File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 16


Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 17:18:19 +0100
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Weeping in a Rolls-Royce]


Hugh

The second paragraph is also true in Europe but the EC based working time
directives and various other attempts at normalising the working situation
across the western european countries are in our interests - West Germany 30days
paid holiday per year as standard etc (this results from unionisation etc)... It
is basically raising the levels of employment law across Europe - note however
the obvious contradiction between this and the treatment of
refugees/immigrents...

Hence the conservative dislike of  all things European.

The first paragraph is probably a good representation of the situation in Europe
- the statistics are at home not here at work... worth noting however that most
western european countries have falling populations average birthrate of 2.0 or
below (Italy is 1.1 per married couple) for a sustainable birthrate you need
2.2. The influx of refugees and immigrents is still less than a sustained
population and is unlikely to rise (as Malthus might say "so that is the effect
of the Miele dishwasher and the car...).

regards

sdv

hugh bone wrote:

> Steve and All,
>
> Nothing much to quarrel about in your version of history, although I would
> point out that in U.S. households as well as in Europe, a great many women
> went back to work after the children were through school.  It still happens,
> but as I noted, three quarters of U.S. families are single moms and pops.
> Don't know the statistics for
> countries in Europe.
>
> My contention that Corporations, in the U.S., with temps and outsourcing,
> often manage to avoid paying for health insurance,  vacations, holidays, or
> other time off,  is based on the experience of people I know, but is also
> highlighted in the movie and book I referenced.
>
> Best,
> Hugh
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> >
> > Interesting notes but they seem to me to be from a place outside of the
> world I
> > inhabit.
> >
> > The following points towards that place....
> >
> > The status of working people, refugees and associated immigrants is no
> different
> > than in previous periods. Perhaps in some ways it may be considered better
> > think of the late 19th C or early 20th C and the obligatory racism of the
> > dominant cultures which culminated in the mass exterminations of the
> 1940s, how
> > many popular novels written at that time considered the complete
> extermination,
> > mass murder of the non-white races? (a genre that reappears in US science
> > fiction writers and in British conservative thriller writers) I suspect
> that in
> > the Anglo-Saxon world alone its closer to hundreds rather than dozens. The
> > eugenic manipulation of people according to theories around gender, class,
> race
> > etc was accepted as a normal discourse. The theories of supremacy were not
> > simply espoused by right wing fascists and pro-capitalists but also by
> liberal
> > humanists and the occasional misguided leftist. What was an acceptable
> discourse
> > has changed. The mass experiments on the bodies of the working class,
> women,
> > soldiers, criminals and race etc has become much more difficult to justify
> and
> > carry out. Except of course on US popular tv shows that endlessly appear
> on
> > cable tv and serve as popular warnings on the excesses of global
> corporations
> > and their problematic relations to the state. Being US/American
> individuals may
> > fight back but they may not fight back collectively. With regard to the
> > refugee/immigrant issue, working hours and the problematic relations to
> the new
> > host culture Id suggest that the issues referred to below are similar to
> > Sennett and Cobbs Hidden injuries of class (66 and 72)  what is especially
> > interesting in the book is the number of working class first generation
> > immigrants into the USA that are interviewed and used as representatives
> of a
> > discontinuous working class. (Odd how they failed to recognise the now
> commonly
> > recognised shift to right of the immigrent). In these post-modern days wed
> be
> > more suspicious of the notion that a potentially unified class could ever
> have
> > possibly existed given the evidence for difference and discontinuity that
> is
> > produced. The issue that surfaces however is that the nature of the work
> that
> > the characters carried out is as manual, brutish, repetitious and occupies
> as
> > many hours of their lives as the contemporary equivalents, the
> > refugees/immigrants of the 21st C, except of course the nature of the work
> has
> > changed.
> >
> > Additionally I believe it is important to recognise the impact of feminism
> on
> > the discussions of status  the question posed was effectively how is it
> > possible to be equal without your own income  In effect the post-war
> efforts
> > to send women back into the home were accepted during the 50s and early
> 60s to
> > be soundly rejected during the subsequent periods. Only in US TV shows and
> > Hollywood movies are women continuously chained to the home, as if the
> logical
> > statement of get married, have children must result in dont have any
> > economic independence and stay at home to be isolated with the kids
> (personally
> > Id like them censored as forms of kitchen sink pornography). Actually what
> > always happened to working class women (in Europe) was get married, have
> > children return to work because they had to if they were to survive at all
> > reasonably, there has been a growth in womens average income  but of
> course
> > not sufficient but significant. It will require ongoing state
