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Category Archives: Crisis

Dialectics

Dialectics

DEBATING THE GLOBAL WORKING CLASS

Conference of Socialist Economists

CSE South, Capital & Class

Co-hosted by the Global Economy and Business research Unit, Business School, University of Hertfordshire

 

Seminar: Debating the Global Working Class

Friday 17th October

University of Hertfordshire,

de Havilland site, Room N003

14.00-17.30

 

Marcel van der Linden (University of Amsterdam)

‘The Global Working Class: Decline or Revival’.

Jenny Chan (University of Oxford)

‘Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and China’s New Working Class’

Everybody is welcome to attend the seminar at 14.00. If you would like to join us for lunch beforehand at 13.00 you are welcome, but please register with Jane Hardy (j.a.hardy@herts.ac.uk). Please see websites for details of travel and location http://www.herts.ac.uk/contact-us/where-to-find-us/de-havilland-maps-and-directions

 

About the speakers:

Marcel Marius van der Linden

The Global Working Class: Decline or Revival

Abstract

The number of wage-earners worldwide has grown significantly in the last three centuries, and its regional distribution has constantly shifted. The class awareness and collective action accompanying the development of this world working class has and is taking on many different forms in the course of time. The presentation will discuss the new challenges that have arisen. It is argued that the building of a new kind of trade unionism will be a difficult process, interspersed with failed experiments and moments of deep crisis. Pressure from below (through competitive networks, alternative action models, etc.) will be a highly important factor in deciding the outcome of this process.

Biographical note

Marcel is director of research at the International Institute for Social History and holds a professorship dedicated to the history social movements at the University of Amsterdam. Marcel is most recognized in his field for his approach of a “global labour history”, which he has developed since the 1990s. Global labour history is seen by many scholars of labour studies as a new paradigm that wants to overcome both traditional labour history and the “new labour history” developed in the 1960s by scholars like Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson.

Jenny Chan

Dying for an iPhone? Apple, Foxconn, and China’s New Working Class

Abstract

Drawing on extensive fieldwork at China’s leading exporter, the Taiwanese-owned Foxconn Technology Group, the power dynamics of the buyer-driven supply chain are analysed in the context of the national terrains that accentuate global pressures. If suicide is understood as one extreme form of labour protest chosen by some to expose injustice, many more workers are choosing other courses. In globally connected production, Chinese workers are engaging in a crescendo of individual and collective struggles to define their rights and defend their dignity in the face of combined corporate and state power.

Biographical note

Jenny is Departmental Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford. Her recent articles have appeared in Current Sociology, Modern China, Global Labour Journal, The Asia-Pacific Journal, The South Atlantic Quarterly, New Labor Forum, Labor Notes, New Internationalist, New Technology, and Work and Employment. She is writing her first book provisionally entitled Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and a New Generation of Chinese Workers (co-authored with PUN Ngai and Mark SELDEN).

 

About the CSE South Group:

The Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE) http://www.cseweb.org.uk/ is an international, democratic membership organisation committed to developing a materialist critique of capitalism, unconstrained by conventional academic divisions between subjects. CSE has organised and supported conferences and seminars and publishes the Sage journal Capital & Class http://cnc.sagepub.com/ three times a year.

The CSE South Group is a network of researchers and activists founded by Capital & Class Editorial Board member Phoebe Moore and CSE participants Martin Upchurch and Chris Hesketh. Members hold workshops where people present work and hold discussions on topics that concern the CSE and our journal.

 

About the Global Economy and Research Unit, Hertfordshire Business School, University of Hertfordshire

The Global Economy and Business Research Unit (GEBRU) focuses on issues that face economies, businesses and communities in the context of globalisation. The group undertakes both empirical and policy work, as well as engaging in the theoretical and methodological debates that underpin them. Members of the group are actively engaged with a range of stakeholders which include businesses, trade unions and NGOs. The approach of the group is interdisciplinary drawing on economics, political economy, geography and international business.

The unit’s research themes include the restructuring emerging markets in economies such as Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Zambia and Bangladesh. GEBRU also focuses on migration and labour market mobility, and in particular the dynamics of European East-West migration and the intervention of stakeholders such as states and trade unions. A number of projects are ongoing in relation to foreign direct investment and outsourcing business services. Projects include new divisions of labour within Europe and the role of China in global value chains. The Editorship of the journal Competition and Change lies within GEBRU.

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cse-south-capital-class-seminar-17-10-debating-the-global-working-class

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Marx's Grave

Marx’s Grave

CRISIS AT HOME AND ABROAD: FROM FERGUSON, MISSOURI TO THE MIDDLE EAST AND UKRAINE

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014

6:00-8:00 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Michael Pugliese, longtime Left Observer

Mansoor M., Iranian cultural worker

Hamid A., youth activist

 

We live in an age when the local and the global are intertwined as never before.  This is true not only of the groups that dominate the capitalist economic system and the state, but also of emancipatory social movements at home and abroad.

The racist police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has touched off the deepest and most sustained protests among African-Americans in years, garnering world attention.  At the same time, Israel’s attack on Gaza has given birth to a large international protest movement.  These two emancipatory movements are occurring during a global era of upheaval and revolution that is also marked by the most sustained economic crisis since the 1930s.

The year 2014 has also seen the emergence of a democratic movement in Ukraine, which has come under pressure from Russia, but also from the US-EU. We have witnessed as well the emergence of ISIS as a deeply counterrevolutionary force within the Arab uprisings, which has in turn touched off new forms of democratic resistance by the Kurds and other minorities in Iraq.

