Immaterial Labor and Media Work

Today I'm reading up on Maurizio Lazzarato's concept of immaterial labor - the labor which produces the informational and cultural content of a commodity, which can be considered to be the typical type of work in the field of media.

I'm especially excited about this argument, as it theoretically underscores the invalidity of the producer-consumer distinction in the self-legitimization and professional identity of mediawork, while at the same acknowledging that the real and unique power in a post-industrial culture economy lies with the 'cultural creator', the one who possesses the talent, the ideas, the innovative way of doing things.

"Creativity and productivity in postindustrial societies reside, on the one hand, in the dialectic between the forms of life and values they produce and, on the other, in the activities of subjects that constitute them. The legitimation that the (Schumpeterian) entrepreneur found in his or her capacity for innovation has lost its foundation. Because the capitalist entrepreneur does not produce the forms and contents of immaterial labor, he or she does not even produce innovation. For eco­nomics there remains only the possibility of managing and regulating the activity of immaterial labor and creating some devices for the control and creation of the public/consumer by means of the control of communication and information tech­nologies and their organizational processes."

Empowering stuff. It begs the question why it is that workers in the cultural, media, and/or creative industries let themselves be exploited that much...