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The critique of work in modern French thought : from Charles Fourier to Guy Debord

Author: Alastair Hemmens
Publisher: Cham, Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan, [2019] ©2019
Series: Studies in revolution and literature.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
What is work? Why do we do it? Since time immemorial the answer to these questions, from both the left and the right, has been that work is both a natural necessity and, barring exploitation, a social good. One might criticise its management, its compensation and who benefits from it the most, but never work itself, never work as such. In this book, Alastair Hemmens seeks to challenge these received ideas. Drawing  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
HEMMENS, ALASTAIR.
CRITIQUE OF WORK IN MODERN FRENCH THOUGHT.
[Place of publication not identified] : SPRINGER NATURE, 2019
(OCoLC)1082233080
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Alastair Hemmens
ISBN: 9783030125868 3030125866
OCLC Number: 1099434935
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: Intro; Dedication; Acknowledgements; Praise for The Critique of Work in Modern French Thought; Contents; Chapter 1: Marxian Theory and the Critique of Work; The Exoteric Marx; The Esoteric Marx; Chapter 2: Charles Fourier, Utopian Socialism and Attractive Labour; Divine Legislation; Repugnant Labour; Attractive Labour; Productivity, Capital and Class; Parasitism, Colonialism and the State; Passionate Domesticity; Chapter 3: Paul Lafargue, Early French Marxism and the Right to Laziness; A Refutation of the Right to Work; A Dangerous Dogma; The Dust of Past Centuries; Shame on the Proletarians Aristotle's DreamChapter 4: André Breton, the Artistic Avant-Garde and Surrealism's War on Work; Art, Rimbaud and Anarchism; Modern Times; Work in Surrealist Philosophy; Breton's War on Work; Dada, Duchamp and Laziness; Poetry Must Be Made by All; Marxism and the PCF; Chapter 5: Guy Debord, the Situationist International and the Abolition of Alienated Labour; Overcoming Art; The Society of the Spectacle; The Last Avant-Garde; The Radical Subject; Chapter 6: The New Spirit of Capitalism and the Critique of Work in France Since May'68; The New Spirit of Capitalism The 'Crisis of Work' and the Ultra-LeftTowards a Critique of Abstract Labour; Chapter 7: News from Nowhere, or an Epoch of Rest; Bibliography; Index
Series Title: Studies in revolution and literature.
Responsibility: Alastair Hemmens.

Abstract:

What is work? Why do we do it? Since time immemorial the answer to these questions, from both the left and the right, has been that work is both a natural necessity and, barring exploitation, a social good. One might criticise its management, its compensation and who benefits from it the most, but never work itself, never work as such. In this book, Alastair Hemmens seeks to challenge these received ideas. Drawing on the new ?critique-of-value? school of Marxian critical theory, Hemmens demonstrates that capitalism and its final crisis cannot be properly understood except in terms of the historically specific and socially destructive character of labour. It is from this radical perspective that Hemmens turns to an innovative critical analysis of the rich history of radical French thinkers who, over the past two centuries, have challenged the labour form head on: from the utopian-socialist Charles Fourier, who called for the abolition of the separation between work and play, and Marx?s wayward son-in-law, Paul Lafargue, who demanded The Right to Laziness (1880), to the father of Surrealism, André Breton, who inaugurated a ?war on work?, and, of course, the French Situationist, Guy Debord, author of the famous graffito, ?never work?. Ultimately, Hemmens considers normative changes in attitudes to work since the 1960s and the future of anti-capitalist social movements today. This book will be a crucial point of reference for contemporary debates about labour and the anti-work tradition in France.

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