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Work: Capitalism. Economics. Resistance

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  495 ratings  ·  47 reviews
By itself, this is a book about work, but it's also more than that. It is an outline of an analysis of capitalism: what it is, how it works, how we might dis-mantle it. And the book and the analysis are outgrowths of something more a movement of people determined to fight it.
So this book isn't just an attempt to describe reality but also a tool with which to change it. If
Paperback, 374 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Crimethinc (first published April 1st 2011)
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Matthew Hunter
A quote on the back of the title page defines the purpose of the book perfectly: "property is theft - steal it back." The book is an economic analysis, critique of capitalism, and a call to action for subverting and replacing the capitalist system.

Some of the analysis is very strong. For example, as a clergy person in the Methodist Church, I was drawn in by the criticism of religion. Here's a sample:

"Vertical alliances can take seemingly innocuous forms such as sports team followings and religio
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people just starting to see the cracks in the wall, those who want to smash it down
No longer using this website, but I'm leaving up old reviews. Fuck Jeff Bezos. Find me on LibraryThing:

Work is a lucid and thoughtful analysis of capitalism, work, and economics. Its strengths come from its its readability, its perspective, and, most importantly, its timing.

The authors of Work have a pretty amazing ability to explain the complicated concepts upon which our economy rests in just a couple of pages. The authors have engaged the hundreds of
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: started-to-read
Wow, almost a decade after Crimethinc. swept me off my feet and skyrocketed me into the world of anarchism, they've managed to make something relevant, enjoyable and something I'm not embarrassed to share with friends and acquaintances.

It's also bizarre to read a book that's timely (the resistance section in the back talks about north africa and has pictures from within the last few months) while it's still timely.
Can't deny the perfect timing on this book's release. A theory of wealth inequality in capitalism, printed late enough to reference and speculate about the Arab Spring movements and early enough to thrust into the hands of USA Occupiers.

Crimethinc wrote a winner here. The clear, thorough breakdown of the 2008 financial crisis is the best I've read so far.* It's like a really knowledgeable friend taking the time to explain the entire system and process from causes to domino effects to far reachin
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Actually a lot better than I would expected.

The criticisms can really come from some of the same things that can be leveled on Crimethinc, though the lifestylism and silly "adventure" stuff has been toned down. Instead, there really is a lack of ways forward and an effort to over-critique, at the point of making things feel futile and often without a way for readers to have a way forward. This is not to mention point blank areas where they have gotten facts wrong(a lot of this comes from their b
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a pretty good analysis of work in capitalism. I've never read much about economics, and I feel this was a good introduction. However, it only scratched the surface. It didn't detail a lot of what it described, and like many Crimethinc books, didn't supply references for many claims and figures. For an intro to anarchist analysis of work though, it was pretty decent.
The book reaper
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
There's a lot of truth in here. Certainly wish it was mandatory to read in schools, but I didn't learn anything new from it.
Chris Bracco
Structured as a collection of short chapters, this book attempts to define Work™, and its many components, and provides insight into how our daily lives have been affected by the rise of capitalism. Certain chapters read like a mouthy five-paragraph essay from a high school student, while others provided really interesting connections between work, capitalism, and the many controversial issues facing our society today.

This book is heavy on complaints about capitalism and how it is ruining our l
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'll never forgive Crimethinc for Evasion but this was pretty good. A very clear, accessible explanation of capitalism. I would definitely recommend this for someone who's new to anarchism/anti-capitalism and has a hard time articulating why.
Hugo Filipe
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Lacks inspiration, and depth, but it might be useful to the newcomer
Alla Sonder
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! Huge congrats to the folks at the mysterious crimethinc for this beautiful and comprehensive book! The artwork was deeply stirring and humorous and wonderful! Truly incredible artwork! As someone who has not received an education, this book was a super helpful 101 on a ton of different topics. The writing was disorganized, dense & unnecessarily hard to understand at points, and sometimes felt cheap or with sloppy analysis, and it took me a while to push through the book, but I deeply apprec ...more
Aaron Babino
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great intro to concepts of capitalist critique. Crimethinc in a way just regurgitates ancient leftist concepts in a modern protest punkish light, but is that such a bad thing? Kind of wish they would have elaborated more on the roots of the concepts they were going over. Romanticized a little, and vague on the resistance side. Really goes over the different roles in capitalism well though. Lots of great illustrations, but it maybe overkill considering that's probably like 40% of the book.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
As usual, there's much more detail on what's wrong than on how to change it. Kind of weak and hand-wavy at some points, but it's useful as a reference for thinking about how all the parts of society are bound up in its problems. Handy if you need a reminder that electoral politics and NGOs and education won't fix things.
Derek James Baldwin
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Meticulously argued but hopeful too. If you’re feeling crushed by all the crap in the world think about the source of a lot of it and then resolve to do something about it. Gradually things really can feel better. It’s not easy but putting up with being crushed is a mug’s game and trying to reshape this dumb system ain’t gonna work.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book takes time to read, not because it's over complicated but because it's written so simply that you plummet straight to the crux of why capitalism is so shite and lose your sense of purpose.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
money is fake y'all
Akmal Anuar Batcha
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the hype of "A Year of Books" I too, hopped on the bandwagon and decided to start off my "campaign" with "Work: Capitalism. Economics. Resistance." I decided to borrow books only from the UNSW library so I could say to myself I utilised the library. This was the first book I borrowed apart from academic ones directly related to my Engineering course.

