that might be to the left of wherever you are, rather than downvoting anarchist ideas into oblivion. That seems like a pretty fair request to me.

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u/Genivaria91 Anarchist Jan 27 '22

Yep. We will either move towards post-capitalism or capitalism will move us towards post-humanity with Human Need Not Apply everywhere.

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u/the-lurker-204 Jan 27 '22

This, this is how I see it.

That is also why I got into health care (well, one of many reasons), and out of waitressing. I’m not at a job where it’s on me to bring in profit to make someone else richer (while I’m paid scraps, with no benefits). I now work at a fulfilling job, not having to bring in profits, with benefits and a pension plan. I care for people in need, and I don’t have to worry about tips.

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u/catsareweirdroomates Jan 27 '22

Me too! It’s also labor that without a pay to play structure would still need to be done. I will always have a way to contribute to my community with these skills. Mutual aid is the future.

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u/judicatorprime Jan 27 '22

Correct, anti-work is not implicitly anti-labor. We obviously need labor to live as a species, the point is that labor should mean something and be communal.

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u/Ausgezeichnet87 Jan 27 '22

This, antiwork to me ment pushing back against a suffocating work culture that lets work dominate all aspects of our lives and define our worth in society. I dont want to be defined by my shitty abusive healthcare job. I work as a lab tech but that isnt who I am.

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u/spidermash Jan 27 '22

A lecturer at my uni said to me 4 years ago we need to change the meaning of work.

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u/baldfellow Jan 27 '22

I'm intrigued. Can you elaborate?

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u/Ebenizer_Splooge Jan 27 '22

I work, I feel accomplished in my job when I work being a tradesman, but I do not like being one suck day from eviction. I do not like having to sacrifice more and more of my time because I'm afraid if I say no to that Saturday they scheduled me for instead of going to my brother's birthday I will be fired and starve. I do not like my self worth being so intrinsically tied to my position and salary. I do not like having to give most of my waking time to just survive and feel like I have nothing left of myself to enjoy what little free time I have left. I do not mind working and applying my trade. I do mind losing every other part of my life for it.

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u/MallFoodSucks Jan 27 '22

So you don’t like how the system requires you to work or else you lose you job/livelihood/right to live.

No one is saying people don’t like to work. People are just saying this idea (that you need to work to live) - is toxic and should die. That includes people who want to do zero work - maybe they can’t buy an iPhone, but at least they should be able to live.

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u/RexUmbra Anarcho-Communist Jan 27 '22

Yeah this is basically the message with the striving to automate as much as possible ans eliminate as many unnecessary jobs as possible (stock traders for example.) I wish the mods could have spoken about this when they had some credibility.

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u/Relevant-Biscotti-51 Jan 27 '22

Right, like I joined antiwork when the childcare crisis pretty much broke my community.

Obviously, childcare is work, I e. Labor. But it's labor nobody can pay for anymore. It's impossible to afford a nanny or daycare center for 4/5 of people.

Nobody can make enough at one job so their spouse can take care of their own kids, unpaid, full time. Forget about taking care of your niblings or cousins!

My neighborhood is just broken. Foster care stopped taking reports of unsupervised kids. Too many. Plus, so many parents are disabled from Covid, or domino effect of it (delayed medical treatment for other conditions).

So, I was like, yeah, if people didn't have to work (for money) we could safely take care of our kids and elders! No more work, yes more/safer care!

But uh...it turns out that's not the vibe most people are on here. Most people on this sub don't even have kids, which...I dunno, I guess it's cultural. I'm not judging that, it's just a very different cultural mode than what I'm familiar with.

This whole thing with the mods and the interview just makes me sad and frustrated. I really do want to reconceptualize labor and community. But I don't want to live a "lazy" life.

I don't want a life without accountability. I just want to be accountable to my family and community, rather than some random shareholders who don't know I exist. That's all. That's why I joined.

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u/BeingABeing Jan 27 '22

I took the "anti" in antiwork as pushing back against work, tipping the scale against the excess demands of the workplace for ourselves. I didn't think antiwork meant anti-all-work, or anti-work in all cases by all degrees

I saw plenty of stories of good workplaces and admirable bosses here. They got praised as being something to strive for. I got the impression that's what was being strived for here. Better work life balance, not necessarily the end to all work (although a livable world without need for work doesn't sound bad either)

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u/losinayakorrida Jan 27 '22

It's incredibly unrealistic to think that a world with no wars could exist, still there are subs like r/antiwar. 200 years ago it was incredibly unrealistic to think that a country without religion could exist, today there are plenty of atheistic countries. 100 years ago it was incredibly unrealistic to think that a gay couple can speak it loudly and be supported by society. Everything is possible.

I don't even know what to add because it's literally the subreddit name.

The description begins with "For those who want to end work"

The slogan is "Unemployment for all, not just the rich"

Some of you guys who got it all wrong may switch to another subreddit, others may try to understand the idea, that's it.

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u/bubbling-cauldron Jan 28 '22

Okay yeah. Still, there is more nuance than just "unemployment for all". Like we obviously need to produce something to live. Antiwork is more about decoupling labor from capitalist profit.

