Jobs Suck, But Not Because of Automation w/ Aaron Benanav
Play • 48 min

Paris Marx is joined by Aaron Benanav to discuss why jobs are getting worse because the economy’s slowing down, not because technology is speeding up, and why that requires a vision of post-scarcity centered around human relationships instead of technological change.

Aaron Benanav is an economic historian and social theorist. He is a post-doctoral researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin and author of “Automation and the Future of Work.” Follow Aaron on Twitter as @abenanav.

Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter.

Find out more about Harbinger Media Network and follow it on Twitter as @harbingertweets.

Also mentioned in this episode:

  • Prop 22 passed in California, stopping gig workers from becoming employees
  • Paris explains the limits of a basic income, how Aaron’s book helps us think about the future, and the problems with luxury communism
  • Aaron explains why automation isn’t wiping out jobs
  • Aaron’s science fiction reading list: “The Dispossessed,” “The Word for World is Forest,” and “Always Coming Home” by Ursula K. Le Guin; “Red Star” by Alexander Bogdanov; “Hard to be a God” and “Noon: 22nd Century” by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky; “News from Nowhere” by William Morris; “Looking Backward” by Edward Bellamy; “The Conquest of Bread” by Peter Kropotkin; “Trouble on Triton” by Samuel R. Delaney; “Star Maker” by Olaf Stapledon; and “Utopia” by Thomas Moore.

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Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales)
101. Britain, 2021: a new era of capitalist crisis
What is the outlook for class struggle in Britain in 2021? The pandemic was a world-shattering turning point. All the weaknesses of capitalism were laid bare in 2020. But in few countries more so than Britain. The nightmare which began in 2020 has not been limited to public health, but has infected the already-ailing world economy – with British capitalism the worst hit of all the major capitalist powers. Working-class and young people have already suffered hugely as the bosses try to pass on the pain. The bare-bones Brexit deal will only make things worse for Britain’s capitalist rulers. Boris Johnson’s Tory government has been completely exposed for its incompetence and craven defence of profit over lives. But Keir Starmer’s Labour offers no opposition whatsoever. Britain’s working class has no political voice – and desperately needs to build for a new, independent, mass workers’ party. Already this year, the trade unions have overturned the government by forcing part-closure of schools. And young people showed they are ready to explode in protest in last year's Black Lives Matter movement. British capitalism is not well. Meanwhile, Britain’s working class is angry – but lacks political organisation and leadership. This episode of Socialism look at Britain in 2021: a new era of capitalist crisis. Further reading 2020 - a year which drove home the catastrophic failures of capitalism: Global capitalism at most dangerous conjuncture since the 1930s: Workers' action wins Tory U-turn on school safety: Universities: refund the rent, cancel the fees, for fully funded, publicly owned education:
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