Suggested readings, mostly very short, from INTERNATIONAL MARXIST-HUMANIST webzine:

  1. Beltaigne, “Ferguson: Where to Now?”

“Stop the Israeli Invasion of Gaza!  Stop the Endless War Against the Palestinians!” Statement of the IMHO

“Tragedy in Iraq and Syria: Will It Swallow Up the Arab Revolutions?” Statement of the IMHO

Kevin Anderson, “Popular Movements and Their Contradictions: From the Arab Revolutions to Today”

 

Sponsored by the West Coast Chapter, International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/

 

Here is URL for meeting for Facebook, Twitter, etc.

http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/events/los-angeles-crisis-home-abroad-ferguson-missouri-middle-east-ukraine

 

Join our new Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Capitalist Crises

Capitalist Crises

CRISIS AND SOCIAL CHANGE: TOWARDS ALTERNATIVE HORIZONS

Cambridge Sociology Conference

September 26-27, 2014

Crisis and Social Change: Towards Alternative Horizons
Call for Papers: Deadline Monday July 21st.
Organized by the Department of Sociology, Cambridge University
Venue: Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Sciences, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RQ

This conference moves beyond crisis as a category of diagnosis and critique to explore alternative horizons, raising fundamental questions about the nature and extent of ruptures and continuity in the contemporary social world.

Among the multiple horizons in view, we are motivated by the generational need to draw upon the legacies of critique, while shifting toward the production of alternative futures.

From diagnosis to treatment. From deconstruction to reconstruction. From negation to vision. From crisis to progress. Such is the responsibility of our Age, from which positive social change might rise.

We welcome contributions from researchers, activists, artists, and professionals from across the world on the following topics, though this list is by no means exhaustive, and we are keen to receive contributions on other topics aligned with the conference theme:

*   CRITICAL AND EMPANCIPATORY THOUGHT AND ACTION
*   SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION AND CITIES
*   ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC PRACTICES
*   WORK AND LIFE
*   MEDIA
*   EDUCATION
*   REVOLUTIONS AND SOCIAL PROTEST
*   (POST) DEMOCRACY
*   ENVIRONMENT

We have also introduced a soapbox session within the Conference programme and encourage speakers to participate. For the natural orators out there, the soapbox session provides you with the opportunity to stand up for 2 minutes and air your fiery, risky, extravagant and controversial views on the following question: WHAT IS RADICALISM?

The conference is organized by PhD students from the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. To give attendees time to explore the city’s history and socialise, the conference will be held over two days.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:
We are pleased to announce our three distinguished keynote speakers
– Professor Greg Philo (School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow),
– Professor Emeritus Goran Therborn (Faculty of Human, Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge)
– Professor Ted Benton (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Essex)

PLENARY PANELS:
The conference will also host two plenary panels on the following themes:

Plenary panel 1: The Great Recession and Varieties of Social and Political Responses

Chair: Professor Andrew Gamble
Dr. Rowan Williams (tbc)(Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge), Professor Larry King (Dept. of Sociology, Cambridge), Professor John Kelly (Dept. of Management, Birkbeck), and Dr. Jeff Miley (Dept. of Sociology, Cambridge)

Plenary panel 2: Mobilisation, Social Change and Revolution
Chair: Barrister Dexter Dias QC
Professor P.G Klandermans (Dept. of Applied Psychology, University of Amsterdam), Emeritus Reader in Sociology Dr. David Lane (Dept. of Sociology, Cambridge), Professor Jane Wills (Dept. of Geography, Queen Mary University of London) and Dr. Manali Desai (Dept. of Sociology, Cambridge)

HOW TO SUBMIT:
Paper presentation: abstract (300 word max.) and biography (100 word max.)
Poster presentation: abstract (300 word max.) and biography (100 word max.)
Soap box presentation: abstract (100 word max.) and biography (100 word max.)

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
The deadline for the submission of abstracts is Monday, July 21st 2014. There is no
registration fee.
All abstracts must be submitted by visiting the Ex Ordo abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first): http://csc2014.exordo.com/
Successful applicants will be informed by July 31st, 2014.
The selected applicants are expected to submit an outline of their presentation (or the power
point slides) by September 1st, 2014

PUBLICATION AND AWARDS:
Awards will be given for Best Paper, Best Poster and Best Soap Box Presentations at the end of the Conference in recognition of originality and excellence. The Organising Committee also plans to publish selected papers of the highest quality in a special issue of a UK journal or as an edited volume.

FURTHER INFORMATION:
For further details on our distinguished keynote speakers and plenary panelists please visit: http://www.towardsalternativehorizons.wordpress.com,

Email the organising committee at: towardsalternativehorizons@gmail.com

Or visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/850509748311055

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Critique

Critique

CRISIS AND CRITIQUE: SPECIAL ISSUE, VOL.I ISSUE II, 2014

CRISIS & CRITIQUE: http://materializmidialektik.org/crisis-and-critique-n-2/

CRISIS & CRITIQUE SPECIAL ISSUE VOLUME I / ISSUE II, 2014

Edited by Acheronta Movebo

EDITORS Agon Hamza Frank Ruda

 

CRISIS & CRITIQUE Editorial Board is:

Henrik Jøker Bjerre, Aaron Schuster, Adrian Johnston, Joan Copjec, Robert Pfaller, Frank Ruda, Gabriel Tupinambá, Sead Zimeri, Fabio Vighi, Benjamin Noys, Roland Boer

 

ACHERONTA MOVEBO Editorial Board is:

Sina Badiei, Srdjan Cvjetićanin, Oguz Erdin, Chrysantho Figueiredo, Agon Hamza, Martin López, Fernando Marcelino, Duane Rousselle, Ehren Stuff, Gabriel Tupinambá, Daniel Tutt, Bree Wooten, Yuan Yao

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editorial note (p.4)

Toward a New Thinking of the Absolute (p.6)

Politics, Subjectivity and Cosmological Antinomy: Kant, Badiou and Žižek (p.14)

Discontent, Suffering and Symptom: Reading Lacanian Diagnostics through Amerindian Perspectivism (p.33)

Psychoanalysisas labor: an impossible profession and the Marxist conception of labor (p.49)

The 21st Century Dawns with a Chance (p.61)

Entlassen. Remarks on Hegel, Sacrifice and Liberation (p.71)

Real Abstraction and the Autonomization of Value (p.84)

Serialism as Simulacrum (p.95)

What is missing / what is coming  (p.101)

The Analysis and the Presentation of Marc Lachièze-Rey’s ‘Travelling in the Time: The Modern Physics and the Temporality’ (p.109)

 

Crisis

Crisis

Editorial Note

The texts comprise a special edition of Crisis and Critique, created by the editors of a different journal project, entitled Acheronta Movebo which is still in its infancy. This latter project, which began about 7 months ago, is comprised of a few students and researchers whose aim was to construct a Freudian journal which was not strictly psychoanalytic, but makes use of the Freudian categories in politics and philosophy as well. As we began to receive submissions from various authors, we decided that Acheronta had not sufficiently distinguished itself from other journals with similar commitments, most notably this one, to warrant its own existence. Although the topics covered in this issue are perhaps of a more variegated nature, we believe that they essentially fit into the structure and platform of Crisis and Critique better than our own project.

