Labour and Consciousness

Eli Zaretsky Capitalism, The Family and Personal Life

But what distinguishes human from animal life is not labor — it is conscious labor. According to Marx: "A bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells. ... But ... the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality. ... He not only effects a change of form in the material on which he works, but also realizes a purpose of his own." Similarly, what distinguishes human sexuality from animal, and human reproduction from animal, is consciousness too — fantasy, imagination, love, purpose. By this definition the labor performed by the proletariat is no more "human" than the labor performed by women within the home. We need a movement that will transform both forms of labour consciously, deliberately and in accord with human ends.

Note how liberation is not about the abolition of work. It is about meaningful work.

And so for day 638