A Future (and past) of “Alternative” Work Arrangements

“Contingent” work arrangements like the “Sharing Economies” and “Gig economies” are on the rise, but it seems this is mostly cosmetic as its mostly a name and style change, not necessarily a change in substance. At the core they still alienate labor, albeit differently.

the shift to contingent work wasn’t driven by the rise of the sharing economy. Just 0.5 percent of workers are in the sharing economy, accounting for at most 10 percent of the labor market shift over the past 10 years. In other words, for all the concerns about Uber and other sharing economy companies using independent contractors to skirt state and federal labor laws, the shift toward these workplace arrangements predates those companies. They’re followers, not leaders. read more

What they describe above is more like “gig ” than “share,” which I’d call more “open source” projects than gigs. regardless, “work” has seen many “economic” arrangements since humans first tried to do less and get more. From enclosures to our “modern” economic arrangements, the crux is in who gets what and how much, based on why? (the subsidy of history)

The shifts and name changes, and slightly same arrangement, are exactly the same exploitation or alienation. Granted, the loss of job security/stability, perks and packages make the exploitation a little more obvious. Profits before people is a losers weepers, if not illegitimate, way to run economies, economies where alienation is the contract. The “law” should be that contracts should be an inalienability of labor from product.

the free contract should be the supreme law. It is all right that each one should pay to be baptized, to be married, to be buried. Let them who would adore assess themselves for the cost of their adorations, nothing is more just. The right to assemble for prayer is equal to the right to assemble to talk politics or economics; the oratory, as well as the club, is inviolable.

But talk no more to us of the religion of the State, nor of the religion of the majority, nor of salaried Public Worship, nor of the neo-Christian Republic. These are so many apostasies from reason and right: the Revolution cannot compound with Divinity.

…No more Authority! That is to say further: free contract in place of arbitrary law; voluntary transactions in place of the control of the State; equitable and reciprocal justice in place of sovereign and distributive justice; rational instead of revealed morals; equilibrium of forces instead of equilibrium of powers; economic unity in place of political centralization. Once more, I ask, is not this what I may venture to call a complete reversal, a turn-over, a Revolution?


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