For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society

by Gorz, André (1999)


Key Passage

For the unfettered power capital has assumed over labour, society and everyone's lives depends precisely on 'work' – not the work you do, but the work you are made to do – retaining its centrality in everyone's lives and minds, even when it has to a massive extent been eliminated, 'saved' and abolished at all levels of production across the whole of society and throughout the world. Even when post-Fordism, the networked interaction of fractal factories and the 'immaterial' economy are based on a wealth production which is increasingly disconnected from work and an accumulation of profit increasingly disconnected from any production, each person's right to an adequate income, to full citizenship – indeed his/her very right to have rights – is still made to depend on his/her accomplishment of some measurable, classifiable, saleable 'work'. The result is that everyone, unemployed and potentially insecure workers alike, is urged to fight for a share of the 'work' capital is abolishing all around him/her; and every march and every banner declaring 'We want work' proclaims the victory of capital over a subjugated humanity of workers who can no longer be workers, but are denied a chance to be anything else. (p.53)


Industrialism, Industrial Society, Industrialisation, Social Change, Sociology, Social State, Capital State, Capitalism, Economic Nationalism, Globalisation, Chinese Context, Revolution, Education, Wages, Wage-Based Society


Gorz Citations

Links to Reference


Turner, C.



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