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Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 10/16/2016
The algorithm Uber alles: The humanism of labor vs. Uber and the new gig economy
Date Sunday October 16
Time 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location Details
Niebyl-Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland
Event Type Class/Workshop
Organizer/AuthorNews & Letters
Uber’s expansion of its San Francisco headquarters into the old Sears building and other properties in downtown Oakland is part of the havoc tech companies are wreaking as high rents displace Oakland’s poor and minority communities. An issue at the center of capitalism’s economic crisis is tech’s direct inhumanity toward labor. A recent strike of UberEats delivery workers in London revealed a new solidarity among so-called independent contractors against the computer algorithm that controls their working conditions and is bleeding them dry. Workers striking under the banner “We are people, not Uber’s tools!” found each other. They united against speed-up hailed by business as a new form of Taylorism.
For Karl Marx, the revolutionary opposite to capitalism was found in labor’s struggle to be human. Humanism re-emerged in rank-and-file workers’ strikes since the introduction of automation in the post-WWII economy. Bay Area Uber drivers have challenged their treatment as contractors, even as Uber, along with the tech world, is out to displace drivers altogether. The fight against capitalism’s dominance over living labor helps show a new direction out of the totality of the present crises, including growing permanent unemployment. How does labor’s struggle today resonate with Marx’s multi-faceted humanism in contrast to how fascism is now being disgorged in the racist and sexist dehumanization of the "other" that is rampant in this election?
Added to the calendar on Wednesday Oct 5th, 2016 10:10 PM
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