Would the entrepreneurs save the day?
So, would they? Is the future of work is in entrepreneurship - and are we all going to be our own start-ups?
At one level, this is indeed correct. Entrepreneurship in this particular context means living the uncertain life of zero-hour contracts and permanently floating self-employment. This entrepreneurship, for the most part, is all blood, sweat and tears, with no silver bullet in the end. This is about working forever for the sake multiplying someone else's money, just as wage labour used to be. The only difference is the collectivity: When wage labour became too problematic as that was giving everyone a common identity, we spun it into entrepreneurship. In this, we as workers are all on our own, competing for crumbs with one another. This entrepreneur avatar is not about saving the world, but a symptom of the end of times.
Then, there is, of course, the 'job creator' narrative. This version is that the entrepreneurs create new jobs, new kinds of jobs, to keep the technological unemployment at bay. This is what Business Schools and Government Ministers preach every waking moment: That the new talented individuals, armed with their MBAs, will not bother placement departments but rather go on creating jobs and save the world from annihilation from idleness. But, as they forget to mention, their MBAs are all about how not to create jobs and not to create value for anyone else other than the shareholders, themselves. In fact, these 'entrepreneurs' are trained to direct technology at human beings and destroy jobs rather than create them.
Sadly, these entrepreneurs will not save the world because they are not meant to. Generations of entrepreneurs have been trained in a very speculative art of making money out of nothing: They would rather do bitcoins than primary education. They would rather talk about exit than building up; five years is too long a horizon, too boring. The patient work of creation, of making sense, of building a learning society that can take advantage of technological progress and direct its course sensibly must fall on someone else.