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Living Fire

OPEN MARXISM 4: AGAINST A CLOSING WORLD

FORTHCOMING LATE 2019

 

Foreword Open Marxism vol. 4

Open Marxism. Volume 4, 2019

Werner Bonefeld-York

https://www.academia.edu/38682137/Foreword_Open_Marxism_vol._4?campaign=upload_emailGo

(Draft) Foreword to the forthcoming edition of Open Marxism vol. 4, edited by Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, Alfonso García Vela, Edith González & John Holloway, Pluto Press, late 2019

 

Publication Date: 2019

Publication Name: Open Marxism. vol.4

FORTHCOMING NOVEMBER 2019

Ana Cecilia DINERSTEIN, Alfonso GARCIA VELA, Edith GONZALEZ and JOHN HOLLOWAY (Eds.)(2019) Open Marxism 4. Against a closing world, Pluto Press, London – NY. 

 

Foreword by Werner Bonefeld 

More than twenty years have passed since the publication of the first three volumes of Open Marxism. Since then, the approach has had a transformative impact on how we think about Marxism in the twenty-first century. 

‘Open Marxism’ aims to think of Marxism as a theory of struggle, not as an objective analysis of capitalist domination, arguing that money, capital and the state are forms of struggle from above and therefore open to resistance and rebellion. As critical thought is squeezed out of universities and geographical shifts shape the terrain of theoretical discussion, the editors argue now is the time for a new volume. 

Emphasising the contemporary relevance of ‘Open Marxism’ in our moment of political uncertainty, the collection shines a light on its significance for activists and academics today. 

 

See in PLUTO PRESS Catalogue pp. 14-15

http://plutopressmarketing.co.uk/public/PLUTO PRESS_LBF19 Rights Catalogue.pdf

 

Foreword

Werner Bonefeld

The previous three volumes of Open Marxism were published between 1992 and 1995. What a time that was! The Soviet Empire had collapsed, and capitalism was duly celebrated with great fanfare as not only victorious but also as the epitome of civilisation that had now been confirmed as history’s end – as if history maintains in the service of vast wealth a class of dispossessed producers of surplus value. History does not use pursue its own ends and it does not assert itself in the interests of bourgeois civilisation, morality and profitability. History does not make society. Nor does it take sides. It is rather that society makes history. And society is nothing other than the social individuals pursuing their own ends in their class divided social relations. History was truly made in the late 1980s and early 1990s. About this there is no doubt.

Amidst the fanfare, the debtor crisis of the 1980s had started to move from the global South to the global North, from the crash of 1987 via the third global recession in less than 20 years in the early 1990s to the various currency crises, including those of the British Pound and the Mexican Peso in 1992 and 1994 respectively. The Peso crisis coincided with the uprising of the Zapatistas in 1994. Then there was the emergence of China as a world power, founded on a labour economy that combines authoritarian government with the provision of cheap labour and disciplined labour relations. And it was the time also of the first Gulf war, mere posturing of might in search for a global enemy that was needed to secure the domestic containment of the querulous rabble, as Hegel put it when remarking on how a successful war can check the domestic unrest and consolidate the power of the state at home.

Since the early 1990s, with the passing into oblivion of the Soviet Empire, the entire edifice of Marxism-Leninism has tumbled also. It had served as the official doctrine and source for legitimation of state socialism and its various derivative ideologies that found expression in either Gramscian or Althusserian Eurocommunism or in the manifold sectarian organisations that proclaimed their allegiance to Trotsky, Lenin’s military commander and suppressor of the Kronstadt uprising of 1921. Although these traditions continue to force themselves onto the critique of political economy, their history has come to an end. They no longer provide the ideological foundation to what is now yesterday’s idea of the forward march of socialism. To be sure, some still believe in the revolutionary party as an end in itself. Yet, in reality the party is no more – it had in fact been gone a long time before. It died in Spain during the civil war and during the show-trails in Stalinist Russia and its morbid foundation perished finally in either 1953 or 1956, or indeed 1968. Like Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France is just a ghost of yesterday. Neither is a Chavez or a Maduro, or indeed an Ortega – and that is a relief. In fact, both, Corbyn and Mélenchon, seek political power for the sake of justice in an unjust world. Instead of the critique of political economy, the endeavour now is to moralise and lament by way of political philosophy conceptions of well-being.

