Critique of Economic Reason (Radical Thinkers)
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André Gorz’s earlier books—from Ecology as Politics to Farewell to the Working Class and Paths to Paradise—have informed and inspired the most radical currents in Green movements in Europe and America over the last two decades. In Critique of Economic Reason, he offers his fullest account to date of the terminal crisis of a system where every activity and aspiration has been subjected to the rule of the market. By carefully delineating the existential and cultural limits of economic rationality, he emphasizes the urgent need to create a society which rejects the work ethic in favor of an emancipatory ethic of free time.
At the heart of his alternative is an advocacy not of “full employment,” but of an equal distribution of the diminishing amount of necessary paid work. He presents a practical strategy for reducing the working week, and develops a radical version of a guaranteed wage for all. Above all, he argues that a utopian vision is now the only realistic proposal, and that “economic reason must be returned to its true—that is subordinate—place.”
shown in the organigramme) · of the megamachine whose functioning they are to ensure. It is strictly impossible subsequently to reinterpret this functionalization of hetero determined activities in terms of voluntary social collaboration. On the .. contrary, the functional integration of individuals will prevent their social integration: the functional predetermination of their relations with each other will exclude them from forming reciprocal relations based on co-operation, for the purpose of
conceiyed as a site for the blossoming of individual and collective; initiatives and thus as the engine of social and economic progress' whose"' virtues are extolled by Daniele Blondel, a university professor.s [TheJ social partners now have to accept this new image of thr enterprise. Certain trade unions even see it as a basis for questioning those forms of trade, union demands which are based on the antagonism between capital and labour . . . All studies carried out on this issue (sic) reveal
situations are found in the French one, where they are made worse by the very low level of trade-union membership. The CGT, whose m�in power-base lies in declining industries and categories of workers, only retains a degree of political muscl� because of its dominant position within certain public services ( for example, electricity, transport, municipal services). But the actions it is able to mount, like those of the other direct or indirect employees of the state, well over half of whom belong
===== Critique of Economic Reason Men, therefore, may prefer to use money as a yardstick even in efforts which do not have the aim of making additions to a society's stock of utility. Even where the aim is to add to solidarity, collective effectiveness, or societal authenticity, men, once committed to rationalization, deployed a variety of cost-benefit analyses to measure their performance . A whole host of social problems from urban renewal to delinquency-prevention projects remain a mess in
dynamic' developed by 'economic and administrative sub-systems'5, that is hetero-regulation by money and state power. The autonomization of these sub-systems leads to the split between specialized professional cultures ( Expertenkultur) and the culture of everyday life. This no longer possesses the criteria and the obvious refer ence points which allow individuals to find their bearings in the world . 11'1'7 CRITIQUE OF ECONOMIC REASON 108 and regulate their relationships for themselves.