The Tyranny of The Clock

Written by George Woodcock

About the Author

George Woodcock was a Canadian writer of political biography and history, an anarchist thinker, an essayist and literary critic. He is most commonly known outside Canada for his book Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (1962). 


About the Text

The Tyranny of the Clock was first published in 1944. It describes how the introduction of clocks and recorded, measurable time during the industrial revolution created new forms of social discipline and distress amongst everyday citizens, particularly those of the working class. 

Woodcock argues that the widespread use of clocks transformed previously-unmarked time into measured hours, minutes and seconds - which in turn hold market value. Woodcock’s writing has remained deeply relevant to our contemporary world, where the expansion of mobile media like laptops and smartphones have led to leisure time being less clearly demarcated and increasingly commodified.



We’re anticipating the redesign of this zine will include producing a strong illustration to convey the ideas explored, alongside laying out text. This is a shorter zine (under 2,000 words) with room for creative visual interpretation.

The full text is available here: The Tyranny of The Clock by George Woodcock


105 Rakau Road

Hataitai, Wellington

NZ 6021