[Marxism] Fwd: Workless, or working less? — Crooked Timber

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 2 04:28:14 MST 2017

That’s the title of my review of Tim Dunlop’s excellent new book, Why 
the Future Is Workless, published at Inside Story. It’s over the fold.

Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency has brought to the fore 
issues that have been simmering for some time. Despite his manifest 
unfitness, nearly half of American voters supported a candidate who 
promised to “make America great again,” most obviously by bringing back 
good jobs. As Trump’s dystopian inauguration speech made clear, good 
jobs are part of a past to which many Americans aspire.

These hopes raise the obvious question: will jobs of any kind survive in 
the future? This is the issue addressed by Tim Dunlop in Why the Future 
Is Workless.

The future (or lack of a future) of work is well-trodden ground. Dunlop 
surveys the wide variety of views to emerge in recent years and also, 
more importantly, challenges assumptions about work, labour and jobs 
that are taken for granted most of the time. As he points out, “jobs” as 
we understand them didn’t exist in significant numbers before the middle 
of the nineteenth century. When American politicians were drawing up the 
US constitution in the late eighteenth century, he writes, they 
“envisioned a nation of independent yeoman farmers and other forms of 
self-employed workers, not one of wage slaves who worked for someone else.”

Good jobs – secure and well-paid enough to support a family in 
reasonable comfort ­– only became a standard expectation in the middle 
of the twentieth century, and it is these jobs, rather than the facts of 
work and labour, that are now disappearing.

full: http://crookedtimber.org/2017/02/01/workless-or-working-less/

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