Critique of Economic Reason (Radical Thinkers) [Andre Gorz] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. André Gorz’s earlier books—from Ecology. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. Gorz, Andre. Critique of economic reason,. L Work & leisure. Social aspects. I. Title II. Metamorphoses du travail. Critique of Economic Reason: Summary for. Trade Unionists and Other Left Activists. Andre Gorz. Chapter 3 in Labour Worldwide: Alternative Union Models in.
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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In Critique of Economic Reasonhe offers his fullest account to date crotique the terminal crisis of a system where every activity and aspiration has been subjected to the rule of the market.
By carefully delineating the existential and cultural limits of economic rationality, he emphasizes the urgent need to create a society which rejects the work ethic in favor of an emancipatory ethic of free time.
He presents a practical strategy for reducing the working week, and develops criique radical version of a guaranteed wage for all. Paperbackpages. Published October 27th by Verso first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Critique of Economic Reasonplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Critique of Economic Reason.
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The basic argument of the book is this: But you can’t simply do that. Life has become work-centric due to the demands of the economic rationality. This type of rationality emerged alongside the birth of large-scale capitalism during the Industrial Revolution. It is a rationality which demands that profit seeking is its ultimate goal at whatever means possible. As a result, workers are regarded as instruments to achieve that goal. As instruments, they are disposable The basic argument of the book is this: As instruments, they are disposable.
They can be adjusted to the demands of the economy by making them work harder at less cost. Gorz argues for the liberation of workers from work. He does not mean that everyone should be jobless.
Instead, every employed person should work less in order to give opportunities for more people to work. Also, workers should have autonomy over their working schedule. For example, a technician might choose to do all his work 2 days per week instead of working the usual 5 days.
Therefore, for the remaining 3 days, other technicians can take his job. More job opportunities, less working time. An interesting concept is that Gorz argues for the divorce of quantity of work to the amount of wage a worker receives.
For him, a worker should receive his monthly salary regardless of how long he works – as long as he attends to his responsibilities. Technological growth had already increased the margin of profit.
Thus, instead of having the profit concentrated in the hands of the elite few, it should be more evenly distributed among the workforce for the quality of their work, instead of the quantity of time they put into it. Only after men had been liberated from a work-centric life that he could be able geason live a more fulfilling life.
He could spend his days learning new skills, travelling, spend time with his loved ones. In other words, making his life more meaningful. Nonetheless, it is still difficult because economic rationality still dominates our conception of life.
We are taught that money is everything, and that profit-making is a virtue. Then we work long hours. We have so little time for ourselves.
The limited time goz have are spent on cheap thrills and instant entertainment provided by the ever-flourishing Cultural Industry that diminish any chance of personal growth.
As a budding teacher, I am wondering whether the act reaxon studying in societies dominated by economic rationality should be considered as work as well, and whether students should be given autonomy over their studies. In this aspect, Gorz had said for the importance of inculcating self-learning upon their students without an in-depth elaboration upon the matter.
Perhaps this a field for further discussion in other works.
Critique of Economic Reason by André Gorz
A field for revolutionary educationists to ponder upon. I’m torn on this book, and my ambiguity towards it can mostly be explained without even referring to the actual contents. Let’s get that out of the way first, then. Critique of Economic Reason thinks it’s post-Marxist because it combines Marx with Weber and strangely Freire, seemingly deepening and broadening terms that Marx only used in an economic dimension. In actuality, Gorz is post-Marxist because like Adorno, Marcuse and others, he likes Capital and the Grundrisse and conveniently drops o I’m torn on this book, and my ambiguity towards it can mostly be explained without even referring to the actual contents.
In actuality, Gorz is post-Marxist because like Adorno, Marcuse and others, he likes Capital and the Grundrisse and conveniently drops out all of Marx’s and marxists’ other writing, and with that fundamentally erases if not flat-out denies the insoluble contradictions of class and capital.
Critique of Economic Reason
This may be a consequence of the period, during which the welfare state seemed stable enough to nullify class contradictions; nevertheless, even if we make this concession Gorz is still inexcusably mired in a eurocentric blindness towards the degree to which work hour reduction could only be made possible if supported by vast and continuous third-world exploitation. Strategically speaking and taken on its own terms, Critique of Economic Reason props up the left wing of fascism and should be severely criticized from a principled internationalist viewpoint.
Having said that, Gorz’ ecclectic writings did produce theoretical value that can operate outside the book’s framework. I’m thinking here specifically of his research into the composition of the German labour force, ordering the subclasses by occupational stability, degree of necessary schooling and mobility between firms. Another rock-solid chapter is that on women and the role of the family within the labour force; within it, he develops a strong argument for why ‘housewife’ should not become a state-subsidized occupation as this would amount to paying women to stay indoors – the solution would rather be to, again, lower the hours of waged work without reducing wages so as to free up family time for both partners.
