By Andre Gorz
Andre Gorz argues that Fordist societies have given solution to 'non-societies', within which a tiny dominant stratum has grabbed lots of the surplus wealth. He claims that we're within the grip of a brand new approach that's abolishing paintings as we all know it and restoring the worst different types of exploitation. yet he argues that we must always struggle now not opposed to the destruction of labor itself, yet opposed to efforts to perpetuate the ideology of labor as a resource of rights.
André Gorz is without doubt one of the major social and political thinkers of our time, and is the writer of many books, together with Critique of monetary cause, Farewell to the operating category and Paths to Paradise.
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Competitiveness demanded maximum mobility, fluidity and rapidity in designing new products and putting them into production. Firms had to be capable of continual improvisation; they had to know how to whip up passing fads, unpredictable and 28 The Latest Forms of Work transient fashions, and exploit them to the full. In virtually saturated markets, the only type of growth possible was growth in the variety of taste and fashion, growth in the speed at which these things changed. It was not merely a question for businesses of 'responding' almost instantly to the increasingly volatile 'demand' of customers: they had to anticipate, accentuate and create the volatility, inconstancy and ephemerality of fashions and desires, to stand out against any normalization and any sense of normality.
3 For example, when Matsushita bought up Motorola's television plant in Chicago, it proceeded to lay off all the supervisory staff, retaining only the directly productive workers. 'The Americans,' as a Japanese manager explained at the time, 'divide' the workforce into those who think and those who work. ' In two years, Matsushita doubled the production of 'TV sets in Chicago and achieved a fiftyfold reduction in the number of final adjustments required. Kosuke Ikebuchi, senior managing director of the factory which Toyota and General Motors run as a joint venture at Fremont, California, sums up Toyota's philosophy by pointing out that his 2,100 production workers spend eight hours a day on the shopfloor, his engineers only three.
It is, more precisely, made a function of, an instrument in the service of, a technical system which requires coded information to circulate at a particular velocity. The subject,' observes Lazzarato, 'is a mere coding and decoding station . . ' Theoretically, when autonomy increases, the rejection of heteronomy should become more radical. The autonomy the company requires of the worker should tend to assert itself independently of the company's need for it and should increase in all areas. The worker who is autonomous at work should, sooner or later, refuse to be reduced to a predetermined productive function.