alain supiot

L AW A N D L A B O U R
A World Market of Norms?

he struggles over employment laws that have rocked France and Germany over the past year have been largely defensive. Yet labour-law reform, in a positive sense, is an important issue which deserves to be addressed on its own terms: how might the law best adapt to objective changes in work practices brought about by new techniques? The model of wage labour that held sway during the industrial era—in which a worker abdicates a degree of freedom in exchange for a certain amount of security—is no longer generally applicable today. Much recent scholarship has concurred that the question involves not simply the codification of the individual worker’s rights but rather the creation of professional conditions for people such that, over the long term, their capabilities and economic needs are sufficiently assured to allow them to take initiatives and shoulder responsibilities.1 The key terms within this perspective are not jobs, subordination and social security, but work (understood in all its forms, not just as wage labour), professional skills and economic security. The labour-market reforms imposed in most European countries have instead remained locked inside the old model, and restricted themselves to worsening its terms for those on the bottom rung. Such policies proceed from the (false) assumption that existing labour legislation is the principal obstacle to full employment and should be dismantled to improve companies’ competitiveness. A consistent feature of the reforms carried out over the last thirty years has been their attack on the flimsy safeguards to which the weakest still cling. Whether in the name of workfare, job-sharing or of flexibilization, the common denominator has been the notion that certain statutory benefits (full-time work, decent pay, protection new left review 39 may june 2006 109

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which can be revoked at any time by her employer. or else shifting part of their cost onto the state or social security. ed. Au-delà de l’emploi. 687ff. In the name of fighting youth unemployment. Transformations du travail et devenir du droit du travail en Europe. by funding employment incentives. ‘The Matthew Effect in Science’. Philip Alston. Paris 1999. ed. while the costs of the human sacrifices involved are borne by the state—either directly. p. 1968. In continental Europe. Who can seriously claim that the holder of a first-time contract. 2001. xiii. As a result. it allowed employers to sack young workers without any 1 See Alain Supiot. while they continue to be heaped upon those at the top of the professional ladder. ‘Revisiter les droits d’action collective’. to strike action—whose effectiveness tends to be proportionate to job security. 2 See Supiot. violence and insecurity. Mark Freedland. Given the more or less ‘socialmarket’ temper of the times. or indirectly. Long a reference point in social policy. to him shall be given. La libertà viene prima. Auf dem Weg zum transnationalen Sozialstaat. protections are cut back where they are most necessary. p.’3 The Contrat Première Embauche—‘First Job Contract’—which the French government struggled to impose from January to April 2006 was almost a caricature of this approach. 56. Where once the state laid down the broad lines of a national economic policy which the big firms carried out. this has meant either reducing benefits.110 nlr 39 against dismissal) are to blame for the difficulties experienced by certain sectors of the labour force in finding work. from him shall be taken away even that he hath. The Personal Employment Contract. Das europäische Sozial Modell. La libertà come posta in gioco nel conflitto sociale. eds. enjoys a genuine right to strike? 3 Matthew. those who have most need of such rights are completely bereft of them. Oxford 2005. Labour Rights as Human Rights. Hartmut Kaelble and Günter Schmid. especially in terms of those collective rights—to unionization. Droit Social. The Law of the Labour Market: Industrialization. Oxford 2003. Employment and Legal Evolution. but whosoever hath not. Regularly denounced.2 Employment law thus provides a perfect example of the Matthew Effect: ‘For whosoever hath... this double standard has only grown more pronounced. Rome 2004. the reversal of roles between the state. vol. Berlin 2004. and which financiers were expected to serve. private enterprise and finance has been most apparent in employment law. . and he shall have more abundance. 159. See for example Robert Merton. the Matthew Effect has also been discussed within the sociology of science. Oxford 2005. Simon Deakin and Frank Wilkinson. by having to deal with the consequences of poverty. nos 7–8. Science.12. Bruno Trentin. today financial objectives dictate the actions of companies.

