Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes: Labor Day edition

How did you spend your Labor Day? If you spent it like I did, you sat all day in a coffee shop and then in your apartment, laboring through that sequence of arduous obstacles some call “homework”–actually, this “homework” largely consisted of reading Nabokov’s The Defense and a short story by Tolstoy, “Father Sergius”, so I really don’t have much to complain about. But if I were any of the employees who served me today, I’d be a little more peeved. After all, as we know from Herbert Marcuse, the workday/leisure-time dichotomy is a terribly oppressive institution that functions to keep us quiet, calm, regular and tired; days off from work should be frequent and unprivileged, particularly on days like… Labor Day. Today’s quote comes from Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, and I’m hoping that it can serve as a source of pride or empowerment for the folks who enabled me to drink a free mocha at Espresso Royale (I had 10 punches, I had to do it) and a meatball sandwich at Potbelly.

The basic control of leisure is achieved by the length of the working day itself, by the tiresome and mechanical routine of alienated labor; these require that leisure by a passive relaxation and a re-creation of energy for work. Not until the late stage of industrial civilization, when the growth of productivity threatens to overflow the limits set by repressive domination, has the technique of mass manipulation developed an entertainment industry which directly controls leisure time, or has the state directly taken over the enforcement of such controls.

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One Response to “Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes: Labor Day edition”

  1. I'm not giving my name to a machine Says:

    What a terrible labor day.

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