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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happened to my work? What happened to my life?, 7 May 2013
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This review is from: Dead Man Working (Paperback)
Dead man working grabs your attention from the first line, by declaring that capitalism died sometime in the 1970s. This proposition jars and intrigues in equal measure. It is of course the nature and reach of the dead capitalism that is different; dead capitalism penetrates the very social fabric. Work is virus like, an omnipresent infection that spreads market logic to all our relationships. With this proposition established the authors ask how this, now all-pervading, capitalism can be resisted.

The journey to their answer takes in the modern workplace's mechanisms of self-exploitation, the corporations ever increasing reach into all aspects of society and the self, corporate therapy, corporate social responsibility, the impossibility of escape and the dangers of trying.

An account of ludicrous corporate motivation techniques illustrates just how determined the corporation is to create the dead man working. Some very poignant examples of the damage the dead man working can suffer are also recounted, reminding the reader just how serious the whole thing is.

The book is intellectual, but with a light touch, references include: current philosophy, classic sociology and film. The approach works well, allowing a cogent argument to be presented in very few pages.

The authors seem to take the persistence of dead capitalism as given, leading to a conclusion that is individualistic and existentialist. Notwithstanding any reservations about the seeming inevitability of dead capitalism, a book of this nature is very welcome. Unlike other recent looks at the philosophy of work, it is the engagement with modern work's insidious and damaging effects that sets this book apart. It will appeal to anyone who has ever stood back and wondered how it ever got like this.
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