Foucault, Arendt, Human Capital, and Consumption.

I want to pick up where last week’s post left off, because there were a few more titbits from Birth of Biopolitics that will have bearing on what I’m trying to do. After he makes the claim that Marx’s theory of labour power rendered the worker inert, Foucault moves on to talk about the idea … Continue reading Foucault, Arendt, Human Capital, and Consumption.

Is a History of Work a History of Everything?

In the second year of my PhD one of the reviewers at my annual review queried the metastasizing scope of my thesis. As it started to slip from a transnational history of Australian protest into a sort of weird agglomeration of case studies touching on everything from 19th Century vaccinations in Britain to the Boer … Continue reading Is a History of Work a History of Everything?

Bullshit Jobs and the Labourisation of Work

Three days ago I changed my job title on LinkedIn. The title change was part of a broader restructure at work, and was accompanied by a new role description which was really just a superficial tweak to the old one attached to a larger portfolio of accounts. There was no real increase in responsibility, and … Continue reading Bullshit Jobs and the Labourisation of Work

Hannah Arendt, Labour, and the Maintenance of the Self

Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition is a fecund text. What it lacks in internal consistency and clarity of citation it makes up for by providing an easily problematised taxonomy of human activity and the realms in which it takes place. It’s impossible to read it without thinking; even the things it ‘gets wrong’ provides the … Continue reading Hannah Arendt, Labour, and the Maintenance of the Self