> interference,
> > which will be led in Europe from the left parties for this to be radically
> > improved. An additional goalwill be the lowering of the allowable working
> time
> > to 30 hours a week. Real wages have changed and risen in the last 100
> years in
> > Europe, but of course insufficiently, this is the result of the existence
> of
> > higher expectations of the state in the post war years, resulting from the
> > existence of socialist governments, Western Marxist parties, general
> economic
> > growth and of course feminism and gay politics.
> >
> > The free entry of refugees into the western states is the ideal to aim for
> >
> > enough and regards
> >
> > sdv
> >
> > hugh bone wrote:
> >
> > > Steve and All,
> > >
> > > This link takes you to an excerpt from Barbara Ehrenreich's book,
> > > "Nickled and Dimed".  She is a nationally recognized writer,  a woman in
> her
> > > sixties, who took various low-paid jobs a few years ago, and relates her
> > > experiences in this book.
> > >
> > > Couples who both work, and earn average or better than average pay, and
> have
> > > children in school, or pre-school, must often work more than 80 hrs. per
> > > week to hold their jobs.  Real wages have changed little in 20 years,
> but
> > > the cost of living has increased a great deal.
> > >
> > > Parents of today's baby boomers, in the post-WWII era of strong unions,
> > > could often live on a single income, get medical care without the
> > > obstruction and costs of HMO's.  However,
> > > nuclear families have dwindled to 23.5% according to the 2000 census,
> and
> > > they may fare better than the majority of families of single moms and
> single
> > > pops.
> > >
> > > An influx of millions of illegal aliens who work "off-the-books", and
> the
> > > export of most U.S clothing factories to $1 a day, countries of the
> third
> > > world, are factors which increase the competition for decent jobs, and
> keep
> > > wages low.
> > >
> > > HB
> > >
> > >
> http://www.findarticles.com/m1111/1784_298/53530961/p22/article.jhtml?cf=0
> > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > >
> > > Steve wrote:
> > >
> > > > All
> > > >
> > > > I was interested in this email (from sciene as culture list) because
> of
> > > the
> > > > extraordinay claims that we are working more now than in the 1960s. I
> feel
> > > deeply
> > > > suspicious of this claim. My suspicions are founded on the distrust I
> feel
> > > for
> > > > people who suggest things are worse now than they were for our parents
> and
> > > > grandparents - this level of pessimism always makes me want to
> scrutinise
> > > their
> > > > evidence. On a personal basis however I remember my father working
> > > standard 6 day
> > > > weeks and occasionally 7 days - in addition he only had two weeks
> holiday.
> > > His
> > > > father worked the same regime but only one weeks unpaid holiday a
> year. To
> > > claim
> > > > that a 21st worker is working longer hours than our forefathers is I
> > > suspect to
> > > > massage the evidence in unacceptable ways.
> > > >
> > > > Compare these hours to myself - I never work weekends without days off
> in
> > > leiu-
> > > > 25days holiday a year, have a standard 37.5 hours working week and
> work
> > > probably 45
> > > > hours and sometimes 50 hrs a week if travelling to the USA on
> business..
> > > These are
> > > > not unsual working hours -
> > > >
> > > > It is true however that working time directives are essential -
> standard
> > > 30 hour
> > > > weeks - preferably over 4 days... are a desirable and achievable goal.
> > > >
> > > > regards
> > > >
> > > > sdv
> > > >
> > > > Ian Pitchford wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > NEW STATESMAN
> > > > > Book Reviews - Weeping in a Rolls-Royce
> > > > >
> > > > > Book Reviews
> > > > > Christopher Gasson Monday 28th May 2001
> > > > >
> > > > > Blood, Sweat and Tears: the evolution of work
> > > > > Richard Donkin Texere, 400pp, 18.99
> > > > > ISBN 1587990768
> > > > >
> > > > > It is difficult not to feel a sense of betrayal about technological
> > > progress.
> > > > > We have invented machines to do work for us, but the more ingenious
> our
> > > > > inventions, the harder we find ourselves working. We have exchanged
> 40
> > > hours of
> > > > > slavery in a soot-covered factory for a 70-hour week chained within
> the
> > > > > granite-faced confines of the giants of the new global service
> economy.
> > > The
> > > > > average American now works one month a year longer than he or she
> did in
> > > the
> > > > > 1960s. Britons, similarly, seem to be increasingly choosing work
> over
> > > leisure.
> > > > >
> > > > > As Richard Donkin makes clear in his broad history of work, Blood,
> Sweat
> > > and
> > > > > Tears, we have only ourselves to blame for so readily giving up our
> > > lives to
> > > > > our employers. It is a combination of our desires always staying one
> > > step ahead
> > > > > of our ability to afford them, our psychological need to define
> > > ourselves by
> > > > > our work, and an immutable work ethic, that continues to drive us
> long
> > > after
> > > > > the religion that spawned it ceased to be relevant.
> > > > >
> > > > > Full text:
> > > > > http://www.newstatesman.co.uk/200105280050.htm
> > > > >
> > > > > To view archive/subscribe/unsubscribe/select DIGEST go to
> > > > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radical-science
> > > > >
> > > > > Read The Human Nature Daily Review every day
> > > > > http://human-nature.com/nibbs
> > > > >
> > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
> > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> >
> >


   

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