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u/Sulleyy Jan 27 '22

Do you happen to be running for president?

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

While I do think that work can’t totally be abolished I feel that food, shelter and clothing shouldn’t be a privilege for those who have money and those with jobs. It’s barbaric that in 2022 there’s literally millions of homeless people in this country. Housing is a basic human right and everyone should be entitled to it even if they don’t currently have a job.

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u/chaneilmiaalba Jan 27 '22

Well said. I like to ask people to imagine a world where all their basic needs were taken care of - food, shelter, water, maybe a small stipend for clothing. What would you do with your free time? Some people might do absolutely nothing. Many, probably most, others would look for fulfillment elsewhere - a hobby, traveling, volunteering, etc. To do those extras you’d probably have to get a job. Not much different from today, except in this ideal world having a job allows you to pursue leisure rather than being a requirement for survival. If all my basic needs were taken care of, I would work only enough to be able to afford my hobbies, my streaming subscriptions, and to travel for a month out of every year. And I could work a job I actually liked instead of a job I hated but felt I “had” to work, because it’s the only one that pays me enough to have all my basic needs met.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

This is how it should be!! Housing food clothing is a right! We need UBI for every person living in this country.

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u/PyroConduit Jan 27 '22

Back in the day, like under 100k subs.

This sub was massively just, anti work in general. Lots of stuff about UBI, as it was the means to the end.

Pandemic happened, stuff happened, sub exploded. As all things when they get big, it went from radical to moderate. At least moderate by comparison.

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u/MimiKitten Jan 27 '22

I wouldn't consider UBI as anti work. Ubi should be there as your default cushion while working gets you a better life with with more luxuries.

The idea of UBI is you can take care of yourself while not in a welfare trap. With ubi, you would keep getting it as you worked but it would decrees a small amount based on how much you earned until you earn enough that losing it fully isn't a huge blow.

As it is now there are actual reasons to not work unless you get an amazing job to immediately jump over the loss of any benefits when you start working. It's a trap atm

But yeah, ubi would take care of necessities while encouraging people to work since they don't lose anything/much by taking on a job

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u/PyroConduit Jan 27 '22

I'm not getting into any actual debate about that cuz idk. I'm just saying they talked alot about it. Especially when Yang was around and Canada did some trial.

They mainly talked about that being the start of the end of working.

Which honestly I can never argue, if say 1000 years down the line all work, or 98% of work is replaced by robots. Well then shit gon have to change.

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u/Newthinker Jan 27 '22

UBI has been brainstormed by capitalists to shore up its largest weakness: ensuring there's an adequate and willing source of labor.

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u/MrMango786 Jan 27 '22

It was literally like this maybe 9 months ago when I started reading it

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u/violetsunshine666 Jan 27 '22

Anti wage labor. "Work" as we know it, not labor. Not selling your labor to someone else as work. Using your labor for yourself and your community

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u/LitLantern Jan 27 '22

I’ve been on this sub since 2019. It can be both anarchist and pro-workers rights. Anarchists (with the glaring exception of ancaps, who are walking contradictions) are leftists. The “work” in anti-work is about abolishing coercive forms of labor. Most anarchists work incessantly on bettering their communities; one form that can take is helping people fight incrementally for improved working conditions, with the long-term goal of establishing a future without coerced labor.

Normalizing “laziness” is less about glorifying people who don’t give back, and more trying to upend the ubiquity of hussle culture and bootstrap narratives.

Source: am anarchist.

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u/OhHeckf Jan 27 '22

The IWW literally had a song called “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum”. They aren’t against labor, but they see no shame in not having a job under capitalism. Defining yourself by your career is kind of the opposite of being against the rat race. Looking down on unemployed/homeless people is upholding the idea that the rich are just better and deserve their power.

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u/Ilovegirlsbottoms Jan 27 '22

I never understood why people call themselves anarchists until just now when I looked it up. I took it as people who wanted chaos. Now I know.

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u/Thehusseler Jan 27 '22

Anarchism has been the victim of probably the most effective propoganda out there. Socialism and Communism get hate, but at least people understand something about it or that it's an ideology.

Anarchists have been obscured the point where the general public don't realize it's a legitimate ideology. That's because it threatens those in power even more than state-communism. There's a reason communists uprisings got put down but anarchist uprisings got eradicated

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u/IlIIllIIIllIIIIll Jan 27 '22

Do you have any links to info on anarchist uprisings in the past? Genuinely curious.

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u/PenguinWizard110 Jan 27 '22

Anarchist Catalonia was an anarchist territory during the Spanish Civil War

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u/AliceDiableaux Jan 27 '22

The biggest one was the Free Territory of Ukraine under Makhno (just googling that one should get you enough info). It was part of the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution, but were like, fuck centralizing power first and hoping the party will give it back to the people, let's just do actual communism (which is inherently anarchist) right now. And they did it. With 10 million people, for 3 years from 1918 to 1921. Obviously they were a huge threat to the Party though, because they showed that all this centralization bullshit wasn't necessary. So the Party promised Ukraine they'd leave them alone and wouldn't keep trying to seize power if they defeated the counter-revolutionary White Army for them. They did, and then in their weakened state the Party send the Red Army to utterly crush them.