In this sense, our decision to move our first issue under the banner of a different journal is very practical – we simply think that one good journal devoted to Marxist critique is good enough, and that there is no need to further divide an already fragile field. By consolidating with Crisis and Critique, we are also motivating a question regarding our future plans – how should Acheronta Movebo move forward? The present letter from the editor is an inquiry into this situation – we hope that by outlin ing the facts of our project, what we aimed to do, and why we thought our end product did not fit the idea, we can engage ourselves and others to re think our mode of work.

The texts offered here were to be divided into two “camps” – Rings (which are modeled after Zizek’s productive engagement with the borromean knotting of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and ideology) and Conditions (which are further divided into Badiou’s “main” truth procedures – politics, art, science and love). Our thesis (and if you affirm this, we consider you one of us) is that this split between the two thinkers orients the entirety of philosophy today. Their differing perspectives on the same issues is well documented, but it is not enough to simply “choose” one or the other – it is not a matter of dividing their readers into the same two camps as the thinkers themselves. Rather, we conceive of their disagree ment as an example of what the Left should be capable of today – internal dissension (about the role of the State, about the nature of the New, and about the unconscious) which supports, rather than detracts from, our solidarity.

We have also come to realize that the primary marker of distinction for our project should be the novelty maintained in the way we work with our authors, which unfortunately was not upheld this time around. A platform that supports the “contradictions among the people” requires that we engage the authors by confronting their texts with certain naïve questions about their positions. Namely, we want to ask our authors those questions which would make their point clear for ourselves – and ᆳself. The current texts are the product of intelligent thinkers, and for that reason, they ought to be met with the incomprehension of an engaged student.

Our first attempt was that of a standard Call for Papers – but we soon found that there were certain obstacles inherent to the openness of this request – first and foremost, the lack of submissions, but also the vagueness of the criteria we used to judge whether a text was properly “Zizekian” or “Badiouian”.

In that vein, here is an excerpt from the original editorial note which was planned:

“The goal of this journal is to establish, by means of a self-referring movement, a field of study which can be properly named as Badiouian and Zizekian. This effort requires us to go beyond the work of the thinkers themselves, to expand it in as many dimensions as possible. It is not our job to dissect and disseminate their work, but rather to begin new projects that inherit the problems they’ve posed to us. The first problem ᆳtending a thinker’s work actually betray it most fully? It is a sure sign that one is among the left when the charge of “revisionism” is raised, but as the masters have shown us, it is only in rendering this charge undecidable that we make progress. What we need is to acquire the capacity to betray with honesty, to make use of what we grasp as the real contradictions of previous thought. In that sense, the division of the journal into two sections – Rings and Conditions – is a perfect fit for the task. If Badiou ’s thesis that truth is always the outcome of certain procedures (and that philosophy must maintain itself upon those procedures) is true, then we can only go as far as our grasp of these procedures (e.g. love, politics, art and science). If Zizek’s thesis that one must close the internal gap of cynicism before one can subvert the existing ideology is true, then we must train ourselves to take the Freudian unconscious seriously. In short, we must confront the contradictions posed by Badiou and Zizek’s respective edifices by establishing our own practice of them. This means to question, as they do, the ontological and ethical premises of the various situations which constitute our time – not simply to satisfy a vain understanding, but so that we may intervene in these situations with boldness.“

We essentially failed in our first attempt to actualize the above points, for reasons that were mostly based on our own inexperience, but also on the inherent problems of the field we are involved in. Our failure confirms for us that this project (Acheronta Movebo) cannot do without the close proximity between the editorial team and the authors of the journal. We rarely contacted the authors to make major changes to their texts or to ask for clarifications – a task which is quite difficult when faced with authors of such erudition – and we didn’t ask ourselves what sort of new criteria would be required to authorize any such changes in the first place. We think that our project should be more devoted to establishing the Zizekian and Badiouian field of study rather than being a format for celebrating already established figures.

Additionally, we found that good contributions to the “Conditions” section were especially sparse. Though there is a relatively large community of thinkers who engage with Badiou’s work, we could not find many who would write with enough proximity on the truth procedures. Thus, we are today lacking a platform to engage with what is new, and – following Badiou – this contributes to an overall degradation of philosophy. Certain questions, then, have to be confronted. What would be the proper text on love, for example? How would our texts on science be distinguished from those of other formats, and what would compel a scientist to publish with us given other options?

The reasons for “transplanting” our first texts to C&C became clear when we realized that it is genetically identical with AM (in the sense of having similar authors, political and philosophical positions), but without the extraneous structure we are imposing on ourselves. We hope that this decision stands as one of those few examples of the Left “unionizing” rather than dividing in the face of common obstacles, and we affirm our commitment to a new presentation of AM’s idea, one that has learned from the concrete experience of its first attempt.

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-issue-of-crisis-critique

Crisis

Crisis

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Andrew Kliman

Andrew Kliman

THE POLITICS OF INEQUALITY DISCOURSE

DISCUSSION

23rd June 2014

19.00 in EDT

500 8th Avenue Room 403, New York, NY 10018

 

The economy remains very sluggish, five years after the official end of the Great Recession. Leading economists warn about the prospect of long-term stagnation. Mass unemployment has led to stagnant wages and income and to rising poverty, and more than 5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. Yet in much liberal and left discourse, these problems are increasingly ignored, crowded out by concern over inequality. Why is this happening?

