5,164. All the megacorporations on the planet make their obscene profits off the labour and suffering of others, with complete disregard for the effects on the workers, environment, and future generations. As with the banking sector, they play games with the lives of millions, hysterically reject any kind of government intervention when the profits are rolling in, but are quick to pass the bill for the cleanup and the far-reaching consequences of these avoidable tragedies to the public when things go wrong. We have a straightforward proposal: if they want public money, we want public control. It’s that simple. (Labour & Corporation & Profit & Banksters) Michael Hureaux-Perez
5,165. The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many, is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything. (Labour & Work & Rich & Capitalism & Democracy) Charles Moore
5,207. As the sun shines I will make hay
To keep failure at bay
For there remaineth a pay
For my honest toil each day. (Labor & Work & Pay) Ogwo David Emenike
5,167. The majority of any society comprised, Smith knew, not landlords or merchants, but ‘servants, laborers, and workmen of different kinds’, who derived their income from wages. Their welfare was the prime concern of economic policy, as Smith conceived it. ‘No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable,’ he wrote. ‘It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged.’ The chief economic concern of the legislator, in Smith’s view, ought to be the purchasing power of wages, since that was the measure of the material well-being of the bulk of the population. (Labor & Work & Wages & Society) Jerry Z Muller, The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought
5,168. This is what the bourgeois political economists have done: they have treated value as a fact of nature, not a social construction arising out of a particular mode of production. What Marx is interested in is a revolutionary transformation of society, and that means an overthrow of the capitalist value-form, the construction of an alternative value-structure, an alternative value-system that does not have the specific character of that achieved under capitalism. I cannot overemphasize this point, because the value theory in Marx is frequently interpreted as a universal norm with which we should comply. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people complain that the problem with Marx is that he believes the only valid notion of value derives from labour inputs. It is not that at all; it is a historical social product. The problem, therefore, for socialist, communist, revolutionary, anarchist or whatever, is to find an alternative value-form that will work in terms of the social reproduction of society in a different image. By introducing the concept of fetishism, Marx shows how the naturalized value of classical political economy dictates a norm; we foreclose on revolutionary possibilities if we blindly follow that norm and replicate commodity fetishism. Our task is to question it. (Labour & Work & Value & Capitalism & Marxism) David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital
5,169. Every historical form of society is in its foundation a form of organization of labour. While every previous form of society was an organization of labour in the interests of a minority, which organized its State apparatus for the oppression of the overwhelming majority of the workers, we are making the first attempt in world history to organize labour in the interests of the labouring majority itself. (Labour & Society & Working Class & Organise) Leon Trotsky, Terrorism and Communism
5,170. As a general rule, man strives to avoid labour. Love for work is not at all an inborn characteristic: it is created by economic pressure and social education. One may even say that man is a fairly lazy animal. It is on this quality, in reality, that is founded to a considerable extent all human progress; because if man did not strive to expend his energy economically, did not seek to receive the largest possible quantity of products in return for a small quantity of energy, there would have been no technical development or social culture. (Labor & Work & Working Class) ibid.
5,172. Our labour preserves us from three great evils – weariness, vice, and want. Voltaire, Candide
5,173. Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect deceiver of a man’s true worth. (Labour & Work & Job & Value) Criss Jami
5,176. But every acquisition that is disproportionate to the labour spent on it is dishonest. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
5,178. The Lord had given them the day and the Lord had given them the strength. And the day and the strength had been dedicated to labour, and the labour was its reward. Who was the labour for? What would be its fruits? These were irrelevant and idle questions. ibid.
5,179. But men labour under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon ploughed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. (Labour & Work) Henry David Thoreau
5,188. The laboring man, that tills the fertile soil,
And reaps the harvest fruit, hath not in deed
The gain, but pain; and if for all his toil
He gets the straw, and lord will have the seed. (Work & Labour) Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford, The Labouring Man 1573
5,190. Audience Woman on pedestal: I have three jobs and I feel like I contribute.
George W Bush: You work three jobs?
Audience Woman on pedestal: Three jobs.
George W Bush: Uniquely American isn’t it? You are just fantastic doing that. Get any sleep? (Work & Job & Labor & Bush)
5,205. We spend our midday sweat our midnight oil;
We tire the night in thought, the day in toil. (Work & Labour & Think & Midnight) Francis Quaries, Emblems 1635
5,218. It’s a fight we knew all too well in Flint, Michigan. For it was here that my uncle and his fellow workers first brought down the mighty corporate interest that dominated their lives. It was the day before New Year’s Eve 1936 and hundreds of men and women took over the GM factories in Flint and occupied them for forty-four days. They were the first union that beat an industrial corporation, and their actions eventually resulted in the creation of a middle class. (Work & Labor & Trade Union & Strike & Industrial Action & Solidarity & Unity) Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story
5,282. We just philosophize, complain of boredom, or drink vodka. It’s so clear, you see, that if we're to begin living in the present, we must first of all redeem our past and then be done with it forever. And the only way we can redeem our past is by suffering and by giving ourselves over to exceptional labour, to steadfast and endless labour. (Work & Labour) Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard
9,042. Shaftesbury was a man looking for a mission. And when in 1832 he read a series of articles in The Times about child labour he foundered. The industrial revolution was changing Britain as never before, and it seemed the inevitable price of progress that children worked oppressive, long hours for meagre wages in unregulated workplaces. And few people cared. (Children & England & Work & Labour & Philanthropy & Great Britain) Ian Hislop’s Age of the Do-Gooders II: Suffer the Little Children
9,043. The MP for Bolton, who was a mine owner, argued that it would unjustly deprive children of their honest livelihood, and would drive them and their families into the workhouse. Others suggested that working from a young age was good and developed useful industrious habits ... Others said that the entire mining industry would collapse if it wasn’t allowed to use child labour. (Children & England & Work & Labour & Mines & Great Britain) ibid.