The Wages of Cybernation

A Working Conference on the Future of Work

The Graduate School, City University of New York, 33 West 42nd Street (17th Floor), New York, New York 10036, March 2 - 4, 1995

Conference Considerations

The Central goals of the conference are to explore possible alternatives to the high levels of unemployment and shrinking wage and salary rates and to investigate alternatives-- job creation, industrial policy, shorter hours, guarranteed income and the status of the culture of work in a world where paid work may no longer define the moral economy of individuals and communities. In short, can work remain the center of life in late industrial society?

Productivity gains achieved through the introduction of labor saving technologies certainly make material abundance possible with less work. However, under present conditions, where many companies are moving to low wage areas and countires, others are consolidating, and still others have been forced out of business, less work simply means greater anziety and less pay.

How will we turn the corner from the aniety and social distribution of layoffs and unemployment? Is it possible to conceive of severing the conventionla link between wages and work? What is the role of unions, government, social movements, and community organizations? Fighting for jobs is increasingly difficult when employers can frequently shift investments to other locatons. What is more, the demand for "jobs, jobs, jobs" has led to an unholy alliance between left and right: Human dignity is only possible through work. Is there any political space for the emancipatory anticipation of a world without work?

Conference Schedule