This meeting will explore the politics behind the inequality rage. In his opening talk, Andrew Kliman will suggest that this phenomenon is rooted in acceptance of the permanence of capitalism, and in a failure to listen to the renewed aspirations for a different future that opinion polls and grassroots struggles have brought to light. He will also ask why so many liberals and leftists resist accepting facts that challenge their preconceptions about the extent and causes of increasing inequality, and suggest that lack of concern for truth is a main factor.

Donation requested, but no one will be turned away for inequality of funds.

Andrew Kliman is the author of The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession (Pluto Books, 2012) and Reclaiming Marx’s “Capital”: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency (Lexington Books, 2007).

 

Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/238510589690288/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1

Marxist-Humanist Initiative: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marxist-Humanist-Initiative/128331074623

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Crisis in Ukraine

Crisis in Ukraine

CRISES AND RESISTANCE IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Debatte Conference

November 2014

Call for Papers

The year 2014 marks twenty-five years since the end of Communism in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) and ten years after the enlargement of the European Union into the region. To mark this event Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe is planning to hold a conference on 22-23 November at Warsaw University entitled ‘Crises and Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe’.

These anniversaries are significant landmarks in the history of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the continent as a whole. However, even more importantly, they occur during a time of intense economic and political difficulties in Europe. The economic crisis has brought a prolonged economic downturn that has worsened the living standards of its populations and brought political uncertainty and instability. The crisis has hit CEE particularly hard, shaking the neo-liberal economic model that has dominated over the past quarter of a century, and s parking a wave of instability as well as resistance that has spread throughout the region. The most notable events have taken place in Ukraine from November 2013 onwards but we have also seen significant unrest in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina among others. On the other hand, in some countries such as Poland and the Baltic States neo-liberal commentators have claimed that a relatively strong economic recovery has taken place which shows the strength of the region’s economic model

It is in this context that we have planned this conference and invite anyone interested in participating to submit a paper or a proposal for a session. Debatte is a journal published by Taylor and Francis that seeks a radical critical analysis that is sympathetic to democratic, labour, feminist and ecologist movements in CEE.  In 2009 we organised a successful conference in London on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of Communism. We ho pe our 2014 event will provide a forum for bringing academics and activists together to discuss the current economic and political climate in the region, look at how progressive social and political movements are responding to it and map out alternatives to the neo-liberal order.

Among the areas that we plan to discuss at the conference are:

  • Economic crisis and alternatives
  • The role of social movements in the region
  • Gender and feminism
  • Historical politics
  • Migration, multi-culturalism and the struggle against racism and the far-right
  • The nature of left parties in the region
  • Ecology and the environment
  • Welfare and poverty
  • Education
  • Health
  • Ten years of European Union membership
  • The balance sheet of the transition from Communism
  • Culture
    The geo-political context of Central and Eastern Europe.

 

The conference will consist of two plenary sessions together with a series of workshops held in parallel. If you would like to propose a panel or offer a paper for a workshop then please contact debatteconference@yahoo.co.uk as soon as possible.

Proposals for panels and abstracts of proposed papers must be received by 1 July 2014. Abstracts should be 300 words or less. When sending an abstract or proposal please include an e-mail address for correspondence.

We plan to publish at least one special issue of Debatte based on papers presented at the conference. If you would like your paper to be considered for publication in the journal please submit a full draft by 1 October 2014

The languages of the conference will be English and Polish and we will be arranging translation between these two languages at the conference. Abstracts and papers should be submitted in one of these two languages.

We want the conference to be accessible to as many scholars and activists as possible from the region. The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is supporting the conference, has provided funds to help with travel and accommodation costs specifically for those coming to the conference from Central and Eastern Europe (including Poland apart from Warsaw itself). These funds are limited and will be allocated on the basis of need. If you would like to apply for help with such costs then please do let us know at the address above.

Admission to the conference will be free but we will be asking those with institutional support to pay a fee of £80

Further information about the conference can be found on the Debatte web-site at http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/pgas/debatte-conference-cfp

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/call-for-papers-debatte-conference-on-crises-and-resistance-in-central-and-eastern-europe2019-warsaw-november-2014

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Black Rock

The Black Rock

PIRATES AND PRIVATEERS

Krisis: Journal of Contemporary Philosophy

**Call for Papers: Extended Deadline**

Krisis presents a special issue in December 2014 on Pirates and Privateers. Contributions may be up to 7000 words (including references). If you would like to contribute, please send us a proposal of about 500 words. Abstracts are due 29 June 2014, and will be send to info@krisis.eu. We will notify you before 1 July about acceptance of your proposal. The deadline for final contributions is 15 September.

 

Pirates & Privateers

When the King asked him what he meant by infesting the sea, the pirate defiantly replied: ‘The same as you do when you infest the whole world; but because I do it with a little ship I am called a robber, and because you do it with a great fleet, you are an emperor’ (St. Augustine)

We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game (Eric Grosse, Google VP of security engineering)

The idea that in an ever globalising world the sovereignty and centrality of the nation state is declining is so well established that it has become a truism. Yet state agencies such as the NSA are in the process of reestablishing their grip on today’s network societies. So perhaps the proclaiming of the end of the state (not in terms of its national scope but as to the essence of its function) was premature. This raises the following questions: What is or will be the role of the state-function (national or international) in this globalised social-economic landscape? Will it be able to secure its de jure and de facto sovereignty by enforcing the distinction between pirates and privateers through law, i.e. by authorising neoliberal but restricting alternative appropriations of the commons? And is this state power a necessary condition for, or instead a limit to, the implementation of neoliberal principles? These questions are important because the distinction between pirate and privateer has substantial practical consequences in terms of the distribution of power.

Neoliberal privatisation – e.g. the exodus of financial capital from the welfare state system – is sanctioned by state. It is in the process of realising its particular solutions to the crises of the nation state, creating the conditions of its own legitimacy, in the form of gated communities, tax havens and special economic zones protected by private security firms. Seemingly bypassing state sovereignty, whilst simultaneously sanctioned by it, they are contemporary privateers.

