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The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-market Era Paperback – 29 Oct 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Paperback, 29 Oct 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jeremy P Tarcher; 2nd Revised edition edition (29 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585423130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585423132
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.7 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,201,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
"We are entering a new age of global markets and automated production. The road to a near-workerless economy is within sight. Whether that road leads to a safe haven or a terrible abyss will depend on how well civilization prepares for the post-market era that will follow on the heels of the Third Industrial Revolution. The end of work could spell a death sentence for civilization as we have come to know it. The end of work could also signal the beginning of a great social transformation, a rebirth of the human spirit. The future lies in our hands."
Thus ends the book, leaving no neat little answers - negative OR positive, but urging us to open our eyes and look around us. I'd seen him on C-span and promptly ordered his book through Amazon. This was when it first came out in hardcover and my oldest son (now a resident of London, having moved from Ohio, USA), assured of a future work using skills from his newly obtained Masters in Computer Science, was concerned I was reading such a book.
"Isn't he one of those Luddites?" I think of myself as a wanna be Luddite, but I saw no signs of this in the book. Instead, Rifkin seems to be concerned with the coming affects of the Informational Revolution.
The book begins with a history of the Industrial Revolution. He gives us a nice tour of the birth of materialism as a concept created and promoted by economists and businessmen. "The term 'consumption," he tells us, "has both English and French roots. In its original form, to consume meant to destroy, to pillage, to subdue, to exhaust. It is a word steeped in violence and until the present century had only negative connotations.
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Format: Paperback
Jeremy Rifkin has distilled much of what is brewing below the surface in our economy and weaved it into a compelling thesis that deserves serious attention from academia and the public at large. A gifted social scientist and economist, Rifkin transcends the "Megatrends" genre, and provides us with a compelling analysis and dissection of a post-market economy that sits clearly on the horizon. Many who have read and critiqued this book have siezed upon it's liberal view for the future, however, no one has disputed the issues he has raised which clearly depict an economy where labor is in declining demand, and sophisticated computer automation will replace large sectors of our current economy. Perhaps the one flaw in Rifkin's book is that he presents a vision for the future that is polemical in its political orientation. I was deeply disturbed by Mr. Rifkin's findings, because I fear that I could easily become among the ranks of the technologically displaced. But I read this book twice, because I realized that if I am to keep ahead of the game, I need to know which way the wind is blowing, and ensure that I don't fall victim to what millions of workers are destined for in the years to come. With out a doubt, the most prescient and trenchant non-fiction book I've read in ten years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading ‘The End of Work’ by Jeremy Rifkin, an American economist. His analysis of the progress and aims of Cybernation in the control of an ‘inner elite’ (my terminology) is comprehensive and complete. The book was first published in 1996 and the events of the last two decades are therefore not recorded.

It is in the final chapters that Mr Rifkin skirts around what motivates the ‘inner elite’ and tries to provide the outline of a hopeful possible solution to rehabilitate the millions who are being permanently displaced by ‘technological unemployment’, in what he calls the ‘Third/Volunteer Sector ’. He correctly reads the reaction of able-bodied men and women (including middle-class ex-managers) consigned to the scrapheap of civilisation – there will probably be global armed social unrest, involving millions of desperate people, beyond containment by the standing armed-forces and police (who are the sons and daughters of the dispossessed and will not shoot their kith and kin).

His ‘Third/Volunteer Sector’ will need funds. The ‘inner elite’ will be required by government to contribute some of their profits from productivity improvement to the pot. This would be reasonable where industry and commerce owes allegiance to a nation. But we now know that the final automated step – the machine replaces the human mind – has changed the rules. The market place in the digital age is global and production (in the near workerless factory) in the future can be controlled from a pre-programmed control-room next to a boardroom located in Switzerland or some idyllic paradise island.

Cybernation is a deliberate process to replace man by machine in the cause of secure profit for the few.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are on the dole, this book is for you. You will discover you are part of an epochal turning point,and you'll feel more or less like a T-Rex seconds before the meteor collided with Earth causing his extinction. If you are not on the dole, the future will look slightly less bright.If you are more or less illiterate in economics, you will enjoy the historical part that's entertaining like no other book about this kind of subject can be. The solutions proposed at the end of the book can be appealing and are worth all our simpathy. Probably, if you are jobless or somewhat at risk, they are also a bit discouraging. But, as the book teaches us, the whole world is at risk. Happy new century to us all.
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