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"Prole" is short for "proletarian" a word used by Karl Marx to describe the working class under capitalism. We are all the people in this society who do not own property or a business we can make money from, and therefore have to sell our time and energy to a boss--we are forced to work. Our work is the basis of this society.
We are not just a sociological category. Work, and the society that grows out of it are alienating and miserable for us. We are constantly fighting against the conditions of our lives. Simply standing up for our own interests brings us into conflict with bosses, bureaucrats, landlords, police and politicians everywhere. These everyday struggles are the starting point to undermining capitalism. We are not just the working class; we are the working class that struggles to do away with work and class, and the society built around them.

The experience of those who are forced to work, and who struggle against the society based on work, creates certain kinds of ideas. When we are actively fighting for our own interests, these ideas solidify into a subversive, anti-capitalist perspective. This has at times been called "communism" or "anarchism". We do not need political groups to bring us these ideas, but we do need to think about how to fight for ourselves.

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Abolish Work: “Abolish Restaurants” Plus “Work, Community, Politics, War”

Authors: Prole.info
Publisher: PM Press
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60486-048-1
Format: Pamphlet
Page Count: 60
Dimensions: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Labor, Politics-Activism

$9.95

Finally available for the first time in a single book format, Abolish Work combines two influential and well-circulated pamphlets written from the frontlines of the class war. The texts from the anonymous workers at Prole.info offer cutting-edge class analysis and critiques of daily life accompanied by uncensored, innovative illustrations.

Moving from personal thoughts and interactions to large-scale political and economic forces, Abolish Work reads alternately like a worker’s diary, a short story, a psychology of everyday life, a historical account, and an angry flyer someone would pass you on the street.

The classic “Abolish Restaurants“ is an illustrated guide to the daily misery, stress, boredom, and alienation of restaurant work, as well as the ways in which restaurant workers fight against it. Drawing on a range of anti-capitalist ideas as well as a heaping plate of personal experience, it is part analysis and part call-to-arms. An additional piece, “Work, Community, Politics, War“ is a comic book introduction to modern society, identifying both the oppressive and subversive tendencies that exist today in order to completely remake society.

Praise:

“The entire booklet is enthralling, perhaps especially so if you don’t already know what goes on behind the scenes for underpaid, non-unionized restaurant workers in the United States.“
—Brittany Shoot, Change.org

“The stress of the dinner rush, the fights with co-workers, the split shifts, the lousy tippers, the aching backs . . . It is not just random individual misfortune. It is a functional and necessary part of a larger system that creates similar conditions everywhere. Capitalist society is built on class struggle, and Abolish Work puts forward the perspective of one side in that struggle.“
—Mickey Z., PlanetGreen.com

“In this persuasive chapbook, author Prole.info utilizes words and illustrations to tell two intriguing parallel stories: first, what the food service industry entails for those who work in the restaurants themselves, and then, the political and social implications of eating establishments on local economies and working people.“
—Ernesto Aguilar, dotrad.com

“Class analysis + a critique of daily life + uncensored innovative graphics + more . . . Enjoy!“
—Gilles Dauvé

Abolish Work on the surface looks like simple agitprop. It is expertly illustrated in stark, thick-lined drawings that are shadow-like and rudimentary. This breaks up the text and makes it more digestible, while adding a cold and unsettling feel to what is a well-researched and near perfect political essay.“
—Craven Rock

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Abolish Restaurants:
A Worker's Critique of the Food Service Industry


Authors: Prole.info
Publisher: PM Press
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60486-048-1
Format: Pamphlet
Page Count: 60
Dimensions: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Labor, Politics-Activism

$6.95

A 60-page illustrated guide to the daily misery, stress, boredom, and alienation of restaurant work, as well as the ways in which restaurant workers fight against it. Drawing on a range of anti-capitalist ideas as well as a heaping plate of personal experience, it is part analysis and part call-to-arms.