Is this type of privatisation the destiny of this historical junction or are there alternatives? The institutionalised left does not seem to think so as it continues to defend the welfare system as a place of last resort against the powers of neoliberal globalisation. However, in the margins of the neoliberal project various different solutions are being experimented with. Insofar as these are not sanctioned by state, these are today’s pirates. Think of: torrent sites (The Pirate Bay comes to mind), hacker communities tied to international criminal syndicates, new local and digital currencies (Bristol Pound, Bitcoin, Litecoin), new forms of digital activism (Anonymous), counter-banking (OccupyBank, Timebank), anonymising networks (TOR’s Hidden Wiki and Silk Road), freestates and micronations (Principality of Sealand), eco-communities or hacker colonies (calafou.org) and alternative internets (GNUnet).

How can or should we think about and critically evaluate the distinction between privateers and pirates in political-philosophical terms? What is the utility, in this particular context, of the conceptual and normative schemas still operative in political philosophy today? If not a return to a Hobbesian state of nature, yet also short of being a Commonwealth; if not the emergence of a post-state, anarchist or libertarian utopia, nor a technologically updated 1984 in which the state function has become absolute; how to understand and conceptualise the ambiguous in-between?

Krisis welcomes interdisciplinary answers to such questions, and encourages approaches that engage political-philosophical reflections on issues of state sovereignty, law and justice, to the above mentioned case-studies (or others). We also invite speculative approaches to future scenarios: will the conflict between neoliberal and ‘alternative’ solutions take place in ever more deterritorialised, technocratic networks beyond state control? Will we witness the proliferation of large self-regulative parallel systems, of password-protected enclaves, local communication ecologies and gated communities? Will the state be reduced to ‘one of the players in this game’, or will strategic shifts in its constitution as an apparatus in conjunction with neoliberalism secure its function as a sovereign mediator?

**

The first issue of Krisis in 2014 is online, and we start off with a wide variety of articles, essays, letters and reviews. What does it mean that gender and race are socially constructed? And how are we to understand the reality of the social relations of oppression with which sexism and racism go hand in hand? In a dossier on Sally Haslanger’s important book Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (2012) these and other related questions are discussed in the form of three critical commentaries by Titus Stahl, Arianna Betti and Mari Mikkola and an extensive reply by Haslanger herself.

In addition, this issue contains articles on the relation between science, politics and society by Huub Dijstelbloem, and on the possibilities and meanings of emancipation in Jacques Rancière’s political thought by Ruth Sonderegger. An essay by Daniël de Zeeuw looks back at the political theory and strategy of Occupy, and Jan-Willem Duyvendak and Merijn Oudenampsen enter into a discussion about the sociological significance of recent political and cultural changes in the Netherlands.

Last but not least, the book reviews of this issue cover recent publications on climate skepticism (in the review essay by Chunglin Kwa), migration (Rogier van Reekum discusses Mezzadra & Neilson’s Border as Method, 2013) Rancière’s aesthetics (Aukje van Rooden reviews his latest publication Aisthesis. Scenes from the aesthetic regime of art, 2013), and the practical role of standards (a review of Laurence Bush’ Standards. Recipes for reality, 2011, by Koen Beumer).

In order to keep the reading of this journal free of charge, we would appreciate your support.

 

Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy: http://www.krisis.eu/index_en.php

 

**END**

 

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Modernism

Modernism

MARXISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF VALUE

The editorial board of Mediations is pleased to announce the publication of our latest dossier, Marxism and the Critique of Value.

This double issue is being published simultaneously as a book, which can be downloaded as a free PDF from M-C-M′ (http://www.mcmprime.com) and which is also available in paperback (ISBN 978-0989549707).

Consisting of some 400 pages of new translations from the German-language Wertkritik tendency, Marxism and the Critique of Value presents a landmark effort to complete the critique of the value-form begun by Marx.

The full text can, as always, be accessed at mediationsjournal.org, where it is accompanied by book reviews by Roberto Schwarz, Josh Robinson, Barbara Foley and Kanishka Chowdhury, and Matthew Moraghan.

 

DOSSIER: MARXISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF VALUE

Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literary Group

Volume 27, Nos. 1-2 Fall/Spring 2013-14

 

Editors’ Note

 

Norbert Trenkle: Value and Crisis: Basic Questions

Norbert Trenkle tackles fundamental questions posed by the critique of value. How does it differ from other Marxisms? What are the consequences of the critique of value for the category of labor and for the labor theory of value? What is its relationship to socialism as an economic project? What is the relationship between the value-form and capitalist crisis? Can the critique of capitalism still be undertaken from the standpoint of labor?

 

Robert Kurz: The Crisis of Exchange Value: Science as Productivity, Productive Labor, and Capitalist Reproduction

As long as value is allowed to hold sway as an element of second nature, the Left will not be able adequately to understand the developments in the productive forces that characterized the twentieth century. Robert Kurz lays out the fundamental coordinates that tie the critique of value to the theory of crisis.

 

Claus Peter Ortlieb: A Contradiction between Matter and Form: On the Significance of the Production of Relative Surplus Value in the Dynamic of Terminal Crisis

Building on the insights of Capital I, and dispatching common liberal misunderstandings of those insights, Claus Peter Ortlieb makes the case for what mainstream economists euphemistically call “secular stagnation”: that is, an economic crisis that cannot be resolved by economic means.

 

Roswitha Scholz: Patriarchy and Commodity Society: Gender without the Body

Can there be a feminist materialism that does not rely on the fundamentally anti-Marxist materialism of the body? What is the relationship between capitalism, patriarchy, and feminist deconstruction? Roswitha Scholz introduces the concept of “value-dissociation,” under which capitalist societies necessarily consign labor that does not valorize capital — but that is nonetheless essential to its production and reproduction — to a subordinate, feminized zone.

 

Norbert Trenkle: The Rise and Fall of the Working Man: Towards a Critique of Modern Masculinity

In order to be able to understand the current economic crisis in particular and the emergence and development of capitalism in general, Norbert Trenkle argues, it is necessary to account for capitalism’s gendered social dimension. What can the connection between modern masculinity and the logic of modern labor tell us about the current crisis and the relation between capitalist form and its corresponding social structures?

