Labour Quotes

Quotes tagged as "labour" (showing 1-30 of 98)
George Orwell
“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”
George Orwell, 1984

Charles Moore
“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.”
Charles Moore

“All the mega corporations on the planet make their obscene profits off the labor 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.”
Michael Hureaux-Perez

George Orwell
“This business of petty inconvenience and indignity, of being kept waiting about, of having to do everything at other people’s convenience, is inherent in working-class life. A thousand influences constantly press a working man down into a passive role. He does not act, he is acted upon. He feels himself the slave of mysterious authority and has a firm conviction that ‘they’ will never allow him to do this, that, and the other. Once when I was hop-picking I asked the sweated pickers (they earn something under sixpence an hour) why they did not form a union. I was told immediately that ‘they’ would never allow it. Who were ‘they’? I asked. Nobody seemed to know, but evidently ‘they’ were omnipotent.”
George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

Israelmore Ayivor
“You got the eggs in you; the world is fully ready to celebrate the chicks out of your laying labour. Never give up. Go and breed! Go and breed great dreams.”
Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

Amit Kalantri
“Be a worthy worker and work will come.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Ogwo David Emenike
“As the sun shines I will make hay
To keep failure at bay
For there remaineth a pay
For my honest toil each day.”
Ogwo David Emenike

George Saunders
“Don't think of yourself as a surrogate mule, think of yourself as an entrepreneur of the physical.”
George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

Roman Payne
“Let these men sing out their songs,
they've been walking all day long,
all their fortune's spent and gone...
silver dollar in the subway station;
quarters for the papers for the jobs.”
Roman Payne

J.M. Coetzee
“Speaking the words he had been taught, directing them no longer upward but to the earth on which he knelt, he prayed: 'For what we are about to receive make us truly thankful.' ... he... felt his heart suddenly flow over with thankfulness... like a gush of warm water... All that remains is to live here quietly for the rest of my life, eating food that my own labour has made the earth to yield. All that remains is to be a tender of the soil.”
J.M. Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K

L.M. Montgomery
“It is hard to understand why work should be called a curse—until one remembers what bitterness forced or uncongenial labour is. But the work for which we are fitted—which we feel we are sent into the world to do—what a blessing it is and what fullness of joy it holds.”
L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

Pyotr Kropotkin
“Overwork is repulsive to human nature—not work. Overwork for supplying the few with luxury—not work for the well-being of all. Work is a physiological necessity, a necessity of spending accumulated bodily energy, a necessity which is health and life itself. If so many branches of useful work are so reluctantly done now, it is merely because they mean overwork, or they are improperly organised. But we know—old Franklin knew it—that four hours of useful work every day would be more than sufficient for supplying everybody with the comfort of a moderately well-to-do middle-class house, if we all gave ourselves to productive work, and if we did not waste our productive powers as we do waste them now.”
Pyotr Kropotkin, Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings

Ellen Meiksins Wood
“Capitalism is also incapable of promoting sustainable development, not because it encourages technological advances that are capable of straining the earth's resources but because the purpose of capitalist production is exchange value not use value, profit not people.”
Ellen Meiksins Wood, The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View

Noam Chomsky
“Real wages have been declining for twenty years. People are working harder, they have to work longer hours, they have less security things are just looking bad for a lot of people, especially young people. I mean, very few people expect the future for their children to be anything like what they had, and entry-level wages in the United States have just declined radically in the last fifteen years-for instance, wages you get for your first job after high school are now down 30 percent for males and 18 percent for females over 1980, and that just kind of changes your picture of life.”
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

Lailah Gifty Akita
“Do all the work you can, while there is grace of strength.”
Lailah Gifty Akita

W. Somerset Maugham
“Philip thought of the countless millions to whom life is no more than unending labour, neither beautiful nor ugly, but just to be accepted in the same spirit as one accepts the changes of the seasons. Fury seized him because it all seemed useless. He could not reconcile himself to the belief that life had no meaning and yet everything he saw, all his thoughts, added to the force of his conviction. But though fury seized him it was a joyful fury. life was not so horrible if it was meaningless, and he faced it with a strange sense of power”
W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

