How Some Lucky Bros (& Karl Marx) Ruined Work For Everyone
Ester Bloom

This is a very poor interpretation of Marx’s “live to work” maxim in relationship to late capitalism and the disconnect between hours worked and productivity. The full spirit of the quote is here:

“…as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a critical critic and must remain so if he does not wish to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening,criticize after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.”

In essence, what Marx is saying is that the kind of jobs under capitalism tie to singular existence in which we are trapped because we cannot quit or we’ll starve. “Labor” under his definition is more expansive and could be stretched to include, motherhood, reading and other modes of domestic life or self care. The kind of “job” described here is the very thing that Marx would have objected to, particular since it is the very essence of division of labor, and division of labor “implies the contradiction between the interest of the separate individual or the individual family and the communal interest of all individuals who have intercourse with one another.” Silicon Valley would have horrified Marx because the rewards it offers depend upon perfecting the kind of alienation from labor he worked is entire life against.