Read Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber Online


Spectacular and terrifyingly true Owen Jones Thought provoking and funny The TimesBe honest if your job didn t exist, would anybody miss it Have you ever wondered why not Up to 40% of us secretly believe our jobs probably aren t necessary In other words they are bullshit jobs This book shows why, and what we can do about it.In the early twentieth century, people prophesied that technology would see us all working fifteen hour weeks and driving flying cars Instead, something curious happened Not only have the flying cars not materialised, but average working hours have increased rather than decreased And now, across the developed world, three quarters of all jobs are in services, finance or admin jobs that don t seem to contribute anything to society In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon one associated with the Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate has happened In doing so, he looks at how, rather than producing anything, 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 This book is for anyone whose heart has sunk at the sight of a whiteboard, who believes workshops should only be for making things, or who just suspects that there might be a better way to run our world....

Title : Bullshit Jobs: A Theory
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780241263884
ISBN13 : 978-0241263884
Format Type : Hardcover
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Allen Lane 15 Mai 2018
Number of Pages : 193 Pages
File Size : 796 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory Reviews

  • Alexander D.
    2019-05-12 10:59

    Ungefähr die Hälfte des Buches beschreibt das Phänomen von sinnlosen Jobs. Ja, die gibt esauch in Deutschland. Einiges über solche Jobs ist bereits von Dilbert bekannt.David Graeber geht jedoch weiter und bietet eine gewisse Systematisierung.Was die Ursachen und Handlungsempfehlungen angeht, bin ich nicht immer von denErklärungen des Autors überzeugt. David Graeber versucht möglichst komplizierteTheorien zu entwickeln, wo eine profane und einfache Erklärung reichen würde.

  • anonym
    2019-05-07 04:49

    The author starts the book with the ambitious argument that a 20-hour work week would be possible if we were to eliminate all the 'BS jobs'. He writes about some data that about 40% of people mentioning that they have 'BS job' but then he goes on to share some anecdotes from people who work as doormen, receptionist, promoter etc. and nothing from the most common jobs, such as teachers, nurses, engineers and so on. I fail to see the connection between getting rid of some unnecessary administrative job in a school and the teachers having to work less.His criticisms seem to be mostly against the foundations of the system, not against the way the system operates. Through a utopic lens, the author believes that somehow an organization reducing costs by eliminating the unnecessary jobs would then go on to employ more productive employees and reduce the total work hours. The book felt like a poorly written Marxist critic of the 'evil' capitalist system.Maybe if you feel like you are working in a 'BS job', you could get some cathartic joy from reading the book. Otherwise, a complete waste of time.

  • Riley B.
    2019-05-23 06:02

    This review was written at the desk of a salaried office job, where I am paid $65,000/yr to do virtually nothing important, so I mostly sit in my chair and listen to podcasts and audiobooks all day. I do this until enough executives and managers above me are gone that I can feel comfortable sneaking out. With my income from this sit, I then outsource all my chores to a slew of below living wage 21st Century gig economy employees--Uber drivers, food delivery, meal kits, laundry.Having been one of these low paid wage laborers several years ago, it seems like a cruel joke. The higher paying job I find, the less I actually have to work. The higher ranking the position, the less the job is about doing things and contributing to society.Is this a blessing or immoral sin? Yes. But it turns out, I'm not alone.This is an entertaining book of anecdotes and statistics on what turns out to be a common phenomena. It is one of the most refreshing reads that a college-educated conscious working professional can have in their library. Put down every other garbage business book that supposedly empowers you. You don't need to practice mindfulness, or rules for life, or launch a lean startup. Breathe in and breathe out, your job is unnecessary and so are most of the other jobs!Admitting this is the first step of us all solving the collective problem.