 

Ernst Lohoff: Off Limits, Out of Control: Commodity Society and Resistance in the Age of

Deregulation and Denationalization

Despite all violent disagreements, mainstream Left and Right agree that what is at stake is the role of the state: is it “off limits” or “out of control”? But what if the role of the state — as with the flight to finance — is epiphenomenal to an underlying crisis-process? What are the possible political responses? Ernst Lohoff argues that rather than a rearguard defense of the state, the slogan of free access could organize a plausible Left project.

 

Robert Kurz: World Power and World Money: The Economic Function of the U.S. Military Machine within Global Capitalism and the Background of the New Financial Crisis

In an article written in the initial stages of the 2007-8 financial crisis, Robert Kurz traces its origins to the Reaganite policy of “weaponized Kenyesianism” that stabilized the world dollar economy and established the dominant flows of debt and goods that would persist until the onset of the crisis: phenomena that are generally recognized on the Left as well as on the Right only in inverted form.

 

Norbert Trenkle: Struggle without Classes: Why There Is No Resurgence of the Proletariat in the Currently Unfolding Capitalist Crisis

Class struggle played a historically indispensable role in the constitution of the working class as a subject conscious of its pursuit of a social mission. But can a class subject point to a future beyond capitalist social relations today? Is “declassing” a mere appearance? Or, on the contrary, do contemporary attempts to think struggle in class terms, no matter how sublimated, diguised, misrecognized, or sophisticated, lead up a blind alley?

 

Ernst Lohoff: Violence as the Order of Things and the Logic of Annihilation

How, after the end of the Cold War and the universalization of a supposedly pacifying market logic, are we to understand contemporary violence? The answer, suggests Ernst Lohoff, lies in the emergence of modern subjectivity and its origins in the Englightemnent: origins deeply bound up in the emergence of the value-form.

 

Robert Kurz: The Nightmare of Freedom: The Foundations of “Western Values” and the Helplessness of Critique

Are freedom and equality Left values? Certainly they inform historical Marxism and anarchism as much as liberalism. But what if the concepts themselves are bound up with the logic of the market? What if freedom is only a naked function of the valorization process — a moment in capital’s self-mediation — that is, of universal unfreedom? Utopias of circulation, of markets without money, suddenly look wildly implausible.

 

Karl-Heinz Lewed: Curtains for Universalism: Islamism as Fundamentalism in Modern Social Form

In most writing about political Islam — even from the Left — it is understood, even where a vulgar “clash of civilizations” thesis is rejected, to be fundamentally other to Western social and political forms. Karl-Heinz Lewed argues that political Islam is nothing other than a form of appearance of a general world crisis, one which makes its first appearance in the failed modernizations of the Third World. Political Islam is one attempt to resolve an impasse central to the Enlightenment mobilization of the dialectic of universal and particular: a dialectic which itself owes its historical resonance to the emergence of the value form.

 

Robert Kurz: On the Current Global Economic Crisis: Questions and Answers

How can we understand the current global economic crisis? What can we expect to happen in the next few years? How will this crisis force us to rethink critique, the nature of global social movements, and concepts such as revolution? For Robert Kurz, the critique of value is at the same time an analysis of the crisis, and the analysis of the crisis is of necessity a critique of value.

 

Robert Kurz: The Ontological Break: Before the Beginning of a Different World History

The debate over globalization seems to have reached a moment of exhaustion. Why? The process underlying globalization is, if anything, still in its initial stages. The endpoint we have reached is rather a categorical one: the exhaustion of an entire universe of historical concepts, which, argues Robert Kurz, we now have to learn to do without.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Roberto Schwarz reviews Robert Kurz’s The Collapse of Modernization

Josh Robinson reviews Ernst Lohoff’s and Norbert Trenkle’s The Great Devaluation

Barbara Foley and Kanishka Chowdhury review Kevin B. Anderson’s Marx at the Margins

Matthew Moraghan reviews Arundhati Roy’s Walking with the Comrades

 

Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literacy Grouphttp://www.mediationsjournal.org/

First published in: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/mediations-27.1-2-marxism-and-the-critique-of-value

 

**END**

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Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Marx's Grave

Marx’s Grave

MARXISM 2014

Marxism 2014 – 10-14 July, 2014, central London
1914-2014: A century of war, crisis and revolution: what are the alternatives today?
Website: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/

Marxism 2014 is a five day political festival bringing together thousands of activists, trade unionists, students, writers and academics. There are around 200 meetings on everything from climate change to the Egyptian revolution.  The world economic turmoil continues, the police have a licence to kill, immigrants are being scapegoated, and the whole welfare state is under attack. There has never been a greater need to discuss alternatives to a world in a crisis.

Speakers include:
John Pilger, Darcus Howe, Winston Silcott, Ronnie Kasrils, Janet Alder, Gareth Pierce, Peter Hain, Michael Roberts, Alex Callinicos, Gilbert Achcar, Guglielmo Carchedi, Ian Birchall, Kevin Doogan, Susan Rosenthal, Tommy Sheridan, Paul Blackledge, Joseph Daher, Jane Hardy, Mike Savage, Louise Raw, John Molyneux, Judith Orr, Mike Wayne, Tony Collins, Liz Lawrence, Bassem Chit, Rehad Desai and many more.

Full timetable available to download here:
http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/downloads/marxism-2014-timetable.pdf

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Crisis

Crisis

CAPITALISM’S WORLD OF ENDLESS CRISIS AND UPHEAVAL: IS THERE A WAY OUT?

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014

6:00-8:00 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (Free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Kevin Anderson, author of MARX AT THE MARGINS and LENIN, HEGEL, AND WESTERN MARXISM

Robert “Gabe” Gabrielsky, longtime socialist and labor activist

 

The six-year-long global economic crisis has placed in stark relief the fact that capitalism serves as a constraint on the development of the vast majority of the world’s population, while enriching the few at an unprecedented level. At the same time, we have also witnessed in this period the rise of revolutionary and protest movements on a scale unprecedented since the 1960s and 1970s.

