In July 2014 the Belgian newspaper Le Soir claimed that France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland and the United States may lose between 43 and 50 per cent of their jobs within ten to fifteen years. Across the world, integrated automation, one key result of the so-called ‘data economy’, is leading to a drastic reduction in employment in all areas - from the legal profession to truck driving, from medicine to stevedoring.
In this first volume of a new series, the leading cultural theorist Bernard Stiegler advocates a radical solution to the crisis posed by automation and consumer capitalism more generally. He calls for a decoupling of the concept of ‘labour’ (meaningful, intellectual participation) from ‘employment’ (dehumanizing, banal work), with the ultimate aim of eradicating ‘employment’ altogether. By doing so, new and alternative economic models will arise, where individuals are no longer simply mined for labour, but also actively produce what they consume.
Building substantially on his existing theories and engaging with a wide range of figures - from Deleuze and Foucault to Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan - Automatic Society will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, as well as anyone concerned with the central question of the future of work.
Introduction: Functional Stupidity, Entropy and Negentropy in the Anthropocene 1
1 The Industry of Traces and Automatized Artificial Crowds 19
2 States of Shock, States of Fact, States of Law 41
3 The Destruction of the Faculty of Dreaming 65
4 Overtaken: The Automatic Generation of Protentions 93
5 Within the Electronic Leviathan in Fact and in Law 127
6 On Available Time for the Coming Generation 157
7 Energies and Potentials in the Twenty-First Century 182
8 Above and Beyond the Market 208
Conclusion: Noetic Pollination and the Neganthropocene 226