The function of private property has not changed: It confers economic power on the few; and in parallel, it necessitates the coercion of the many to serve those economic rights in order for most people to survive.
You can’t talk about the the future of work without thinking about the future city, since the shape and structure of work is bound up more or less completely with the shape and structure of cities.
So I suspect that soon the lure of fulfillment will eclipse profitability — particularly because we all can meet our own needs, while only a few of us have ever profited from this disaster.
Ultimately, reframing and revaluing social (and ecological) reproduction, and reducing ecologically destructive production and consumption in the process, could lead to an abundance of time and leisure rather than austerity and overwork.
If we accepted this as our single, solitary chance to live, then we might do better at living. We might focus on life, on the here and now, on being.
Studies show that a shorter workweek is healthier for people and the planet — but much of the conversation is focused on its impact on worker productivity or efficiency. This is a big mistake.
Returning to the Great Resignation mentioned at the opening of this piece, it is clear that deep discontent with work, production and our relationship to our own finite time have never been more relevant.
Our wants will never be satisfied in a capitalist economy, and the demand for work will never cease. They are both prerequisites for and results of the expansion of capital.
What should be the characteristics of valuable work in the 21st century, both the type that happens in an office and outside it? How should we work in an age where corporate fossil fuel extraction and private consumption is ruining the planet?
Io, Saturnalia! Today we cast off the orders imposed on us from our parasitic overlords and do as we will. Well, we would if our overlords would allow it.
This mania for wage work is not just killing us and our planet; it is not even generating any true rewards for anyone. It is empty, useless waste. And it certainly isn’t getting any real work done.
I’ve found it difficult to find a job that does not produce more waste than goods, that does not contribute to pollution and degradation of our planet, and that does not perpetuate social systems of domination and violence.