Are We Addicted to Gadgets or Indentured to Work? – Alexis Madrigal – The Atlantic

24 Jul

Just why are we so addicted to work? Is that addiction another aspect of the psycho-cultural dynamic that allows us to deny climate change and that keeps us from throwing the Republicrats out?

The upper middle class (i.e. the NYT reader) is WORKING MORE HOURS and having to stay more connected TO WORK than ever before. This is a problem with the way we approach labor, not our devices. Our devices enabled employers to make their employees work 24/7, but it is our strange American political and cultural systems that have allowed them to do so.

And worse, when Richtel blames the gadgets themselves, he channels the anxiety and anger that people feel about 24/7 work into a different and defanged fear over their gadgets. The only possible answer becomes, “Put your gadget down,” not “Organize politically and in civil society to change our collective relationship to work.”

Imagine if 19th-century factory workers blamed the clock for the length of their work days. The answer to the horrible working conditions of the late 19th century was not to smash the clocks or the steam engines! The solution was to organize and fight for your right to a 40-hour week and paid vacations.

via Are We Addicted to Gadgets or Indentured to Work? – Alexis Madrigal – The Atlantic.

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