economy of l&1TP3Q039;innovation

Is this the end of the wage labor? Advocacy for a Living Income


Our time, that of the marranes, is every day bathed in the productions of this new concept, although posed for years by Claude CORMAN and Paule PEREZ: marranity. [1]. An illustration of a field where this phenomenon of cross-fertilization and tension is at work seems to me to be the societal framework of economic production and work organization.
With this pluricultural viewpoint, based on the observation of clues to the end of the wage-earning model, and the paradoxical injunctions that set this movement in motion, between the public and private spheres, between thought, beliefs, superstitions and dogmas, around the notion of value in particular. I will propose to consider as a model adapted to the needs of tomorrow, that of the income of existence...

From the industrial revolution to the end of the wage economy

The industrial revolution has imposed the wage model, as we know it, since the 19th century. However, technological developments and their demands for competitiveness are stronger than the commitments of industrialists. [2] have gradually changed mentalities, transformed our relationship to work, then the social model, and we are already seeing the first signs of the fall of the wage earner.
Yet the wage model had allowed non-industrial activities to provide a protective framework for their workers. This is how the voluntary sector became a major economic player in the 21st century. Indeed, the "1901 law" associations have made a major contribution to the development of employment in recent years: today, 165,000 associations employ 1,800,000 workers, i.e. more than the construction sector and more than the transport sector... One employee in ten works in an association. The 2012 balance sheets show that €35.5 billion in salaries were paid to association employees. [3].
Today, in industry as well as in associations, redundancy plans and voluntary departure programmes are multiplying in a market that offers fewer and fewer ways to return to traditional employment.
Tomorrow, will each one have to invent his job, or his activity, or be abandoned by the collective on the side of the road?

How did we get here?

An etymological look will help us to identify the paradoxical enclosed injunctions to which we are subjected. I have retained four words with strong symbolic significance: Value; Work; Commitment; Wage.
The word Value: comes from the Latin valere which means to be strong. With this meaning of "being strong", one can imagine how gratifying it is to appropriate the word value. Indeed, in the name of a common ideal, the concept of Value reinforces the feeling of power... It exposes us to be the object of seduction from abuses of language and communication techniques. So much so that researchers in the United States have given a name to this practice of maintaining ignorance and producing ideological disinformation: agnotology. [4].
It therefore seems important here to propose that we beware of those who summon "values" about everything... ...and therefore sometimes about the worst.
As for the word Travail, it comes from the old French word travail, which in the 12th century meant "torment, suffering", itself derived from the Latin tripálĭum "three-beamed instrument of torture".
Of course, many others have said so before me, but should we lose sight of this obvious fact and not ask ourselves why the word designating an instrument of torture also indicates a value deemed indispensable for self-fulfilment?
As responsible citizens, even ardent promoters of secularism, what representations are at stake when we are seduced by the virtues of the precept: "to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow"? Expression taken directly from Genesis [5] And the sweat of your face shall be bread for you to eat, until you return to the earth from whence you were taken: for dust thou wast, and dust thou shalt be again. »[6]. Indeed, bread has long been associated with work, as the currency of hard work .
After the words Value and Work, let's see the meanings of the word Commitment dear to Jean-Paul SARTRE: It comes from pledge, which comes from the Latin vadis which means guarantor, guarantor; from the Indo-European vadh ("promise") which gives the old English Wedd ("contract"), the German Wette ("bet"). So we are talking about the gift of self as a pledge, a contract, a promise, even a bet on the future, where the bet is oneself...
As for the word Salariat, it comes from the Latin salarium, derived from sal, salt (a precious resource, indispensable for preserving meat), it originally referred to the salt ration provided to Roman soldiers. Then salarium meant the cash compensation paid to buy salt and other foodstuffs.
Thus, we can observe the sources of ambiguity contained in these symbolic words, and how each one finding its favorite meaning in them can dialogue with the other in the illusion of connivance, while the respective ends can be diametrically opposed... Let us not forget how Marshal Pétain used May 1st 1941 to celebrate the feast of True Labour...

But in 2014, why are protesting economists and philosophers like Bernard STIEGLER talking about the end of salaried employment?

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Is Work a Value?

