The Future of Work in Information Society: Political-Economic Arguments

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Marx received his doctorate from the University of Jena in After living in Prussia, Marx lived in France for some time, and that is where he met his lifelong friend Friedrich Engels. He was expelled from France and then lived for a brief period in Belgium before moving to London where he spent the rest of his life with his wife. Marx died of bronchitis and pleurisy in London on March 14, He was buried at Highgate Cemetery in London.

His original grave was nondescript, but in , the Communist Party of Great Britain unveiled a large tombstone, including a bust of Marx and the inscription "Workers of all Lands Unite," an Anglicized interpretation of the famous phrase in The Communist Manifesto : "Proletarians of all countries, unite! By far the more academic work, it lays forth Marx's theories on commodities, labor markets, the division of labor and a basic understanding of the rate of return to owners of capital. The exact origins of the term "capitalism" in English are unclear, it appears that Karl Marx was not the first to use the word "capitalism" in English, although he certainly contributed to the rise of its use.

While it's unclear whether either Thackeray or Marx was aware of the other's work, both men meant the word to have a pejorative ring. Still, there are some lessons that even modern economic thinkers can learn from Marx. Though he was the capitalist system's harshest critic, Marx understood that it was far more productive than previous or alternative economic systems. He believed all countries should become capitalist and develop that productive capacity, and then workers would naturally revolt into communism.

But, like Adam Smith and David Ricardo before him, Marx predicted that because of capitalism's relentless pursuit of profit by way of competition and technological progress to lower the costs of production, that the rate of profit in an economy would always be falling over time.

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Like the other classical economists , Karl Marx believed in the labor theory of value to explain relative differences in market prices. This theory stated that the value of a produced economic good can be measured objectively by the average number of labor-hours required to produce it. In other words, if a table takes twice as long to make as a chair, then the table should be considered twice as valuable.

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It must mean, Marx concluded, that capitalists were underpaying or overworking, and thereby exploiting, laborers to drive down the cost of production. While Marx's answer was eventually proved incorrect and later economists adopted the subjective theory of value , his simple assertion was enough to show the weakness of the labor theory's logic and assumptions; Marx unintentionally helped fuel a revolution in economic thinking. This underlies an often unappreciated aspect of economics: the emotions and political activity of the actors involved.

A corollary of this argument was later made by French economist Thomas Piketty, who proposed that while nothing was wrong with income inequality in an economic sense, it could create blowback against capitalism among the people. Thus, there is a moral and anthropological consideration of any economic system.

The idea that societal structure and transformations from one order to the next can be the result of technological change in how things are produced in an economy is known as historical materialism. Investopedia uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using Investopedia, you accept our. In the original Humphrey-Hawkins bill — not the watered-down version that ultimately passed in — the president would submit an annual plan to Congress to achieve full employment, and local committees would coordinate job needs in their communities.

The bill would have spurred private-sector job creation and a New Deal-style federal job creation program. Private employment would limit government investment, while federally mandated wage and price controls would fight inflation. The final bill fell far short of this. The Carter administration fretted about the potential impact on inflation from a bill without those controls.

President Jimmy Carter never truly supported it, and the bill that passed committed the nation to ending inflation more than to full employment. Since then, the idea of full employment has largely disappeared from the American political system. The arguments against Humphrey-Hawkins in are largely irrelevant today. After decades of low inflation, wage and price controls are unlikely to be problems. The potential is great for helping revive depressed communities.

The Impact of the Internet on Society: A Global Perspective

West Virginia could clean up its streams and roadsides while building better housing. Flint, Mich.


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New York could construct low-cost housing to solve its homelessness crisis. Cerny, P. International Organization 49, no. Heeks, R. Government Information Quarterly 24 : — Lugo, J. Bulletin of Latin American Research 27, no. Mansell, R. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Pertierra, R. Ugarte, A. Pingol, J.

