In this essay, initially published in Italian by NERO, the Rotterdam based writer, artist and designer Silvio Lorusso, discusses his idea of the “delegation society”, which he briefly outlined in his book Entreprecariat: Everyone Is an Entrepreneur. Nobody Is Safe (2018). The delegation society is no longer divided into Marxian classes but is instead formed into a new pyramidal order. At the top sits the professional élite who delegate reproductive work to the lower levels in order to gain time and be able to work more; at the bottom lies the highly fragmented servant class. In the middle an unstable professional class struggles to become a part of the élite, alternating in their work between professionals and servants. The micro-élite at the top legitimize themselves and the delegation system through telling a story that transforms servants into entrepreneurs, exactly what the gig economy platforms do.
Silvio Lorusso: The Servile Mass Society*
Series edited by Janez Fakin Janša
Publisher: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Represented by: Marcela Okretič
Translation: Isobel Butters
Proofreading: Sunčan Stone
Design: Luka Umek
Layout: Sonja Grdina
Cover: Akoi 1 / Not
(c) Aksioma | All text and image rights reserved by the author | Ljubljana 2021
Printed and distributed by: Lulu.com
Published in the framework of Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation
Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and
the Municipality of Ljubljana.
*Originally published in: Lorusso, S, “La società servile di massa”, Not, 8 February 2020, https://not.neroeditions.com/la-societa-servile-massa/.