The fact is that today in France, work is perceived as "a strong value". Employees idealize it and expect a lot from it. We even hear talk of happiness at work, which reinforces the belief that work is itself a value... But let's not close our eyes to the rise of ill-being at work, to the emergence of psycho-social risks as they are called. These risks, which affect more and more employees, to the point of making them ill from their work, or even pushing them to end their lives, at the very place where this so-called value is exercised...
As Paule PEREZ wrote in a tribune of Le Monde [7] about skills management tools: "...two worldviews collide and the individual dimension is abused in both cases...". It is now a fact that companies, which have favoured "talent management", have sacrificed the values of cohesion of salaried work on the altar of a rapid return on investment. However, the question of happiness is of an existential nature; it is a matter of the individual's intimacy, it refers him/her to his/her life trajectory and to the meaning he/she attributes to it. So to assign work a status of value is to deny that in the ecology of individual happiness, work can legitimately take a relative place.

Organization of work: a shaky framework

In his report to the President of the Republic entitled: "Contributions to cultural policies in the digital age", Pierre LESCURE recommends making Europe a citizens' project. As digital activities are not covered by legal and social protection, he calls for a rethink of the framework and for the implementation of all policies adapted to the creation, dissemination and access to culture.
At the same time, international accounting standards [8] sacralise the ultra-liberal approach and exclude social values. In the United States, we are witnessing the rise dusmart power (contributory knowledge... advocated by Hilary CLINTON); what about social protection? In the dynamics of exchanges via social networks, we are witnessing the emergence of community practices that are a priori attractive, but outside the rules of social protection. Such as, for example, organizations of collective production and services around 3D printers... the fablabs... [9]...the makers [10]
At the same time, the rise of the social and solidarity economy sector, known as SSE, can be observed. This SSE model is in fact the heir of the self-management projects inspired by PROUDHON. [11]. Nevertheless, this rise can be seen as a reaction to the paradoxical withdrawal of the State from this sector presented by itself as promising .
In his SSE Bill, Benoit HAMON [12] bases its objectives on three principles that can be described as republican: voluntary commitment; equality; solidarity. In their interaction, the search for an equal common basis for the values on which political action is based and those on which economic action is based. But beware of gender drifts: liberalism for the rich, SSE for the poor... especially at a time when the State is reducing its participation in taking charge of its "public order", which is leading the sector to cut salaried jobs.

"For a long time the main regulator of social relations and solidarity, the salaried workforce, is of course on the decline." [13]. The fact is that the wage-earning sector is increasingly facing competition from self-employment and seems to be reduced to its function of access to social rights.
Lifetime" employment has almost disappeared, behind the rise of telework, the massive use of subcontracting, the growing success of self-entrepreneurship, and the substitution of man by machine in supermarkets, railway station counters, airports, banks, and even post offices...
And how not to question the meaning of value when the "Associative Commitment" is declared a great national cause 2014 by Jean-Marc AYRAULT, then Prime Minister, and that the meaning he gives it is that of promoting donations and volunteering, while subsidies to associations providing services to the public are either abolished, or greatly reduced ...
Economic observers put forward the figure of forty thousand job cuts in 2014 in associations; a sort of Social Plan of national dimension, which does not say its name...
At the same time, MEDEF is working to eliminate the regime of intermittent workers in the entertainment industry... whereas this regime could on the contrary be considered as a model to be duplicated for people between two periods of paid production or value creation...
And without falling into the psychodrama of conspiracy, should we take lightly the words of Denis KESLER, man in the shadow of the MEDEF, when in 2007, he declared about the establishment of a list of reforms to be made : "It's simple, take everything that was put in place between 1944 and 1952, without exception. It [the list] is there. Today it is a question of getting out of 1945, and methodically undoing the programme of the National Council of Resistance! ».

Does the Value have to imply a mandatory consideration?

If we do not want to give in to the archaic tension of demonizing these warlike discourses, then today we must accept to put the unthought of the term Value back to work. That is to say, to think what is human production, what does the collective expect from the singular persons who make it up, an economy of social Value?
Where is the unacknowledged production of impact and social functions? Asking the question of the principle of "no quid pro quo" unless there is "vital reciprocity"? [14] "as in Pierre Rabhi's house [15]but without entering into the religious of this, without submitting to the beliefs of the saving function of one's own beneficence. Daring to think, having the courage to say that all beings have a social function, are "producers of economy", whether it is the neighbour who goes to see in summer if the old lady has been drinking... accepting that this valorisation of social production does not give rise to a "police force", but is the result of a collective will to decide whether we "take into account" another kind of counterpart, the circulation of the gift, as the model of MAUSS invites us to do. [16]. What we see happening in the fablabs, the makers, is it a modern version of giving versus giving?...