  • Hande Z
    2019-05-07 12:07

    John Maynard Keynes had great confidence that capitalism will improve not only the wealth but also the well-being of all in society. One of the specific predictions he made that, sadly, did not come true, was that by the end of the twentieth century, the major Western societies would have achieved the fifteen-hour work week because technology would have alleviated hitherto long menial hours. Why has that not happened and instead employees are working longer and longer hours? Graeber blames the creation of what he calls ‘BS jobs’ (I had to shortened the word to pass Amazon censorship rules) and the ‘BSization’ of proper jobs. Graeber’s defines a BS job as ‘a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the conditions of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend that this is not the case’. He also says that ‘Hell is a collection of individuals who are spending the bulk of their time working on a task they don’t like and are not particularly good at’. He provides plenty of examples, cabinetmakers compelled to fry fish is one of them. There is the story of a corporate lawyer who went on to become a happy singer in an indie rock band when he became disillusioned with his job as a corporate lawyer. He had taken ‘the default choice of many directionless folk: law school’ but has found his job as a lawyer to be ‘utterly meaningless, contributed nothing to the world, and, in his own estimation, should not really exist’. Some such BS jobs are so pointless that no one notices even if the employee vanishes. One case involved a Spanish civil servant who skipped work for six years to study philosophy and became an expert in Spinoza before he was found out. In another case, an employee had been sitting at his desk, dead for four days before his colleagues realised that he had died. BS jobs can also be defined by the scope of work. People who are employed in jobs that exist primarily to make someone else look or feel important are known as ‘flunkies’. Doormen are examples in this category. There are also ‘goons’ who exist only because people employ them – soldiers, for example; and ‘duct-tapers’ who are employed to help one part of an organisation communicate with another in the same organisation. In addition to financial consultancy, middle management is where one might find BS jobs aplenty. A sign that you have a job like this is when you are designated to provide ‘strategic leadership’. This is what Graeber has to say in middle management in academia:‘Now, those of us toiling in the academic mills who still like to think of ourselves as teachers and scholars before all else have come to fear the word “strategic”. “Strategic statement” (or even worse, “strategic vision documents”) instil a particular terror, since these are the primary means by which corporate management techniques – setting up quantifiable methods for assessing performance, forcing teachers and scholars to spend more and more of their time assessing and justifying what they do and less and less time actually doing it – are insinuated into academic life’. Graeber interviewed employees from various sectors. From one he quoted, ‘in banking, obviously the entire sector adds no value and is therefore BS’. Then there is the Human Resources Department that sets up intranet and instruct employees to make it ‘into a kind of internal “community”, like Facebook. They set it up; nobody uses it. So they then started to try and bully everyone into using it…Then they tried to entice people in by having HR post a load of touchy-feely crap or people writing “internal blogs” that nobody cared about.’ Graeber argues that the rise of such jobs was not due to economic factors but political and moral ones. He discusses how jobs can truly have value, and how exactly can value be measured. What is clear that we must resist ‘The pressure to value ourselves and others on the basis of how hard we work at something we’d rather not be doing…if you’re not destroying your mind and body via paid work you’re not living right’. The last part of the book is devoted to answering the question, ‘How have so many humans reached the point where they accept that even miserable, unnecessary work is actually superior to no work at all?’ From there Graeber discusses the modern culture of managerial feudalism and the resentment it generates, yet is itself oblivious to it. If Graeber is right that this is not an economic problem but a political and moral one, then the solution cannot be economic either. Unfortunately, Graeber is loath to make policy recommendations. That keeps us then, in utter suspense – unless workers revolt.

  • Bert Fuller
    2019-05-19 04:46

    I love how an obscure magazine asked an internationally recognized scholar to submit what he believed no one else would publish -- and how that essay went instantly viral and eventually became what may be the author's top bestseller.I work in real estate. I'm of the opinion that realtors serve a useful purpose in our society, but only because of how the property laws are written. This book, along with Debt: The First 5000 Years, convinces me that within the constraints of US property law, which are outdated and unnatural, all real estate professionals exist as "duct tapers" (BS job #3) -- performing a job that only needs to get done because the system is set up in a flawed way that requires it. My proof: what other societies need realtors? The ones where American property laws are forced on people. (I recognize that American property law stems from English common law which depended on Roman legal systems.)This book is brilliant. It may literally save hundreds if not thousands of lives from suicide and other forms of self-destruction, especially if employers take much of its message to heart, implementing remedies along the way. I know I will keep several copies on the shelf at work, sharing them with anyone who expresses interest. I can only hope this book fuels a revolution against all kinds of wage labor, and that the dignity of work can be taken back from the people who use work just as a means to further their own exploitative, unexamined, or sadistic ends.

  • Wesley
    2019-04-26 05:08

    I was excited to buy this book, but found this guys thinking process to be clunky and unrefined, and it threw around ideas without proper support. In the end, it feels like whining, and doesn't really offer a thoughtful solution to the reader. The only solution seemingly offered is to write your Congressman and ask for UBI. We can do better than this.

  • Phil McAuley
    2019-05-06 12:09

    This is one of those books that will change your outlook on life for the rest of your days and you'll be happy you did it. Let the revolution begin!