Event 223

David Graeber

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory

Venue: Tata Tent

Back in 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes prophesied that by the century's end, technology would see us all working 15-hour weeks. But instead, something curious happened. Today average working hours have not decreased but increased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services or admin, jobs that don't seem to add anything to society: bullshit jobs. The LSE anthropologist explores how this phenomenon – one more associated with the 20th-century Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate – has happened. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it. Chaired by Hannah MacInnes.

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