What should we think of this reversal of values?


If, for a responsible citizen, it is appropriate to exercise, through dialectic, his sense of the permanent search for the common good, then it is indeed a question of thinking the world of tomorrow with a different way of thinking from that of yesterday, thinking, as if in a Marrano tension, with the contingencies of tomorrow's world without breaking with the past, and finding new bases for conciliation between the collective needs of society and those of the singular being .
Like any citizen faithful to a philosophy of freedom, humanitarian, even marranitary commitment can also be part of the filiation of François RABELAIS, for his invitation to enlightened science: "Sapience does not enter into a malicious soul, and science without conscience is only the ruin of the soul". [17]. The movement can also be inspired by the fundamental approach of Baruch SPINOZA in the 17th century [18], around what is today called commitment as a social involvement, on the condition that we take care not to slip into voluntary servitude .
In other words: not to seek to reduce complexity, to "stay awake" and to adapt each time a collective response to the singularity of the other, who must remain free and dignified, something that the wage-earning sector has ended up no longer fully guaranteeing.

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Dare to ask the fundamental question: What is human production?

The globalized and digitalized world is in full upheaval and is moving away from the social frameworks put in place by humanists. Work that has been made to be valued has ended up leading employees into voluntary servitude. And wage-labour, as a model guaranteeing "social happiness" is collapsing.
"What is human production without direct counterpart below the production of normal labour and with symbolic significance? »asks Paule PEREZ; a work of art, a word, a gesture, a way of being with one's neighbours, shared information, a service rendered, a bus driver who stops ten metres before the bus stop so that the ladies can get off somewhere other than in the puddles...
Following the example of Marc DE BASQUIAT [19], Let us dare to think that the link between income and work is an illusion and that it is already very distorted.

Living income without a cashable counterpart: an old idea [20]

It seems to me that we could think of a new social safety net of existence, or even social security of existence, that is not conditioned by "historical traces of wage-earning".
If sweat beads on the foreheads of breadwinners, let's beware of making it a desirable pattern. It is time to think about the society of tomorrow, which will embody its republican values in the recognition of the essence of beings and not only in their labor force.
How about going one step further than Martin Hirsch's Active Solidarity Income? [21] ; further than workers' pensions; further than grants to poor students; further than family allowances, housing assistance and daily allowances for unemployed or sick workers; further than paid holidays and parental education leave; further than all types of social minima that (in theory) give rise to housing rights
Naturally, it is a question here of courageously taking a stand against the self-righteousness that is based on the unthinking reception of the "victims" to whom agnotological discourse refers to the "culprits". [22]
Like Christine MARSAN [23], psycho-sociologist, writes about the hypothesis of a minimum living wage: "Of course critics immediately see the dangers of its attribution, if it is universal, as it could, perhaps, attract millions more immigrants to Europe, or increase laziness. Carrying out an objective and non-judgmental risk analysis is very interesting and necessary".
On the issue of unconditional income, Mona CHOLLET [24], Swiss journalist and essayist, writes: " But to make it the justification for guaranteed income is a trap that GORZ saw clearly: "This is still a trap in terms of the value of work and productivism. » Gold "living wage is only meaningful if it neither demands nor pays for anything"... On the contrary, it must allow the creation of "non-moneyable wealth".

Those of us who, like me, are still employed and those who are no longer, or have never been, employed must continue, in the name of values that were devised to better enslave us, to deny the decline of a model that probably cannot be saved without a thorough overhaul. This overhaul will surely involve shifting our historical landmarks, sometimes renouncing our beliefs because progress does not enter into a malicious and unconscious soul...
To continue the work of the women and men who invented the Welfare State of the 3rd and then the 4th Republic [25].

In conclusion

Impossible? No. There have already been similar revolutions of mentality in France, for example the creation of the single wage allowance for women who "do not work". Similarly, the recognition of the function of spouses of craftspeople, which led to the introduction of compulsory social security coverage for them. [26]
Our society has the means and can make political decisions to give everyone an income to live on without demanding in return a monetisable return.
A fundamental principle that goes beyond Article 7 is that everyone should be allowed to work according to his or her wishes and possibilities and at his or her own pace, and that the system should not exclude him or her. [27] of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It seems to me that it's time to work beyond Articles 22 to 27 of the UDHR. [28], to an Existence Income, a kind of Contributory Income, the amount of which would not be related to the number or quality of the drops of sweat beading on the fronts of future generations.
And to decorrelate the mutualist contributions from wages, by transferring them to a single levy on consumption (like VAT) which would be gradual from zero percent on basic necessities, and much more for luxury goods.
Utopian? And why not? If for Victor HUGO "utopia is tomorrow's truth", then today's utopia can be tomorrow's progress.
For this, political courage must prevail...