This is also should make it clear that the goal of the Soviet Union was, extremely quickly, not to establish actual communism. They had it right there, but by then the centralized power already corrupted those who held it, as it inevitably does, and only cared about keeping that power.

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u/Tytoalba2 Jan 27 '22

I mean, I don't know if it's the biggest but the cnt and the spanish civil war is probably better know in the anglosphere thanks to orwell and hemingway

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u/Egocom Jan 27 '22

Don't forget Revolutionary Catalonia!

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u/22nd_Design Jan 27 '22

A more recent example (although not against a communist State): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapatista_uprising

Although it should be said, that the EZLN does not ascribe itself to any labels and isnt exclusively anarchist.

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u/AMightyFish Jan 27 '22

There is also a very modern day example of an anarchist inspired territory in rojava Syria. Inspired by the works of Murray Bookchin and Öcalan although it's more in the form of democratic confederalism.

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u/BargainLawyer Jan 27 '22

The Zapatista in Mexico are a functioning anarchist collective

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u/Operative427 Jan 28 '22

Same with Satanists on the religious side. Everyone assumes they are Satanic Cultists, which is another 'religion's it's own. Satanism is atheist, Satan is not a deity but a symbol. The satanic Bible is really good too from what I've read. It has a lot of the good virtues and such you would expect from the normal Bible, but without all of the contradictions and hateful parts.

Not a Satanist myself but am fascinated by them. I discovered the real meaning when doing an assignment on Cults in college. I ended up focusing on Doomsday Cults, as they are more recognizable. Even the word Cult itself has a dark connotation, when it doesn't always have to be bad.

Edit: sorry that was really out of context hahah

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u/x_is_mad Jan 28 '22

That's because it threatens those in power even more than state-communism

Great point. The reason anarchism has happened such few times is the capitalists will absolutely annihilate them. But with state capitalism, they are still hated by other capitalists but tolerated since they are still capitalist. Tankies don't get this.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

Sweet.

For beginner ressources, I usually recommend Are You An Anarchist? The Answer May Surprise You!,and An Anarchist Solution to Global Warming. They're quite naïve and not real theory but give a good introduction to what (some) anarchists want society to look like.

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u/ifoughtpiranhas Jan 27 '22

wow, i literally read one sentence from the first link and had to come back to thank you. blew my mind and i know i’m gonna learn a lot from this. thank you!

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u/PM-me-youre-PMs Jan 27 '22

wow thanks this is brilliant I'll keep that and post it everywhere I see "anarchism" mentionned on reddit. they will be educated, wether they want it or not.

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u/Flyingwheelbarrow Jan 27 '22

Anarchism is about community and mutual aid for me. It is about destroying systems of oppression.

I believe humans are a communal species and our cultures are fucked up but humans are cool.

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u/JonPaul2384 Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 28 '22

Yeah, I hate how this has made anarchism even more misunderstood than it already was. People in my own social circles are dunking on “online anarchists” despite me being an anarchist because of how cringe this drama is.

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u/fatcattastic Anarchist Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 27 '22

What do you think is better propaganda for the alt-right "online anarchists" or "Liberals only care about transphobia and ableism when we're the ones who are doing it. It's just an excuse for them to impose authoritarianism"?

The fact is that many "online anarchists" worked towards deradicalizing folks being pulled into the alt-right. But liberals would rather ignore that and appease the centrists. Of course anyone with any knowledge of history knows that alienating anarchists and communists didn't really work out for them last time.

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u/mdonaberger Jan 27 '22

I am a religious syndicalist and I will always tell anyone who asks: if you don't understand anarchism, go be friends with one. You'll get it.

They're just regular people with regular interests and a passion for making things better for folks. I don't always agree with them, but we always see each other's perspective.

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u/phate101 Jan 27 '22

This is why I joined this sub.

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u/bireland7 Jan 27 '22

Anarchists do work that doesn’t pay. Organizing and engaging in direct action, managing mutual aid networks, acting as a land defender, etc are all forms of work that are very important, but not rewarded in the capitalist system.

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u/Smokeybear1337 Jan 27 '22

None of that can be done online. If you think you are making a difference, but you only do it over the internet, you aren’t helping.

This comment is going to hurt some feelings

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u/BargainLawyer Jan 27 '22

Ancaps aren’t anarchists. Capitalism is antithetical to anarchism by nature

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u/liltonbro Jan 27 '22

It started as such, then 1.25 million other voices were added which seemed to be more moderate and more numerous. At which point I argue the original vision was maintained but ignored by majority of members. I got no judgement on it other than to say when the og message (no work) and the mass particpants (good work) have 2 completely different visions...then it really is a movement and no one should control it or speak for it

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u/foustysfinds Jan 27 '22

Think like Star Trek economy. If you get rid of the scarcity and people don't have to work to eat they can work to do something fulfilling like research education or developing new technologies or something creative or whatever it is they find fulfilling in their life since we get one life and working yourself to death really isn't the end goal.