etc—the cpe might have been enacted almost unnoticed if it had not had the effect of juridically stigmatizing. or even any real parliamentary debate. over and above the economic effects. which is not finding work—statistics show that they remain unemployed for far less time than older cohorts—but finding stable work: turnover is much higher in this age range. It had the perverse effect of making it harder for those over 26 to get work. ‘Contrat Première Exploitation’ [First Exploitation Contract]. so to speak. It deployed a confused concept of age group. 4 . It was based on highly relative international comparisons. at treating them as things.supiot: Law and Labour 111 explanation during their first two years in the job. including students (all else being equal. It offered a windfall to employers already seeking to make redundancies. Dreamed up by a few economic advisers to the Prime Minister without even consulting the jurists of the Ministry of Employment. and without established employment it is difficult to obtain credit or accommodation. short-term contracts. in which levels of youth unemployment are calculated just on the basis of those in the labour market. pushed through as a ‘matter of urgency’ without any negotiations with the trade unions. whether rich or poor. such a message symbolized the most unacceptable face of labour-market reform: that which.4 The dismantling of labour laws is presented as the unavoidable outcome of economic globalization. In adding yet another aspect of job insecurity to what is already a long list—interim employment. rather than the total number. Finally. the measure displayed virtually every defect that has marred French labour-law reform for the past quarter of a century. it did nothing to solve the real problem facing most young people. uneducated or graduates from some elite college. it could be summarized as something very simple to understand although difficult for its backers to admit: the measure enshrined the right of employers to sack young workers without having to give a reason why. youth as a whole. this method automatically raises levels in countries with a higher average length of education). To a generation particularly sensitive about questions of respect. As a result. ‘Contrat Poubelle Embauche’ [Dustbin Job Contract]. But the free circulation of capital and goods is Consider the many versions of the acronym cpe that the young demonstrators against the measure emblazoned on their bandannas and T-shirts : ‘Contrat Pour Esclaves’ [Contract for Slaves]. ‘Contrat Prédestiné Echec’ [Predestined Failure Contract]. ‘Contrat Première Embûche’ [First Trap Contract]. as a sociological category—all those under 26 being lumped together. ‘Contrat Précarité Exclusion’ [Precariousness Exclusion Contract]. aimed at the moral degradation of workers.

national legislative models are today treated as so many products in competition with each other on the world market of norms. but other farm businesses receive no subsidy at all. from one end of the production chain to the other. but the—apparent—costs are low. A part of this sector lives off the Common Agricultural Policy (another neglected aspect of employment law). It is the product of political decisions. with the battery-farming of poultry. This is the case. Deregulation’s costs Contrary to the dogma of the labour-market deregulators. excluded from wage-labour regulations. unemployment levels in any given country depend far more on the organization of international trade and on company law than on local labour legislation. The method is industrial (25 birds per square metre. The notion that a reform of the labour law will create jobs is an illusion: the complete abrogation of all regulatory norms applicable to wage labour would have scant impact on unemployment. and the pollution is huge (ground-water poisoned by nitrates). etc). but subject to those of international trade. for example. In what follows. . Over the past twenty years. The system is organized into networks on the basis of bilateral contracts signed between the food giants that dominate the world market and the breeders whom they control. no right to strike. integrated within international production and distribution networks. Witness the situation of the self-employed. the product is tasteless. A typical instance of self-employment is the food and agriculture sector. international trade agreements have increasingly erased the territorial limits formerly assigned to markets. The evolution of such a sector offers a concrete example of the impact on employment were labour regulations to be completely abolished. this normative Darwinism locks both public policy and economic life into a self-referential downward spiral. Discarding the juridical principles of the postwar period. encoded in commercial law. Devoid of any qualitative framework.112 nlr 39 not a fact decreed by nature. which switched almost overnight from the ‘archaic’ pattern of peasant smallholdings to an ultramodern model. no limit to the working day. massive reliance on antibiotics. which has been intensively developed since the early 1980s. no collective agreements. I will argue that this legal configuration of markets has an infinitely greater impact upon employment than that of labour legislation. This is the sort of ‘social paradise’ of which the advocates of labour deregulation dream: no minimum wage.