Patrice Gaudineau

Thanks to Paule and Michel Pérez for their contributions without any counterpart...
And thanks to the Temps marranes magazinein which this article was published.

EDITOR'S NOTE : Patrice Gaudineau is a Human Rights activist, he contributed as an expert to the drafting of France's White Paper for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, (also known as the Johannesburg Earth Summit), and in particular on the issue of the social responsibility of SMEs and territorial organizations and NGOs (associations and non-governmental organizations). It also contributed to the drafting of Europe's Green Paper on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). He is Managing Director of SIS-Réseau (Santé Info Solidarité Réseau), a federation that brings together remote assistance relationship organisations (such as Sida-Info-Service, Hépatites-Info-Service and Ligne Azur), the first Sexual Health Centre in Europe (Le190), health and social resource centres throughout the world (such as CIRAD - international consortium for remote assistance relationship - in Africa), as well as regional delegations for prevention, health education and the fight against discrimination.
1] Claude Corman and Paule Pérez; Marran counterculture - its contributions to contemporary issues. Edition Temps Marranes, 26 April 2010. On the non-contamination of public space by religious considerations: " is indeed this boundary, this threshold, this limit of the interior and exterior, of the private and the public, that now struggles to be defined. » p.103.
2] For example, the South Korean group Daewoo, which in 2002 closed three factories in Lorraine and cut a thousand jobs, whereas in 1989 it had received thirty-five million euros to build them....
3] Source: Report of the R&S (Research and Solidarity) expert network: "Associations facing the economic situation ...and the jobs of the future"; 3rd edition, January 2013.
4] Term coined by the science historian Robert N. Proctor in 1992, who analyzed the phenomena of cultural production of ignorance.
[5] (Chapter 3, Verse 19).
6] Bible translated by Zadoc Kahn, Chief Rabbi.
7] Le Monde newspaper, Wednesday 26 February 1992; article entitled "Les bilans personnels".
8] IASB - Instrumental Accounting Standards Board
9] FabLabs (a contraction of fabrication laboratory) where a collaborative spirit reigns, hacking, sharing of digital file sources, mutualisation of the tool, militancy and permanent debates. "There's a technological bubble," a designer laughs, "that can burst. I know some SMEs that buy printers but don't really know what to do with them. The mass market is interested too." Is it a technological "revolution" that's underway, industrial or artisanal? Or is it just a big delusion of do it yourself? Source:
10] New working methods, combining both coworking spaces and cooperatives. Collaborative consumption is a phenomenon.
11] Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), a utopian socialist, opposed the Marxists on a major question: that of the seizure of power of a system over the person.
12] Adopted by the Senate on first reading on 7 November last, the draft framework law must be examined by the National Assembly from May 2014. Valérie Fourneyron, Secretary of State for Social and Solidarity-based Economy is currently in charge of this draft framework law.
13] Jean-Pierre Gaudard, in "La fin du salariat" which has just been published by François Bourin, former editor-in-chief at Usine Nouvelle.
14] Pierre Rabhi: "A tree in my memory"; 12 February 2014.
15] French farmer, writer and thinker of Algerian origin, Pierre Rabhi is one of the pioneers of organic agriculture. He defends a mode of society that is more respectful of people and the land and supports the development of agricultural practices that are accessible to all, especially the most disadvantaged, while preserving the food heritage. See:
16] Don-contradict, Marcel Mauss: In 1925 Mauss published a text entitled "Essay on Gift". Form and reason for exchange in archaic societies". As the nephew of Emile Durkheim, with whom he worked on the foundation and development of what was then still a young discipline in France with a scientific outlook and little academic legitimacy, the sociologist had just participated (1923) in the creation of the Institute of Ethnology. In a way, he invented, like his precursor uncle, a modern and demanding form of scientific cooperation, "at a distance" if you like, of which his relationship with the work of Franz Boas is a good example. Boas, born in Westphalia in 1858, settled in the United States, where he spent most of his academic career as a professor of anthropology. He trained a large number of students, but also members of the Indian tribes he studied, particularly in British Columbia, in his methods of data collection, storytelling, and interpretation of the corpus thus assembled: "He translated thousands of pages of indigenous texts. Boas, but also, among others, Bronislaw Malinovski, the author of this marvel of the humanities that is his major book The Argonauts of the Western Pacific, which focuses on a rigorous description and systematic interpretation of a system of social benefits - the kula - provides the sedentary sociologist with an explanatory basis from which he will develop his own data relations and his theory of archaic exchange. Mauss called the latter "voluntary-mandatory exchange". Source:(
