Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The critique of work in modern French thought: from Charles Fourier to Guy Debord

Hemmens, Alastair 2019. The critique of work in modern French thought: from Charles Fourier to Guy Debord. Studies in Revolution and Literature, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978-3-030-12586-8

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

What is work? Why do we do it? Since time immemorial the answer to these questions, from both the left and the right, has been that work is both a natural necessity and, barring exploitation, a social good. One might criticise its management, its compensation and who benefits from it the most, but never work itself, never work as such. In this book, Alastair Hemmens seeks to challenge these received ideas. Drawing on the new ‘critique-of-value’ school of Marxian critical theory, Hemmens demonstrates that capitalism and its final crisis cannot be properly understood except in terms of the historically specific and socially destructive character of labour. It is from this radical perspective that Hemmens turns to an innovative critical analysis of the rich history of radical French thinkers who, over the past two centuries, have challenged the labour form head on: from the utopian-socialist Charles Fourier, who called for the abolition of the separation between work and play, and Marx’s wayward son-in-law, Paul Lafargue, who demanded The Right to Laziness (1880), to the father of Surrealism, André Breton, who inaugurated a ‘war on work’, and, of course, the French Situationist, Guy Debord, author of the famous graffito, ‘never work’. Ultimately, Hemmens considers normative changes in attitudes to work since the 1960s and the future of anti-capitalist social movements today. This book will be a crucial point of reference for contemporary debates about labour and the anti-work tradition in France.

Item Type: Book
Book Type: Authored Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9783030125851
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 16:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/124927

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item