POST-WORK / POST-CONSUMERIST FUTURES
Technology, Ecology, and Power: Prospects for a Post-work and Post-capitalist Society, Peter Frase, Editor at Jacobin magazine and author of Four Futures: Life After Capitalism
Since the rise of capitalism in the nineteenth century, advanced technology in the labor process has been viewed, alternately, as a great promise or a great threat. Labor-saving technology holds out the promise of drastically reducing the need for human labor, ushering in a world of leisure envisioned by everyone from Oscar Wilde to John Maynard Keynes. But so long as the technology of automation is controlled and deployed by a small elite, there is also a justified fear that it will only lead to increased inequality, mass unemployment, and destitution.
The ecological crisis of climate change and resource scarcity brings up the dual-sided nature of technology as well, but in a different way. Industrial capitalism’s systems of extraction and production have led us to the crisis we presently face, one which calls into question the Earth’s very ability to sustain human life. But does the answer lie in reducing humanity’s entanglement with nature, or in an intensification of our manipulation of the natural world?
The talk will address both of these questions by emphasizing that they are fundamentally not technical but “political” ones, whose resolution depends on the outcome of mass struggles.
Location: Tellus Institute, 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116
Please RSVP by February 10 to Kathryn Nguyen at knguyen [at] tellus.org. Other questions can be directed to Maurie Cohen at mcohen [at] njit.edu.
Note: A videorecording of the session will be posted to the SCORAI YouTube channel in the days following the event.
Other Sessions in the Mini-Colloquium
- March 23: Anders Hayden, Work-time Reduction and the Return of the Post-work Future
- April 20: Amitai Etzioni, What Makes a Good Society? In a Post-Affluence Society
The Mini-colloquium is Sponsored by the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) and the Tellus Institute