The only way to get rid of scarcity is to either come up with some kind of sci-fi food replicator (which since we're growing meat in a lab might actually not be that far off) or to make it so that there is some kind of universal basic income so that people are allowed to be people first and laborers second. We don't all need to oil the machine all the time.

It's a pretty utopian idea and most of us are starting out with the idea that organizing labor and having a shorter work week and decent benefits and PTO, being treated like human beings is a good start.

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u/Stairmaster5k Jan 28 '22

The Star Trek economy is such a succinct way of putting it.

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u/Hat_King_22 Jan 27 '22 This

This is how I see it, and how I would have framed it in a hypothetical interview.

Anti-work is not anti labor. It is a snappy catch phrase to encompass a community who desire a shift in mentality. It’s basically the opposite of a hustle mindset. Even I, who loves my job, hates aspects of work. I don’t like prioritizing profits over health, well being, and honestly productivity. The amount of times I see profits > productivity is astounding across this platform. Not enough employees to properly function? Customers are still going to come because there is a demand, those demands will either be met by an overworked staff, or won’t be met and the customer is likely to take it out on the employee because they are the face of their frustration at the moment. Profits (not paying for enough people) ends up hurting productivity (efficient production and distribution of goods).

Why a 4 day work week? Studies show it has a small impact (if any) on productivity BUT increases employee satisfaction heavily. Those happy employees are less burnt out and can spend time with their families and loved ones, engaging in hobbies, or doing nothing at all if they want. Society doesn’t benefit from the hustle culture. The man who spends 80 hours a week at the office is going to struggle helping with house work, raising children, maintaining a stable mental state, and being a generally good member of society.

Anti work is anti exploitation

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u/awfullotofocelots Jan 27 '22

I very much agree. I think that the common thread that brings a lot of diverse politics together here is the "anti hustle mindset" and idea of worker centered labor that we share in common. The point is that regardless of each persons ideal vision of a workplace (regardless of whether we see this as political or personal), there are the real current conditions which we can and should all oppose with solidarity.

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u/nepumbra0 Jan 27 '22

This 100%

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u/Cardinal_and_Plum Jan 27 '22

I want a 0 day work week if that's what I decide to do. 4 is better, but it's still being a slave to the way things are. You just get treated better.

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u/Hat_King_22 Jan 27 '22

I think that’s a definitional problem. I want a 0 day work week. That does not mean a 0 labor or 0 production week. I would still labor without the requirement to work as most people do.

The economic value of being a good friend or good parent is 0. Is it not work, but it is labor and it is production of societal benefit.

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u/Forgetthelandabove Jan 27 '22

It's anti-capitalism

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u/I_COULD_say Jan 27 '22

Now that I can get behind.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

[deleted]

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u/OhHeckf Jan 27 '22

We could automate a ton of jobs. No one will, because a large amount of people with no way to earn a living are probably going to demand UBI at the least and have a revolution at the worst.

It shouldn’t be a bad thing that we have more time for leisure, but it is, because we’ve tied doing a job to getting to remain alive.

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u/Doodles4fun4153 Jan 27 '22

I can get behind that

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u/shouldco Jan 27 '22

Being anti work doesn't mean I expect everyone to stop working immediately. It's and ideal vision that I think we can strive for even if it's recognized as being unachievable.

Being anti work is about making a series of decisions towards a work free world. Decreasing the workday/week, ubi allowing workers to have a solid reliable safety net if/when the feel the need to leave an employer, etc.

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u/Cardinal_and_Plum Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 27 '22

This exactly. We belong in the same sub on this topic, whichever may best fit our view. I don't think it's even unachievable. I think there are more people who would rather work then not, even if it's not what we would consider a full work week.

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u/Ihateredditadmins1 Jan 27 '22

You should’ve read the sidebar and faq. It clearly states what they are about. I wish more people would’ve done so before this sub filled up to a couple million members.

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u/JonWood007 Indepentarian Jan 27 '22

I really dont know how people can seriously say this. They had a whole sidebar with reading materials. Abolishwork had a whole website. There were several mod posts discussing the roots of this sub. You couldnt go 5 seconds without some anarchist constantly crapping on people for not being as extreme as them.

I mean, I got a lot of those criticisms, and I'm STILL "anti work" at my core (I argue it goes beyond the capitalist-leftist divide). I dont know how these liberal "work reformers" missed the point of this sub.

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u/MedTechSpurs Jan 27 '22

Most people just saw the posts on r/all, none of which were radical or anarchist, just posts from real everyday people wanting to be treated to fairness and respect at work

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u/automaticblues Jan 27 '22

I am genuinely anti-work. I'm not anti doing things, but I'm against having a job and selling my labour to survive.

I'm into gardening, love growing my own food, love science, engineering and architecture, but I hate that I have to sell hours of my life to someone else for the means to feed/house/clothe myself and my family.

I keep these opinions to myself for 8 hours a day though and with 95% of the adults I deal with every day (except my wife who knows exactly how it feel!)

I used to be a squatter and lived without working for many years.

Now I'm an engineer and sit in front of a laptop all day!

