I was looking for things to write about and I came across this article from libcom. I don’t usually browse left wing websites but I was bored and felt the need to explore a bit. I discovered this article because of their tweet in response to the Jacobin twitter admin. I’m not disputing the part of the article that takes issue with non manual workers taking a back seat to laborers. I just feel that a bit of defense is order to the anti-workerist theme of the piece.
The author refers to workerism as a capitalist ideology. I feel this claim is completely out of left field. It would be more accurate to call it third position because this is something the left and right both share. The idealization of the “productive worker” has it’s role in the concept of traditional masculinity and society historically valuing those that can provide something to the community. These two things tend to overlap quite a bit.
Social technology like religion , and other various cultural norms are there to promote unity and to see to it that society runs smoothly. Workerism is understands this and applies it to members of the society that do physical labor . This is seen as unfair by the author because it excludes women. But the author leaves something out that is actually quite important. Gender differences and the fact that workerism actually does apply to women in a way. Men are more suited for manual labor like construction and coal mining because that’s how we evolved. The job of a mother is one of mental and physical labor. While it’s not wage labor and I do understand that workerism is defined as a wage labor concept. You could call it maternal-workerism or something. Society has also put motherhood on a pedestal and this exists in ideological movements as well.
Workerism isn’t a bad thing . I wrote an article on the environmentalism of the right wing recently. Consider checking that out before you close the tab.