17] François Rabelais: Pantagruel (letters from his father Gargantua); 1532.
18] The conatus is a concept of Spinoza's Ethics. Spinoza set as his fundamental objective the transmission of a liberating message with regard to all servitudes (Petit Larousse, 1997 edition). Especially inThe theological-political treatise.
19] Engineer and doctor of economics: "This may seem banal, but in reality it is fundamental: it is the perception of an income that allows one to survive, not the exercise of a job. Conversely, is all work remunerative? No, reminds us of INSEE, which estimates the number of hours of paid work in France at 38 billion in 2010, a figure well below the range of 42 to 77 billion hours of domestic work. Let's go further: is any income the counterpart of work? Not any more. Replacement income (retirement, unemployment), social and family benefits, property and financial income make up around 40% of household disposable income. The link between income and work is therefore very distorted". source: (
20] Source: (HTTP://WWW.MONDE-DIPLOMATIQUE.FR/2013/05/CHOLLET/ 49054): "It was in the United States that the idea of a progressive basic income emerged after the war. In 1968, Tobin, along with Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith and 1 200 other economists, initiated a call for such a project. Tobin had his demogrant project included in the programme of George McGovern, of whom he was an adviser, during the campaign for the 1972 presidential election. With the Democratic candidate's heavy defeat by Richard Nixon, the project was buried. It resurfaced in Europe, first in the Netherlands in the 1980s. In Belgium, a group of researchers and trade unionists created in 1984, around the economist and philosopher Philippe Van Parijs, the Collectif Charles Fourier. A symposium organized in 1986 at the Catholic University of Louvain gave birth to the Basic Income European Network (BIEN), which became global (Basic Income Earth Network) in 2004. One of its founders, Guy Standing, an economist at the International Labour Organization (ILO), is participating in the guaranteed income experiment launched in 2011 in India (read: In India, the experiment revitalizes villages)".
21] Created by Martin Hirsch, Nicolas Sarkozy's High Commissioner for Active Solidarity, the Active Solidarity Income (RSA) was launched in January 2009 to replace the RMI. However, the public agents who manage this aid do not always have clear and up-to-date information on the RSA-activity. According to the Observatoire des non- recours aux droits et services (Odenore) founded by Philippe Warin, half of the people who are entitled to RSA do not apply for it, a figure that rises to nearly 70% for RSA-activity. "I have always recognized that the RSA was an unfinished reform," recalled Martin Hirsch in an interview with "Le Monde" in June 2013. He also called for "a massive plan against non-recourse". In a report submitted last February, the Court of Auditors pointed out the weaknesses of the RSA-activity, which is too little used and has limited impact. Source: OBS9541/rsa-activite-why-ca-n-not-work.html
22] For example, in May 2011, Laurent Wauquiez denounced "the excesses of the assistantship" which he saw as "the cancer of French society".
23] Source: /221189466/revenu-minimum-existence-issues-causes-consequences
24] Source: 49054
25] (Wikipedia excerpt) With the creation of the Social Security system in 1945, France set up a social system inspired by both the Beveridgian and Bismarckian models. Broadly formulated in 1945 by the jurist Pierre Laroque, and stemming from the Programme of the National Council of Resistance, Social Security was inspired by these two major conceptions: it retained the logic of an insurance system, financed by workers' contributions, but aimed at the establishment of a generalized, centralized and comprehensive system of social security. In 1946, the Constitution of the Fourth Republic, adopted by referendum, created in its preamble a constitutional obligation of financial assistance from the community towards those exposed to the greatest social risks (women, children, old workers).
26] Law on the compulsory connection of the artisan's spouse to a status (August 2, 2005).
27] 1948 UDHR; Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without distinction to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Book "L'immatériel" by André Gorz - Editions Galilée 2003
Interview with Bernard Marris in Basic Income
Living Income History Book by Yoland Bresson

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