For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Reclaiming Work, Beyond the Wage-Based Society

by Gorz, André (1999)

Key Passage

To change society, we have to change 'work' – and vice versa. To change it by divesting it of all its reifying constraints (hours, hierarchy, productivity), which reflect its subordination to capital and which, so far, have determined the essence of what is currently known as 'work'. To change it by reconciling it with a culture of daily life, an art of living, which it would both extend and nourish, instead of being cut off from them. To change it by the way it will be appropriated from childhood onwards, when it will be possible no longer to suffer it as a penance, but to live it as an activity merged in the flow of life, a path to the full development of the senses, towards power over oneself and the external world, and as a bond with others. To change it from childhood onwards by linking the acquisition of knowledge with a pride in being able to do things (this was a conception already developed by Blonski, among others, at the end of the nineteenth century). It is not hard to imagine considerable advances in this direction by combining (self-)teaching with group ecological, social and cultural projects. Work, study, experiment, exchange, artistic practice and personal fulfilment would all go hand in hand here, with people quite naturally being accorded a basic income at the end of adolescence. (p.99)


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Gorz Citations


Turner, C.



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