Hernandez and N. Txt-ing Selves: Cellphones and Philippine Modernity.

Manila De la Salle University Press, Postman, N. Technopoly, the Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Vintage Books, In this chapter I will discuss the interaction between mobile communication and society and I will consider the impact of mobile communication on social cohesion. This has been an issue that I have been thinking about for some time now. I have participated in various projects that have likewise considered issues associated with this Ling and have written a book that delves into this issue at some length Ling I am going to start with a broader topic, however, the interaction between technology and society.

It is, after all, a very common theme for those of us who have taken an interest in this area. The interaction between technology and society is the core of sociology. The current discussion with regards to the role of technology in society is, in some ways, an updated version of the traditional sociological project. These scholars, each in their own way, dealt with this central issue. These early social scientists were confronted with the reformulation of major social institutions. If we think of a simple list of major institutions such as the family, the church, the city, education and working life, the industrial revolution both the transition to steam and later, the transition to electrical production witnessed dramatic changes in these institutions.

The church lost much of its influence, the cities ballooned, education was professionalized and democratized, and we moved squarely into wage-based labour. Today, when confronted with the new information and communication technologies ICTs , we are, in some respects, also engaged in the same issue. There has been the introduction of a new technology into society. We, as social scientists, have the privilege and perhaps the responsibility of keeping an eye on it.

What are the social impacts of ICT? Are the Internet and the mobile telephone changing social institutions? Will they change the way we work, the form of the family, the way we educate ourselves and the rest? Will they change our sense of social cohesion and the way that power is applied and distributed in society? We are still working through this. Enticing evidence comes from the Philippines where mobile communication has affected the way that government works. This has been one of the most dramatic events associated with the adoption and use of ICT.

It is, however, not the only one, as I will discuss below. Stepping back for a moment, however, it is worth pondering whether the so-called ICT revolution is of the same magnitude as the previous steam-based industrial revolution? Has the development of the transistor in by Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain had the same impact as the perfection of the steam engine by Watt in the s? Have the PC and the mobile telephone had the same broad impact on society? As with the industrial revolution, has the family been reformulated?

Has the nature of the city changed to the same degree as it did during the introduction of the factory system? Has the nature of our wage-labour form of work changed in any significant way? Does the educational system operate much differently than it did a hundred years ago? Has the influence of the church increased or decreased in any appreciable way? However, if I stand in and pose the same questions of the previous century, the answer is not so clear. My point here is not to deny that ICTs have had an impact. Rather the point is to put the issue into some sort of perspective.

While we are past the worst of Internet mania, we do not have to reach too far into the past in order to find the most brazen rhetoric describing the possibilities associated with the introduction of this technology. These comments, if true, would swamp anything that happened in the previous industrial revolution.

Habermas’ heritage: The future of the public sphere in the network society | Boeder | First Monday

However, time and a little sober thought has given another answer. ICTs have undoubtedly changed the way that we operate, but they are definitely not of the same calibre as industrialization. They have changed forms of production and access to information. They have allowed us to control manufacturing processes and the way that we deal with information-related tasks. They have led to the elimination of certain types of work to be replaced with others.

We no longer, for example, have filing secretaries, but rather we have web designers. I no longer spend hours digging through my tax forms with a puzzled look as I shift back and forth between forms and instructions.

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Rather, I receive a partially filled-out version and then nervously shift back and forth between web pages, print-outs and the suggested version of my taxes. An interesting perspective on all this is provided by James Beniger in his book The Control Revolution According to Beniger, we have not really experienced an information revolution. Rather, the increasing demand for control of ever more complex systems has resulted in a parallel, but perhaps somewhat lagged development of information systems.

In the period between about and , many of the elements of the current control apparatus were in place.


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  5. He notes, for example, that World War I was characterized by central planning to a degree that had not been seen before. World War II was in this respect a redux. The advent of the transistor, seen in this perspective was a new step in the process and not the fundamental shift that some would have it to be.