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  • Alienation and Work: A Common View

    Mike Healy

    Chapter from the book: Healy, M. 2020. Marx and Digital Machines: Alienation, Technology, Capitalism.


    This chapter looks at the views of both the ICT professionals and scholars about a specific aspect of Marx’s theory of alienation, namely their attitude towards work. The author investigates whether the ICT professionals or scholars would continue working if they had the economic and social means to stop. Subsequent discussion then focuses on the responses of to two questions asking participants to reflect on their work experience. The first question sought to examine what changes the participants would make if they had the opportunity to start their careers again. The second asked what changes they would make if they had access to sufficient resources, enabling them to be free of paid employment and provide funds for any projects they might wish to follow. Using evidence obtained from both the ICT professionals and scholars, Healy’s study validates Marx’s view that, as soon as the necessity to work has been removed, it is generally ‘avoided like the plague’ but that the responses raised questions regarding the possibility of engaging in non-alienated labour within a context where every aspect of life is dominated by alienated labour.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Healy, M. 2020. Alienation and Work: A Common View. In: Healy, M, Marx and Digital Machines. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book47.f

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Oct. 16, 2020