In distinction, the Open Marxism volumes did not argue for justice in an unjust world by means of state socialist planning of labour economy, and progressive schemes of taxation and just ideas for redistribution. Nor did they argue in favour of hegemonic strategies for the achievement of political power on behalf of the many. They did not endorse the state as the institution of institutions. Rather, they understood that profit is the purpose of capital and that the state is the political form of that purpose.They understood also that world market competition compels each nation state to achieve competitive labour markets, which are the condition for achieving a measure of social integration. The politics of competitiveness, sound money, fiscal prudence, enhanced labour productivity, belong to a system of wealth that sustains the welfare of workers on the condition that their labour yields a profit. In this system of wealth, the profitability of labour is a means not only of avoiding bankruptcy; it is also a means of sustaining the employment of labour. Protectionism is a measure of defence within free trade – and in relationship to labour markets, it amounts also to an anti-immigrant policy of exclusion and racialization, of the national us and the ‘othered’ them, citizens from nowhere.

The profitable exploitation of labour is the condition for the sustained employment of workers. It allows workers to maintain access to the means of subsistence through wage income. It is the case also that there is a fate far worth than being an exploited worker and that is, to be an unexploitable worker.  If labour power cannot be traded, what else can be sold to make a living and achieve a connection to the means of subsistence? That is, first of all, the producers of surplus value, dispossessed sellers of labour power, are free to struggle to make ends meet. Their struggle belongs to the conceptuality of capitalist wealth – that is, money that yields more money. In this conception of wealth the satisfaction of human needs is a mere sideshow. What counts is the time of money. What counts therefore is the valorisation of value through the extraction of surplus value. There is no time to spare. Time is money. And then suddenly society finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence to the class that works for its supper. And second, the understanding of the mysterious character of an equivalence exchange between unequal values, of money that yields more money, lies in the concept of surplus value. There is trade in labour power, and then there is the consumption of labour that produces a total value that is greater then the value of labour power. The equivalence exchange relations are thus founded on the class relationship between the buyers of labour power and the producers of surplus value. This social relationship, which entails a history of suffering, vanishes in its economic appearance as an exchange between one quantity of money and another.

Contrary to a whole history of Marxist thought, class struggle is not something positive. Rather, it belongs to the capitalist social relations, and drives them forward. Class struggle does not follow some abstract idea. Nor does it express some ontologically privileged position of the working class, according to which it is the driving force of historical progress as the traditions of state socialism saw it. Rather it is struggle for access to the means of subsistence. It is a struggle to make ends meet. The notion that this struggle manifests a socialist commitment because of itself, is really just an abstract idea. There is no doubt also that the demand for a politics of justice recognises the suffering of the dispossessed. Political commitment towards the betterment of the conditions of the working class is absolutely necessary – it civilises society’s treatment of its workers. Nevertheless, the critique of class society does not find its positive resolution in the achievement of fair and just exchange relations between the sellers of labour power and the consumers of labour. What is a fair wage?  Is it not the old dodge of the charitable alternative to the employer from hell, who nevertheless also pays his labourers with the monetised surplus value he previously extracted from them? The critique of class society finds its positive resolution only in a society in which the progress of the ‘muck of ages’ has come to an end.

The Open Marxism volumes of the 1990s saw themselves as a contribution to the attempt at freeing the critique of capitalist labour economy from the dogmatic embrace of the bright side view that capitalist economy is an irrationally organised labour economy. In this view socialism is superior to capitalism because it is a rationally organised labour economy through conscious planning by public authority. The anti-capitalism of central economic planning, or, in today’s flat enunciation of Negri’s and Hardt’s term of the multitude, the politics for the many is entirely abstract in its critique of labour economy. In fact, it presents the theology of anti-capitalism – one that looks on the bright side in the belief that progress will be made upon the taking of government by the party of labour. What is capitalist wealth, what belongs to its concept, and what is its dynamic, and what therefore holds sway in its concept?  Only a reified consciousness can declare that it is in possession of the requisite knowledge and technical expertise and know-how for regulating capitalism in the interests of the class that works for both, the expansion of social wealth in the form of capital and for its supper. The Open Marxism volumes sought to reassert the critique of the capitalist social relations as a critique of political economy, of both labour economy and the principle of political power, at least that was the critical intension.

