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This Olio is important for anyone who has ever worked, paid or unpaid, struggled with that work, or wondered why some people struggle and some do not. Understanding how certain kinds of labor operates is the first step in understanding the movement towards plutocracy that we're seeing in the US.
We take much of our economy as immutable fact. Wages, value, wealth creation, etc. are presented to us as stable concepts, rather than factors that were created and developed over time to serve particular interests. This assumption has real-world consequences for what (and who) we value, as well as what (and who!) we enshrine with certain rights.
‘Labor’--the way we sustain ourselves regardless of political economy--is the crux of this process, yet we don’t often critique the way it is organized systemically or for ourselves. What do we mean when we say ‘exploitation’? Why is some labor valued over others? How do certain forms of labor find themselves in certain places? And finally--are there other ways of working?
Session 1 - Labor and Time
We will start with the basics: how labor can be organized. The way we work to meet our needs takes up the majority of our day, even if much of that work goes unnoticed and/or unpaid. We will discuss how, and for what purpose, certain kinds of work came to be undervalued, how that process structures our workday, and what it means for workers’ relationships to one another.