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Work: Capitalism. Economics. Resistance.

I found myself browsing the cluttered stacks of some anarchist-leaning bookstore in Washington D.C., and this book jumped out, so I decided to roll the dice.

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 lives. The complaints are mostly legitimate and warranted, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never been particularly attracted to the notion of authority or “working for the man”, so the book resonated with me in that respect. I was disappointed to find no mention of potential alternatives to capitalism until the last forty pages of this near 400-page piece. 90% rant, 10% action. There is no formal bibliography, either; only a short list of books that were referenced during the course of writing.

I agree a lot with the underlying message of this book, but it’s rant-driven content is an indication of how difficult it is to find and implement alternative solutions to the problems facing modern society. Capitalism has become so engrained in the societies of developed nations around the world, that any alternatives are usually considered dangerous or radical, and labeled as such. A battle against capitalism is a tough one to wage-perhaps the toughest.