Bullsh*t jobs

David Graeber, 2018
Penguin Books, 2019


pp xxi-xxii
The polling agency YouGov took upon itself to test the hypothesis and conducted a poll of Britons using language taken directly from the essay: for example, Does your job “make a meaningful contribution to the world?” Astoninshingly, more than a third—37 percent— said they believed that it did not (whereas 50 percent said it did, and 13 percent were uncertain).
p xxii
While neoliberal rethoric was always about unleashing the magic of the marketplace and placing economic efficiency over all other values, the overall effect of free market policies has been that rates of economic growth has slowed pretty much everywhere except India and China; scientific and technological advance has stagnated; and in most wealthy countries, the younger generations can, for the first time in centuries, expect to live less prosperous lives than their parents did.
pp xxiii-xxiv
It is less a conspiracy theory approach than it is an anticonspiracy theory. I was asking why action wasn't taken. [...] The proliferation of bullshit jobs, as we will see, happened for a variety of reasons. The real question I was asking was why no one intervened (“conspired”, if you like) to do something about the matter.
p xxiv
We have become a civilization based on work—not even “productive work” but work as an end and meaning in itself.

Chapter 5 Why Are Bullshit Jobs Proliferating?

why the financial industry might be considered a paradigm for bullshit job creation

p 164
Flunky positions are created because those in powerful positions in an organization see underlings as badges of prestige; goons are hired due to a dynamic of one-upmanship (if our rivals employ a top law firm, then so, too, must we); duct-taper positions are created because sometimes organizations find it more difficult to fix a problem than to deal with its consequences; box-ticker positions exist because, within large organizations, paperwork attesting the fact that certain actions have been taken often come to be seen as more important than the actions themselves; taskmasters exist largely as side effects of various forms of impersonal authority.

Chapter 6 Why Do We as a Society Not Object to the Growth of Pointless Employment?

how over the course of the twentieth century, work came to be increasingly valued primarily as a form of discipline and self-sacrifice

p 239
However this may be, the "Gospel of Wealth" counteroffensive has been successful, and the captains of industry, first in America, then increasingly everywhere, have been able to convince the public that they, and not those they employ, are the real creators of prosperity.

Le droit à la paresse,
Essays, Potitics
Marc Girod
Sat Nov 13 07:47:37 2021