Thursday, January 29, 2015

Uber-Marx

“We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the work force would do a portfolio of things to generate an income — you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit,” Dr. Sundararajan said.

“In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”  (The German Ideology)

3 comments:

Sandwichman said...

Not exactly what old Karl had in mind... but provocative juxtaposition.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Hah! Sometimes what sounds good in those old texts does not seem so good when we see a version of it in practice. Thus, in the CM M&E called for the abolition of the division between the city and the countryside. One can interpret the suburbs as being the achievement of that, if one is so inclined. Probably not what they had in mind, but who knows?

blissex said...

If you haven't read it, this is a very realistic description of the future for casualized servants:

https://medium.com/@timmaughan/zero-hours-f68f17e8c12a

"She’s close to shutting down two auctions when a third pushes itself across her screen with its familiar white and green branded arrogance. Starbucks. Oxford Circus. 4 hour shift from 1415.

She sighs, dismisses it. She’s not even sure why she still keeps that notification running. Starbucks, the holy fucking grail. But she can’t go there, can’t even try, without that elusive Barista badge.

Which is why she’s been betting like mad on this Pret a Manger auction, dropping her hourly down to near pointless levels. It says it’s in back of house food prep, but she’s seen the forum stories, the other z-contractors who always say take any job where they serve coffee, just in case. That’s how I did it, they say, forced my way in, all bright faces and make up and flirting and ‘this coffee machine looks AMAZING how does it work?’ and then pow, Barista badge.

But Nicki doesn’t work like that. She’s not one of those girls, she doesn’t feel comfortable playing it that way. She just likes to keep her head down and get the work done, get out, get home.

Her tablet pings once, flashes a notif, pings again and flashes a second. Two auctions won. Both lower than she’d like, both lower than the national minimum, but it’s a start."