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Topic: Time keeping
Time keeping
This topic looks at the most entrenched of capitalist equations – time is money – and asks whether we might have got it wrong all along. Wage slaves have got 'hurry sickness' really bad. If the train is delayed by a minute, we get stressed. We do our make-up on the bus. We can’t be late for work. Time is money. Wage slaves are clock-watchers. How did it get like this? The popular account blames it on the Industrial Revolution. The clock, not the steam engine, was seen as the true symbol of the ‘dark, satanic mills’, sweeping away the rural idyll of happy workers in control of their own destinies. The clock became the true master, wresting control of working life away from nature’s own rhythms. But was this really anything new? The eighteenth-century Industrial Revolution, with its factory system and machine mentality, made an issue of working time – with Benjamin Franklin coining the phrase ‘time is money’. But the tyranny of the clock is nothing new. Call-centres, the dark satanic mills and the calm landscape of John Constable’s Hay Wain are not, perhaps, so far apart.
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Whose time? Whose money?
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Time isn’t money. It’s what people do with their time that gets the capitalists excited. This section looks at the way time and money became entwined in our minds and lives, and how, despite notions of an idyllic rural past, we’ve always been wage-slaves.  > more

How much are you worth?
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It’s the same eight hours, but for some reason the chief executive’s are worth more than the cleaner’s. How have changes in society affected the way we view the period of time after the paid work ends – are we just wasting time?  > more

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We’ve always been clock-watchers. What’s changed is the clocks we’ve watched. This section looks at the machines, gadgets and gizmos we have invented, made and used to keep track of the working day, and the ways in which we try to control lives with clocks.  > more
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