Andre Gorz is Austrian
who have lived in France
for a long time. He is welknown for his ideas on work; critizing the ideology of work
, writing about the crisis of work
and sketching out different guidelines for abolition of work
(to use Gorz's terminology
The ideology of work has its roots in protestant work ethic. People define themselves through work -- they call themselves miners, office workers or programmers. It's a work that is in the core of society. Those who don't work are useless and worthless.
Gorz says these times are over. Throughout the Europe there are vast numbers of the unemployed. Gorz emphasizes that many of these refuse to work at all. But more importantly, a secure job lasting a lifetime has become more and more rare. Nowadays majority of jobs are part-time or temporary. People move from work to another and meanwhile they're unemployed. For Gorz the expansion of service sector - due to its inherent elitism - is the proof of crisis of work.
Also the work ethic has diminished. People are alienated and absenteeism and different forms of sabotage flourish.
The answer offered by Gorz is to reduce working time significantly without reducing salary. Gorz sketches different ways to reduce working time. He also slightly redefines work pointing out that there's lot of work done from what no one gets paid. There are autonomous activities, domestic work, work-for-oneself and work without economic ends.
Gorz claims that trade unionism is in a danger to fall into neo-corporatism; it's about to become a conservative force defending the interests of elite workers - those with secure job and high salaries. Where the hope lies is the non-class of non-workers who advocates free time and in the sphere of paid work they have only instrumental value. Their emancipation takes the slogan of "freedom from work" rather than traditional "freedom of work".