COMMENT: From Precariousness to Risk Management [s0metim3s]

This is the text of the paper for the Inventions series in Zurich:

Conceptually and historically, precarious work teeters between curious symmetries, at once public and private, both magnified as general social condition and yet perceived as personal failing, simultaneously an index of deregulation and the increasing prevalence of compulsion. Blurring the distinction between the time of work and that of life, it might well indicate a decrease in the actual time of work while nevertheless amplifying all the senses in which one is always available, always preparing for, or always seeking work. It marks out, to put it another way, the paradoxical condition of the liberal, or better: neo-liberal subject – that is, both autonomous and coerced, the enhanced freedom of commerce existing alongside increasing constraints on the movement of people, globalisation and border policing, self-determination and conformity, the invisible hand and the iron fist.

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ALSO READ:

Precarious Labor: A Feminist Viewpoint
Silvia Federici
Precarious work is a central concept in movement discussions of the capitalist reorganization of work and class relations in today’s global economy. Silvia Federici analyzes the potential and limits of this concept as an analytic and organizational tool. She claims reproductive labor is a hidden continent of work and struggle the movement must recognize in its political work, if it is to address the key questions we face in organizing for an alternative to capitalist society. How do we struggle over reproductive labor without destroying ourselves, and our communities? How do we create a self-reproducing movement? How do we overcome the sexual, racial, and generational hierarchies built upon the wage?

text pdf

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