Working Out Marx – Marxism and the End of the Work Society
Reading the Communist Manifesto against the contemporary background of massive unemployment, the author argues that Marx’s theory of work is no longer adequate to tackle the problem of ‘workers without work’ and suggests that it has to be reformulated in such a way that its normative intuitions and its critical impulses can be maintained. In the first part, he presents a philosophical critique of Marxism that is inspired by Jürgen Habermas and Hannah Arendt. In the second part, he presents a sociological critique of Marxism and argues that the theory of the alienation of work implies a justification of work and the work society. Finally, in the last part, the author presents an ideological critique of Marxism that is inspired by Marcel Mauss’ sociology of the gift. Criticising the contractualist assumptions of workfare solutions, he proposes a package solution for a radical decommodification of the labour market by means of a disjunction of income and work.