A response to the Trade Union Council’s call for ‘A Future that Works’, from someone involved with the Cuts Cafe
A future that doesn’t work. Because there is a general consensus that work is shit. That it is inherently exploitative and degrading and alienating, that it sets up a hierarchy between those who work and those who cannot or do not want to and devalues these people and their activities.
Marching for work, for daily drudgery, for the quantification and domination of our activities, seems counterintuitive. We can do better than this. We are more than workers – we are lovers and learners and thinkers and carers and many other identities that cannot be reduced to one fixed daily activity
The TUC’s call for ‘a future that works’ is a vision that is lodged in the past. The logo accompanying the call out is of three men propping up an arrow (perhaps I’m being unfair, maybe one of them is a woman) harking back to some glorious industrial past of the male worker – hoping that if we can just produce enough Brompton bicycles everything will be OK.
But work will not solve the crisis that is capitalism, it is intrinsic to capitalism – more work is more exploitation under the rule of capital.
A future, better still, a present, that doesn’t work would allow us to live our lives doing things, individually and collectively, that we find meaningful and take pleasure from. Constricted though we find ourselves today, we manage to do these things some of the time, why not all of the time?