The Right To Be Lazy
edited by Joseph Jablonski
with contributions by Fred Thompson
Publication date: January 1989
Every wage slave should read this book! Paul Lafargue (1842–1912), Karl Marx's flamboyant Cuban born son-in-law, wrote this essay for a workers' paper in 1880. He revised it for book publication while a political prisoner in France three years later. At once a masterpiece of critical theory and of rip-roaring radical humor, Lafargue's militant defense of the proletariat's right to laziness is directed not only against the so-called "right to work" but against the entire slaveholders' ideology known as the "work ethic." In a provocative, new Introduction, labor activist Joseph Jablonksi examines the managerial elite's current "war on leisure" and highlights Lafargue's relevance to rank-and-file workers' struggles today. A bio-bibliographical essay by old-time IWW organizer and historian Fred Thompson provides useful historical background, the fullest sketch of Lafargue's life and work available in English, and an overview of subsequent literature on the problems of work and leisure.