What ideas for alternatives to work, or a society where people work to survive, did people have during May 1968 in Paris? How could that society function and how could people feed themselves?

I've seen here http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/graffiti.htm that during the May 1968 riots in Paris people thought there was a way to live without working. For example the previous site mentions:

Commute, work, commute, sleep . . .

We don’t want a world where the guarantee of not dying of starvation brings the risk of dying of boredom.

People who work get bored when they don’t work. People who don’t work never get bored.

Never work.

Zelda, I love you! Down with work!

This site ( https://libcom.org/history/slogans-68 ) implies it was (more specifically) the perspective of The Situationists who had these ideas :

The Situationist perspective was found in:

  • Never work
  • We don't want a world where the certainty of not dying of hunger is exchanged for the risk of dying of boredom
  • Live without dead time and play without hindrance

Edit because stack exchange is saying it lacks details or clarity:

In other words, what ideas did the people who were against work in Paris during the May 1968 riots have for way to survive as opposed to working? What ideas did they have for how people would feed and clothe themselves and get the necessary materials to survive and live? The answer can cover any idea presented from anyone who could have supported or participated in that movement who was against work as a means of survival.

  • 3
    Not sure if graffiti is really representative of what a relevant number of "people" thought.
    – Semaphore
    Sep 25, 2015 at 22:59
  • 1
    This needs to be migrated to politics as it has no historical content. Sep 26, 2015 at 3:03

1 Answer 1


The anti-work current in libertarian socialism is based on a conception of work as human activity controlled by others. Basically, the marxist analysis of wage slavery is that the wage slave sells the right to control their labour power to a boss, and during that period is alienated from their own capacities by this social relationship. Management has the right to dictate when and how workers conduct themselves.

In contrast, libertarian socialists with an anti-work perspective like the Situationalists view socialist or communist relations between people who are now workers as being reconstructed in radical collective and individual freedom to choose how people use their lives. Namely, that the democratised process of doing things together, which you can enter or exit without the threat of someone else starving you to death, is a radically different way of being than what we know as work.

This is in contrast to the pro-work Stalinist PCF's view of social transformation, which would maintain work as we know it and the factory hierarchy, but merely change the purpose of production from the benefit of the bosses to the benefit of [what the PCF viewed as the interests of] the working class in general. We work for wages under foremen and bosses for 9 hours making volkswagons instead of limousines. In contrast, the Situationalists wanted the abolition of foreman, bosses, compulsory hours, and top down direction of production.

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