6 Such exemplary enforcement of an international division of labour. however. Mauritius. Predicated on the excessively low cost of transport—itself a function of the deregulation of maritime labour—the globalization of the poultry circuit also increased the chance of a major health disaster. for example. had built up relatively substantial textile and toy-making sectors. could take place thanks to the reforms to international trade rules pushed through after the implosion of Communism. signed between the eu and the acp countries (Africa. 5 . the food corporations moved into developing countries where costs were lower (Brazil. sold live.5 Sold for next to nothing and in poor sanitary conditions thanks to the rupturing of the ‘cold chain’. wings. based on the exploitation of local advantage. parson’s nose). the avalanche of ‘choice cuts’ of frozen chicken from Thailand or Brazil threw Breton poultry farming into crisis. thus exerting pressures for increased productivity and lower margins on the European breeders. In terms of jobs.supiot: Law and Labour 113 The battery-chicken industry initially underwent a period of vertiginous growth. but their effect was to wipe out the local industry. in compliance with wto rules. The official thesis not only exculpates the agribusiness multinationals. as profit margins shrank and more jobs were lost. the most destructive effects of the free circulation of frozen chickens were felt in Africa. had begun to flourish. a small cottage industry of quality poultry. these imports were mere surplus profit for the multinationals. the number of poultry farmers rose accordingly. 6 Contrary to theories circulating in Western media. Reversing the juridical principles established in the Abrogation of the acp accords plunged many of these countries into crisis. opening the floodgates to the mass importation of frozen chicken pieces of the kind scorned by northern consumers (necks. by ‘globalizing’ the risk of avian flu. exporting within Europe and beyond. China) and began to re-import products from there into Europe. Before long. but works to ensure their continued global supremacy by justifying the destruction without compensation of countless small producers in poor countries. poultry markets had been shielded from excessive competition by the 1975 Lomé Accords. Thailand. many scientists have traced the outbreak of bird flu to this globalized poultry-farming system rather than to migration of wild birds. These protections were removed in 2000 under the Cotonou Accords. Thus protected. which fell victim to relocations to China. In Europe. Here. the Caribbean and the Pacific). Ruined poultry farmers swelled the stream of African workers compelled to emigrate by the breakdown of local economies. whose trade in ‘choice cuts’ for the north yielded huge returns.

In recent years it has become a cliché to point out that all consideration of such measures is made. Legislative products That unemployment does not depend on labour law but. capable of adjustment in line with the requirements of the market. seeking to legitimate international labour norms in terms of economic competition. should be judged in this light and accepted only in so far as they may be held to promote and not to hinder the achievement of this fundamental objective’.7 Such a topsy-turvy system assumes that the legal framework of commerce is sacrosanct. trained and adaptable workforce and labour markets responsive to economic change’. of economic security and equal opportunity’. In 1944 the Philadelphia Declaration paid lip-service at least to the ideal of conciliating commercial and financial regulations with economic security. first and foremost. . the concern is always to evaluate the impact of such security on economic competitiveness—itself no longer envisaged as a means but an end in itself. The International Labour Bureau has taken up the same refrain. these have facilitated the development of a free-market dogmatism whose effects are as destructive to independent or ‘informal’ workers as to salaried employees. affirming that ‘all human beings have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity. and that ‘all national and international policies and measures. on the contrary. policies are accepted to the extent that they favour global competition between workers. in particular those of an economic and financial character. such laws depend on the international division of labour. was recognized in the founding statements of the International Labour Organization. in both North and South. ‘In developing countries. employers must understand that a healthy diet helps to build a stronger workforce. work towards promoting a skilled.114 nlr 39 postwar period. whilst that of workers’ rights is regarded as a variable. determined by international trade law. Far from evaluating the impact of trade liberalization on economic security. Under contemporary norms. and this in the long term will make their company or country See Article 125 of the European Community Treaty (repeated in Article iii-203 of the draft Constitutional Treaty): ‘Member States and the Community shall . to which populations are expected to ‘adapt’. 7 . from the point of view of finance. charged in 1919 with the protection of workers’ rights against the pressures of international competition. .

