Regardless of all the talk about the end of labour, life in our societies is all about work. Ever since the 1960s the grand narrative of a leisure society has persisted, as some kind of promise that in the near future we will be freed up to do what we want. In leisure society there would be no need for labour; there would be no need to worry about how we survive and live, since consumables would always be at hand. Yet at the same time work – as the production of things, a process with a definite beginning and end, be it remunerated or not – has become ubiquitous. The things we produce are no longer just material, but also immaterial. Today work processes entail linguistic communication, coding and interacting with computers. There is no production without communication,and some even assert that today the soul is at work.Work permeates all aspects of human activity: work-time and spare-time merge, the actual job becomes indistinguishable from education and vocational training, private and public life mingle.
In some cases a distinction between labour and work is useful ...
Read the full text in AA Files #76, Summer 2019, pp.110-116
Christian Marazzi, Capital and Affects: The Politics of the Language Economy(Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011).
Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy(Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009).