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u/the_post_of_tom_joad Anarcho-Communist Jan 27 '22

I came here as a ex democrat and have been driven left by learning what leftist theory is really all about. I've got a long way to go, but I'm getting a fresh perspective, and have been forced to reevaluate beliefs I've held all my life.

OP, you would do well to do the same. Learn what the "work" in "antiwork" means before decrying it as unrealistic. I say this not to attack you but to exhort you to learn some of the principles behind the ideology. They are eye opening.

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u/UncleVoodooo Jan 27 '22

I have had jobs. I have had meaningful labor. I have never had both at the same time

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u/SeizeThemAtOnce Jan 27 '22

I'm here to discuss anti-exploitation. I also love my job.

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u/Yarddogkodabear Jan 28 '22

Do people think this sub is a pro Paris Hilton Life style of decadence?

Or that robot from Futurama that lounges and gets off. That's a cartoon.

That's what Fox is going to portray to it's viewers. It's the perfect cartoon to fit their world view of what working class people think of working class they hate.

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u/johno_mendo Jan 27 '22

It's the 21st century dude, half of all jobs are expecting to be automated in 30 years, anti work is the future whether you like it or not.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

they said that half of all jobs would be automated in the 50's, and the 80's, and now again.. if it was gonna happen it would have been at least started by this point

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u/teslakav Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 27 '22

It did start, then there was a rapid cultural emphasis on commodities marketed as culturally significant, expansion of marketable demographics as children as young as 3 or 4 became a fair market to target. A significant amount of production goes into consumer goods and a huge portion of those are children’s products.

Then there was the expansion of what some call “bullshit jobs” (to borrow from Graeber, rip) that functionally do not produce or contribute but which become cogs that need to keep spinning to function in a capitalist market (think marketing, PR, data and systems analysts, some risk and compliance roles like financial risk analysts, actuaries). No slight intended on people who work that grind - get your cash buddy, I’m sure it contributes operationally and such - but the slice of the workforce they make up was unprecedented 40 years ago and are not actually roles that are ‘required’ without a hyper-capitalistic* economic system.

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u/Rough_Jacket4023 Jan 27 '22

As someone who's worked for creative departments in marketing and PR, it absolutely is a cog role and it is painfully dehumanizing. Money, tho.

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u/tandyman8360 lazy and proud Jan 27 '22

One of the reasons those jobs exist is because of rich people using their "gut" but wanting to back their opinion up with data. KPIs at my old company were a joke because they got reported higher and higher and not used to find problems in processes. I used to show labor savings by cutting time from easy jobs and adding slightly less to others. I made sure people on the manufacturing floor had plenty of time to do what they needed to do.

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u/sudoscientistagain Jan 27 '22

It has been started, just not the way we expected -- productivity has tripled in the last century while wages stagnated. Automation is here but it's being used to supplement productivity, rather than free people from wage labor. Eventually though, I do think mass automation is unavoidable - but it's probably further away than we'd think

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u/jonmediocre Jan 27 '22

Right, instead of the average person getting the benefits of automation, it's getting concentrated into the hands of the super wealthy, leaving the workers with less. It should be no surprise to anyone that automation under capitalism would work this way.

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u/CHOLO_ORACLE Anarchist Without Adverbs Jan 27 '22

Bullshit Jobs goes into all of this.

Please for the love of Christ read the sidebar people

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u/J5892 Jan 27 '22

They weren't wrong. It has happened.
Millions of jobs have been completely automated. I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of the jobs of workers in the 50s have been replaced by automation. But other jobs have been created to replace them, and the ones that weren't automated have grown.

The problem is that because of the exponential nature of technological advancement, automation is outpacing the ability of society to create new jobs to offset it. It's only a matter of time before "half of all jobs will be automated" means that half the population has no jobs available. And that number can only grow.

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u/calste Jan 27 '22

Half of all jobs have already been replaced by machines - before the industrial revolution 50% of Americans (and probably similar in other countries) worked in agriculture. Now that number is under 2%. Yet we all must work. It doesn't matter how many jobs are automated, the wealthy and powerful will make sure we are reliant on them for our survival.

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u/MallFoodSucks Jan 27 '22

I mean I eliminated 500 jobs with AI in my company. It is starting, it’s just not mainstream yet and cutting edge tech companies are the only ones paying for it. Most F500 pay 50% what a top tech company pays to automate stuff.

Once more people learn, it’ll be everywhere.

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u/PeytonManThing00018 Jan 27 '22

Maybe half of current jobs (even that’s a stretch) but they’ll just be replaced with new jobs.

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u/DazedAndTrippy Jan 27 '22 edited Jan 27 '22

The world can’t handle that much power being used. Our Earth is already dying, we won’t be able to automate because resources to do so will become too scarce and costly to make a McDonalds run with nobody in it. My issue with this is assuming our world is in a good enough state to support this, in 30 years we may all be dead because of the climate why would everything becoming automated be the future? We can’t even make enough graphics cards ffs

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

we dont need to automate mcdonalds we need to stop it..

