Monday, October 27, 2014

Andre Gorz on the sharing economy

AndrĂ© Gorz’s prophetic analysis of the sharing economy, from 1988 –

At the very point when a privileged fraction of the working class seems to be in a position to acquire multiple skills, to achieve workplace autonomy and continually widen their capacities for action – all of which are things that were ideals of the worker self-management currents within the labor movement – the meaning of this ideal is thus radically altered by the conditions in which it seemed destined to be fulfilled. It is not the working class which is achieving these possibilities of self-organization and increasing technological power; it is a small core of privileged workers who are integrated into new style enterprises at the expense of a mass of people who are marginalized and whose job security is destroyed – people shunted from one form of occasional, unrewarding and uninteresting employment to another, who are often reduced to competing for the privilege of selling personal services (including shoe-shining and house-cleaning) to those who retain a secure income.