The Abolition of Work and Other Essays
“Abolition” originated as a speech at the Gorilla Grotto in San Francisco, an “adult play environment,” in February 1981. Proprietor Gary Warne, who later became a policeman, has denounced the event as the worst spectacle he’s ever staged, and he must have meant it since he later had his goons beat me up. Intrigued by the posters of the Last International, Warne challenged me to “put your foot where your mouth is.” I put it somewhere else. The exclusion of a noisy group of punks who, at my instigation, tried to get in without paying was only one of the evening’s diversions.

Five years later I revised and greatly expanded the spiel into the following essay, while retaining, I think, much of its feel as a speech. It has pride of place because I still think, as many of the other texts assert in particular contexts, that work as the most fundamental negation of freedom is an institution that must be addressed, and overcome, by anyone pretending to have an interest in liberty. Anyone who ignores or evades the issue of work itself may well be a “libertarian” (or for that matter a Marxist) but he is no libertarian.

Introduction by Ed Lawrence

The Abolition of Work (1996 Revision)

Suggested Readings

Rants and Essays by Bob Black