For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Critique of Economic Reason

by Gorz, André (1989)

Key Passage

it is not only a question of winning the loyalty of an elite of workers employers cannot do without and integrating them into the enterprise; it also means cutting this elite off from its class of origin and from class organizations, by giving it a different social identity and a different sense of social worth. In a society cut in two ('dualized'), this elite necessarily belongs to the world of 'the fighters and winners' who deserve a different status from the work-shy masses. The members of this elite of workers will therefore be encouraged to form their own independent trade unions and their own forms of social insurance, co-financed by the enterprises in which they work. At the same time, the employers will have limited the ability of this elite to bargain or fight trade-union struggles, by isolating it and stressing its privileges: its members have been chosen from among a very large number of applicants; they enjoy job security, a steady income and the kind of work and possibilities of promotion that are envied by all. And above all they owe their status to the fact that they are, professionally, the most capable; economically, the most productive; and, individually, the most hard-working. (p.66)


Gorz, Green Movement, European Context, Capitalism, Marx, Marxism, Economic Rationality, Work Ethic, Emancipation, Leisure, Free Time, Working Hours, Wage, Universal Basic Income


Unionism, Gorz Citations, Gorz Citations

Links to Reference


Handyside, G.; Turner, C.



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