The End of Work (Penguin Business Library) Paperback – 31 Aug 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book makes the government employment look stupid as usual as they cannot beat the forces of unemployment around the globePublished 6 months ago by MikeExplorer
The book is a bit dated but the problem outlined lives on with a vengence.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
This hard to find book explains how most forms of human work are now being replaced by machines, which begs for an urgent r[love]ution. Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2013 by Frere
The author has done a good compilation of the reasons of lack of work in modern world. Paradoxically, work was traditionally a Biblical Damn that has become a desirable but scarce... Read morePublished on 4 Jun. 2010 by Carlos Vazquez Quintana
Jeremy Rifkin has a history of dealing with fashionable issues, but treating them superficially. The general idea behind this book is that technological progress will provide us... Read morePublished on 10 April 2003
Sorry Jeremy if you read this. Rifkin's thesis is supported by tons of figures but lacks to answer many questions, besides the fact that he just focuses on jobs in the US and the... Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2001 by email@example.com
Rifkin's work, with a foreword from perhaps one of the most socialist mainstream economists of our day, Robert Heilbroner, of the New School for Social Research, addresses squarely... Read morePublished on 21 July 1997
In this riviting, well documented dissertation, Rifkin underscores the imbalances of society created by the assult of the super-technocrats against humanity's workers. Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 1997