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u/DazedAndTrippy Jan 27 '22

I know but also it won’t happen. We don’t need to worry about a McDonalds being fully automated because it won’t happen unless we somehow tap into a bunch of new resources. It’s worth worrying about more basic jobs being done by robots, like in factories, but at some point none of this may be possible. Self driving cars are a huge liability at the moment and may never be able to account for other drivers and there’s no way we can replace everybody’s car with a self driving one. Because of that I doubt trucking can be fully automated anytime soon, it feels like more of a fear tactic than anything. “Hey come be a trucker, but I’ll pay you less and have you driving around the clock because there’s a robot we’re making that can replace you we promise!”

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

oh i agree completely. i was just telling someone else "they" have been threatening total automation for like a century at this point. if it was gonna happen you'd think they would have at least started on it at this point..

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u/datgirljaybreezy Jan 27 '22

Are you telling me you’d look me in the eyes and choose a world where you had to have a job over one where you wouldn’t? Why are you so attached to working?

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u/imamediocredeveloper Jan 27 '22

It’s literally in the description of the subreddit…

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u/StrangleDoot Jan 27 '22

Read the fucking sidebar jfc.

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u/LtMoonbeam Jan 27 '22

Well, yes it is. It’s not anti labor. It’s anti capitalism and anti exploitation (same thing, really). Of course we can’t just sit around and waste away as a species but we should be entitled to the benefits of our labor and those that can’t provide (i.e. handicapped or indisposed) should not be left out to dry. Work and jobs do not provide that, thus we are anti work. We are a society and thus we need to think about our neighbors and take care of each other. Capitalism prevents that.

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u/I_COULD_say Jan 27 '22

That's sensible.

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u/kittyjo090 Jan 27 '22

I think you need to rethink what the word work means and entails.

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u/RoaryFlangers Jan 27 '22

Damn you spent how much time in this sub and never read the sidebar?

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u/Blitz-99 Jan 27 '22

I take it as 40 hours or more per week is bullshit.

Getting emails and texts that you're expected to respond to on your time off is bullshit

That getting paid 10 bucks an hour and expected to represent the company with professionalism is bullshit

That getting covid or the flu and needing to work because you get paid poorly is bullshit

That bosses belittling your efforts is bullshit

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u/boron-uranium-radon Jan 27 '22

Yeah, I was under the same impression. I half hoped that this movement would be something that could actually lead to change so my kids wouldn’t have to deal with the same crippling bs I had to deal with at Walmart, but I think it’s time I look elsewhere.

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u/tomtomclubthumb Jan 27 '22

Well it is literally, but being anti-work doesn't mean no one will do anything. (In the same way anarchism does not mean that there are no rules.)

anti-work means that our work should be productive, instead of paying salespeople, marketers, advertisers to get us to buy shit we don't need, those people could do something useful.

Instead of producing endless iterations of the same products so we can buy new goods to replace what we already have, we could work a lot less and produce what we want and need.

Anti-work means that what each person produces goes directly to help their community, rather than being added to the pile of some boss.

It means we have control over what we do and how we do it. So we decide what horus we do, what activities we do, what we produce, how it is distributed etc.

anti-work is about freedom from a system that is deliberately unfair. There is no need for so many of us to struggle and be unhappy.

And people will of course say that without money, no-one will be inspired to do anything.

Then why do companies only pay more to bosses, when the peons get minimum wage? Surely everyone would work more for bonuses? Surely people who would gain more from a bonus would work harder for it? I think "I can get my tooth fixed after four years" would probably really motivate someone rather than "I could buy a third yacht"

Then why do we have charities? Rich people love to flaunt their compassion, but the poor give, relatively, more and people wouldn't need charity if we had our needs met.

Then why do we have any projects like wikipedia, open-source coding etc. People genuinely like to help each other.

The next time you are thinking that "people won't do anything unless they get paid" just think about the last thing that made you happy. It might have been facilitated within this system by money, but it wasn't the money that made you happy.

anti-work means being anti-work. IT means freeing us prom the pointles and unproductive, so that what we do actually means something and achieves something.

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u/RuthlessKittyKat Jan 27 '22

"work" is a specific construct- waged labor and such. We can hunt and gather and make things and grow things and none of that is waged work.

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u/chaneilmiaalba Jan 27 '22

In addition to that - be free to raise our children and care for our elderly. Both labor intensive but not necessarily work (many people who can’t afford daycare and elder care do it themselves without getting paid for it, because it is something that needs to be done).

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u/kaolin224 Jan 27 '22

Not many, there was a sizeable group here with that philosophy, but the majority of users started joining because they were about worker's rights, fair compensation, and better work conditions. I doubt most of the people here have even read their propaganda on the sidebar.

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u/JanetheGhost Jan 27 '22

You didn't think a sub called antiwork, whose info said that it was explicitly an antiwork, anarchist subreddit, was anti work? Sounds like a you problem, bud

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u/curatedcliffside Jan 27 '22

It's complicated. On one hand, there will always be people who work. There are many good reasons to do so- personal fulfillment, ambition, contributing to your community, etc.

On the other hand, work needn't be compulsory. All scarcity is artificial- we have enough money, food, resources to go around. The system puts us in a position where the majority of people are overworked just to keep their heads above water. This is intentional to benefit the elites.

