For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Accursed Share

by Bataille, Georges (1988)


For some years, being obliged on occasion to answer the question" What are you working on?" I was embarrassed to have to say," A book of political economy." Coming from me, this venture was disconcerting, at least to those who did not know me well.(The interest that is …

Key Passage

The serious humanity of growth becomes civilized, more gen­tle, but it tends to confuse gentleness with the value of life, and life's tranquil duration with its poetic dynamism. Under these con­ditions the clear knowledge it generally has of things cannot become a full self-knowledge. It is misled by what it takes for full humanity, that is, humanity at work, living in order to work without out ever fully enjoying the fruits of its labor. Of course, the man who is relatively idle or at least unconcerned about his achieve­ments -the type discussed in both ethnography and history ­is not a consummate man either. But he helps us to gauge that which we lack. (p.46)


Bataille, Nietzsche, French, Political Economy, Economic Theory, Moral Philosophy


The Accursed Share, Bataille Citations

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