This was the year the job broke, the year we accepted a re-interpretation of its fundamental bargain and bought in to the push to get us to all work for ourselves rather than each other.
“Probably no other sentence comes up at a party as often as: ‘So, what do you do?,’” the Berlin critic Patrick Spaet recently wrote in the Baffler. “There is an unspoken question behind this: ‘Are you useful?’ Work determines our social status: tell me what your job is—and I’ll tell you who you are.”
What Uber and its cohort create are opportunities to make money in a moral vacuum.
“The work fetish has become deeply ingrained in the DNA of western industrial nations,”
The result of this joblessness is a disenfranchised workforce that feels a right to the same benefits it once had but now lacks and does not understand why they are suddenly missing. Venture capitalists, star developers, and management will retain all of the standard advantages of the old jobs, with the added sweeteners of sprawling offices made from the shells of former industrial factories, catered lunches, Ping-Pong tables, and equity.
As 2015 arrives, everyone else might be wise to seek out local co-working space before all the other mini-entrepreneurs beat us to it.