Lailah Gifty Akita
“Do all the work you can while you still have strength.”
Lailah Gifty Akita

Mikhail Bakunin
“To organize society in such a manner that every individual, man or woman, should find, upon entering life, approximately equal means for the development of his or her diverse faculties and their utilization in his or her work. And to organize such a society that, rendering impossible the exploitation of anyone's labor, will enable every individual to enjoy the social wealth, which in reality is produced only by collective labor, but to enjoy it only in so far as he contributes directly toward the creation of that wealth.”
Mikhail Bakunin

Mikhail Bakunin
“Human labor, in general, is still divided into two exclusive categories: the first—solely intellectual and managerial—includes the scientists, artists, engineers, inventors, accountants, educators, governmental officials, and their subordinate elites who enforce labor discipline The second group consists of the great mass of workers, people prevented from applying creative ideas or intelligence, who blindly and mechanically carry out the orders of the intellectual-managerial elite This economic and social division of labor has disastrous consequences for members of the privileged classes, the masses of the people, and for the prosperity, as well as the moral and intellectual development, of society as a whole.”
Mikhail Bakunin

Mikhail Bakunin
“Improve working conditions, render to labor what is justly due to labor, and thereby give the people security, comfort, and leisure Then, believe me, they will educate themselves; they will create a larger, saner, higher civilization than this.”
Mikhail Bakunin

Noam Chomsky
“I mean, contrary to the contemporary version of it, classical liberalism (which remember was pre-capitalist, and in fact, anti-capitalist) focused on the right of people to control their own work, and the need for free creative work under your own control—for human freedom and creativity. So to a classical liberal, wage labor under capitalism would have been considered totally immoral, because it frustrates the fundamental need of people to control their own work: you're a slave to someone else.”
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

Noam Chomsky
“The economic system barely functions as it is—I mean, the contemporary economic system is a complete catastrophe, an absolutely catastrophic failure. For instance, the International Labor Organization recently gave its latest estimate of unemployment worldwide—"unemployment" they define as meaning not having enough work to meet a subsistence level, so maybe you can sell some handkerchiefs at a street corner or something, but you don't have enough work to survive on your own. They estimate that at about 30 percent of the world's population which makes it a lot worse than the Great Depression. Alright? Now, there's a ton of work to be done in the world-everywhere you look there's work that ought to be done. And the people who don't have work would be delighted to do it. So what you've got is a huge number of idle hands, a vast amount of work that ought to be done, and an economic system that is incapable of putting those two things together. Okay, absolutely catastrophic failure.”
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

Lev Shestov
“Count Tolstoy preached inaction. It seems he had no need. We "inact" remarkably. Idleness, just that idleness Tolstoy dreamed of, a free, conscious idling that despises labour, this is one of the chief characteristics of our time.”
Lev Shestov

Lev Shestov
“Objectionable, tedious, irritating labour, - this is the condition of genius, which no doubt explains the reason why men so rarely achieve anything. Genius must submit to cultivate an ass within itself - the condition being so humiliating that man will seldom take up the job.”
Lev Shestov, All Things are Possible

Lev Shestov
“And many a time, towards the end of life, does the genius repent of his choice. "It would be better not to startle the world, but to live at one with it," says Ibsen in his last drama. Genius is a wretched, blind maniac, whose eccentricities are condoned because of what is got from him.”
Lev Shestov, All Things are Possible

“A fruit that comes forth is the desire and joy for the labour of a farmer.”
Sunday Adelaja, The Mountain of Ignorance

“If you are ready to make a difference and shine, then you must be ready to pay the price by laboring rightly with your mouth and with hands.”
Sunday Adelaja, The Mountain of Ignorance

Lailah Gifty Akita
“If you want it, work for it.”
Lailah Gifty Akita

Lailah Gifty Akita
“Many a man wants glory but fails to work.”
Lailah Gifty Akita

“Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that "they cannot be bothered with democracy", "cannot be bothered with politics"; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life.”
Vladimir Ilich Lenin

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