Back in 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes prophesied that by the century's end, technology would see us all working fifteen-hour weeks. But instead, something curious happened. Today, average working hours have not decreased, but increased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services or admin, jobs that don't seem to add anything to society: bullshit jobs.
In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the 20th-century Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it.
Spectacular and terrifyingly true. David Graeber's theory of the broken capitalist workforce is right - work has become an end in itself. A timely book from the most provocative anthropologist and thinker of our time. -- Owen Jones
Praise for The Democracy Project: 'Clear, pungent and right ... a compact and incisive account of why capitalism has run with such a smash into the buffers' * Times Higher Education *
Graeber's talent is to take big concepts and unpack them, forcing us to examine their implications for society ... the book is a cool drink of water after so much dry, academic writing on the "revolutions" of 2011' * New Statesman *
Captures the joys and fears of a movement * Observer *
The most influential radical political thinker of the moment * New Yorker *