For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Farewell to the Working Class: An Essay on Post-industrial Socialism

by Gorz, André (1982)


André Gorz argues that changes in the role of the work and labour process in the closing decades of the twentieth century have, once and for all, weakened the power of skilled industrial workers. Their place has been taken, says Gorz, by social movements such as the women’s movement and the green movement, and all those who refuse to accept the work ethic so fundamental to early capitalist societies. Provocative and heretical, Farewell to the Working Class is a classic study of labour and unemployment in the post-industrial world.

Key Passage

A society based on mass unemployment is coming into being before our eyes. It consists of a growing mass of the permanently unemployed on one hand, an aristocracy of tenured workers on the other, and, between them, a proletariat of temporary workers carrying out the least skilled and most unpleasant types of work. (p.2)


Gorz, Twentieth Century, History, Historical Context, Gendered Labour, Skilled Labour, Feminist Movement, Green Movement, Work Ethic, Capitalism, Post-Capitalism, Working Class, Unemployment, Post-Industrialism


Gorz Citations, Green Jobs

Links to Reference


Sonenscher, M.



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