This is how anarchists welcomed us back to work

The anarchist magazine whose posters ended up outside Scotland Yard is back with a series of ads on the London Underground on the day many people return to work for the first time after Christmas.

While STRIKE! magazine did not claim responsibility for the posters outside Scotland Yard, a statement on their Facebook page today says that a militant wing of the magazine called Special Patrol Group has claimed responsibility for the #bullshitjobs campaign.

The quotes are taken from an article in the magazine written by anthropologist David Graeber - who is also credited with coining the term "we are the 99 per cent" - a phrase which is central to the Occupy movement.

In his article, Graeber explains that many people "spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed" and that it's almost like someone is just making up pointless jobs simply to keep us busy.

He cites the economist John Maynard Keynes, who predicted in 1930 that technology would have advanced so far by the end of the century that people in developed countries would work a 15-hour week - instead many people work 40-50 hours per week in jobs that are not vital to society and are unable to pursue the things they really want in life.

Say what you like about nurses, garbage collectors, or mechanics, it’s obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the results would be immediate and catastrophic. A world without teachers or dock-workers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place.

It’s not entirely clear how humanity would suffer were all private equity CEOs, lobbyists, PR researchers, actuaries, telemarketers, bailiffs or legal consultants to similarly vanish.

  • David Graeber, anthropologist
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