LOL remember wagie ur a living corpse and ur fruitphone won't salvage u

vandrende lik

vandrende lik

NEET
Nov 14, 2023
619
The morning. Explosions. Blue everywhere. Always blue;
magnificent. The new day unrelenting. When will life be
gentle? When will I be dead?


This is not simply the morose reverie of an overpaid, suicidal banker.
The pathos lies in the way it conveys the feeling
that there is a fate far worse than death. From the daily tedium of the
office, to the humiliating team building exercise, to the alienating
rituals of the service economy, to the petty mind games of a passive-
aggressive boss: the experience is not one of dying … but neither of
living. It is a living death. Entering the workforce is like entering the grave
… From then on, nothing happens and you have to pretend to be
interested in your work. Although dead, we are nevertheless compelled
to wear the exterior signs of life. Recognizing that workers at heart feel
lifeless has prompted a new wave of managerial motivation techniques
gleaned from the growing industry of self-help and new-age spirituality.
The corporation now hires ‘fun-sultants’, whose job is to design puerile
office games to make us laugh as we work ourselves to death. The now
ubiquitous ideology of ‘liberation management’ has realized that no one
can exploit workers better than workers themselves (‘leave them alone
and they will work forever’). And the trend of injecting authenticity and
other life affirming moments into work is a central facet of modern
managerialism.

But these tricks only end in humiliation. Every worker knows that
the rituals of capitalism are inherently against life, even if repackaged
in miniature Buddhas on the computer monitor. In the grave, at least no
one expects a pretty smile or a half-baked joke. When the economy of
work infects one’s early morning dreams, spills over into booze-soaked
weekends and reduces almost every social relation to a cold cash
exchange, workers are the first to realize that life becomes evacuated, a
perpetual living absence no matter how many smiley-faces dot the
cubicle. As T.W. Adorno wryly noted in his strikingly prescient analysis
of late capitalism, the fact that we continue to live in this petrified air
merely indicates that we have learnt to breathe in hell.

What is it about working today that produces a person who exists
between life and death, a figure whose only hope is that it might soon
all be over? In some ways the dead man working is not an entirely new
species. Some enduring features of capitalism are still important to
consider here. Karl Marx first revealed the peculiar self-referentiality of
our society, a remarkable feature which entailed a qualitative shift in
social experience. Whereas most other cultures seem to place something
beyond itself to garner motivation – the gods, the supernatural, utopia
and so-forth – capitalism exists only for itself. It has become its own
final destination. As Marx sighed, this makes for a ‘sad materialism’,
because a life determined by the repetitive loop of work and
consumption takes us nowhere. Hence the old union lament: ‘do we
exist simply to work, or do we work so that we can live?’

To compensate for this dead end nature of capital, we have been
witnessing the birth of a new culture industry with its artificial zones of
‘leisure’, whose rationale has been to provide a momentary escape from
a society without purpose. Only then can we say: the reason we work is
to spend money on something meaningful, be it holidays, our kids or
video games. And we might also view the clumsy attempts of industrial
psychologists to create spaces of externality as part of this fantasy of a
world beyond work. Of course, most employees know this is a swindle.
The things in life we could look forward to, beyond the daily grind, are
few and often sadly mundane. Consider the scene from the post-
apocalyptic film, Children of Men; the film’s alcoholic anti-hero, Theo,
captures the experience perfectly when talking to his friend Jasper:

Jasper: What did you do for your birthday?
Theo: Nothing, just like any other day
Jasper: You must have done something?
Theo: Nope. Woke up, felt like shit. Went to work, felt like
shit.
Jasper: That’s called a hangover, amigo
Theo: At least with a hangover I feel something.
Jasper: You should come and live with me.
Theo: Why would I do that? Then I would have absolutely
nothing to look forward to.

How do we cope, when the only thing we could still look forward to is a
short retreat to the countryside to visit our pot-smoking middle-aged
hippie friend? In the same way as with any other soul-deadening
activity, through minor thought games, escapism, sexual fantasies,
pranks and jokes. But ultimately, by numbing ourselves and waiting for
it to end. This is why the greatest fear of today’s managers is not
absenteeism like it was in the halcyon days of Fordism. In a new culture
of work that demands every fiber of your organism to always be
switched on, the enemy to production is what human resource
managers like to call presenteeism: being present only in body with every
other part of you being far, far away (on a beach, making love, setting a
building on fire, etc.)
This is why even a child knows that the smile and
‘have a great day’ from a customer-service-worker is fundamentally
creepy. Not only is it obvious that they don’t mean it (and why should
they?) but there doesn’t seem to be anyone actually behind the smile.
But only with the advent of the postmodern ‘social factory’, in which
every waking (and as we shall see in the next chapter, sleeping)
moment becomes a time of work, does the dead man working truly
appear. Many commentators today, most notably Michael Hardt and
Antonio Negri, have argued that capitalist economic rationality has
escaped the factory and offices to become the template for all facets of
society. What others have called 24 hour capitalism not only means that
at any moment of the day (and night) someone, somewhere is working
but also that at any moment of the day everyone is always working.
The real fault-line today is not between capital and labor. It is
between capital and life.
Life itself is now something that is plundered
by the corporation, rendering our very social being into something that
makes money for business.
We know them. The computer hackers
dreaming code in their sleep. The airline stewards evoking their warm
personality to deal with an irate customer (‘act as if the airplane cabin
is your living room’). The aspiring NGO intern working for nothing. The
university lecturer writing in the weekend. The call center worker
improvising on the telephone to enhance the customer experience.
What makes capitalism different today is that its influence reaches
far beyond the office
. Under Fordism, weekends and leisure time were
still relatively untouched. Their aim was to indirectly support the world
of work. Today, however, capital seeks to exploit our very sociality in
all spheres of life. When we all become ‘human capital’ we not only
have a job, or perform a job. We are the job.
Even when the work-day
appears to be over. This is what some have called the rise of bio-power,
where life itself is put to work: our sociality, imagination,
resourcefulness, and our desire to learn and share ideas. But as we all
know, modern corporations cannot provide these drivers of value by
their own accord. That’s why we are enlisted to do it for them. Self-
exploitation has become a defining motif of working today. Indeed, the
reason why so little is invested by large companies into training is
because they have realized that workers train themselves, both on the
job, using their life skills and social intelligence, and away from the job,
on their own time.
So does the dead man working fight back? Is he trying to change his
predicament? He is still waiting for the end, but when he realizes that it
may not come, resistance becomes a matter of inducing an end. The
perplexing question running through the pages of this book is the
following: how can we resist capitalism when it has penetrated our very
mode of social being? Perhaps the old Marxist argument about class
politics still holds true. Being a worker is nothing to be proud of.
Meaningful workplace politics ought not to be calling for fairer work,
better work, more or less work, but an end to work. Might this also mean
the end of the worker? Finding himself paralyzed, crippled, and only
half alive, the dead man working has sought to reinvent death by
crafting his own private terminus, a final conclusion to what he is.
Worryingly, many of these escape attempts are not pretty, involving
mind-numbing drugs, self-loathing, aerobics and suicide (as recently
witnessed at France Télécom and elsewhere).
 
Pale God

Pale God

Genius
Feb 21, 2023
1,985
Did AI write this? I guess not since they are too politically correct unless yo hack them or something like that.
 
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