Friedman belongs to the Law and Economics school (see especially his Law’s Order: What Economics has to do with Law and Why it Matters. See also. permitting the most efficient distribution of resources and material goods. This is the doctrine currently espoused by the World Bank. Murray Rothbard. Atlantic Highlands. 1994. Princeton 2000. It is neither an end in itself. 10 The numbers of converted former Maoists.10 Instead of free competition being founded on the law. etc. it is inscribed within a rule of law that simultaneously instigates and restrains it. the media. obesity and chronic diseases. 8 . Whatever their doctrinal differences. 9 The best-known theorist of anarcho-capitalism is David Friedman (son of Milton). leading eventually to the withering-away of the state. Such ideologues at least remain faithful to the belief that the ‘superstructures’ of law and culture should be totally determined by economic relations. the market is an institutional mechanism for enabling competition. law is to be founded upon free competition. therefore more attractive to investors’.8 Such a logic. nor a basic principle of social organization. who obviously represent a competitive handicap. New York 1973. author of The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism.supiot: Law and Labour 115 more competitive. A migrant from physics to law via economics. stressed that ‘labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes’. would eliminate any need to care for the old or the sick. the first such statement to which all signatory countries were obliged to consent. Geneva 2005.9 In this view law (like religion. 319–27). The prc is the most grandiose example of the mutual embrace of historical materialism and the market. ideas or the arts) is just another product competing in a world market where natural selection will single out systems best adapted to commercial needs. all these libertarian tendencies are at one in their hatred of the state. Economics and Philosophy 10. In classical liberal theory. Its annual Doing Business reports provide a systematic evaluation of every feature of national legal systems that have a bearing on economic efficiency. 60s libertarians. over the last thirty years. This conception has succumbed. the ilo’s 1998 ‘Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work’. The Ethics of Liberty. The constantly revised database thus produced is designed to furnish Christopher Wanjek. pp. a metajuridical principle that must be imposed on every aspect of social life in every country. Similarly. corporate think-tanks and the European Commission should come as no surprise. Workplace solutions for malnutrition. Food at Work. and ‘Law as a private Good’. but coming from the school of natural law. now to be found advancing this ideology (wrongly dubbed ‘neoliberalism’) in government and business circles. to an anarcho-capitalism that sees the market as the Grundnorm of every national regulatory order. nj 1982. of course.

Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and Andrei Shleifer. 13 The World Bank’s preference is for common-law systems. That such a doctrine will engender nothing but unreason and violence may be deduced from one See www.doingbusiness. Simeon Djankov. They are aimed as much at international investors. whose common feature was precisely the subordination of the juridical order to supposed laws of competition between races or classes. Doing Business 2005 includes a chapter on ‘Hiring and Firing Workers’. Rafael La Porta.116 nlr 39 ‘objective measures’ of the business regulations in the 155 countries covered. as at the states themselves. A ‘rigidity of employment’ index penalizes countries that recognize too many workers’ rights: social insurance for part-time employees. Quarterly Journal of Economics. to ensure that those best suited to the demands of international investors survive. the requirement to give third parties (eg a union) notice of a dismissal. excessive minimum wages ($20 a month is deemed too high for an African worker). and ‘costs’ to imply laws for workers’ protection. November 2004. a working week limited to under 66 hours. programmes to fight racial or sexual discrimination. whilst the rest either adapt or disappear. ‘The Regulation of Labour’.org.11 ‘Difficulties’ are understood to mean regulations. Here the Bank has borrowed a methodology developed by economists from Harvard and Yale: Juan Botero. 11 . 24–25 September 2005: www. with special emphasis on any ‘rigidities’ in their labour practices. it is now the organizing precept of the juridical sphere. for whom they provide research into the most profitable ‘juridical environments’.13 Competition between firms under the aegis of financial markets is no longer limited to the realm of the economy.12 These indicators are designed to allow the benchmarking of national regulatory orders and to evaluate the extent to which a country’s legislation encourages or discourages foreign investment. which focuses on the obstacles to investment represented by the labour laws. Yet to elevate competition into the sole universal principle for regulating world affairs returns us to the impasse of twentieth-century totalitarianisms.org. and the ‘difficulties’ and ‘costs’ of hiring and firing. 12 See the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions’ review of Doing Business 2005. A market in legislative systems is now being organized on the basis of such ‘objective measures’. Comparative tables indicate the restrictions on increasing or reducing the number of working hours. which are thereby drawn into a competition designed to increase such profits across the board.global-unions. and the Declaration of the Global Unions Federation to the annual meeting of the imf and World Bank.

