The most recent trend in the reshaping of the value-producing process goes away from traditional workplaces (factories or even offices) towards more atomized networks (teleworking, sharing economy, precarious work, etc). Could we end up with "capitalism without a workplace" in the foreseeable future?
Capitalism without a Workplace
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I work for Uber, I don't have any managers, I have a support line I can email and call. I don't have a work place, still some of my work goes to Uber. I already have capitalism without a work place. Once the UBI and automation kicks in, yeh we're fucked
the way I see it, when UBI and automation get big, that's going to be the turning point. Either go left, or go full dystopia.
Who let the UBI meme in here?
Now capitalists cannot even be bothered to do the management of capital that they get so praised for. The worker has to exploit itself, while capital flows into financial institutions.
Of all the things capitalism could turn into, only genetically enforced servitude could be worse than this gig economy dystopia.
capitalism is becoming more and more recursively post-modern as it struggles to find something to eat, it's sort of adorable!
the gig economy isn't that big compared to traditional workplaces, but we could leftpill the situation by setting up independent unions and even syndicate based groups to have a rudimentary leftism right under their noses.
Yeah, like a cosmic horror movie directed by Miyazaki. It appears incomprehensible and monstrous, but's is polite and does the dishes.
Don't get me wrong, the day Uber burns to the ground (sorry Uber-user, nothing personal) I will throw a party, but I fear it will actually become the norm.
think about it like this, user. we beat the gig porkies at their own game via co-operatives which operate in the same decentral way, and use that to subtly drip feed "see leftism really does work" into soceity.
Get off of the computer, Dick
Yup, deterritorialization ftw baby, now if only the State didn't try to regularise Uber style capitalism and slow down its dialectic unfolding.
That's a pretty good one user, maybe a more competent writer than me could turn it into a SCP story.
Just don't call it leftism and you're golden, and for the love of God, don't go waltzing around with hammers and sickles and pictures of Lenin, that just alienates the normies, sorry I don't make the rules.
Makes sense, in hindsight. A workplace entails costs, like rent or at the very least maintenance and taxes, so of course Porky would eventually find a way to do away with it.
As much as I would like to pass for a cool person, it's just a rearrangement of a random Joss Whedon tweet.
well I wouldn't have hammers and sickles all over the place.
it's not worker control, it's "voluntary workplaces"
it's not anarchism, it's syndicalism. it's about using the right symbols, and using the right language.
In any case, we have to be tactful.
Uber could easily be turned into a revolutionary union syndicate, I don't know what y'all are so scared shitless by
Pass, if you're going to romance an alien, make it an alien and not a reskinned human.
You'll (rightfully) get accused of being fuggin gommies eventually, lenin avatar on twitter or not.
What we see here is a class which collects rent on self managing capitalism. I mean in theory you don't even need anyone at the top anymore, it could just be a number that goes up and nobody is paid dividends. We're so deep in capitalist ideology we'll end up with capitalism abolishing the bourgeoisie without overcoming the condition of the proletariat.
Uber needs an Uber union, and it has to be also managed through an app. Such as voting on issues, organization of union meetings, voting whether to go on strike, what would the demands be and so on. A direct democracy in the workplace brought by the union and modern technology that brought Uber to life.
The app part will mean that it would be incredibly easy to join the union and manage local union chapter meetings. Every uber driver has a smartphone already.
They gave up and use computers now:
No, this won't realistically happen. As I see it, a gig economy (like Uber) is incapable of existing. This is mainly due to the fact that it isn't suitable for many (probably even the vast, vast majority of) workplaces.
Just consider a manufacturing plant, it couldn't function with a gig economy. You can't hire individuals to bring their own manufacturing equipment, buildings, etc…. The things that make a factory a factory are HUGE capital investments, and are just not a realistic item for a proletarian to have. They also aren't mobile, but that's honestly just one of many problems with the idea.
So basically, a gig economy doesn't work for things that require big capital investments (that a prole can't make, considering cars are arguably a big investment).
