Philosophy Today

Volume 66, Issue 4, Fall 2022

Sarah E. Vitale
Pages 725-743

Marx and the Anticipation of Postwork Futures

Work defines the lives of most people. Many people work overtime, work second jobs, or bring work home with them. It is often difficult to know when work stops and the rest of life begins. In a culture where work is central to our identities, good work is increasingly difficult to find. This article argues that one of the impediments to imagining a future beyond work is the productivist logic that predominates today, which determines labor and production to be key activities and values. To sketch a path beyond work, the author turns to Marx, arguing that Marx provides an important critique of productivism and gestures toward a postwork future in his own writings. To do so, the author defends Marx against critiques of productivism.