— Bob Black American anarchist 1951
Context: I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimun definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it's done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or "communist," work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness. Usually—and this is even more true in "communist" than capitalist countries, where the state is almost the only employer and everyone is an employee — work is employment, i. e., wage-labor, which means selling yourself on the installment plan. Thus 95% of Americans who work, work for somebody (or something) else. In the USSR or Cuba or Yugoslavia or Nicaragua or any other alternative model which might be adduced, the corresponding figure approaches 100%. Only the embattled Third World peasant bastions — Mexico, India, Brazil, Turkey — temporarily shelter significant concentrations of agriculturists who perpetuate the traditional arrangement of most laborers in the last several millennia, the payment of taxes (ransom) to the state or rent to parasitic landlords in return for being otherwise left alone. Even this raw deal is beginning to look good. All industrial (and office) workers are employees and under the sort of surveillance which ensures servility.
„The Soviet scheme of compulsory labor is being applied on such a broad scale and is so boldly presented as a ‘proletarian’ scheme that it constitutes the gravest danger that has confronted labor for centuries.“
— Bob Black American anarchist 1951
„By the 1990s, it was no longer possible to speak, with any intellectual integrity, of a Soviet Union of Stalin as having been informed by a ‘proletarian’ economic system, or possessed of a ‘working-class’ government. No more credence is invested in the Stalinist, Maoist, or Castro ‘proletarian state’ than was invested in the ‘proletarian’ character of the ‘German National Socialist Workers’ Party’ or the ‘Fascist State of Labor.“
— A. James Gregor American political scientist 1929
„Classical mechanics has been developed continuously from the time of Newton and applied to an ever-widening range of dynamical systems, including the electromagnetic field in interaction with matter. The underlying ideas and the laws governing their application form a simple and elegant scheme, which one would be inclined to think could not be seriously modified without having all its attractive features spout. Nevertheless it has been found possible to set up a new scheme, called quantum mechanics, which is more suitable for the description of phenomena on the atomic scale and which is in some respects more elegant and satisfying than the classical scheme. This possibility is due to the changes which the new scheme involves being of a very profound character and not clashing with the features of the classical theory that make it so attractive, as a result of which all these features can be incorporated in the new scheme.“
— Paul Dirac theoretical physicist 1902 - 1984
I. The Principle of Superposition - 1. The Need for a Quantum Theory
„Every right of suffrage, like any political right in general, is not to be measured by some sort of abstract scheme of “justice,” or in terms of any other bourgeois-democratic phrases, but by the social and economic relationships for which it is designed. The right of suffrage worked out by the Soviet government is calculated for the transition period from the bourgeois-capitalist to the socialist form of society, that is, it is calculated for the period of the proletarian dictatorship. But, according to the interpretation of this dictatorship which Lenin and Trotsky represent, the right to vote is granted only to those who live by their own labor and is denied to everyone else.“
— Rosa Luxemburg Polish Marxist theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary 1871 - 1919
Chapter Five, "The Question of Suffrage"
„It is earnestly recommended that the freedom of Negroes be acknowledged, and that, instead of compulsory labor, contracts on fair terms be entered“
— Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885
Context: The citizens of Mississippi within the limits above described, are called upon to pursue their peaceful avocations, in obedience to the laws of the United States. Whilst doing so in good faith, all the United States forces are prohibited from molesting them in any way. It is earnestly recommended that the freedom of Negroes be acknowledged, and that, instead of compulsory labor, contracts on fair terms be entered into between the former masters and servants, or between the latter and other persons who may be willing to give them employment. Such a system as this, honestly followed, will result in substantial advantages to all parties. General Orders, No. 50 (1 August 1863), Vicksburg. https://archive.org/stream/wordsofourheroul00gran/wordsofourheroul00gran_djvu.txt
— Amir Peretz Israeli politician 1952
„A parallel case was the Fugitive Slave Act. Article IV of the Constitution says that any person held to the service or laborer in any state escaping to another state shall not be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be returned to the one to whom the service or labor is due. This is the Fugitive Slave Clause of the Constitution.“
— Harry V. Jaffa American historian and collegiate professor 1918 - 2015
„As far as is possible under the ruthless tyranny the organized labor of [Soviet] Russia is everywhere in a state of full revolt.“
— Samuel Gompers American Labor Leader[AFL] 1850 - 1924
Out of Their Own Mouths: A Revelation and an Indictment of Sovietism, New York: NY, E.P Dutton and Company (1921) p. 87, co-authored with William English Walling.
— Samuel Johnson English writer 1709 - 1784
„Reduce the supply of black labor by colonizing the black laborer out of the country, and by precisely so much you increase the demand for and wages of white labor.“
— Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
Context: Labor is like any other commodity in the market — increase the demand for it and you increase the price of it. Reduce the supply of black labor by colonizing the black laborer out of the country, and by precisely so much you increase the demand for and wages of white labor.
„The class of the wholly propertyless, who are obliged to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie in order to get, in exchange, the means of subsistence for their support. This is called the class of proletarians, or the proletariat.“
— Friedrich Engels German social scientist, author, political theorist, and philosopher 1820 - 1895
„The Old and New Testaments contain but one scheme of religion. Neither part of this scheme can be understood without the other.“
— Richard Cecil (clergyman) British Evangelical Anglican priest and social reformer 1748 - 1810
„Gödel demonstrated that every logical scheme, including mathematics, is dependent upon axioms that it cannot prove and that cannot be reduced to the scheme itself.“
— George Gilder technology writer 1939
Context: Academic scientists of any sort expect to be struck by lightning if they celebrate real creation de novo in the world. One does not expect modern scientists to address creation by God. They have a right to their professional figments such as infinite multiple parallel universes. But it is a strange testimony to our academic life that they also feel it necessary of entrepreneurship to chemistry and cuisine, Romer finally succumbs to the materialist supersition: the idea that human beings and their ideas are ultimately material. Out of the scientistic fog there emerged in the middle of the last century the countervailling ideas if information theory and computer science. The progenitor of information theory, and perhaps the pivotal figure in the recent history of human thought, was Kurt Gödel, the eccentric Austrian genius and intimate of Einstein who drove determinism from its strongest and most indispensable redoubt; the coherence, consistency, and self-sufficiency of mathematics. Gödel demonstrated that every logical scheme, including mathematics, is dependent upon axioms that it cannot prove and that cannot be reduced to the scheme itself. In an elegant mathematical proof, introduced to the world by the great mathematician and computer scientist John von Neumann in September 1930, Gödel demonstrated that mathematics was intrinsically incomplete. Gödel was reportedly concerned that he might have inadvertently proved the existence of God, a faux pas in his Viennese and Princeton circle. It was one of the famously paranoid Gödel's more reasonable fears. As the economist Steven Landsberg, an academic atheist, put it, "Mathematics is the only faith-based science that can prove it." Knowledge and Power : The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World (2013), Ch. 10: Romer's Recipes and Their Limits <!-- Regnery Publishing -->