The politics of time

Gaining control in the age of uncertainty

Time is our most precious asset, but it is increasingly the reserve of the privileged few. Arguing that the dichotomy of “work” and “leisure” no longer applies in the modern age, Guy Standing proposes a new progressive politics of time, seeking to move beyond regulations on labour hours and to combat the rise of the panoptican state.


Too often, politicians, commentators and social scientists divide time into a dualism of ‘work’ and ‘leisure’, with work defined as what is done for an income, in ‘jobs’, while leisure is whatever time exists outside of this. So, if weekly hours in a job go down, leisure is automatically presumed to go up. This presumption is wrong. It ignores all the unpaid work that people choose to do, such as care for their children or elderly relatives, or work in the community. More importantly, it ignores the unpaid work that people are obliged to do, by employers or by the state, that is driving the growing inequality

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Lucy Chow 15 June 2024


Shawn Johnson 13 June 2024


Darika Mirka 14 March 2024

This issue of presenteeism during the pandemic is deeply troubling, especially for those in the precariat.

laury friese 11 December 2023

I've passed 6990 levels in Candy Crush ,my rank is 153 and I've alot of boosters and gold bars.

mickofemsworth 11 November 2023

Really interesting article. Thanks!