Ambition is a Vice, NOT a Virtue -or- The “Work Ethic” is a Scam

Ever heard this brief exchange before?-

“How is so-and-so doing? I haven’t seen him for a while.”

“Oh, he’s really busy; keeping really busy with his job.”


How about something like this?-

“Where’s Todd? He couldn’t make it home for Christmas again this year? Had to work, huh? Oh well, I’m glad at least he’s out there working hard and making some good money!”

Can you see the problem here? The attitudes about work and making money at the expense of spending time with family and friends and enjoying leisure are twisted. The response to both situations above should rather be: “That sucks. I’m sorry to hear that!” Now, of course, the poor bastard working all of the time may not have much of a choice; as is the case for many Proles. This basic problem is at the heart of our struggle – to emancipate workers from wage slavery, and by sharing the burden lighten everyone’s load so people don’t have to work so hard or so long. But the problem to be focused on here is the attitude toward work, making money and “getting ahead” in life.

Ambition and busy, busy-body work activity is one of those things I like to call the “anti-values” of the bourgeoisie; they are basically the values held by the bourgeoisie, but to normal folks they are negative, harmful beliefs and practices, hence we call them “anti-values”. True values are beneficial and promote individual health of body and mind as well as promoting the common good. Work, just for work’s sake, in order to keep busy and for the purpose of bringing in far more income and wealth than you really need is a vice, not a virtue.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra:

“All of you to who furious work is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange – you tolerate yourselves badly; your diligence is flight and the will to forget yourselves. If you believed more in life, then you would devote yourselves less to the momentary. But you do not have contents enough in yourselves for waiting – nor even for idleness!”

To further illustrate the point, for all those who fixate on what they consider to be the drain on society due to the supposed slothfulness of the poor, rather than the harm caused by the idle rich, here is a paraphrased quote from George Carlin:

“Show me a guy who lays around on the couch all day doing nothing, and I’ll show you a guy who isn’t causing any fucking problems!”

Is work all bad? No, of course not. There are things that need to get done, and we take care of them. Some of these tasks are enjoyable and empowering, some are dirty and laborious. There is nothing “sacred” about work for its own sake – that notion has been implanted into people’s minds by the boss class in order to make good, happy slaves to do their bidding. However, in a way, the upper classes do believe in their own bullshit, because the work they get to do, as they perceive it, is thoroughly empowering, creative and satisfying. After a stimulating day at the office, it’s off to dinner and drinks at a fabulous new cafe-bistro where they also get the smug satisfaction of boasting to their spouses and so-called friends about how “hard” they worked – without even breaking a sweat!

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