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u/I_COULD_say Jan 27 '22

This is a sensible take. Thank you.

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u/The_Fudir Anarcho-Syndicalist Jan 27 '22

Work vs. Labor. They're different concepts.

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u/PotPumper43 Jan 27 '22

Hey if you just prefer to bitch about your chains, rather than begin to eliminate them, r/jobs is hopping.

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u/ryanjovian Jan 27 '22

This was an anarchist/left sub and it started getting rec’d and the mods and old users weren’t prepared for the sudden shift in message. Simple as that. Work reformers should go searching for subs dedicated to work reform. Cough cough hint hint.

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u/unmerciful0u812 Jan 27 '22

Laziness is a virtue.

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u/pootietang33 Anarcho-Communist Jan 27 '22

Fuck yeah it is.

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u/Different_Average2la Jan 27 '22

Happy cake day you lazies

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u/_laufaeson Jan 27 '22

I think the sub you’re looking for then is r/LateStageCapitalism or r/IWW

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u/Punish_Hell Jan 27 '22

Well, there is a sub called WorkersRights that seems more in line with what most of the new people on Anti-work want to focus on. So maybe join it.

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u/Telecetsch Jan 27 '22

I haven’t made a comment because it all gives me a headache.

I am in 100% agreement with you when I first found out about it. But then I started to see the origins of anti-work and literally how the basis was to abolish work.

I stuck around because I was seeing a lot of workers’ rights and other issues. I was hoping an alternate sub would pop up because I am of the mind that workers right need to be protected and expanded; not that we should abolish work.

TBH I’m kinda ok that anti work blew up the way it did. More people got into the movement for a fair working environment.

I think the biggest problem is that anti work got highjacked and turned into a worker sub.

That interview was a debacle..but I’m glad that it has motivated people to create other subs AND I’m glad anti work caught attention. Unfortunately, after that interview, it’s going to take a lot of work to make a credible argument for a movement.

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u/Lence98 Jan 27 '22

Anarchists, the serious ones anyway, do not believe a world without work is possible, but that a world with greatly reduced work where everyone gets what they need but none have vast excess is.

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u/Panda_With_Your_Gun Jan 27 '22

Anarchists are leftists

We're entering a post scarcity economy. Essentially with automation and efficient resource management there's no reason for us to need to work. We could all just pursue passion, which would mean we would still have incredibly learned individuals, experts, doing research in fields that we need. We'd probably still have plumbers for a variety of reasons. The world would not fall apart if the penalty for not working wasn't starvation, homelessness, and death.

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u/Bi_Bird_Enjoyer Jan 27 '22

Work is not the same as labor. Obviously labor will always exists (Hunting, trades, other actual jobs that create material goods and services)

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u/SpeedyGonSoulLess Jan 27 '22

sorts by controversial

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u/imnotyoursavior Jan 27 '22

No work is absolutely possible, just not immediately. People with limited vision can't see it.

Why do you work? To eat? To have a house to sleep in? To have medical assistance?

We should work to live but we currently live to work.

If our needs could be met with very minimal human required "work", shouldn't we strive for that? That is how you solve homelessness and world hunger. Not by pulling on bootstraps, but by creating effiency for the sake of others instead of profit.

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u/eyeandtail Jan 27 '22

It's anti the current work structure. Not anti labour.

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u/ketamineXpille Jan 27 '22

I hate to work, so I’m anti work.

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u/Woolfman_8 Jan 28 '22

I always thought it was more about “fuck shitty managers”

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u/SavageFalcon077 Jan 28 '22

I’ve always took this community to be standing up for workers rights. Is that no longer the case?

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u/Either-Scare Jan 28 '22

Yea, I’m here for the workers’ rights shit too. I’m not anti-work, I’m anti-exploitation. You gotta contribute to the common good the best you can, I just don’t think that anyone should be asked to destroy your body and mind to do that. Everyone is human and deserves access to living a decent, dignified life.

The work for the common good is for equitable distribution of prosperity, but THAT Is a struggle and takes work.

fuck being a lazy, unempathetic, selfish jerk.

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u/cburgess7 Jan 28 '22

Really sad that workers rights are viewed as radical leftist ideas, and not just good ideas in general. What's so difficult about a country wanting to support a simple cost of living adjustment, and not dehumanizing employees?

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u/Calvin_Hobbes124 Jan 28 '22

Bah ha ha of course it’s removed

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u/Ill-Newt-4851 Jan 28 '22

lmao they removed this post

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u/Eliot_Sontar Jan 28 '22

I thought this was anti asswhole managers but I guess not

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u/zealshock Jan 27 '22

Dude read the fucking sidebar. Stop appropriating shit you don't know about

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

Surprise? What you're describing isn't work, it's labor. Their is a difference. Always good to ask questions first or research something before casting judgement on it.

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u/handle2001 Jan 27 '22

99% of this issue could be solved if people just read the fucking sidebar. I thought liberals were supposed to be well-educated and capable of assimilating new information. Yet somehow I keep seeing post after post following a template of "I DiDn'T rEaLiZe AnTi-WoRk MeAnT aNtI-wOrk". That's your mistake, not anyone else's, and blaming the creators/mods of the sub because you couldn't be bothered to read the room (literally and figuratively) is just stupid.

