Jack Saturday

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 435-437

A man working 8 hours a day, 250 days a year, generated 37½ million foot-pounds of energy. Each day, at that rate, he produces 0.13 kilowatt-hours. As an energy source, he is worth far less than coolie's wages. In 1940, it was calculated that in energy prices then current, a $50,000 a year executive was being paid as though he developed 16,500,000 kilowatt-hours per annum. Neither he, nor the worker, is "earning” his pay-- they are both drawing dividends at a fantastic rate.
Hugh Kenner,

Oh, the Marxists talked a good game - working in the morning, fishing in the afternoon, lounging around to watch the sunset; 20-hour workweeks; month-long vacations; etc. But when you get down to it, they are still drawing from the same poisoned well that has parched Western civilization for the last 500 years: the Protestant Ethic, which freed Europe from Catholic voodoo only to feed its heads with doodoo, such as "work is the outward sign of moral perfection." While Luther was telling people that what counted was faith and the Holy Spirit, not work and deeds, Calvin helped spread silly ideas, like the one that people had to be at constant physical labor or idleness would tempt them to sin. Deep down, this is the root of the Puritan Ethic: why even today the neo-Puritans hate Hollywood with such passion: they feel that if we are not kept busy with mindless, rote work, then we will be seized by the carnal passions and led to sin.
Steve Mizrach

Were mechanisation an end in itself, it would be an unmitigated calamity, robbing life of half its fulness and variety by stunting men and women into sub-human, robot-like automatons. But in the last resort, mechanisation can have only one object: to abolish the individual's physical toil of providing himself [sic] with the necessities of existence in order that hand and brain may be set free for some higher order of activity.
Professor Walter Gropius


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