For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Authority and Family

by Horkheimer, Max (2002)

Key Passage

"If the goods men need in order to live no longer originate in an economy of seemingly free producers, of whom some because of poverty must hire themselves out to others, while the latter manufacture goods not according to human needs but according to what their own solvency requires, and if, instead, such goods originate in the rationally guided efforts of mankind, then the freedom of the abstract individual, who proves really to be in chains, will become the collaborative work of concrete men whose genuine freedom will be limited only by nature and its necessities. In disciplined work men will take their place under an authority, but the authority will only be carrying out the plans that men have made and have decided to implement. The plans themselves will no longer be the result of divergent class interests, for the latter will have lost their foundation and been converted into communal effort. The command of another will express his personal interests only because it also expresses the interests of the generality." (p.97)


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