The critical purpose of the Open Marxism volumes was to free Marx from the ‘perverters of historical materialism’, as Adorno had characterised the doctrinal Marxists in Negative Dialectics. For this to happen, looking on the bright side is not an option. Rather, it entails an attempt at thinking in and through the logic social wealth, its production and circulation, that holds sway in capitalist political economy. In the absence of such an attempt, the sheer unrest of life that belongs to the concept of capital and sustains its progress will not be understood. Instead, it will either be romanticised as alienated species being or viewed, with moralising righteousness, as an electoral resource.

The said purpose of the attempt at freeing Marx from orthodox ritualization was not in any case novel. In fact, it could look back onto a distinguished history that included the council communism of for example Pannekoek, Gorter and Mattick, the work of Karl Korsch, the critical theory of Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse, the Yugoslav Praxis Group, Axelos’s open marxism, the Situationist International, the critical Marxist tradition in Latin America associated with Echeverría, Sánchez Vázquez, Schwarz, and Arantes, the state derivation debate of amongst others Gerstenberger, Blanke, Neußüss, and von Braunmühl, the neue Marx Lektüre of amongst others Backhaus, Reichelt and Schmidt, the autonomous Marxism of amongst others Dalla Costa, Federici, Tronti, Negri, Cleaver, and Bologna, and in the context of the British-based Conference of Socialist Economists from which it emerged, the works of especially Simon Clarke and John Holloway about value, class, and state. Simon Clarke’s critique of structuralist Marxism, especially the works of Levi-Strauss, Althusser and Poulantzas, and his contributions to state theory and value form analysis were fundamental in the immediate context of the early 1990s.

The title Open Marxism derived from the work of Johannes Agnoli, a Professor of the Critique of Politics at the Free University of Berlin. His contribution to the heterodox Marxist tradition focused the critique of political economy as a subversive critique of the economic categories, the philosophical concepts, the moral values and the political institutions, including the form of the state, of bourgeois society. The direct link between the title of the Open Marxism volumes and Agnoli is the title of a book that he published with Ernest Mandel in 1980: Offener Marxismus: Ein Gespräch über Dogmen, Orthodoxie & die Häresie der Realität (Open Marxism: A Discussion about Doctrines, Orthodoxy & the Heresy of Reality). The choice of the Open Marxism title was not about paying homage to Johannes Agnoli as the foremost subversive thinker of his time. It was programmatic.

The much too long delayed publication of this forth volume of Open Marxism does not require contextualisation. Nothing is as it was and everything is just the same. We live in a time of terror and we live in a time of war. The so-called elite has become a racket. Antisemitism is back en vogue as both the socialism of fools and as the expression of thoughtless resentment and nationalist paranoia. Racism is as pervasive as it always was – as enemy within and without. The so-called clash of civilisation is unrelenting in its inexorable attack on the promise of freedom. Even the talk about socialism in one country has made a comeback without sense of purpose – first because there can be none, and second because there is none. The political blow back of the crisis of 2008 has been intense and relentless Austerity. Precariat. Profitability. Rate of growth. Price competitiveness. What is so different however from the early 1990s is that capitalism as a term of critical inquiry has vanished; it is has disappeared from contemporary analysis. The Zeitgeist recognises neoliberalism as the object of critique. As a consequence, the past no longer comes alive in the critique of contemporary conditions. Instead, it appears as a counterfoil of imagined civility to today’s much-criticised neoliberal world. The critique of neoliberalism conjures up a time in which money did not yield more money but was rather put to work for growth and jobs. Illusion dominates reality. The spectre of society without memory is truly frightening.

While the first three volumes sought to free Marx from the dogmatic perverters of historical materialism, it seems to me that the purpose of the forth volume is to bring back centre stage the critique of capitalism, in parts to re-establish in a (self-) critical and open manner what the neoliberal Zeitgeist disavows, and in parts also to think afresh of what it means to say no On the one hand there is the preponderance of the object – society as a real abstraction that manifests itself behind the backs of the acting subjects – and on the other hand there is the spontaneity of the subject. Hope dies last.