The main reason I managed to pick this book up was because it was one of the only ones on the shelf with a colourful cover. I was also attracted
Dec 07, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2011
Two things that irritated me about this book:

1) No bibliography. I get that the anonymous authors didn't want to concede authority to the academy, but it still rankled when I wanted to cross-reference something.

2) Illustrations from Shutterstock. There is something profoundly sad about realizing that you once considered using the same vector illustration for a book about twentysomething finances, and here it is exhorting overpaid and underworked employees to rise up and advocate for their righ
Auntie Greed
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Penetrating insight on the workings of capitalism and a just indictment of the unequal power concentrated by private capital and the "tragedy of property" disposed by exploiters. The authors steer us wrong when they suggest crime as a resistance tactic and suggest we all aim to anarchy without understanding the pain and destruction involved. Still there are plenty of wise lines in the book showing some efforts could reform these authors. My favorite line from page 355 " It isn't movements themse ...more
Matt Sautman
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Physically, this book is a fascinating rhetorical object. It is an anarchist text- yet, it paradoxically employs a Neo-Aristotelian style of arrangement to place the book into a series of hierarchical parts and a Neo-Platonist approach to perfect forms by separating capital from the earthly realm and placing it atop the pyramid of capitalistic exploitation. Is there disunity in the ideas presented here? If the kind of structure I just referenced here did not already point clearly imply there are ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Despite how much I enjoyed it, for the most part this book isn't really innovative. Instead it serves as a modern restatement of the nature of capitalism and how it has pervaded so many aspects of our lives. The analysis is insightful and low on the romanticisation Crimethinc are prone to (love it as I may). The damning fashion in which the many ranks and roles are tied together is lucid but lacks the usual vitriol that can be alienating for readers who might realise the part they play in this i ...more
Don't be fooled by the title, this book is about every single thing under the sun. It is all rhetoric, all breadth and no depth. Feel intrigued by a particular point that is made and not delved into? Flip to the back of the book where you will find a bibliography which tells you to just google it. I don't care if the writers think that academic legitimacy may be a "currency of power". It is just plain lazy to write this book where you are condemning the entire range of economic activity and conc ...more
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Work is an excellent critique of workaday life and capitalism; it's totalizing impact and encroachment into everyday life and social relationships in the early 21st century.
The book details the latest forms of domination exerted by the economy from the cyber attention currency spectacle to global finance markets to gentrification and more. Work touches on the new modes of resistance required to combat capitalism, as well as the urgency for doing so. As well it builds upon historic critiques of
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Crimethinc's best work to date, in my opinion. And actually worth a serious consideration even among those critical of the brand. "Work" surveys the capitalist landscape and uses its signature poetic style to point out the workings of the system and all of the ways it bludgeons the human spirit. It also carves a path out of this nightmare and entices vulnerable middle-class youth into their secret society - the same thing they've been doing for a couple decades now.
ChaCha Ala Mode
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifestyle
This is another easy read. It is ballsy and points out exactly how the OWS happened. It talks about revolution and overturning the system. This however, is not a great resource is you are looking to references it on a paper. It has no real bibliography the authors are anonymous and there is no real way to reference or to verify facts. I only understand these facts because I have read other books that have adequate references that come to similar conclusions.
Ryan Mishap
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anarchy
"The point isn't to be right, but to be dangerous."

Probably the most accessible Crimethinc. book I've read, this is a solid explanation of how capitalism works and affects our daily lives while offering a counter-narrative to its pervasiveness. You don't have to agree with everything in here, but if you know a budding activist, this might be a great primer for developing their anticapitalist stance.
A bunch of anarchist rantings about capitalism/income inequality, but unfortunately they offer no solutions. Well, one personal essay did discuss how the writer and all his disgruntled colleagues stole from the independent coffee shop where they were employed. They also continuously urinated into a hole in the men's bathroom floor until it caved in. Hooray, what a win against the system, right? No, thanks.
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: radical, anarcho
underwhelming — seemed to sum up crimethinc's analysis quite well, but without adding much or reaching new conclusions. reading other books of theirs was revelatory; reading "work" was pleasant. at times the analysis seems disconcertingly shallow or hollow, and at times it dragged. "expect resistance"'s narrative devices made for a much more enjoyable and worthwhile read.
Epically a CrimethINC book, with its fairly unchecked pertinaciousness... surprisingly I found this book to be extremely accessible, considering that it deals with some complex economical ideas and issues. Also it includes like the best explanation for the 2008 financial crisis that I've ever read.
Leopold Bienkowski-gibbs
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anarchy
clear. critical. and compelling. i highly recommend this book to anyone who does not feel they have a solid grasp of capitalism and the effect it has on, well, basically EVERYTHING. this is book is rad and it will be well read by myself and hopefully people i know--the more the better. if you're socially minded and looking for a good read, check it out!!
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Anarchist & Radic...: [Dec/Jan] Work - Crimethinc 9 59 Jan 16, 2012 02:32PM  

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Crimethought is not any ideology or value system or lifestyle, but rather a way of challenging all ideologies and value systems and lifestyles—and, for the advanced agent, a way of making all ideologies, value systems, and lifestyles challenging.

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