‘Better Lawmaking’. Of course. the European Commission explains that the goal of the eu’s ‘regulatory environment’ is to further European competitiveness. In order to arrive at a judgement about reality. they need to be contained and channelled by a shared reference to the world as it ought to be. for it denies the very means for assessing whether it offers a true representation of the world or not. ‘New legislative initiatives are now subject to an impact assessment’. To treat such systems as products results in the distortion of the measuring instruments. including.supiot: Law and Labour 117 of the few certainties yielded by the ‘science of law’: since selfishness. Market idealism Like the social Darwinism from which it issues. races or individuals exist as historical fact. but the picture they offer of the employment situation merely In a recent paper on its Action Plan. designed to make sure that they will indeed ‘contribute to competitiveness’ (com [2005] 462). normative Darwinism is realist only in appearance. struggles between classes. ‘cata-regulations’) will be established in accordance with a ‘methodology’ based upon ‘the scientific analysis and knowledge brought to the impact assessments by a pool of external experts’. Not only do they avoid the scrutiny of democratic debate. sparing meps from having to consider any regulatory projects judged to undermine business competitiveness. greed and the struggle for existence are so unavoidably present in the world as it is. The indices chosen by the World Bank or European Union to measure the performance of national employment laws provide a caricature of selfoblivious normativity. As Vice-President Günter Verheugen explained. 14 . conversely. and to programme a future of social conflict. A ‘scientific’ regulatory filter is thus set to function in advance of parliamentary debates. for example. something still required for the drafting of parliamentary legislation. The paper lists 68 proposed directives to be withdrawn on these grounds. The distinction between sein and sollen has long been a target for those avatars of scientism that like to confound the difference between juridical rule and technical norms. in order to question a value system. more aptly. These ‘meta-regulations’ (or. one must be able to test it against a value system that is external to it. one must allow that it is not inherent in nature and so may be discussed and challenged. but to make them the founding principle of the legal order is both to deny the possibility of such an order. the Commission had begun to elaborate its own ‘regulations for the new legislation and the assessment of costs ensuing’. and the ascription to one’s preferred system of a ‘scientific’ objectivity that it cannot possess. weekend bans for heavy-goods vehicles.

No sooner said than done . The following practical measures were adopted: (1) An increase in the number of Doctors of Science and Senior Research Workers. to improve and to rectify. There is already a glaring contradiction between the rules originating from the old common market project (aiming at the harmonization of member In the age of the research assessment exercise.’ The Yawning Heights. (2) An improvement in the quality of training of research workers. rather than concrete results. at least aimed to measure observable reality—the new indicators. citation index.14 Unlike the classical statistical categories formulated by Quételet and others—which. p. The total volume of publications rose to a hundred million tons. which formulated a directive to increase. and so on. London 1979. the World Bank indicators share something of the dogmatic approach of Soviet planning. It drew upon the experience of industrialization. etc. creating competition between national legal systems— particularly in the sphere of labour law—within the eu itself. that of workforce adaptation to the requirements of financial markets. (3) An increase in the number of articles published on immediate scientific problems. of what was still referred to as the ‘internal market’. And soon Ibansk was stuffed to the seams with science. The ‘common’ market implied competition between firms. not the elimination. aim to measure the gap between reality and an implicit ideal: in the case of labour law.118 nlr 39 reflects the beliefs that govern its design. when every western state equipped itself with the juridical conditions for development by opening its borders only in so far as doing so enhanced the national economy. within six months there was a hundred per cent increase in the number of research students and ninety-nine per cent in the number of doctors. conceived for benchmarking purposes. enshrined as the highest arbiters of any assessment. 15 . with the wholesale elimination of restrictions in any country or sector to the free circulation of capital and goods. This keystone of European construction was removed when member states and the Commission took up the project of a deregulated market. Such an approach is bound to undermine solidarity between member states. but co-operation between states. while concealing the true state of the economy and of society from a ruling elite disconnected from the lives of those it governs. and in the scientific and theoretical level of theses. . it is salutary to recall Alexander Zinoviev’s lively satire of Soviet institutional life: ‘In the end they got round to looking at scientific research. despite an unavoidable normative dimension. 558.15 The creation of the European Community originally aimed at the enlargement. Ironically. There was a special meeting. and produce the same effects: slanting efforts towards the fulfilment of quantitative objectives.. . No point in half measures.