York

March 26, 2019

 

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MARX 200: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MARXISM IN THE 21st CENTURY – BOOK LAUNCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 23 March 4-5.30pm

Marx 200: The Significance of Marxism in the 21st Century 

Marx Memorial Library & Workers’ School

37a Clerkenwell Green
Marx Memorial Library
London
EC1R 0DU
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7253 1485

admin@mml.xyz

Hear from the Editorial team and
Guest speaker and contributor Professor Ben Fine

This book, published by Praxis Press, examines the significance of Marxism for today’s world. Leading scholars and activists from different countries – including Cuba, India and the UK – show that Marx’s ideas continue to provide us with the analysis we need to understand our world today in order to change it.

 

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

 

Postdigital Science and Education

MARXIST EDUCATION ACROSS THE GENERATIONS: A DIALOGUE ON EDUCATION, TIME, AND TRANSHUMANISM

 

A Dialogue by Derek R. Ford and Glenn Rikowski

A pre-print of this Dialogue was published in Postdigital Science and Education on 9th January 2019

 

In this dialogue, two educational theorists discuss a range of topics at the nexus of Marxism and education, exploring the rich and diverse paths traversed within and around Marxist educational theory. The first part consists of a synthesis of their own trajectories and how they fit into broader social movements and political and academic conversations. In particular, they focus on the social production of labor-power and pedagogical logics. The second part concentrates on postdigital debates, including conceptions of time and transhumanism.

In June of 2018, Derek Ford contacted Glenn Rikowski proposing a collaboration, and Glenn suggested a dialogue. After a few months of preparation, they began the dialogue over e-mail in early October. A few weeks later, Derek visited Glenn in England for 5 days. They finished the conversation over e-mail, completing it in December 2018.

This dialogue is now available in pre-print format at Academia: https://www.academia.edu/38235324/Marxist_Education_Across_the_Generations_a_Dialogue_on_Education_Time_and_Transhumanism

 

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Raya Dunayevskaya

60 YEARS OF RAYA DUNAYEVSKAYA’S ‘MARXISM AND FREEDOM’: ON CLASS, RACE AND AUTOMATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housmans Bookshop

5 Caledonian Road

London

N1 9DY

 

7th November 2018

7.00 pm.

Entry 3 pounds (redeemable against purchases)

 

Raya Dunayevskaya’s classic, ‘Marxism and Freedom’, was published in New York in 1958 with preface by Herbert Marcuse. There have since been several later editions and numerous translations.

 

Speaking at this event will be:

Kevin B Anderson, author of ‘Marx at the Margins’.

Paul Mason, author of ‘Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future’

Dana Naomi Mills, author of a critical study of Rosa Luxemburg (forthcoming with Reaktion Press).

David Black, author of ‘The Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism’.

 

As Paul Mason wrote recently in the New Statesman:

“As Dunayevskaya understood, the impulse towards freedom is created by more than just exploitation: it is triggered by alienation, the suppression of desire, the humiliation experienced by people on the receiving end of systemic racism, sexism and homophobia. Everywhere capitalism follows anti-human priorities it stirs revolt – and it’s all around us. In the coming century, just as Marx predicted, it is likely that automation coupled with the socialisation of knowledge will present us with the opportunity to liberate ourselves from work. That, as he said, will blow capitalism ‘sky high’. The economic system that replaces it will have to be shaped around the goal he outlined in 1844: ending alienation and liberating the individual.”

 

Meeting sponsored by the International Marxist-Humanist Organisation

The IMHO Journal, The International Marxist-Humanist is @: https://www.imhojournal.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

 

Raya Dunayevskaya

Mike Cole

TRUMP, THE ALT-RIGHT AND PUBLIC PEDAGOGIES OF HATE AND FOR FASCISM. WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A NEW BOOK BY MIKE COLE

Routledge Focus, 2018

ISBN: 9781138607545

 

OUTLINE

Trump, the Alt-Right and Public Pedagogies of Hate and for Fascism: What Is To Be Done? uses public pedagogy as a theoretical lens through which to view discourses of hate and for fascism in the era of Trump and to promote an anti-fascist and pro-socialist public pedagogy. It makes the case for re-igniting a rhetoric that goes beyond the undermining of neoliberal capitalism and the promotion of social justice, and re-aligns the left against fascism and for a socialism of the twenty-first century.

