- Jul 2018
This industrial norm, as I suggested above, is fundamentally rooted in clock time and underpinned by naturalized assumptions about not just the capacity but also the need to commodify, compress and control time.
the relations of time and their socio-environmental impacts, underlying assumptions and their material expressions, institutional processes and recipients' experiences, hidden agendas and power relations, unquestioned time politics and 'othering' practices.9
Adams argues here and through her other papers(*) that social science researchers need to focus less on the obvious temporal conflicts in everyday life and focus more on the "socio-environmental impacts, underlying assumptions and their material exppressions, institutional processes and recipients' experiences, hidden agendas and power relations, unquestioned time politics and 'othering practices."
- Adam, Timescapes of Modernity and 'The Gendered Time Politics of Globalisation'.
While interest and credit had been known and documented since 3000 BC in Babylonia, it was not until the late Middle Ages that the Christian Church slowly and almost surreptitiously changed its position on usury,6 which set time free for trade to be allocated, sold and controlled. It is against this back�round that we have to read the extr�cts from Benjar1_1in Franklin's text of 1736, quoted at length m chapter 2, which contains the famous phrases 'Remember, that time is money ... Remember that money begets money.'7 Clock time, the created time to human design, was a precondition for this change in value and practice and formed the perfect partner to abstract, decontextualized money. From the Middle Ages, trade fairs existed where the trade in time became commonplace and calculations about future prices an integral part of commerce. In addition, internatio�al trade by sea required complex calculations about pote�ual profit and loss over long periods, given that trade ships might be away for as long as three years at a time. The time economy of interest and credit, moreover, fed directly into the monetary value of labour time, that is, paid employme�t as an integral part of the production of goo?s and serv_1ce�. However it was not until the French Revolunon that the md1-vidual (�eaning male) ownership of time became enshrined as a legal right
Historical, religious, economic, and political aspects of how time became a commodity that could be allocated, sold, traded, borrowed against or controlled.
Benjamin Franklin metaphor: "time is money ... money begets money"
The task for social theory, therefore, is to render the invisible visible, show relations and interconnections, begin tbe process of questioning the unquestioned. Before we can identify some of these economic relations of temporal inequity, however, we first need to understand in what way the sin of usury was a barrier to the development of economic life as we know it today in industrial societies.
Citing Weber (integrated with Marx), Adam describes how time is used to promote social inequity.
Taken for granted in a socio-economic system, time renders power relationships as invisible
Marx's principal point regarding the commodification of time was that an empty, abstract, quantifiable time that was applicable anywhere, any time was a precondition for its use as an abstract exchange value on the one hand and for the commodification of labour and nature on the other. Only on the basis of this neutral measure could time take such a pivotal position in all economic exchange.
Citing Marx' critique on how time is commodified for value, labor and natural resources.
the Reformation had a major role to play in the metamorphosis of time from God's gift to commodified, comp�essed, colonized and controlled resource. These four Cs of mdustrial time -comrnodification, compression, colonization and control -will be the focus in these pages, the fifth C of the creation of clock time having been discussed already in the previous chapter. I show their interdependence and id�ntify some of the socio-environmental impacts of those parttcular temporal relations.
Five C's of industrial time: Commodification, compression, colonialization, control, and clock time.
- social inequity