Labour & Freedom / by Greg Gallinger

I was listening to an assortment of political spoken word albums and a piece from an older talk by Noam Chomsky caught my ear, Propaganda and Control of of the Public Mind, covers a wide spectrum of forces which are actively controlling public perception and thought. From the track entitled Enlightenment Principles, Chomsky responds to a question about labour feuds with the basic principle of labour which dates back to the early enlightenment philosophers:

If a person does beautiful work under external command, meaning for wages, we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is, because he' not a free human being.

Elaborating more in his own voice he states:

It seems to me if you think about it, yeah why should you work on command? I mean, if you work in command you are some kind of slave. Why not work because it's coming out of your needs and interests?

Which he follows up by criticizing his own position of privilege at a fancy university.

That thought about control over not only your work but also your livelihood, I believe, is something that many of us can relate to. It's what Bob Dylan was talking about when he was singing "I don't want to work on Maggie's farm no more" and it's the same sentiment that occurs to the Working Man while he takes himself out an ice cold beer.

The desire to be in control of ones own purposeful output is a desire that all of us inherently feel, yet few actually experience. It explains the oppressed workers struggle for control, and it explains the greed and lust for power of the wealthy. Both want the same things in life. Freedom it would appear, is either a life's struggle, or the One Ring to rule them all.