(Maisano 2011) Take this job and share it

Maisano, Chris. Take this job and share it: on loving work and hating freedom. Jacobin. 2011 Winter; 1:3–6. Available from: http://jacobinmag.com/winter-2011/take-this-job-and-share-it/.

Maisano takes the perspective that “the animating principle of the Left is not so much equality, but rather freedom”, and accordingly proposes that drastic reduction of the work week and improvement in the quality of life at work should be a higher priority for the Left than production and distribution of goods. Citing Marxist literature, including Paul Lafargue’s “The right to be lazy” (1883) and work by Harry Braverman, André Gorz, and Marx himself, Maisano argues that the 20th- and 21st-century Left has lost out by accepting capitalist production methods and Taylorist management, with their attendant evils of consumerism, the work ethic, and the glorification of material production. The recent financial crisis, together with a conservative political climate and modern capital-intensive industry, will doom many workers to chronic unemployment and many more to long hours at low-paid service jobs with poor working conditions unless the Left can achieve widespread reductions in work time.


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