This should go with the caveat that the relevance of this argument hinges on whether or not society is progressing towards socialism or whether we should make temporary accommodations in the knowledge that the need for them must still be abolished. Gorz’ delineation of the specific non-economic nature of certain occupations such as doctors, therapists and prostitutes is likewise interesting with regards to the practical implementation of socialist policies.
I’m mostly indifferent towards the first half of the book, where Gorz in an exercise of immanent critique demonstrates why work hour reduction is necessary. Marx already tells you that, and I fail to see how the additional views of a varied bunch of philosophers and thinkers adds to the substance of the arguments, especially seeing as the self-professed phenomenologist Gorz partly relies on thought-structures that in Marxist parlance could only be described as idealist.
For instance, his assertion that ‘autonomy’ as part of the new and improved autonomy-heteronomy axis complementing Marx’ freedom-necessity-axis in working life can never be achieved if dependent on machinery due to the fact that machines are governed by their own laws-for-themself and thus ‘heteronomously’ turn workers into extension of the machine-process seems to me to be the type of techno-fetishistic confusion Marcuse too falls prey to: The hoe or for that matter the sickle may ‘phenomenologically’ appear as a much more neutral non-heteronomous tool than the furnace, but they likewise impose limits and requirements as to what can be achieved with them and what needs to be done to utilize them.
Turning away from the hoe without either replacing it with a different tool in a different sector of work or forgoing tools altogether and living in paleolithic conditions are only possible if the worker leaves the social system completely.
A recommendation: Critique of Economic Reason by André Gorz – An und für sich
Furthermore, from a marxist or political-economic point of view they are identical: Glean from it the snippets critically analysing liberal co-optation of socialist efforts but keep his own professed socialism at a distance.
Written in this is a book which prefigures the direction of the modern economy. Gorz’s book is a manifesto for the future outlining how the changes in productivity can be captured to reduce the hours that we all work.
As technology and automation advance work no longer offers either fulfilment or indeed full time work for us all. Rather we should take the opportunity to create a society in which we all have the opportunity to get involved in activity which has social value but which cannot Written in this is a book which prefigures the direction of the modern economy. Rather we should take the opportunity to create a society in which we all have the opportunity to get involved in activity which has social value but which cannot form part of a commodity exchange.
As part of this, Gorz predicts recent changes such as the “gig” economy and the proliferation of zero-hours contracts.
As such this book feels surprisingly current bearing in mind it is 30 years old. Gorz’s programme is to tackle this by sharing work and skills more equitably, and prevent the creation of an aristocracy of labour dividing society between those who have work and those who don’t. Unsurprisingly therefore he is heavily referenced in books such as Paul Mason’s “Postcapitalism”. Gorz pursues a similar line of reasoning to that worked through by Srnicek and Williams in “Inventing the Future”.
In fact, we can see that the three way division between those with full time work, those in precarious jobs, and those unemployed is exactly how the structure of the economy is developing.
What Gorz offers is a proposal to take control of these changes for the benefit of us all rather than allowing them to be captured by a few. Ce livre est magnifique. Ce qui n’arrive jamais! The first portion of the book covers the history of “economic reasoning” and it meshes perfectly with where we are currently at.
This book was written in the late eighties and Gorz correctly took measure of horizons of that day, and in the book he describes exactly what has happened in the ensuing 30 years. The second portion of the book describes, as a way out of our current crisis, a utopia of decreasing work hours. His solution logically follows his rather prescient understanding of economic The first portion of the book covers the history of “economic reasoning” and it meshes perfectly with where we are currently at.
His solution logically follows his rather prescient understanding of economic history, and a case can be made that our average working hours have been decreasing, but his utopia is based on ever-rising productivity, and since it has actually been mostly falling since the earlyish nineties, his ideal is not as convincing. But still a shorter work week is a decent, workable and probably achievable goal. Despite being incorrect about productivity gains I couldn’t recommend this book more.
Jul 31, Samantha rated it liked it Shelves: I have no memory of the content of this and no idea why I read it. Best analysis of the situation of workers in regards to the predominate Economic Reason, as well as an amazing Critique of the Economics of Capitalism.
Sebastian rated it really liked it Apr 18, Adam rated it it was amazing Mar 16, Zahen Khan rated it it was amazing Jul 28, Alex rated it it was amazing May 28, Tolga Ulusoy rated it it was amazing Aug 14, Benjamin rated it it was amazing Dec 05, Zoonanism rated it really liked it Feb 25,