The Anti-Work Reader
January 4, 2017 5:48 AM   Subscribe

I recently came across this article on why the corporate fad of 'time management' is bad. It neatly summarized and expanded on a lot of thoughts I've had about working culture for a while now. Help me find more like it!

I've noticed that there's a burgeoning movement towards criticizing traditional ideas about the culture of work and its place in society - specifically office work, although that isn't the only part I'm interested in. I'm interested in articles, books, podcasts or whatever else that have similar arguments, particularly if they feature any of the following:

-A rejection of the notion that giving people more time off is only good if it helps the economy
-Challenging the idea that your job should be (or even can be) the thing you're most passionate about in life
-Anything that describes credible alternatives to a full-time, life-consuming job
-General 'fuck capitalism' goodness

For some more examples of what I mean, see here and here.
posted by anaximander to Work & Money (7 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It's worth checking out /r/latestagecapitalism. It's pretty active, anything new along these lines will definitely be posted there, and even older stuff you may have missed will be reposted for karma (because, reddit). The mods are pretty serious about taking down any sexist, ableist, or other -ist comments and banning repeat offenders, so you may find the tone bearable even if you usually hate reddit.
posted by mama casserole at 6:06 AM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Did you see the thread here about this piece?
posted by hawthorne at 6:54 AM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Here are a couple I've come across recently:

Fuck Work by James Livingston at Aeon.

Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs by David Graeber at Evonomics.
-If you google this, there's a lot of further commentary about the essay out there.

Resenting Hipsters by Peter Frase at Jacobin.
-Sample quote: "In this context, it seems impossible to speak of the value of hard work without questioning both the equation of useful work with wage labor, and of high wages with high social value. But the ideology of the work ethic is nonetheless powerful, because it reassures people that their lives are meaningful and valuable, so long as they participate in waged work."

There is also the venerable and inimitable Idler, which is really delightful.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:26 AM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I will post this Bertrand Russell piece, "In Praise of Idleness" (from 1932!) any chance I get. (I also commented about it in a November MeFi thread discussing the "Fuck Work" piece kevinbelt just linked above; that thread has tons of other relevant links.)
posted by acroyear2 at 7:41 AM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another David Graeber piece, "On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs." (You may have to click through to get to the article).
posted by cushie at 8:39 AM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Definitely read the historian E.P. Thompson's classic essay Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism, which discusses the freedoms workers lost when the workday became standardized.

Other good ones:
Quitting the Paint Factory by Mark Soulka
The Deadly Sins/Sloth; Nearer, My Couch, to Thee by Thomas Pynchon
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
posted by veery at 10:11 AM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

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