The abolition and limitation of (which and whose) work?

I had sat down to do a post on automation and the abolition/limit of work-time, but given the level of some of the discussion I’ve seen, that seems to require some preliminaries and backgrounding, so aside from these remarks below, there’s another post on the concept of ‘socially-necessary labour’ here.

There’s been some renewed discussion around both the abolition of jobs and a re-assertion of demands for limits to work-time. The second of these is taken up in Laura Flanders’ interview with Kathi Weeks at Truthout, while the first is discussed by David Graeber in “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.”


Continue reading

Walter Benjamin’s “The Author As Producer”

There have been many arguments made about the politics of authorship. Yet few of those situated it as long ago as Walter Benjamin did, not only in relation to labor, but in terms of the changing economic patterns and technologies that served to redefine both authorship and labor and, for that matter, any distinctions between them. This, in brief, is Benjamin’s singular contribution to a discussion about authorship. Continue reading

Commodification

‘Commodification’ is often used as a short-hand way of defining what capitalism does, but all too often it’s used as a synonym for transaction or exchange. Yet buying and selling are not specific to capitalism and, more importantly, there are consequences in organising a critique of, or opposition to capitalism on the grounds that ‘markets’ are bad.

Continue reading