Top Ten


Two Self-Proclaimed Experts on Anti-Work Anthems Reveal Their TOP TEN with Help from Various Notable Figures

By Matt Bonal & Shane Boyle

Fall 2013

10. Placebo, “Slave to the Wage”

“It is the lash of hunger which compels the poor man to submit. In order to live he must sell—’voluntarily’ sell—himself every day and hour to the ‘beast of property.’” – Johann Most

9. Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing”

“And does not this crude view, which lays down a common definition for different kinds of action and leaves the difference out of account, itself bring about its own destruction? If every violation of property without distinction, without a more exact definition, is termed theft, will not all private property be theft?” – Karl Marx

8. Beastie Boys, “Sabotage”

“But when working class sabotage extends to invest the whole of society, the entire mechanism of circulation, forcing aggregate social capital into a confrontation over the rifles governing the reproduction of the system, at that same moment the consciousness of bourgeois political economy—which had actually been consolidating itself up to that point—goes into a further stage or crisis and disintegration.” – Antonio Negri

7. Three 6 Mafia, “Let’s Plan A Robbery”

“The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression.” – C. L. R. James

6. Moe Tucker, “Lazy”

“It is important to recognise that when we speak of housework we are not speaking of a job as other jobs, but we are speaking of the most pervasive manipulation, the most subtle and mystified violence that capitalism has ever perpetrated against any section of the working class.” – Silvia Federici

5. The Smiths, “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”

“A strange madness has taken possession of the working-classes of those nations in which capitalist civilisation dominates. This madness brings in its wake the individual and collective sufferings which for two centuries have tortured an unhappy humanity. This madness is the love of work, the destructive desire for labour, carried even to the extent of exhausting the vital forces of the individual and his offspring.” – Paul Lafargue

4. The Pop Group, “Rob a Bank”

“What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” – Bertolt Brecht

3. Dolly Parton, “9 to 5”

“To undermine once and for all the sexual division of labour, we–women and men–must aim to work less.” – Selma James

2. Johnny Paycheck, “Take this Job and Shove It”

“Nowadays work in industry, in agriculture and in the office is mostly a torment and a burden for the proletarians. One only goes to work because one has to, because one would not otherwise get the means to live.” – Rosa Luxemburg

 1. Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”

“Revolution requires extensive and widespread destruction, a fecund and renovating destruction, since in this way and only this way are new worlds born.” – Mikhail Bakunin

Matt Bonal & Shane Boyle are writers and self-proclaimed experts on anti-work anthems.

Written by Matt Bonal & Shane Boyle

Photography Courtesy of MTV

Design by Marie Havens


Film Still from “We Can’t Stop” Music Video, Photography Courtesy of MTV

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