01 September 2014

Labor Day: On the Value of Labor

Today we mark the annual, ritual acknowledgment of labor we fail to find, and fail to remember, in the "celebration" of Labor Day--which is really nothing more than the gateway exit from Summertime.

I closed a recent post with the ironic assertion that one's labor has no value. This notion is, of course, preposterous and vile. Under the non-protective (except to itself and its systems and beneficiaries) aegis of, following the term-setting rubric of, within the immersive environment of Late Capitalism, it is easy to forget that your labor has value.

Your labor has value.

Your labor does not have a price tag.

Your labor is not a commodity. It is not a thing.

The value of your labor is not--and does not derive from and is not defined by--your salary or wage.

Your labor is not defined by your job description, nor does its value proceed from it.

Your labor is a presence and an action.

Your labor is attached to, and emanates from, a person and a personality, a past, a present; a body in space and time.

Your labor is inextricably bound to and in your sleep; your nutrition; your exercise; your lodging; your familiars, friends, family, and dependents; your leisure; your play; your pleasure; your gender; the color of your skin, the perception of your ethnicity, your education, your class; your age; your health; your mental health; your happiness, your anxiety, your depression, your joy; your thought; your ongoing education; your travel time; your time; time.

Never forget your labor has value. Your labor has value. Your labor has value.

You have value.

Happy Labor Day.

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