The Secret of Work Revealed


Fifth Estate # 284, July, 1977

WASHINGTON, DC—A noted New Jersey physician of social malaises, Dr. Maynard G. Krebs, recently told a federal panel investigating the causes behind the current epidemic of job refusals, “The less you have to do, the more you must ask a high salary for it, because even this modest employment is the sign of the even more evident absurdity of your forced presence.”

Krebs further stated, “The fundamental law of this society is not the law of exploitation but the code of normality. The basic nature of bourgeois ideology is to excommunicate all those not living by this code. The present day working class shows the depth of its impregnation by bourgeois morality by its acceptance and advocacy of this code.”

Dr. Krebs told the panel that “the black ghetto uprisings and student riots of the 1960s, as well as the French student-worker insurrection of May 1968 was caused by the sudden realization by masses of people that there is no longer anything left to produce, that the only jobs or job left is that of infinitely and indefinitely reproducing the system of entrenched code domination.” The panel members expressed general confusion at this.

“Let me explain,” Krebs said. “Students and marginal classes can feel this truth usually more immediately than the so-called ‘productive’ sectors, which still operate under the assumption that there is something to be produced. As long as the worker is of the opinion that he or she is fulfilling human needs, there is no limit to the amount of sacrifice they are willing to make,” he said.

Krebs, suddenly becoming extremely agitated, jumped to the top of the committee table, shouting, “Once the ‘need’ has been deflated or put into its proper perspective (one produces needs, in order to be the one to satisfy them!), the very underpinning of our society has been swept away.”

Finally, having to be restrained by security guards, Krebs, virtually frothing at the mouth, screamed, “Now the world divides up into those who still believe in their ‘workpower’ and those who don’t anymore.” During the ensuing melee, the federal panel members fled the room, but later issued a statement expressing shock and dismay at Dr. Krebs’s behavior, and the general state of things.