But it also doesn't work for something that requires stability. Imagine a grocery store with no automatic checkout. It is 100% necessary that there be at least one cashier available for people to purchase goods. An approach like Uber where people come and go as they please wouldn't work without truly ridiculous amounts of people working like some rpg character, completing tons of "sidequests" in the form of unworked jobs. This is just a ridiculous idea though, so obviously there is a need for stability, people would have to be scheduled.
Now this is already a large, ugly post so I will just mention this, but I also believe quality would be an issue (in multiple ways).
The only sort of gig economy I could see working would be if many jobs were so simplified that anyone could do them as effectively as someone who is familiar with them, even in unfamiliar settings like a new workplace. But then, why not just hire people normally? Maybe in this society people are worked to a point where they can no longer function, and it thusly becomes important that people be rotated out to "refresh" labor. Like digging a trench for survival, switching out soldiers as they become incapable, but for the entirety of society. This would be a true and extreme hellscape, and is a cyberpunk/policestate that would need to be so brutally and efficiently oppressive it would be boring to read about.
I do think, however, that it is likely that we will see more "capitalism without a workplace in the future", but only for some select fields. I'm just surprised there aren't too many (any?), "Your workplace is your home" sort of neo-serfdom. I'm really surprised that slavery isn't a more commonplace phenomenon, and I do think that in the future these older forms of organization could really come back, just under the law of value. I'm not sure if Marx ever wrote about this, but it feels like a sort of blindspot in what I've read. He was never much for "fantasizing" about the future, I guess.
Just to talk about how I, personally, could see this creeping back in is with human modification. Whether it is genetic, cybernetic, etc… I could see a world where modifications are like cars in the U.S, you take out loans to get them, pay for their repair, etc… and they are wholly necessary for many. I could see a society where people rent their bodies. It's not wholly ridiculous.
Well, this end up being a blog post and a half. I hope my nuclear autism is interesting to someone.
They're in China.
No because it's not self-sustaining. In the end all these services leach off ISPs who want to provide these services themselves, and now that Net Neutrality is dead they have the tools to destroy the "middleware" third-party services that take money from them. Likewise, in the case of Uber specifically the more time that goes on the less and less ability to exist Uber has because cars get worn out and have to be maintained - Uber shoves this cost onto drivers who can only accept it for so long meanwhile there is the beleaguered (but still alive) taxi cartel who can get a bulk rate on maintenance and thus a lower price. Ditto for companies like Ford who now own Chariot. In the case of airbnb this market can only sustain itself if there is a massive housing shortage causing homeowners to get a huge amount of money for a couch or room, but this too will end with the next recession causing rents to fall and profits from couches to decrease. Meanwhile juggernauts like Amazon are building their own infrastructure, in their case specifically distribution facilities who use the same IC truck driver labor Fedex does.
At any rate it's no different than landlines were fifty years ago. People can order everything from the phone and this has created new businesses, yet at the same time these businesses still require some sort of office to coordinate things from because they need a mailing address for legal claims and taxes. Remember phonebooks? They served nearly the exact same purpose.
jesus I knew there were some retards on here but I didn't realize it was this bad
Honestly I would be interested in a Marxist analysis of that. Where does the capital that makes exploitation possible come from? Why can't the worker just go freelance and take the whole value for himself? Is it the recognizable brand? Could it be then called the memes of production?
don't say you love the animu if you didn't read the mango.
A so-called "gig economy" won't last long without backlash, even in burgerland. The point of it is to avoid the unwanted aspects of committing to hiring labor instead of having to offer a proper employee the usual long term benefits.
Same shit with startups and venture capital. "Hey prole, you can be a porky too. Go werk herd and make a business for me to buy up. Oh it failed? Well you shudda werked herder. Just look at how risky it is for me to invest in these companies with so many lazy bums."
I ride a bike, I get significantly more than the minimum wage and it makes me look sexy cos I basically excersise all day. I’ve got other shit to be doing and I can work whenever I want. I’ve worked in McDonald’s, it’s way better