Under market totalitarianism, the ordinary people are not supposed to expect jobs to be a source of happiness or personal growth. As Noam Chomsky says, when it comes to their internal structure and operations, private businesses are unaccountable tyrannies. A few minimal regulations keep the most egregious kinds of theft and endangerment under some external control, but beyond that, going on the wage-clock generally means finding a way to make it through another stretch of deadening mindlessness and stress.
It speaks volumes about the completeness of our overclass’s social domination that, in our time of Great Recession, we constantly hear about “cutting back” on our shopping and product-acquisition, but nobody dares suggest that maybe we could resolve many of our frustrations and dilemmas by taking a radical democratic look at work and employment issues.
And not to pile on, but one might also note how well the current dilemma was predicted in 1974 by one Harry Braverman, who was consciously trying to extend Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital. Braverman’s book reads like it was written yesterday. The only missing piece is a chapter on the globalization of employment.
On that last point, reader Mapp posted this fascinating comment and link.