The well-known consequence is a race to the bottom in fiscal. is likely to bring about the collapse of other sectors in the next few years. issues of company law should be central to the discussion on reducing unemployment. It is clear that countries like India and China have the capacity to manufacture high value-added goods on a vast scale. the local population. subcontractors. Relocations The effects of competing norms—and the actual deviation from the principle of free competition to which they lead—are well illustrated in the practice of industrial relocation. rather than questioning the juridical regime of international commerce. whose ageing populations represent under 15 per cent of the world’s workers. In these circumstances. If its business proves competitive. already widespread in household goods (textiles. management. it is hard to see how the debate over unemployment can remain confined to issues of labour law. Company law may grant—as it did in the Netherlands until 2004—greater powers of decision to investors who can prove their attachment to the longterm interests of a firm. Again. or between those of the parties concerned (shareholders. especially in the social and environmental fields) and those stemming from the new global-market project (aiming at setting national legal systems in competition with each other). etc). ideally. When a company opts to establish itself in a foreign country to conquer a share of the market there. social and environmental deregulation. furniture. social and environmental laws of the home country. But when—as in the poultry example—a corporation moves its activities abroad in order to re-import foodstuffs produced in violation of the fiscal. while limiting the votes of those seeking only . since the first ‘beneficiaries’ of relocation are abandoned as soon as other candidate countries lower their standards still further. employees. it is no longer the products that are in competition but the normative systems. Western states. the company’s investment will profit both its shareholders and. etc). fiscal and environmental conditions governing that market. are faced with adjusting work and employment conditions to those of the other 85 per cent.supiot: Law and Labour 119 states’ laws. The distribution of power within a company has a direct bearing on the outcome of any conflict between short and long-term interests. it finds itself in competition with other companies which are similarly subject to the social. The practice of relocating with the aim of re-importation.

24 in 1973 to $15. 80ff. A market is defined by limits set by law. per capita gnp in the us has grown by 75 per cent. New York Times. and Jean-Luc Gréau. L’entreprise et le droit. is of obvious relevance here. Paris 1999. chasing the highest possible immediate returns on capital. International Encyclopaedia of Labour Law. its only value lies in the extent to which it contributes to a genuine improvement in the lives of men and women. L’avenir du capitalisme. The Hague and London 1998. a State may have a great stock.19 pauperization of states (in a fiscal race to the bottom). p. and yet starve. it was pertinently raised during the so-called locust debate of the 2005 German election campaign.120 nlr 39 short-term gain.26 in 2004.’ observed Francis Bacon. with a view to their improvement. ‘An Economy Raised on Pork’. 16 . entrepreneurs— See A. rather than continue to undermine them. Jacobs. according to whether it enhances human development or robs people of their livelihoods and plunges them into poverty. A first move away from this would be to set the market back upon solid legal foundations.18 The relentless downward pressure on costs—primarily labour costs—favours both the vertiginous concentration of financial profits and the decoupling of productivity and earnings. artists. It is the law’s task to widen or restrict the scope of free trade.’ Bacon. committed to the continuing well-being of a company (and thus to its human potential) and ‘speculative shareholders’. p. ‘Of Seditions and Troubles’.17 Law’s purpose ‘Money is like muck. good policy is to be used. whereas the average wage of male workers has gone (in equivalent dollars) from $15. 3 September 2005. in which the social scientist marvelled at the subjection of the ‘party of producers’—the ‘industrious’: workers. these need to take into consideration the real conditions of life and work. Paris 2005. that the treasures and monies in a State be not gathered into few hands. a general reduction of social solidarity and the super-exploitation of natural resources. The free circulation of goods and capital is not an end in itself. ‘The Netherlands’. For otherwise. This raises a pre-eminently political question: who makes the law? The task ahead recalls Saint-Simon’s famous parable of the bees and the hornets. 18 ‘Above all things. ‘not good except it be spread’. Robert Reich. Oxford 1999. 19 Since the early 1970s. 17 See Jean-Philippe Robé.16 The distinction between ‘entrepreneurial shareholders’. 204ff. Civil and Moral. in The Essays or Counsels.

p. de Saint-Simon. the clear idea of the political system that will suit them. 20 . 103. Œuvres choisies.-H. This lends a certain contemporaneity to the fable’s conclusion: ‘If I were to be asked what political wisdom the industrious lack. At stake is the subordination of the protagonists of the real economy to those of a symbolic one. Paris 1965.supiot: Law and Labour 121 to the unproductive ruling caste of the ‘party of nobles’: aristocracy.’20 C. finding a way to unite their efforts against the party of the nobles. in La physiologie sociale. military. jurists. and then. ‘Sur la querelle des abeilles et des frelons’. and which they need to attain their goals. I should answer: first.