Bullshit Jobs

Bullshit Jobs (2018, Allen Lane)

hardcover, 333 pages

Published June 3, 2018 by Allen Lane.

ISBN:
9780241263884

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5 stars (7 reviews)

Be honest: if your job didn't exist, would anybody miss it? Have you ever wondered why not? Up to 40% of us secretly believe our jobs probably aren't necessary. In other words: they are bullshit jobs. This book shows why, and what we can do about it.

In the early twentieth century, people prophesied that technology would see us all working fifteen-hour weeks and driving flying cars. Instead, something curious happened. Not only have the flying cars not materialised, but average working hours have increased rather than decreased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services, finance or admin: jobs that don't seem to contribute anything to society. In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how, rather than producing …

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4 stars

David Graeber presents his theory - that an alarming number of jobs in western society (37-40% at least) are made up just to waste time or fill space, for various reasons. Each chapter digs a little deeper into these reasons, from the overcomplexity of western capitalist systems, to a puritanical attitude toward work (and suffering) being humanity's lot. Finally, he puts forward ideas on what can be done about this. This is all presented with Graeber's artistically analytical eye, his fierce political views, and his wry sense of humour.Bullshit Jobs was Graeber's final book, which is a pity as it feels like it's building up to a crescendo. He observes western society as an anthropologist, unapologetically making sweeping statements, but using interview and survey as means to reinforce his theory. And it is very convincing. Few people who read this book would fail to identify with some of what Graeber …
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