What Are We Working For?
Lisa Baraitser, Maria Chehonadskih, Kaushik Sunder Rajan
Labor is the activity that keeps the world together. Whether through biochemical reactions or the overworked hands of domestic workers, labor is what produces the many structures of the planet and, increasingly, makes possible its forms of life. But ultimately, whom and what are we working for? This section will take place in three parallel conversations with the audience.
Philosopher Maria Chehonadskih discusses productivist and constructivist ideas of how to relate to things, people, and the cosmos through Alexander Bogdanov’s idea of the “labor of generations,” according to which the formation and practices of current collectives mirrors those of past generations. Anthropologist Kaushik Sunder Rajan explores Karl Marx’s understanding of value and its influence on contemporary theories of biocapital and concepts of value within pharmaceutical economies. Psychosocial theorist Lisa Baraitser looks at the temporal dimensions of labor, active life, and care. She focuses on questions of care and gender as they bring to the fore the suspended temporalities of repetition and waiting.