Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
Post-workists, like David Graeber, argue that the absence of work would produce a richer culture. With people having more time, private life could also become more communal like ‘Red Vienna’ in the early 20th century, when the city government built housing estates with communal laundries, workshops, and shared living spaces that were quite luxurious.
People might at first be unable to organize their unstructured free time, but our capacity for things other than work can be build up again.
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Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.
The work ideology is not natural nor very old.
The work culture has many critics now.
Ideas that are challenged are the assumptions of modern employers. Another is the American notion that the solution to any problem is to work harder. In the UK, the extent of the work's crises is raised. In France in 2000, a 35-hour week for all employees was introduced with the slogan, "Work less - live more."
Part of the appeal of a post-work society is that it is meant to resolve conflicts between different economic interest groups, in the hope that exploitation can finally be ended.
The role of work has changed before and will change again. In some ways, we're already in a post-work society, albeit a dystopic one.
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Though historically, the ultimate symbol of wealth, achievement and social superiority was the freedom not to work. Now we measure our worth not by the results we achieve, but by how much of our time we spend doing things.
What working a decent job means is slowing losing ground, as we are not deriving meaning from our work.
Having a job means getting paid for our talents, but it may not be the case for many. Work ethic is supposed to provide us a good life, but in reality, the opposite is happening.
Most workers rely on the whims and fancies of the so-called 'Job Creators', a class of people who own a business and can employ staff. Job creators hold power on the worker's time, behavior and conditions of employment.
These employers also monitor and sanction what workers post on social media, what they eat or drink, how frequently and for how long are they going to the bathroom, and what are their political leanings.
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