The relationship of money to the romantic ideal of meaningful work is profound and problematic.
The lack of focus on the self-made man in recent times is remarkable when one considers how intensely, and how long, it has functioned as a central trope of the American experience.
Since 1970, temporary labor has become part of the everyday fabric of work across all segments of society, from the bottom to the top.
The quest for personal authenticity and autonomy in the face of unreliable communities and institutions has become a defining feature of the modern working class.
What kind of society can be produced from a work culture that demands so much from its workers without offering them stability in return?
In the course of becoming a professional, a person is learning to fill a certain role in society.
The solution to the unraveling of the social contract of employment may not be to prop up the ailing traditional job but, instead, to imagine what other forms work lives might take.
The fact is, work as we know it isn’t worth saving anyway.
Nowhere has the power of disembodied observation become more pervasive than in the workplace.
By suggesting that the constant resetting is all there is, disruption becomes “a theodicy of hypercapitalism,” a kind of “newness for people who are scared of genuine newness.”
All modern forms of government presume an objectification of their citizens.
I envision a world in which the increased fragmentation of our media scene leads, over time, to the rise of new institutions that are built on stronger foundations.
What if the work-week were fifteen hours a week? What if it were zero?
It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that meat consumption has risen as fewer Americans participate in or even think about the slaughter that allows it.
Like the tenants of the Bishop of Worcester, they know that in a tightening job market they have leverage.
Pretending that all workers are the same obscures rather than clarifies the reality of class.
That means, first, that I have to love my neighbor—my colleague—above my own productivity.
Nature knows what is best for itself better than we do.
Just as Mims worries now over the unfulfilling tedium of employment at Amazon, Smith worried over the deleterious effects of monotonous work.
What to become? Dissident or emigrant? Move abroad?