Beginning with an examination of the history of traditional fascism in the twentieth century, the book looks at the similarities and differences between the Trump regime and traditional Western post-war fascism. Cole goes on to consider the alt-right movement, the reasons for its rise, and the significance of the internet being harnessed as a tool with which to promote a fascistic public pedagogy. Finally, the book examines the resistance against these discourses and addresses the question of: what is to be done?

This topical book will be of great interest to scholars, to postgraduate students and to researchers, as well as to advanced undergraduate students in the fields of education studies, pedagogy, and sociology, as well as readers in general who are interested in the phenomenon of Trumpism.

Reviews:

‘Mike Cole has written a stunning work that deserves to be read in teacher education courses, in graduate seminars, and in all classes dealing with the future of education–and of society.’ Peter McLaren, Chapman University, USA

‘This incisive book, with startling clarity, is a cutting analysis of Trump and his relationship with the personnel and the rhetoric and discourse- the public pedagogy of the Proto-Fascist and Fascist movement in the USA and the implications internationally.’ Dave Hill, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

‘This book provides a devastating critique and Cole brings to the fore the importance of public pedagogy in the struggle against Trump’s fascist tendencies. Nothing can be ignored in this book and much is at stake.’ Alpesh Maisuria, University of East London, UK

‘This is an excellent book – it’s a highly engaging read that will be of interest to people who don’t already know a great deal about Trump and the alt-right and the various movements who oppose them, as well as those who are already well-versed in the horrors of Trumpism. The book makes good use of public pedagogy as a framing device, and it will be an important contribution to our further understanding of how dominant ideologies are enacted and perpetuated, and also how they are resisted.’ Jennifer Sandlin, Arizona State University, USA

Further details: https://www.routledge.com/Trump-the-Alt-Right-and-Public-Pedagogies-of-Hate-and-for-Fascism-What/Cole/p/book/9781138607545

Mike Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Glenn Rikowski

MARXISM AND EDUCATION: FRAGILITY, CRISIS, CRITIQUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a new article out in Cadernos do GPOSSHE On-line, Vol.1 No.1 (2018): pp.142-170, Marxism and Education: Fragility, Crisis, Critique.

It now available at Academia, @ https://www.academia.edu/37616749/Marxism_and_Education_Fragility_Crisis_Critique

It is also available at ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328428970_Marxism_and_Education_Fragility_Crisis_Critique

 

ABSTRACT

The article rests substantially on the work of John Holloway, especially his early articles in Common Sense: Journal of the Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. On this foundation, it is argued, firstly, that the importance of Marxism resides in its capacity to pinpoint fragilities and weaknesses in the constitution, development and rule of capital in contemporary society. Understanding these fragilities sharpens the critical edge of any movements aimed at social transformation out of the madhouse of capital.

Glenn Rikowski

 

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Derek Ford

PEDAGOGY IN THE POST-TRUTH ERA: AN ANTI-TRUMP PRO-TEST!

 

 

 

 

 

A Seminar by Derek R. Ford (Assistant Professor of Education Studies, DePauw University, USA)

 

University of East London

Stratford Campus

Cass School of Education & Communities

17th October 2018

12.30 – 2.00pm

Room: ED201

 

Abstract: Those who are in shock that truth doesn’t seem to matter in politics today miss the mark, for politics has never corresponded with truth. Instead, political struggle is about the formulation and materialization of new truths. In this sense, the “post-truth” era offers a new opportunity to articulate and fight for a new political reality. Yet rather than embrace this opportunity, the mainstream anti-Trump “resistance” aims to suture this opening and re-stabilize the political superstructure. This paper focuses instead on the left-wing resistance that’s organizing and mobilizing to force a new world into being. After articulating the coordinates of our “post-truth” moment, it investigates the educational logic of the protest. Specifically, I propose that the protest is when movements test their political line, their organizational capacity, and the existing order of things.

