New Criticals

There is double-work to be done, because while capitalism works to create that disposable time, it must always convert it back into value. Free time is always subject to exploitation. When too much of that time is created, it cannot be undone. We grow accustomed to a standard of leisure. Capitalism must look to valorize free time itself, a time in which workers “themselves appropriate their own surplus labor.” Those in possession of the surplus (labor or capital) can then “employ people upon something not directly and immediately productive.” The economy of labor time is “equal to an increase of free time…which in turn reacts back upon the productive power of labor as itself the greatest productive power.” 

Click here. Free time holds immense value, though it may not be directly accessible. Free time transforms the worker, no matter how it is spent. When free time exists as a combination of “both idle time and time for higher activity,” the subject returns to production changed, and changes the production process. When that higher activity and idle time both contribute productively to capitalism, all time is work time. What is it they say about too much of a good thing? “The employment of machinery itself historically presupposes superfluous hands;”  it is the task of contemporary capitalism to put those hands to work.