Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Stone Age Economics includes six studies which reflect the author's ideas on revising traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original affluent society.
The book examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. It consists of a set of detailed and closely related studies of tribal economies, of domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large.
Some cursory thoughts on the contradictions created by trade unions, as the collective voice of organised workers, also being employers.
On the 26 March, when the National Union of Teachers was taking strike action, members of the GMB were also out on strike. The reason that this action received less attention, particularly from trade union sources, is that it represented a rather unusual situation.
At first glance, Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour and Social Policy in the Renzi government, could look like an old-fashioned left-wing politician: born into a farming family in the “red” Emilia-Romagna region, raised in the Communist Party, president of Legacoop, the main national organisation of cooperatives. He could be someone to provide a contrast to the Prime Minister’s attitude towards jobs (modelled on the inspiring figures of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair). But appearances can be deceptive.
In Italy the cooperative system is one of the main forces – together with Confindustria representing employers – pushing for even more deregulation of jobs.
Thomas Ligotti is one of the greatest living authors of the Weird Tale. His take on the genre dominated by the right wing conservative HP Lovecraft takes a different approach. Referred to as "Corporate Horror" by some his more recent tales focus on the mind numbing horror of work in a capitalist society. Whilst never explicitly anti-capitalist, or even political, the horror here, whilst drenched in the supernatural, is found in the familiar. The familiar viewed from a slightly odd perspective, true, but familiar all the same.
“When I first took this job at the factory it was not my intention to work there very long, for I once possessed higher hopes for my life, although the exact nature of these hopes remained rather vague in my youthful mind.
As mainstream discourse again shifts towards a discussion of automation, @Aut_Omnia examines its mechanics, human cost and utopian potential.
Man as Machine.
“The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys:
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches, and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame,
A mechanised automaton.”1
Article on the rise of work music typified by the new Britney Spears single.
Launched in September 2013, Britney Spears' latest single Work Bitch is the most recent production in the new genre of motivational work music. Spears' lyrical efforts (You wanna live fancy? / Live in a big mansion? / Party in France?
An article about meaning in choosing employment.
From the time I was a child, I was told to follow my dreams and do something I truly loved. Granted I rarely met an adult who was passionate about their work, but they seemed sincere in their desire for others to take that path. The advice of course usually had a piece of bitterness attached to it. As I came of age, the terrain didn’t look pretty.
When we limit ourselves to reasoned critique we cut ourselves off from the everyday experiences of life under capitalism from which any revolutionary rupture must grow.
David Graeber's article on 'bullshit jobs' seems to have struck a chord, being widely republished and discussed, as well as inspiring numerous responses.
In-depth study of the conditions of Palestinian workers in Israel and their function in the Israeli economy.
Palestinian workers in Israel: a reserve army of labour - Emanuel Farjoun
The following is a translation of a survey published in Hebrew as a pamphlet (Dapim Adumim no 5, Jerusalem, May 1978) by the Socialist Organisation in Israel- Matzpen.