Contradictions: Finance, Greed, and Labor Unequally Paid: 28 (Research in Political Economy)

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Digital Labour and Karl Marx

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It helps companies to find workers who work for the time a regular employee would take for a certain task, but for a lower payment. The idea is to crowdsource work over the Internet in order to reduce costs, that is, to pay less for the same labour time as under regular working conditions. The temporary workers at Amazon Germany have tempo- rary limited contracts, which put them under pressure to accept and not to resist the poor working conditions because they are afraid of losing their jobs.

Many of them come from countries that were hard hit by the economic crisis, where they are facing unemployment. Crisis drives them into accepting work under early industrial conditions. Paramilitary control should make the employees work more and faster during the work time. It aims at an intensification of work.

Contradictions: Finance, Greed, and Labor Unequally Paid, vol 28

Time plays an important role in this example in the form of insecure temporary employment, work time intensifica- tion and the lowering of hourly wages. In return for their efforts to participate in surveys whose results are sold as commodities, users of Work. Play can win prizes such as cinema and theatre tickets, shopping vouchers and special offers.

Of course only a few win; most of the work is completely unremunerated. The idea of the Work. Play platform is that users work in their free time and thereby have the chance to win vouchers and goods that enable shopping, entertainment and play. Playing on social media becomes actual work and the promise is that users in return get opportunities for shopping and more play. Play extends the capitalist logic of commodities and consumption to the home and play time. Facebook translations are outsourced user work. The users are expected to perform the translation without remuneration.

The idea is to transform usage time into work time. The lengthening of working day, unpaid working times, the intensification of work time by fascist security forces, overwork, spare time as labour time, overtime—the examples show that labour time is a crucial aspect of the capitalist ICT industry. The task of this book is to better understand labour and value generation in the context of digital media. He coined in this context the notion of the audience commodity. This approach has in the context of the digital labour debate gained new relevance.

It asks whether we live in capitalism or an information society. Chapters 6—11 analyse various forms of labour in the international division of digital labour IDDL in order to introduce concepts for a digital labour theory-toolbox and show examples of how to apply such theoretical categories. Chapter 9 analyses work in Silicon Valley, especially software engineering at Google.

Chapter 10 looks at precarious service work with the help of the example of call centre work. Chapter 11 focuses on the unpaid digital labour of Internet prosumers using the example of Facebook. In order to avoid misunderstandings, I want to make clear that each of the chapters 6—11 does not define concepts that are specific for only one form of digital labour.

Chapters 6—11 show examples of how to apply these categories. Specific working conditions of specific types of digital labour are historical and dynamic, they do not stay fixed, but change with the development and crises of capitalism. It discusses in this context especially the Occupy movement as a new working-class movement and its use of the Internet and social media. The approach taken in this book for critically theorizing and explaining so- cial media and digital labour is grounded in the works of Karl Marx.

Episode 154: Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy (with Richard E. Wagner)

This question requires further discussion. Sales have trebled—albeit from a pretty low level—since and have soared since the summer. These news clippings indicate that with the new global crisis of capitalism, we seem to have entered new Marxian times.

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At the same time, the bourgeois press tries to limit Marx and to stifle his theory by interpreting Marx as the new saviour of capitalism. One should remember that he was not only a brilliant analyst of capitalism, he was also the strongest critic of capitalism in his time:. In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary move- ment against the existing social and political order of things.

In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the dem- ocratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.