Thursday, August 22, 2013

David Graeber on Bullshit Jobs

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. 

There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen.

Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless.

Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul.

Yet virtually no one talks about it.


An objective measure is hard to find, but in our society, there seems a general rule that, the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it.


It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery..
read the full article at Strike! Magazine.

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