Autonomy’s team is collaborating closely with publishers on a number of books.
Post-work (Bloomsbury, 2022)
What does the future hold for work in our new technological age? How do we make sure that the uncertain future into which we are heading is heavenly and not hellish? How can we take the pleasures of work with us and eliminate the pains?
The answer: we need a post-work vision.
Questioning the received wisdom that work is good for you, that you are what you do and that ‘any job is a good job’, post-work offers a new challenge to the work-centred society. This timely book provides a vital introduction to the post-work debate – one of the most exciting political currents of recent years. It explores not only what the future of work will be like, but more importantly what the future of work should be like.
By Helen Hester and Will Stronge
Platform Socialism: How to Reclaim our Digital Future from Big Tech (Pluto Books, 2021)
A bold new manifesto for digital technology after capitalism.
Whoever controls the platforms, controls the future. Platform Socialism sets out an alternative vision and concrete proposals for a digital economy that expands our freedom.Powerful tech companies now own the digital infrastructure of twenty-first century social life. Masquerading as global community builders, these companies have developed sophisticated new techniques for extracting wealth from their users. James Muldoon shows how grassroots communities and transnational social movements can take back control from Big Tech. He reframes the technology debate and proposes a host of new ideas from the local to the international for how we can reclaim the emancipatory possibilities of digital platforms. Drawing on sources from forgotten histories to contemporary prototypes, he proposes an alternative system and charts a roadmap for how we can get there.
You can buy James’ book here.
By James Muldoon
Overtime: why we need a shorter working week (Verso 2021)
This book is about the politics of time, and specifically the amount of time that we spend labouring within capitalist society. It argues that reactivating the longstanding demand for shorter working hours should be central to any progressive trajectory in the years ahead.
This book will explain what a shorter working week means, as well as its history and its political implications. It will speak in a more theoretical and political register, rooted in the radical traditions from which the idea emerged. Throughout its chapters, the reader will be introduced to key theorists of work and working time alongside the relevant research regarding our contemporary ‘crisis of work’, to which the proposal of a shorter working week responds.
“This timely and brief manifesto reveals the urgency of the conversion to a shorter working week.”
– Adele Walton
“In this brisk and persuasive polemic, Lewis and Stronge, researchers at the U.K. think tank Autonomy, make the case for a four-day work week, without a loss in average pay for workers.”
– Publishers Weekly
Overtime can be purchased here.
By Kyle Lewis and Will Stronge
Work Without the Worker (Verso 2021)
We are told that the future of work will be increasingly automated. Algorithms, processing massive amounts of information at startling speed, will lead us to a new world of effortless labour and a post-work utopia of ever expanding leisure. But behind the gleaming surface stands millions of workers, often in the Global South, manually processing data for a pittance.
Recent years have seen a boom in online crowdworking platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Clickworker, and these have become an increasingly important source of work for millions of people. And it is these badly paid tasks, not algorithms, that make our digital lives possible. Used to process data for everything from the mechanics of self-driving cars to Google image search, this is an increasingly powerful part of the new digital economy, although one hidden and rarely spoken of. But what happens to work when it makes itself obsolete. In this stimulating work that blends political economy, studies of contemporary work, and speculations on the future of capitalism, Phil Jones looks at what this often murky and hidden form of labour looks like, and what it says about the state of global capitalism.
This book can be purchased here.
By Phil Jones