- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Are the bosses crazy?

Posted by: bill on December 17, 1999 at 11:35:36:

In Reply to: Not really... posted by Red Deathy on December 16, 1999 at 11:26:00:

"...you may recall that that was teh fundamental begining of my
opposition, prefering ad hoc Labour over systematised rotation, which to my mind, actualy recreates and entranches division of labour. Instead of being asigned to the same division of labour for life, a person would simply be rotated through different divisions - as per Foucault's "Society of discipline"."

This reminds me of a critique of Rifkin's "End of Work" by Bob Black. Here's the section:

Rifkin misunderstands, or recoils from, the implications of his very powerful demonstration that work is increasingly irrelevant to production. Why is work getting ratcheted up for those who still do it even as it's denied to those who need to work to survive?

Are the bosses crazy?

Not necessarily. They may understand, if only intuitively, their interests better than a freelance demi-intellectual like Rifkin does. That supposition is at least consistent with the-.observed facts that the bosses are still running the world whereas Jeremy Rifkin is
only writing books about it. Rifkin assumes that work is only about economics, but it was always more than that: it was politics too. As its economic importance wanes, work's control function comes to the fore. Work, like the state, is an institution for the control of the many by the few. [my emph] It preempts most of our waking hours. It's often physically or mentally enervating. For most people it
involves protracted daily direct submission to authority on a scale otherwise unknown to adults who are not incarcerated. Work wrings the energy out of workers, leaving just enough for commuting and consuming. This implies that democracy -- if by this is meant some sort of informed participation by a substantial part of the population in its
own governance -- is -illusory.

Politics is just one more, and more than usually unsavory manifestation of the division of labor (as the work-system is referred to after its tarting-up by academic cosmetologists). Politics is work for politicos, therapy for activists and a spectator sport for everybody else.

If we hypothesize that work is essentially about social control and only incidentally about production, the boss behavior which Rifkin finds so perversely stubborn makes perfect sense on its own twisted terms....

Found here

There's probably a good essay on what "work" is all about somewhere...but I'm to lazy to look it up. (though there's a Foucaltian take on the growth of the prison-industrial complex on the net)

: And before you say it - the chances of my finding any skilled job otehr than teaching, are fucking slight with a lit degree.

Hey Bill! Fear not - I had a lit degree and became a cabinet maker.

(the only thing I miss are two fingers! ;)

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