"The 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work."

Show thread

@neauoire I don't disagree at all, but it's certainly curious how the 8-hour work day started as a dream of the labor movement, no?

@roadriverrail @neauoire That's because people were forced to work 12+ hours back then, so this was the compromise with the expectations that it would decrease further as automation took over more.

We never got that next part because the labor movement was crushed as a result of the end of WW2. People took a break because the economy was working so well due to the 8 hour work week and high taxes and stuff, and when they woke back up, the demands had shifted to racial equality.

@roadriverrail @neauoire So yes, labor fought for the 8-hour work week, but it was with the expectation that we'd be able to work even less in the future as things wound down.

Nowadays, we're promised an 8-hour work week, but we're still back to the pre-1920s conditions of needing 12+ hours to afford basic necessities. In fact, when inflation is taken into account, we need *more* work time to survive than they did back then.

@KitsuneAlicia @neauoire I'm curous about the expectation of ever-decreasing work hours. Could you perhaps tell me somewhere I could learn more?

To pull frame, I feel like big business would find a way to make any common work pattern "way too profitable". Finding profit in a set of conditions is kinda their thing.

@roadriverrail @neauoire I don't have any on hand, but I know there were plenty of left-leaning philosophers and union organizers from that time period that talked about how as the mining tech got better (because this movement started there), they would be able to work even less later on and that this was just the beginning.

iirc, someone had even believed that we would all be working 4 hours a day by the 1950s, judging by the scale of automation taking place with the assembly line for cars.

@roadriverrail @neauoire Obviously that didn't happen, but nowadays, we have enough people and machines to be able to work 2-4 hours a day and still get everything done that needs doing.

There's plenty of talk nowadays even from capitalists to allow salaried workers to just take off when they need it so long as they get the work done that's expected of them.

@KitsuneAlicia @roadriverrail @neauoire How is that supposed to work for farming? I live and work on my family's farm, and I find the idea of working only four hours a day laughable.

@aidalgol There's a lot of factors at play, tbh. Number of farmhands, size of the farm, etc.

But you're correct in that certain industries would still have to be reformed for such a work week to become viable. I don't doubt that a lot of farms would currently be unable to do this.

@aidalgol A lot of structural change would have to take place in order to implement this regardless of industry, though, since the income generated by a business would need to be redirected to pay the workers their due wages -- another thing the capitalist/"management" class works hard to destroy.

@KitsuneAlicia Yeah, it sounds like manufacturing would most easily benefit.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
koyu.space

A cozy space for everyone (* ^ ω ^) ✨


This server doesn't have a specific theme or topic and everyone is welcome to join :)




Get it on Google Play


(or download APK)




What sets us apart from other Mastodon instances:

  • Custom theme
  • Stickers
  • Clean local timeline
  • Optimized interface for content creators
  • Great uptime
  • Podcast app with a complete podcasting platform
  • Fast and helpful support team
  • Strong prohibition of "cancel culture" and other bad social constructs



Server Status


Donate using Liberapay