Biographical details: Derek R. Ford is Assistant Professor of Education studies at DePauw University, USA. His research emerges from the nexus of subjectivity, pedagogy, and revolutionary struggles. He has written and edited seven books, including Communist Study and Politics and Pedagogy in the “Post-Truth” Era: Insurgent Philosophy and Praxis. He is education chair at The Hampton Institute (a working-class think tank), an organizer with the Answer Coalition, and co-editor of LiberationSchool.org.

 

Seminar details: This seminar is organised by Dr Alpesh Maisuria, Senior Lecturer Education Studies, part of the International Centre for Public Pedagogy (ICuP) and the Marxism and Education and Education: Renewing Dialogues Series (MERD Co-Convenors Alpesh Maisuria and Tony Green).

 

Links:

Derek Ford’s book: Politics and Pedagogy in the “Post-Truth” Era: https://www.bloomsbury.com/…/politics-and-pedagogy-in-the-…/

Dr. Alpesh Maisuria: https://alpeshmaisuria.academia.edu/

ICPuP: https://www.uel.ac.uk/…/the-international-centre-for-public…

MERD facebook:https://www.facebook.com/groups/202497469816639/?fb_dtsg_ag=AdyC300tngNeUAmV0YiduaY9LBrsFhpfgYWjBZ2UgPpmVQ%3AAdxyQFjUkbZvsBPJUuFuTTHZ2ccCxx-oTjFqw4SAjWZD1g

Tony Green’s Marxism and Education Palgrave book series https://www.palgrave.com/gb/series/14811

 

All welcome. No registration required.

Please share widely.

Communist Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ruth Rikowski
Framlingham Castle

SUBVERSIVE MAGIC: LIBRARIES, EDUCATION AND CAPITALIST FUNCTIONALITY – PRESENTATION POWERPOINT

 

Ruth Rikowski, London South Bank University & Series Editor for the Chandos Information Professional Series

This is Ruth Rikowski’s presentation at the recent International Conference on Critical Education VIII, held at the University of East London, 25 – 28 July 2018.

The Presentation PowerPoint can be viewed at: http://www.academia.edu/37142301/Subversive_Magic_Libraries_Education_and_Capitalist_Functionality_Presentation_

 

 

ABSTRACT

A Magical Marxism – as writers such as Andy Merrifield and Derek Ford have noted – can illuminate the future whilst helping to shatter the shackles of the past. Shining this light on libraries and education in contemporary capitalism allows us to glimpse the subversive magic which, on the one hand is dreaded by representatives of capital, and on the other generates hope for humankind. A brief autobiographical account of how libraries hold a certain kind of personal magic is included. Then the notion of ‘subversive magic’ is outlined, with reference to ideas drawn from Giordano Bruno and his ‘Essays on Magic’ (1588). This is contrasted with Abstract Magic: a form of magic ground in the capitalist impulse. From these preliminary points and in the context of libraries in England, the first stop in the analysis is the Mechanics Institutes. This is followed by examining the capitalist state’s attempts to curtail, or at least control, their subversive magic through establishing constraining cultural spaces; that is, a public library system. The strange cases of John Passmore Edwards and Andrew Carnegie libraries are considered at this juncture: specifically, their effects in terms of possibilities for enchanting the public library system. The falling apart of the capitalist state’s paradigm for libraries is then taken up, with an examination of Thatcherism and neoliberalism from the 1980s. During the 1980s, and 1990s, but especially after the capitalist crisis of 2007-09, together with Tory austerity policies and related cuts, public libraries have faced a resulting atmosphere of disenchantment. Today, the state library system has given way to capitalist functionality, together with desperate local attempts to re-enchant them. This point is illustrated through developments in libraries in the London Borough of Newham. The paper ends by discussing prospects for a new subversive magic in libraries. It also explores whether it is possible for state-financed libraries to ever let the subversive magic that is required to flourish, and whether they can nourish the dangerous imaginative qualities required for nurturing the communist impulse.

 

The Paper is available at: http://www.academia.edu/37112556/Subversive_Magic_Libraries_Education_and_Capitalist_Functionality

 

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski at ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

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

Ruth Rikowski at Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Ruth Rikowski

SUBVERSIVE MAGIC: LIBRARIES, EDUCATION AND CAPITALIST FUNCTIONALITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth Rikowski

London South Bank University & Series Editor for the Chandos Information Professional Series

 

Thisd is Ruth Rikowski’s paper that she will be presenting at the Internatioanl Conference on Critical Education VIII, at the University of East London, Stratford Campus, on Saturday 28th July 2018.

