The Third Place: The Significance of “Work-from-Home”

There is an aspect of the American Dream which deserves genuine criticism from the standpoint of the Work-Standard in The Third Place. After 1945, it somehow became permissible in depictions of the American Way of Life that a specific way in which men and women should be something to strive for. I am referring to the idea of the man being the “breadwinner,” the one who gets to have a Profession at the workspace and the “homemaker,” the woman who has to stay home and look after the children. When the breadwinner is at the workspace and the children are attending school, it would seem that the homemaker does not have a lot going in her life.

The important questions which must be raised are whether this is an accurate portrayal of what family life in the Household is supposed to be. Is that the only way for any family to live and grow together? Does anyone here not realize that there is a fundamental contradiction at play within those depictions? Would one consider the “homemaker” in its 1950s American conception as proof of what Friedrich Engels might have referred to as a “Reserve Army of Labor?” What is the relation of the “homemaker” to Arbeit and Geld, if there is any to speak of? Are all married women supposed to be housewives without any Profession or any Vocation to call their own?  

The implications of these questions are interrelated to the concept of Heimarbeit (Homework or “Work-from-Home”), which has since become a subject of huge contention by different groups of women within the State of Total Mobilization. Feminists have insisted that all women, regardless of their marital status, should strive to be an active participant in the State of Total Mobilization just the men in their own lives. On the other hand, there are Traditionalists who believed that women should play a passive role, supporting their husbands and children at the Household. Since we cannot rule out the possibility that both are still arguing in the contexts of Production for Profit or Production for Utility, it is necessary to articulate a far more appropriate and even productive debate on behalf of Production for Dasein

Even as more women have been able to achieve greater participant in the workspace under Production for Profit or Production for Utility, the rising trend of the alleged “Feminization of the Workforce” as well as the “Househusband” (Read: the Stay-at-Home Dad) have demonstrated the enduring persistence of Heimarbeit. Such trends did not become discernible in America and the broader Western world to warrant any class analysis until after the Death of Bretton Woods, and it is only now that they are about to be addressed in detail below. 

Despite the Death of Bretton Woods, the issue of Heimarbeit has remained constant. It deserves mention because of the implications that it poses for the Reciprocal Theory of Value (RTV) and the Work Theory of Money (WTM). Therefore, allow me to ask four important questions:

  • Should Heimarbeit, regardless of who is doing it, be considered as a form of Actual Arbeit?
  • If Heimarbeit is in fact Actual Arbeit, should any Household be entitled to Actual Geld?
  • Are there specific forms of Heimarbeit where it can become a Profession in itself?
  • And if there are Heimarbeit that can become Professions in themselves, what are they?

True, there is the obvious butler and housemaid, the geriatric nurse who looks after one’s elderly grandparents, the visiting mailman, and the occasional handyman or repairman. But there is another form of Heimarbeit that we can envisage as being a source of Actual Arbeit. I am referring to the concept of the “Cottage Industries,” the idea of using the Household itself as part of someone’s own Profession or even Vocation. The formal taxonomy of all Cottage Industries at the Household is known as the “Putting-Out System.” It gets its name from the fact that somebody at the Household is manufacturing goods intended for later sale at a marketplace (or for our purposes, the Tournament). And this is even where the topics of Cooperatives and Small Businesses apply.

Thanks to the State of Total Mobilization, it can be argued that even though the Industrial Revolution has displaced the traditional variants of the Putting-Out System, a handful of Cottage Industries can still be established with some investments from the Council State. Genuine Heimarbeit does not have to involve basketweaving or sewing and knitting. The technological developments that came in the wake of the Death of Bretton Woods have provided newfound Intents for Heimarbeit to become recognized as Actual Arbeit. Similarly, other opportunities can be presented where Heimarbeit is capable of becoming the more lucrative Digital Arbeit. The rising prevalence of Digital Arbeit has become apparent since the dawn of the 21st century and will continue to be relevant for the foreseeable future.  

A person can work from home with a personal computer (PC) to create an array of products intended for the National Intranet. Literature, Music, Movies, Video Games, Websites and Blogs, Livestreams, Smartphone Apps, eCommerce, Cyberdefense and Cyberweapons, Bots and Algorithms, and more are all valid ways where Heimarbeit becomes Digital Arbeit. Some indie media productions uploaded to a video-streaming website and the sale of downloadable copies are both decent opportunities for Heimarbeit.  

For those who have the technical aptitude and the patience to learn how to code, computer programming and software development are legitimate forms of Meaningful Work. The National Intranet is always in need of people who have the dedication to look after the digital infrastructure, test the cyberdefenses against foreign and domestic malware and cyberattacks, and creating the necessary software for facilitating the Life-Energization Reciprocal Electrification (LERE) Process. Somebody has to ensure that the LERE Process runs smoothly on the National Intranet.

There are some of us who may have the privilege of operating their very own 3D Printer. With the required AutoCAD software, a 3D Printer is capable of turning the digitized objects into physical ones. The countless different things that people have made with 3D Printers are beyond the intended aims of this Entry, however.

In addition to 3D Printers, there may be places around the Household where Actual Arbeit can be made from Heimarbeit. There might be a backyard, a balcony or roof where somebody could grow their own garden. If there is a garage adjacent to the Household, consider converting it into a special type of Small Business called the “Workshop.” Having a Workshop around for an SSE’s Student Body can be an opportunity to build anything that the Student Government might need. There may be dedicated facilities for Workshops, but a simple garage alone may be enough to fulfill small and simple Direct Orders from potential customers.

In later Entries of The Third Place, we will be revisiting this particular topic again as they become relevant to the Socialist Student Economy. The SSE has to start somewhere in order to instill important instructive lessons to the Student Body, in addition to opportunities for the more ambitious ones to climb upward to the next Social Rank. For now, these opportunities of contributing Actual Arbeit or Digital Arbeit to the Life-Energy Reserve from the Heimarbeit of one’s Household should be enough for anyone interested in getting creative. 

Categories: Third Place

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