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Tedd Siegel

Writer and Blogger

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New Release

Signs of the Great Refusal

(punctum books, 2023)

Over the past few years, Western countries have seen the rise of a popular literature and social media presence dedicated to ‘the problem with work today.’ In Signs of the Great Refusal, Tedd Siegel directs this general dissatisfaction into a critical exploration of whether the 'impossibility at the heart of contemporary capitalism' can be politically activated to oppose and escape work-as-we-know-it.






"Tedd Siegel’s book is an extended reflection on the nature of work in our times and the refusal of new
generations to embrace its exhausting ethos and precarious conditions. After a serious dialogue with a
number of past theoretical perspectives, the author urges collective action to generate a new life regime
in which labor is harmoniously part of it. Siegel's proposal is not a new utopia, but a profound
examination of current labor conditions and a call to re-direct processes from private solutions and
profit appropriation to social distribution.”

Arturo Giraldez, University of the Pacific, author of The Age of Trade: The Manila Galleons and the Dawn of the Global Economy (2015)

Advance Praise

"...Siegel's critical argument is grounded not only in a negative judgement of actually existing work today, but also in positive normative beliefs oriented toward the future:  that contemporary workers, individually and collectively, are worthy  of richer, freer existences grounded in autonomous decisions about how to value their lives and those of others..."

"Signs of the Great Refusal...[is] many respects...manifestly a work of theory and critique.  Yet it is also an unconventional journey across an archipelago of discourses that are not necessarily themselves in direct communication...traversing left critiques of neoliberal ideology, Marx's value theory, arguments from and with Hannah Arendt, questions of mental health and illness, criticisms of mindfulness and neuroscience, conceptions of the public sphere and its deformation or decline, and Italian autonomist, post-Fordist theories about technoscience, immaterial labor, and virtuosity..."  

Tyrus Miller, from the Foreword to Signs of the Great Refusal 


About Tedd Siegel

Tedd Siegel is a writer living on the central coast of California. For twenty years, Tedd worked in various Silicon Valley technology companies, performing marketing and program management functions for enterprise software, semiconductor, and optical telecom.  During this interval, Tedd  also served as UC Santa Cruz Asst. Vice Provost for Silicon Valley, and then Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research. He holds an M.A. in philosophy from the New School for Social Research, where he attended the Ph.D. program, focusing on moral and political philosophy.  Prior to graduate school, Tedd was a street activist living in San Francisco.

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