For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"About Immaterial Labor and Biopower"

by Atzert, Thomas; translated by Frederick Peters (2006)


… Cooperation and self-employment, along with knowledge, creativity, language and affect, had been important moments in the struggle against work under Fordism, a fact too often neglected today … The concept of biopower harkens back to Michel Foucault's analysis of power …

Key Passage

Work, Work, Work. Everywhere one looks, make-work projects, job creation offensives, the carrot and the stick, all done in order to sustain a reserve army of labor made surplus through transformations of the means and methods of production. With ‘‘welfare to work’’ as their motto, Liberals and Conservatives both go about the purpose of rolling back what they call the privileges of the welfare state. And the Social Democrats, who worship labor and fall to their knees before the ‘‘savior of the new times,’’ as Joseph Dietzgen remarked, follow suit, both in and out of office. Critiques of work and labor thus get short shrift. (p.58)


Foucault, Marx, Socialism, Biopower, Immaterial Labor, Negri, Hardt, Tertiarization


On Foucault, Foucault

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