The truth about dogs' lives under capitalism in Britain


"The criticism of religion ends up with the teaching that man is the highest essence of man - hence, with the categoric imperative to overthrow all relations in which man is debased, enslaved, abandoned, despicable essence, relations which cannot be described than by the cry of a Frenchman when it was planned to introduce a tax on dogs: Poor dogs! They want to treat you as human beings."

A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right. December 1843-January 1844.

First published in Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher, 7th and 10th February 1844 in Paris.


"If you want a friend, get a dog" Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.

"The State is the crystallisation of all the illusions about the commodity".

First I must present myself to you; I am a dog call Karl. I have escaped from a kennel, my best friend is called Robert, he is much younger than me, and he too has escaped from such a place of detention. In fact he has taken up where I left off. We both have written many articles, books about Capital. It is a big subject, probably the only subject. Many on the left would like the working class, the proletariat to be the subject in 2014. Unfortunately things are very bad; the system has made inroads at all levels. Is it not by chance that Ed Miliband in Britain is trying to get the middle-classes on board. The Ukip kennel has thrown all parties into frenzy. The Ukip kennel master, a certain Farage, wants all immigrants to be barred from Britain. (1) But then who will do all the dirty, hard jobs of picking fruits and vegs in all weathers, plus all the navvies' jobs in the construction industry and all the rest. Farage belongs to the past. He is a little Englander, when in fact Capital relies on cheap labour, to keep value going strong.

As I said my name is Karl, I was recently thrown on to the streets of London by my master who could no longer keep me. It costs around £400 per year to keep a dog in London, 14 grand for a lifetime. So many people are abandoning man's best friend. The Battersea Dog's Home is full of lost dogs. It is shameful. Especially when you are constantly told that the English are a nation of dog lovers. Blue Cameron and his sidekick called Clegg have not said a word about it all yet. It is a thorny subject.

As a dog I know exactly what concrete domination means. I had a collar around my neck and I was often tied up, so that I would not run away. I was also expected to bark if intruders came round my master's property. As a pet dog my life was assured. I resemble many wage-slaves all over the world. As long as I did not rebel I was ok. My master and his wife would pat me on the head saying, "that's a good dog". In many ways workers are treated like dogs. They are fed, watered and as long as they turn up on time, everything will be alright. My friend Robert, another dog who escaped from his nasty master, has also many things to say. He often writes about abstract domination, which dominates his ex-master, that is to say Capital. So even masters are also like dogs, they too are fettered to unseen shackles, abstract ones, which are even more insidious. That is the nature of capitalism. It is there every day of the year, day in, day out. All over the world.

So all creatures on Earth who are fed up with their conditions of modern slavery ought to rebel, in order to bring a new world where everywhere will be free.

As long as you have kennels, factories, offices, where people / animals are badly treated, there will be no harmony on Earth.

[Introduction to The Truth about dogs' lives under capitalism, written by Karl and Robert, two animals which escaped from their master's kennels]

London, January 16th 2014. Please pass this document around to all your animal and human friends.



(1) The relationship between dogs and their owners is similar to that of their owners and their employers. Neither run away and are happy much of the time, jumping through hoops to 'earn' their keep. Both the employees and owners like having their charges - as they bring both of them rewards. However the autonomous actions of capital intervene and the employees can't afford to feed their workers and the workers can't feed their dogs. The difference is people feel sorry for the dogs and would never tell a dog that it's lazy and that there are more than enough potential owners, despite there being plenty of strays on the street.

*Further, in modern capitalism, alienation is such that we want to treat dogs humanely while letting our fellow humans go to the dogs.


(1) The Prof Alan Sked Blues

Alan Sked a few years ago
Put a monster on the road
It has the unlikely name of UKIP
Today Sked is against it
Because it has gone too much to the right
He says it is run by morons
He is right on that one
He still has a lot of explaining to do
Because it was he who put the monster on the road
The only thing he can do is criticize the Ukippers without mercy
Leaving no stone unturned
In other words to destroy it completely
Then he won't have the Prof Alan Sked blues
Until then
We will be watching the progress made
Alan Sked needs to shed the load....


                                                                             Written by Michel Prigent, January 2014