This meeting will explore issues such as:

(1) whether the present crisis is an outgrowth of neoliberal policies or of long-term economic stagnation in the major capitalist economies;

(2) the added impact of the crisis on Blacks, Latino/as and women and the new forms of opposition this has engendered, from the Trayvon Martin protests to the abortion rights movement;

(3) the contradictory legacy of global forms of protest and revolution over the past several years, from the Arab revolutions and the Occupy movement to the more recent upsurges in Turkey, Bosnia, and Ukraine;

(4) the specific historical contribution of Marxist-Humanism as illustrated most recently by A DREADFUL DECEIT: THE MYTH OF RACE FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO OBAMA’S AMERICA, which contains Jacqueline Jones’s widely read exploration of the life and work of Charles Denby (Simon Owens), the Black autoworker who was, along with Raya Dunayevskaya, the co-founder of Marxist-Humanism in the U.S.

 

Sponsored by the West Coast Chapter, International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: arise@internationalmarxisthumanist.org

Website: http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org

Here is the link to the online announcement of the meeting for posting via email, Facebook, etc.: http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/events/los-angeles-capitalisms-world-endless-crisis-upheaval-way

Join our new Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean

THE DEBT DRIVE

With Jodi Dean, Mladen Dolar, Eric Santner, Marina Vishmidt, Samo Tomsic, Alexei Penzin

University of Amsterdam, June 4-5. PC Hoofthuis 104, Spuistraat 135.

Sponsors: ASCA, NICA, Sandberg Institute

Organizers: Joost de Bloois (j.g.c.debloois@uva.nl), Robin Celikates (R.Celikates@uva.nl), Aaron Schuster (aaron_schuster@yahoo.com)

Registration is free, please email: Joost de Bloois (j.g.c.debloois@uva.nl)

Since 2008, debt and speculation have emerged as key concepts for contemporary cultural and political theory. The global crisis has not only impacted the wider fields of politics and culture, but has equally shaken the critical vocabulary we use to scrutinize these. The Debt Drive explores the many sediments of ways in which ‘debt’ and ‘speculation’ have restructured contemporary theory. What drives debt? How do debt and speculation affect subjectivity? How does debt forge and undo (inter)subjective relationships? In all its ghostliness, is debt opposed to the real?

The Debt Drive gathers some of today’s major theorists on ‘debt’, ‘speculation’ and ‘drive’ and their political and cultural significance. The conference focuses on ‘the debt drive’ as a key instrument for contemporary governmentality and its cultural and the oretical ramifications.

The conference will address debt and speculation as a mode of production: as the drive behind cognitive capitalism, but equally as a mode of cultural production; the peculiar relationship between art and speculation; the minutiae of debt’s seeming hostility towards autonomy. Moreover, The Debt Drive investigates the crucial role played by debt’s affective dimension: is there such a thing as the debt drive? Can we speak of speculative desire? Can the debt drive be transformed into its antipode: communist desire? How does the debt drive relate to neoliberal affect, such as depression, anxiety and mania, and on which (affective) resources could a political response to it build?

 

Program:

 

June 4:

10-11hrs: Mladen DolarThe Quality of Mercy is Not Strained (University of Ljubljana, Jan van Eyck Academy)

11-12hrs Discussion

 

12-13hrs Lunch

 

13-14hrs: Samo Tomšič (Humboldt University Berlin): The Capitalist Discourse: from Marx to Lacan

14-15hrs Discussion

 

15-16hrs Eric Santner (University of Chicago): The Weight of All Flesh: On the Subject-Matter of Political Economy

16-17hrs Discussion

 

17-18hrs Round Table

 

June 5:

10-11hrs Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) Debt and Subjectivity

11-12hrs Discussion

 

12-13hrs lunch

 

13.00-14 hrs Marina Vishmidt (Art Critic, London): ‘Less Than Nothing to Sell: From Living Labour to Living Currency to Default’

14-15hrs Discussion

 

15-16hrs Alexei Penzin (Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow, Chto Delat): When There’s No Time: An Ontological Hypothesis for 24/7 Capitalism

16-17hrs Discussion

 

17-18hrs Round Table

 

Abstracts:

 

The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained

Mladen Dolar

The Merchant of Venice pits against each other two kinds of logic: on the one hand Shylock, the merciless usurer, the miser, the Jew, extorting a pound of flesh to collect his debt; on the other hand Portia, the harbinger of Christian charity and mercy. Shylock, a figure announcing capitalist modernity, would thus stand for the cruel and ruthless part of the budding capitalism, accumulation and exploitation, based on interests and extracting the pound of flesh – Marx often referred to him in this light. He is inscribed in the long line of misers, stretching back to Plautus and forth to Molière’s Harpagon, Balzac’s Gobsec and finally Dickens’s Scrooge, the last miser who miraculously converted to charity and mercy. Portia seems to stand for a pre-modern logic of mercy, a magnanimous free gift not expecting anything in return, yet a gift which opens up a debt that cannot be repaid. In a historical reversal Portia could be seen as the figure annou ncing the new stage of capitalism, the economy of endless debt, of being at the mercy of an unfathomable Other, constantly falling short, unable to acquit one’s debt, grateful for one’s means of survival. Maybe one could read Shakespeare’s parable as a two stage-scenario: first the economy of avarice conditioning accumulation and extortion, then the economy of mercy and infinite debt.

 

The Capitalist Discourse: From Marx to Lacan

Samo Tomšič

After May 68 Jacques Lacan systematically oriented his teaching toward Marx’s critique of political economy. This shift inaugurates his” second return to Freud”, in which Marx replaces Saussure and Jakobson, enabling Lacan to account for an insufficiency of classical structuralism, its incapacity to address the real consequences of discursive production. For Lacan, one such consequence is the subject of the unconscious, which, as Freud has already discovered, knows different determinations. Lacan’s reference to Marx – and its central idea that a strong homology operates in the fields opened up by Marx and Freud – confronts psychoanalysis with the contradictions, instabilities and critical reality that mark the capitalist mode of production. In my presentation I will focus on one specific aspect of this homology, the one that concerns the production of capitalist subjectivity, for which various thinkers, from Nietzsche to Lazzarato, assoc iate with the invention of “abstract debt” and the constitution of capitalist social relations on this abstraction. I will first discuss Marx’s analysis of “primitive accumulation”, where Marx tries to grasp the subjective and the social consequences of public debt. I will then pass over to Lacan’s formalisation of the capitalist discourse, in order to indicate where psychoanalysis essentially continues the Marxian critical project.

