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At the mill, the children strike
No work, no pay
Say we toil too long, give us
An eleven hour day

Machines arrive, to turn and drive
Replace drudgery with steam
But what of those, whose labour goes
Unneeded in this dream?

The miners strike, coal lies unhewn
You must hear them speak
We work so very hard, we need
A thirty hour week

How can we make these people work
Longer for our gain?
Make them want what they don’t need
They’ll work on through the pain

Arise, a new gospel of consumption
So cynically designed
What is old, throw it away
Plastic, oil refined

We mechanise, and profits rise
They lull us with a lie
Released from grind, easy work, you’ll find
Instead, eke and die

Artificial, beneficial
All the work is done for us
Workers scrabble helplessly
For scraps dropped in the dust
And when these jobs, they also go
Just what have we got?
An oligarchy, stark and lonely
The useless left to rot

And then, another way
No work, no need
All people, in togetherness
Everyone, we feed

From toil to steam, and electric dreams
To inequity it tends
By evolution or revolution
Capitalism must end


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© 2020 Pete Beat. All Rights Reserved. Cover image “Wires” by James Loesch licensed under the Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution