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Marx, labor and the problem with Kathi Weeks | The Real Movement
Marx’s own criticism of labor had nothing to do with this — he argued the laborer herself would become superfluous under the capitalist mode of production. Postone, who Weeks cites at one point, make the same point in his own book. The idea that labor and the working class itself would become superfluous — i.e., that a great mass of workers would themselves become unnecessary to the production of material wealth — never appears in Weeks’ book. The desperate demand of the working class for jobs is but a reflex of the material reality that, for the production of real wealth, it is entirely redundant.

Is there a connection between the superfluity of labor and the sudden cessation of labor’s demand for fewer hours? How would we know, since Weeks has no idea these two events meet in the Great Depression; when the overworked millions, who took to the street of Europe and the United States to demand reduction of hours of labor, were replaced by millions of unemployed workers in every advanced country, who no longer demand freedom from work but were forced to beg for work — any work, even in the defense industries where the means for their own destruction were built.
WeeksKathi  work  labour  capitalism  hours  surplusValue  Weber  workEthic  tradeUnions  Marx  jobs  employment  unemployment 
march 2018 by petej
Escape to another world | 1843
A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective. But what does seem clear is that the choices we make in life are shaped by the options available to us. A society that dislikes the idea of young men gaming their days away should perhaps invest in more dynamic difficulty adjustment in real life. And a society which regards such adjustments as fundamentally unfair should be more tolerant of those who choose to spend their time in an alternate reality, enjoying the distractions and the succour it provides to those who feel that the outside world is more rigged than the game.
work  labour  jobs  employment  unemployment  games  gaming  leisure  escapism  dctagged  dc:creator=AventRyan 
march 2017 by petej
Labour's big debate over immigration looks very different when you listen to what voters really care about | The Independent
"Migration has since been presented as the defining issue feeding the perception, among Labour voters, that the party has abandoned its working class base. Certainly migration did comes up in these focus groups. A lot. But so, too, did the sense that politicians lie, or that Labour is no longer distinguishable from the Conservative party. And so did the idea that Labour’s troubles began with Tony Blair.

It goes on: there were serious worries about the NHS, low wages, job insecurity and schools, and about Jeremy Corbyn as leader, as he was seen as lacking strength. While there is much concern about demographic and social change, it sometimes takes second place to changes to the question of industry and jobs – big employers are moving out, and none moving in."
LabourParty  UK  politics  migration  immigration  freedomOfMovement  EU  Brexit  CorbynJeremy  NHS  wages  precarity  insecurity  unemployment  jobs  dctagged  dc:creator=ShabiRachel 
january 2017 by petej
Repowering Europe: How To Combat Austerity, Alienation and Brexit
"The decisive cause is: 15 or 20 years ago the European Union was associated in the heads of the majority of its citizens with prosperity, progress and modernisation. The EU held out a promise that everybody or at least most people would be better off in future.

Today we can see – certainly since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis – a stagnant economy, disappointingly weak levels of investment as well as a dramatic decline in the labour market. In the crisis-ridden countries of the south, especially, youth unemployment has soared to 40 to 50 per cent for some time now. The outcome: there’s an increasing competitive pressure on the employment market, public budgets are constrained. Neoliberal apologists and conservative politicians are trying to reframe the financial and economic crisis as a crisis of the European welfare state. Insecurity spreads far and wide."
Europe  EU  nationalism  populism  UK  Brexit  crisis  economy  unemployment  globalisation  taxAvoidance  growth  livingStandards  inequality  refugees  asylum  politics 
october 2016 by petej
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