THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF WORK: WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE TREATED AS CRIMINALS

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF WORK: WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE TREATED AS CRIMINALS

Every age has its estimate of the pressures and perils of work. Adam Smith, writing in the 18th century, focused on the toil and trauma of work. Karl Marx, writing in the 19th century, spoke of the alienation of labour.

In our own time, employment - for more and more people – is being stretched to embrace new personal tribulations and emotional troubles.

As revealed by the Financial Times, Amazon have been deploying electronic tagging on some employees. This scandal is one powerful indication of such torments.

The Amazon employees, based at the company’s flagship factory in Staffordshire, entered into labour contracts that required them to carry handheld devices. These electronic devices were, in turn, used to measure worker productivity in real time.

Art is worth more in the age of Spotify - and not just financially

Art is worth more in the age of Spotify - and not just financially

Let’s be clear: from Spotify to Pandora, streamed music is killing downloads, and that’s bad for artists and music lovers.

The opposition between art and commerce has been a defining feature of the history of pop music. The countercultural rebellion of the 1960s, to take perhaps the most poignant illustration, was one fully permeated by romantic ideology, by a faith in the possibility of authentic art. The Beatles, the Stones, Dylan and The Doors were never simply performers but artists.

In a world in which almost everything had been commodified, pop stars allegedly remained champions of imagination, desire and passion.