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The Housing Monster

Author: Prole.info
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-530-1
Published August 2012
Format: Paperback
Size: 8.5 by 5.5
Page count: 160 Pages
Subjects: Politics/Graphic Novels-Comics
$14.95


The Housing Monster is a scathing illustrated essay that takes one seemingly simple, everyday thing—a house—and looks at the social relations that surround it. Moving from intensely personal thoughts and interactions to large-scale political and economic forces, it reads alternately like a worker’s diary, a short story, a psychology of everyday life, a historical account, an introduction to Marxist critique of political economy, and an angry flyer someone would pass you on the street.

Starting with the construction site and the physical building of houses, the book slowly builds and links more and more issues together: from gentrification and city politics to gender roles and identity politics, from subcontracting and speculation to union contracts and negotiation, from individual belief, suffering, and resistance to structural division, necessity, and instability. What starts as a look at housing, broadens into a critique of capitalism as a whole. The text is accompanied by clean black and white illustrations that are mocking, beautiful, and bleak.

Praise:

“A thorough and easy-to-read analysis of the fight at the construction site and what the conditions are for the struggle in the city and for the land.”
—Kämpa Tillsammans!

“Part illustrated guide to Marx, part analysis of the everyday consequences of producing and consuming housing as a commodity, and part revolutionary call to arms!”
Aufheben

“Looking for a place to dwell? Or even for an entirely new world to live in? But maybe you’re afraid radical theory is boring? Then The Housing Monster is the book for you. The author of the now classic Abolish Restaurants has come to grips with another vital issue: the housing question. Class analysis + a critique of daily life + uncensored innovative graphics + more... Enjoy!”
—Gilles Dauvé

"In this persuasive chapbook, author Prole.info utilize words and illustrations to tell two intriguing parallel stories: first, what the food service industry entails for those who work in the restaurants themselves, and then, the political and social implications of eating establishments on local economies and working people."
—Dotrad.com on Abolish Restaurants

"The entire booklet is enthralling, perhaps especially so if you don't already know what goes on behind the scenes for underpaid, non-unionized restaurant workers in the United States."
—Change.org on Abolish Restaurants

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What Others Are Saying...


Praise

"If there is hope, it lies in the proles."
--Winston Smith, via George Orwell 1984

"Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!"
--Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Reviews

 

The Housing Monster: A Review
by Garrett Wright
War Resisters League
Winter 2012

The book does strongly make the case that capitalism will never tolerate housing reforms that truly threaten capital accumulation. In chapters on public housing, rent control, collective living, and unions, the authors acknowledge that working-class movements have, in certain times and places, been able to achieve improvements in their standards of living. But so long as the economy is structured around the principle of surplus value extraction by capitalists, the interests of the working class will continue to be undermined.

Despite my strong differences in opinion with portions of the book’s analysis, I would recommend it to anyone interested in housing issues. It is a valuable contribution to current debates on revolutionary alternatives to the unending housing crisis that is a permanent feature of life under capitalism.

Should We Abolish Resturants?
By Brittany Shoot
Change.org
July 15, 2010

The entire booklet is enthralling, perhaps especially so if you don't already know what goes on behind the scenes for underpaid, non-unionized restaurant workers in the United States. In the end, a restaurant-free world is hypothesized — though to be fair, we've got a number of low-wage jobs to toss out if restaurants are going to get the boot.

What Would Happen if Restaurants Were Abolished?
By Mickey Z.
PlanetGreen.com
August 9, 2010

The stress of the dinner rush, the fights with co-workers, the split shifts, the lousy tippers, the aching backs, the shit from the boss... it is not just random individual misfortune. It is a functional and necessary part of a larger system that creates similar conditions everywhere. It's business as usual. And just as importantly, the alliances that are made between workers fighting against these conditions point in the direction of what could be a larger subversive force. Capitalist society is built on class struggle and Abolish Restaurants is trying to put forward the perspective of one side in that struggle.
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Abolish Restaurants on www.dotrad.com
By Ernesto Aguilar
www.dotrad.com
August 7, 2010

What makes this short read so interesting, however, are explanations for the uninitiated about how restaurants operate and the behind-the-scenes issues that the average customer probably takes for granted. Practices like tipping out are old hat for workers, but it is safe to say most patrons have no idea what it means. If you are not familiar with how restaurants operate on a daily basis, this book will be illuminating.

 


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