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Archive - AssoziationEn//Agora: On the future of work

Already prior to the founding of the association, some of the current members of Assoziation:E associated themselves in the form of Agora Munich, an open dialogue format in which the intolerability of the prevailing conditions was reflected upon and discussed on the basis of various scientifically founded contributions. In other words: the forerunner of Assoziation:E:n! With a corresponding archive series, we want to make some of the topics discussed in 2018 - 2020 accessible again and keep them present. We thank the authors for their agreement to continue using the texts as collective property.

"Human effort, research and invention is a response to the to the challenge of necessity. This structure then absurd, when people turn effort, research, and invention into idols."
Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason

What began in gray primeval times as a struggle for survival against the natural environment presents itself to us today in the form of highly complex, globally divided processes organized in a market economy: Work.

There is a wide variation of answers to the question of the future of work, which lead to the most diverse scenarios. AGORA:MUC in April will focus on the possibility that is more real today than ever before in human history: that in the foreseeable future, humans will be replaced by machines in the production process and could see the production of the goods they need fully automated and thus without their labor input.

Of course, other, new activities are always conceivable that could be performed instead of the old ones, but let us ask ourselves: can we also imagine a society without work, a humanity without obligation? What concept of work do we have at all? And how does our concept of humanity relate to this? What is our (self-)understanding of the connection between employment and happiness? And how would we have to start shaping society today in order to be able to realize possible potentials around the scenario of life without work in the future?

What do you want to be when you grow up? What are your strengths, what do you enjoy doing? What is your potential? How far have you already come? Are you satisfied with what you have already achieved? What do you want to achieve next? What is your next step? Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see yourself in ten years? Where in one? Do you like what you are doing? Why don't you like it anymore? What could you change to really celebrate what you do? These are all questions that make us think about aspects of our lives that are shaped in terms of standards that we didn't come up with. We think about our lives from someone else's perspective. What might be our own emancipatory perspectives on the subject?

What does work mean? Why do we work?

How do work and society relate to each other? And how do work and technological progress?

Who benefits from work and how? Who works why and under what conditions?

What is (un)dignified work? Why does work make people conform / break down?

How would a society without work be designed - where would we have to start today?

Can we imagine a (pleasant) life without work, without ultimately reproducing vacation or leisure scenarios (which are directly shaped by work: leisure - free from what?)?


"A future in which the limited social relations that neoliberalism imposes on us are not the end"

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