Friday 2:15pm

The capitalist struggle for control: automation and the manufacturing of insecurity

Organising workers
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Control over the work process has always been one important arena of the class struggle.

Historically, skilled workers have been more able to sustain strong workplace organisation than less skilled workers. So stripping workers of control over the work process – through automation, and by breaking the work into countless smaller, less skilled operations – has always been one driving factor behind the constant push to automate or “rationalise” work processes under capitalism.

Jess Lenehan explores this struggle for control, and the manufacture of worker insecurity, over the past century – and what it means for the class struggle today.

Reading:

Harry Braverman, Labor and monopoly capital

Mike Davis, Old gods, new enigmas, pp 33-77

David Renton, Against management: Harry Braverman’s Marxism (especially section on struggle)

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