Ruth’s paper can be down loade at Academia, at:  http://www.academia.edu/37112556/Subversive_Magic_Libraries_Education_and_Capitalist_Functionality

 

ABSTRACT

A Magical Marxism – as writers such as Andy Merrifield and Derek Ford have noted – can illuminate the future whilst helping to shatter the shackles of the past. Shining this light on libraries and education in contemporary capitalism allows us to glimpse the subversive magic which, on the one hand is dreaded by representatives of capital, and on the other generates hope for humankind. A brief autobiographical account of how libraries hold a certain kind of personal magic is included. Then the notion of ‘subversive magic’ is outlined, with reference to ideas drawn from Giordano Bruno and his ‘Essays on Magic’ (1588). This is contrasted with Abstract Magic: a form of magic ground in the capitalist impulse. From these preliminary points and in the context of libraries in England, the first stop in the analysis is the Mechanics Institutes. This is followed by examining the capitalist state’s attempts to curtail, or at least control, their subversive magic through establishing constraining cultural spaces; that is, a public library system. The strange cases of John Passmore Edwards and Andrew Carnegie libraries are considered at this juncture: specifically, their effects in terms of possibilities for enchanting the public library system. The falling apart of the capitalist state’s paradigm for libraries is then taken up, with an examination of Thatcherism and neoliberalism from the 1980s. During the 1980s, and 1990s, but especially after the capitalist crisis of 2007-09, together with Tory austerity policies and related cuts, public libraries have faced a resulting atmosphere of disenchantment. Today, the state library system has given way to capitalist functionality, together with desperate local attempts to re-enchant them. This point is illustrated through developments in libraries in the London Borough of Newham. The paper ends by discussing prospects for a new subversive magic in libraries. It also explores whether it is possible for state-financed libraries to ever let the subversive magic that is required to flourish, and whether they can nourish the dangerous imaginative qualities required for nurturing the communist impulse.

 

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

MARXISM AND EDUCATION: FRAGILITY, CRISIS, CRITIQUE, NEGATIVITY, AND SOCIAL FORM(S)

 

 

 

This is a paper I prepared for the International Conference on Critical Education VIII, University of East London, Stratford Campus, 25 – 28 July 2018. The Abstract is below, and the paper itself can be viewed at Academia and at ResearchGate.

Glenn Rikowski

 

ABSTRACT

Why Marxism? Why Marxist educational theory? Through addressing these questions, this paper proclaims the importance of Marxism as a theory that intellectually disrupts and ruptures capitalist society and its educational forms. With reference to the work of John Holloway, it is argued that the significance of Marxism resides in its capacity to pinpoint fragilities and weaknesses in the constitution of capital. Grasping these fragilities in the rule of capital in contemporary social life sharpens the critical edge of any politics aimed at social transformation. Marxist educational theory plays an important role in this enterprise. These points are illustrated through consideration of the following ideas and phenomena: fragility, crisis, critique, negativity and social form(s). It is argued that fragility must be the starting point as Marxism is primarily a theory of capitalist weaknesses, and not the opposite: a theory of capitalist domination. Following Holloway, Marxism is a theory against society, rather than just another mainstream theory of society. Against Holloway, it is argued that the forms that fragilities for labour take also need to be understood. Paradoxically, our strength vis-à-vis capital is also the place for apprehending the fragilities and dependencies of labour. This vicious duality also exists in terms of crises in capitalism, and this flows into the phenomena of critique and negativity too. Finally, on the basis of this theorisation, the doors of capitalist hell are opened through a consideration of social forms in general and commodity forms in particular and their relations to educational processes and institutions. It is at this point that Marxist educational theory enters the stage, although in a transfigured form. In 1997, I wrote an article for the British Journal of Sociology of Education called ‘Scorched Earth: Prelude to Rebuilding Marxist Educational Theory’. Twenty-one years later, this paper can be viewed as my definitive first element in a programme of rebuilding Marxist educational theory.

