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Some Thoughts on Post-Work Society

I often see back and forth about whether a post-work society would be something desirable, or if it is even something possible.  But it’s important to remember that work is actually a historical concept.  Since the industrial age, work has meant waged labor, and modern society is wage-based society.  But the society of the wage is steadily collapsing.  By design, capital has need of fewer and fewer workers in both industry and the services sector, and it no longer wants to pay the overheads associated with wage-based society (e.g., benefits, social safety nets and non-monetized common goods).  Whether we find it something desirable or undesirable, or we try to say that it’s a contradiction in terms, some form of post-work society is still steadily arriving.  Post-work society can either turn out to be something much worse (the emerging authoritarian, techno feudalism) or may be a chance that it could become something better.  It’s this possibility which opens up the space of a new kind of politics of work, where the terms of the post-work society are precisely what is being contested. 

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