Automating technologies threaten to usher in a workless future, but John Danaher argues that this can be a good thing. A world without work may be a kind of utopia, free of the misery of the job and full of opportunities for creativity and exploration. If we play our cards right, automation could be the path to idealized forms of human flourishing.
Essential reading for those seeking solutions to the new jobless economy.
This widely reviewed and highly successful book examines the job market of tomorrow. Aronowitz and DiFazio take you behind the headlines to challenge the idea that a high-tech economy will provide high-paying jobs for all who want them. Instead, they demonstrate that we're more likely to see continued layoffs and job displacement.
"Imagine a Brave New Work World in which unemployment is so rampant that more than a third of the adult population can't find a job and millions of others have stopped looking. Another third works only part-time, or at temporary or dead-end jobs. Meanwhile, the number of those still holding full-time positions steadily diminishes, their wages depressed because of the premium placed simply on having a job. . . . 'People need to start thinking about a jobless future,' insist [Aronowitz and DeFazio] . . . . Tha authors attribute rising unemployment to economic stagnation coupled with revolutionary technological change that has fostered workplace trends such as downsizing, re-engineering, with part-time jobs, temporary jobs and job-sharing replacing full-time work." --Washington Post
"Looks beyond the shadow play of welfare politics to the real source of that anxiety-the modern workplace. . . . Aronowitz and DiFazio are quite right to look beyond the dismal realities of today's workplace and envision a society that uses the fruits of technology to abolish-or at least diminish-what the left used to call wage slavery." --The Nation
"Replete with such futuristic concepts as cybernetics, technoculture, de-skilling, and informatics, this book is as timely as today's headlines announcing the latest round of layoffs and down-sizing. . . an important and thought-provoking work." --Library Journal
Stanley Aronowitz is professor of sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. William DiFazio is professor of sociology at St. John's University
High technology will destroy more jobs than it creates. This grim prediction was first published in the 1994 edition of The Jobless Future, an eerily accurate title that could have been written for today's dismal economic climate. Fully updated and with a new introduction by Stanley Aronowitz and William DiFazio, The Jobless Future warns that jobs as we know them-long-term, with benefits-are an endangered species.
In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.