Posts Tagged ‘Language’
Everyone must work. So they say.
Here’s André Gorz, in Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society:
The imperative need for a sufficient, regular income is one thing. The need to act, to strive, to test oneself against others and be appreciated by others is quite another. Capitalism systemically links the two, conflates them, and upon that conflation establishes capital’s power and its ideological hold on people’s minds. It admits no activity which is not ‘work’, done to order and paid for by those ordering it. It admits no regular income that is not earned from ‘work’. The imperative need for a regular income is used to persuade people of their ‘imperative need to work’. The need to act, to strive, to be appreciated is used to persuade people that they need to be paid for whatever they do.
And here is Kathi Weeks, in The Problem With Work:
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Political and ideological debate consists very largely of efforts to win acceptance of a particular categorization of an issue in the face of competing efforts in behalf of a different one; but because participants are likely to see it as a dispute either about facts or about individual values, the linguistic (that is, social) basis of perceptions is usually unrecognized. The authoritative status of the source of a categorization makes his or her definition of an issue more readily acceptable for an ambivalent public called upon to react to an ambiguous situation.
Murray Edelman, Political Langauge: Words That Succeed and Policies That Fail.