 

The Weight of All Flesh: On the Subject-Matter of Political Economy

Eric Santner

In recent work (The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty) I have argued that Ernst Kantorowicz’s elaboration of the doctrine of the King’s Two Bodies in late medieval and early modern Europe offers rich resources for an understanding of multiple features of modern politics, culture, and the arts. My guiding hypothesis in this work was that the complex symbolic and imaginary supports of the political theology of sovereignty described by Kantorowicz do not simply disappear from the space of politics once the body of the king is no longer available as the primary incarnation of the principle and functions of sovereignty; rather, these supports—along with their attendant paradoxes and impasses–“migrate” into a new location which thereby assumes a semiotic density previously concentrated in the “strange material and mythical pres ence” (Foucault), in the sublime flesh, of the monarch. A central problem for an ostensibly disenchanted, secular modernity is how to figure the remains of this royal double now dispersed among the sovereign people. The problem for cultural and political analysis becomes, in turn, that of tracking the vicissitudes of the People’s Two Bodies.

At the core of my argument is the claim that Freud’s elaboration of unconscious mental activity is an attempt to do just that; that the missing cause at the heart of the somatic symptoms plaguing his hysterical patients and intensifying their bodies must be thought in conjunction with the passage of the king’s “other body” into one now “enjoyed” by the people (thus properly understood as a Genossenschaft, a collective of enjoyment). My lecture will attempt to develop this line of thought further into the sphere of political economy. I will argue that what Marx referred to as the spectral materiality—the gespenstische Gegenständlichkeit—that constitutes the substance of value in capitalism can be thought of as another locus of the “people’s two bodies,” one managed and administered in the sphere of economic relations. In this way I hope to give further force to Freud’s concept of “libidinal economy” as well as to “flesh out” Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of the theology of glory (his own effort to shift from an analysis of sovereignty to one addressed to political economy).

 

Debt and Subjectivity
Jodi Dean
This paper has two parts. The first is a critique of Maurizio Lazzarato’s The Making of the Indebted Man. I focus on Lazzarato’s treatment of debt primarily in terms of the production of subjectivity. My argument is that not only does debt fail to produce the singular subject Lazzarato imagines but even if it did this would not be adequate as the subject of a communist politics. In the second part of the paper I draw from Badiou’s Theory of the Subject  to sketch a view of such a political subject at the point of overlap of crowd and party, anticipation and retroactive determination.

 

Less Than Nothing to Sell: From Living Labour to Living Currency to Default

Marina Vishmidt

I will present an itinerary of the ‘convertibility’ of negativity to revolutionary politics seen as a result of a position in the social relations of production.  From Marx’s positing and later post-workerist expansion of the category of value-producing living labour to contemporary iterations of ‘going on debt strike’, structural negativity seems to grow ever more hypothetical as an impetus to far-reaching change in an age of worsening living conditions and growing pessimism – in fact negativity seems entirely individualized whether or not it is theorized.  The politics of reproduction can be seen at work in the attempt to find a revolutionary subject in a financialised rather than productive relation to capital, i.e. the class character of debt, but this can also be prey to forms of conservatism and moralism as feminist critics such as Miranda Joseph has charged – the spiral of reproduction which keeps the system going, just like the structure of de bt.  Thinking along this critique and alongside Klossowski’s ‘living currency’ and certain instances of poetry (Ashbery and Boyer), I will try to bring the itinerary to a more-than-metaphorical close which can

 

When There’s No Time: An Ontological Hypothesis for 24/7 Capitalism

Alexei Penzin

The essential feature of the contemporary or “terminal” capitalism is uninterrupted or permanently “wakeful” continuity of production, exchange, consumption, indebting, communication and control. Taking as a point of departure recent theorizing of 24/7 and “no time” temporality, as well as my own theorizing of sleeplessness in modern and late capitalism, I would like to move at a more abstract level of discussing a possible ontology exposed by this terminal conjuncture. As Marx once said, only the late, ripe and developed social forms fully discover their origins, some “primitive” forms. A hypothesis I would like to suggest is that this monotonous continuum of power/capital can be considered as an immense symptom of an ontological dispositif of a continuous, violent and incessant forcing “to be”. Only one choice is allowed in this dispositif – just to continue endlessly in empty 24/7 temporalities or, as an “alternative”, to exit from the continuum without any possibility of return. The grip of this ontological “double bind” now is fully visible in devastating evidence of continual capitalism, and its possible deactivation is a question of a radical politics to come.

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/the-debt-drive-with-jodi-dean-mladen-dolar-eric-santner-marina-vishmidt-samo-tomsic-alexei-penzin-university-of-amsterdam-june-4-5

Debt

Debt

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

International Conference on Critical Education

International Conference on Critical Education

PROGRAM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CRITICAL EDUCATION 2014 (ICCE-2014)

Thessaloniki, Greece

22 – 26 June 2014

Critical Education in the Era of Crisis

 

Keynote Speakers:

Ayhan Ural (Gazi University, Turkey)

Dave Hill (Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK)

George Grollios (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Glenn Rikowski (Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK) on ‘Education and Crisis’

Grant Banfield (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia)

Guy Senese (University of North Arizona, USA)

Hasan Huseyin Aksoy (Ankara University, Turkey)

Kostas Skordoulis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)

Lois Weiner (New Jersey City University, USA)

Panayota Gounari (University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA)

Panayotis Sotiris (University of the Aegean, Mitilini, Greece)

Periklis Pavlidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Tasos Liambas (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

 

The full Program for the Conference is now available:

ICCE 2014 Program: http://www.eled.auth.gr/icce2014/documents/program_of_iv_icce_conference.pdf

ICCE 2014 Conference website: http://www.eled.auth.gr/icce2014/index.htm

International Conference on Critical Education

International Conference on Critical Education

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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