You all did the same shit to BLM, the same shit to Occupy, the same shit to Abolish the Police, etc etc. Movement after movement you come stomping into the building thinking you know exactly what flavor of koolaid is being served and then get pissed off when your cup is actually full of plain old healthy water. This is literally why we can't have nice things.

I personally think there is a ton of potential for collaboration across all the various strains of leftist thought here (yes including you, centrist liberals), but we can't even discuss that because we have to wade through a thousand posts by butthurt democrats who can't deal with the world being different from what they read about in their bourgeois Poly Sci 101 course. Get over your fucking egos. Get over your fucking smug bullshit about what's "realistic" and what's not, and for fuck's sake try actually listening for once.

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u/catcitybitch Jan 27 '22

Easy there, no need to deep throat the boot. You’re just supposed to lick it.

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u/Marian_Rejewski Jan 27 '22

Hunter-gatherers don't have jobs. They're not workers.

Work means a certain kind of social relationship. It doesn't mean exertion or effort or production.

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u/rhangx Jan 27 '22

Okay, in fairness, that just means that you didn't read the sidebar. The stated ideology of this sub is very explicit, and always has been.

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u/xvx_gf Jan 27 '22

i don’t think anyone is advocating for literally no work. i’m just one voice, but i believe that work should just not be required to live. i believe in a universal base income and jobs that provide a significant-enough additional income that it would still encourage people to participate in the work force. however, those who can’t or just don’t want to, don’t necessarily have to, they just wouldn’t be able to purchase luxuries.

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u/PMURMEANSOFPRDUCTION Jan 27 '22

The sub is and always was anti-work. But anti-work doesn't mean anti-labor.

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u/Azeron955 Jan 27 '22

A subreddit for those who want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want more information on anti-work ideas and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles.

Bro.

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u/MajesticViper7 Jan 27 '22

Seems like a lot of people in the sub couldn't be bothered to look up the definition of anarchy and just started calling themselves anarchists to sound cool

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u/Aepyx_ Jan 27 '22

I only joined this sub because it's anarchist

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u/Spambot0 Jan 27 '22

A sub doesn't have any opinions or positions.

The members do, but they won't all agree on everything and if you want solidarity and mass action, you really can't load on the purity tests.

"You shouldn't have to work to have the basics for survival" is definitely an idea with some popularity, but what are "the basics", and how feasible that is, are less agreed upon.

I dunno. If it's possible to supply everyone with some level of living without anyone having to work, it makes sense to me. I don't know what's feasible though.

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u/Fractalati0n Jan 27 '22

Yeah, me to.

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u/[deleted] Jan 27 '22

Half the sub believes what you expect, the other half believes in full on communism with robots from the future doing all of our labor.

One day, but not today.

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u/Asleep_Omega Jan 27 '22

I see it as anti exploitation

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u/lsc84 Jan 27 '22

You're right--the vast majority of people aren't literally anti-work. In fact I would say the entire point of the sub, as judged by the prevailing opinions and posts, is that people here value work more than the mainstream--they value it more, and they think it should be compensated more. The problem they are fighting is that mainstream society doesn't value work--they merely expect it, but don't compensate it. If they valued work properly--if they compensated it properly--we wouldn't be here, and the economy wouldn't be in shambles.

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u/NobodyAffectionate71 Jan 27 '22

I’m here for workers rights and quality of life. Sure, in an ideal world nobody would HAVE to work in some self sustaining society. But we’re not there. I’m here to be a part of a movement that betters the life’s of every employee. From the bottom of the barrel where I reside, to the upper echelon of the financial district where they feel the need to sleep at their desks to stay competitive, and EVERYONE in between.

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u/KESHXD44 Jan 27 '22

I’m more aligned with the pro-worker rights side. Anarchist point of view is totally a bizarre concept to me.

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u/Mixedbysaint Jan 27 '22

This sub is wild. Most of the posts are closer to r/DystopianLabor

Antiwork would be really into automation of labor as much as possible and UBI policies

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u/Wipedout89 Jan 27 '22

Agree 100% I thought it was just a catchy title but not literally against all work. Just against being taken advantage of.

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u/GhostShirtFinnerty Jan 27 '22

Generalizing the extreme is a dangerous and effective tool

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u/bjourne-ml Jan 27 '22

Anti-Work is the same as anti-Racism. You see both (work and Racism) as scourges upon society that causes tremendous amounts of pain and suffering. Less work, or less exploitative work is good, just as less Racism and less severe Racism is good. But best is no work and no Racism at all.

Now, no work does not mean no human productivity. There is a difference between getting sweaty from forced manual labor because you need money to survive and getting sweaty from going to the gym to keep yourself fit.

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u/WriteTrue Anarchist Jan 27 '22

No forced work and no work are completely different

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u/MrDaBucket Jan 27 '22

I don’t think anarchists means unemployed

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u/Lyra125 Jan 27 '22

anti capitalists' definition of "work".