Friday, 26 October 2007

The hegemonic efficacy of being completely knackered.

Students and theorists of hegemony, those who seek to discover why the proletariat has not overthrown capitalism, to lay bare the mechanisms keeping the general population acquiescent and politically inactive, perhaps overplay the effect of various ideological apparatuses, of the commodification of the world - although these things are not to be dismissed. What shouldn't be underestimated is the sheer fact that vast numbers of people, including the present author at the exact present time, find that work leaves them totally knackered. If your lucky, you spend 9 hours a day on some highly specific task that nonetheless requires ingenuity - like flogging advertising space. If you're unlucky, you spend 9 hours a day of total monotony and mechanical repetition. In both cases, come 5.30 you're knackered, mentally and physically. The weekend is just recuperation; the evenings a mere unravelling. Your mental and physical energies already syphoned off by powers inimical to your interests, confiscated from you 7 turned into capital. You return home an empty integument, wanting nothing more than to sit down with a beer and replay the day as anecdote to a sympathetic companion. The contagion of work's slow stain...

2 comments:

dave said...

absolutely.


Chickens and eggs, but: might France's 35-hour workweek enable their generally more positive attitude toward 'revolution'?

Gog said...

Like you suggest, the demand for a shorter working week is itself a sign of radicalism.

A 25 hr week sounds about right, with the mornings devoted to fishing and creating works of art etc, you can then go into work in the afternoon.