Saturday, November 26, 2016

Scott Ferguson — f@ck work: a rejoinder

Looks like a blog debate in the works about work.
The following is a brief rejoinder to James Livingston’s “Fuck Work,” an essay based on his book, No More Work: Why Full Employment is a Bad Idea (2016). Specifically, it answers Aeon Magazine’s tagline for Livingston’s piece, “What if jobs are not the solution, but the problem?”
What if we stopped believing that capitalists and automation are responsible for determining how and when we labor together? What if we quit imagining that so-called “leisure” spontaneously organizes itself like the laissez-faire markets we elsewhere decry?
This is of the essence of it. Humans construct social worlds largely based on language in ways that no other animal species area remotely capable of doing. Not only is language use  the chief tool in social construction but it also solidifies that construction and transmits it across generations relatively intact owing to culture and institutions.

But language does change over time and adapts to human response to changing conditions. In this way, language use continues to be emergent.

Terms like "work" and "leisure" are embedded in social contexts that give them meaning in specific situations. As context changes, terms adapt to the shifts, sometime subtly in a nuanced way, while at other times drastically, as it the coining of new terms to handle fresh context.

In addition, the human historical dialectal itself also impacts word use as people realize that they are being influenced by particular contextual usage that could be improved upon, for example, by shifting the norms associated with the context.
What if we predicated social critique on terms that are not defined by the neoliberal ideology that we wish to circumvent?
What if we made a federal Job Guarantee the basis for a renewed leftist imaginary?
the unheard-of center — critique after modern monetary theory
f@ck work: a rejoinder
Scott Ferguson

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