Rentiers and the Precariat – which are we?

“The Corruption of Capitalism” by Guy Standing  – work matters less than what you own”

(Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay)…..

The time would come, Marx and Engels thought, when there would be only two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and all people would align their interests with them. The economist Guy Standing is known for his descriptions of a different kind of class – the “precariat”, defined by the insecurity and instability of the work it performs. Its members are diverse: immigrant Uber drivers and millennial interns, part-time lecturers and the cleaners and couriers of the “gig economy”, the old working class forced into temporary and casual labour.”

So where does stock photography fit in? It seems that more and more us are relying on income from services that we provide to enormous online businesses such as Amazon and Ebay, that in stock photography we are being essentially forced to become more and more dependent on mega-portals such as Getty Images, Shutterstock, Alamy, and a few others.

As creators ( producers might be a better word) of imagery are we ‘renting’ out our property or have we become part of the “precariat” living on a sort of knife-edge? And if so, when did that relationship change and what can be done about it? Is our ‘ownership’ ( copyright) now reduced in importance and overshadowed by our subservient relationship with the capitalist owners of these hugely powerful websites which, in effect, rent space to us at a heavy price called commission?

 

 

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