 

Available from:

The full paper can be downloaded from Academia, at: https://www.academia.edu/37095004/Marxism_and_Education_Fragility_Crisis_Critique_Negativity_and_Social_Form_s_

The full paper can be downloaded from ResearchGate, at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326545788_Marxism_and_Education_Fragility_Crisis_Critique_Negativity_and_Social_Forms

 

***END***

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski at ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

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

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

Deturpações: Notas críticas sobre Mercadorias e Educação

 

 

 

 

 

 

My article Deturpações: Notas críticas sobre Mercadorias e Educação has been published in Curriculo sem Fronteiras (Vol.18 No.1), a Brazilian journal.

 

The Resumo / Abstract are below, and you can get the article from either Academia of ResearchGate.

Glenn Rikowski

 

Resumo

Este artigo argumenta que as tentativas de entender a mercantilização da educação e da pesquisa educacional, sem recorrer ao maior pensador sobre as formas de mercadoria – Karl Marx -, inevitavelmente levam a confusões e a deturpações na teoria educacional. Isso é demonstrado por meio de uma crítica a um artigo recente de David Bridges (2017), no qual o autor se concentra na mercantilização na pesquisa educacional. Ao ignorar as ideias de Marx, e também de teóricos marxistas contemporâneos, que escrevem sobre a mercadoria e a mercantilização, Bridges não realiza distinções cruciais na análise da mercantilização e, além de confundir conceitos, confunde os fenômenos que lhes são correspondentes, os quais deveriam ser tratados separadamente. No caso, Bridges e outros teóricos educacionais convencionais, que evitam a referência à Marx e à teoria marxista, acabam criando uma série de falsas declarações em suas análises sobre a mercantilização educacional. Tais abordagens camuflam a capitalização da educação; isto é, os processos pelos quais as instituições educativas “se tornam capital”, o devenir do capital. Essas teorizações são superficiais e politicamente enganosas.

Palavras-chave: mercantilização da educação, marxismo, pesquisa educacional.

 

Abstract

This paper argues that attempts to understand commodification in education and educational research without recourse to the greatest thinker on commodity forms – Karl Marx – inevitably leads to confusion and misrepresentation in educational theory. This is demonstrated through a critique of a recent paper by David Bridges (2017) where he focuses on commodification in education research. By ignoring the ideas of Marx, but also contemporary Marxist theorists writing on the commodity and commodification, Bridges fails to make crucial distinctions in the analysis of commodification, and also conflates and confuses concepts and their corresponding phenomena that should be kept separate. In the event, Bridges, and other mainstream educational theorists who avoid reference to Marx and Marxist theory, end up creating a host of misrepresentations in their analyses of educational commodification. Such approaches camouflage the capitalisation of education; that is, educational institutions ‘becoming capital’, the becoming of capital. These theorisations are superficial and politically misleading.

Keywords: commodification of education, Marxism, educational research.

 

At Academia: http://www.academia.edu/36861405/Deturpa%C3%A7%C3%B5es_Notas_cr%C3%ADticas_sobre_Mercadorias_e_Educa%C3%A7%C3%A3o

 

At ResearchGate:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325766732_Deturpacoes_Notas_criticas_sobre_Mercadorias_e_Educacao

 

The paper is in English as: Misrepresentations: Critical Notes on Commodities and Education, which is available at Academia @: https://www.academia.edu/35799008/Misrepresentations_Critical_Notes_on_Commodities_and_Education

 

***END***

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

INTERVIEW ON MARXISM, CRITICAL PEDAGOGY AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: DISCUSSIONS FOR A REVOLUTIONARY DISCOURSE

 

 

 

My interview with Aldo Ocampo Gonzalez, ‘Interview on Marxism, Critical Pedagogy and Inclusive Education: Discussions for a Revolutionary Discourse‘ is now available at Academia.

Aldo Ocampo Gonzalez is Director of the Center for Latin American Studies on Inclusive Education (CELEI), based in Santiago, Chile.

The website for CELEI is: http://www.celei.cl

The interview can be viewed on Academia at:  https://www.academia.edu/36752890/Interview_on_Marxism_Critical_Pedagogy_and_Inclusive_Education_Discussions_for_a_Revolutionary_Discourse

***END***

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski