Skip navigation

Daily Archives: October 24th, 2008

On the ‘Defense of Bill Ayers’

 

Rich Gibson

 

The “Defense of Bill Ayers” is hardly a call to give comfort to someone under a ferocious attack. It is true that Republicans seek to use Ayers’ ties to Obama to smear Obama as an Other, a de-demagogic move – while Obama kisses the flip side of the coin: The One. But Ayers’ tenure, job, and family are under nothing but criticism. Given that Ayers has always been willing to bow to applause, I see no reason to defend him or respond favorably to what is really a call to support his past and present work. Instead, I want to correct the record. 
In brief: stop calling Bill Ayers a radical. He demeans the term. I am former member of the Students for a Democratic Society, the largest student movement in US history (which Ayers helped to destroy) and a radical yet today. There was never anything radical about born-to-wealth Bill Ayers. He always opposed the radical, ‘going to the root’ of social problems. In 1969, Ayers’ ‘Weathermen’ sought to replace a movement of people organizing for freedom, equality, and peace with authoritarian mis-leadership and bombs. Then, he was a liberal with explosives.
Today, he is a foundation-funded liberal as Mayor Richard Dailey’s endorsement demonstrates. His tiny Weathermen sect was the Mussolini-like ‘reaction-faction’: celebrating irrationalism, drugs, and exploitative sex, and pandering to the various nationalisms of the day. They held most people in the world in utter contempt. Before the biggest outpouring of student activism in the last century, the Weathermen destroyed the SDS mailing list, leaving the movement with no center. Then, cops rained down on the movement, demonstrating that terrorists typically bring repression, not on themselves, but on the people they falsely claim to represent. I note nothing of any significance happened to Ayers and the cops never made much of an effort to find him when he was on the run, but living very well.
 
There is no “new” Bill Ayers. He dishonestly opposed a mass based class-conscious movement for equality and freedom then, and opposes it now. Today he claims nobody knew any better than to follow his hysterics in the Weathermen. Well, about two thirds of the people voting against the Weathermen in the famous Chicago split meeting knew better then, and we know better than to trust him now. His ‘Small Schools’ movement is sheer hucksterism, based on the same hubris that moved the Weathermen –- though it is considerably more lucrative. Those of us who fought the Weathermen in SDS, and who did not abandon the grassroots struggle for worldwide justice, know Ayers for what he is. That Ayers clearly backed the liberal Obama, who promises wider wars, and bailouts to the rich, is no surprise.
 

Dr Rich Gibson
Emeritus Professor
San Diego State University
6256 Camino Corto
San Diego, CA
92120
619 287 2322

 

Posted here (with permission) by Glenn Rikowski

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

Volumizer Resurrection One

 

The Volumizer is Glenn Rikowski’s AOL blog. This was started up on 29th September 2005. On 30th September 2008, AOL announced that all of its Hometown products, including its blogs and newsletters, would be closed down on 31st October 2008. Glenn’s articles, many of which were written for his students in Education Studies in the School of Education at the University of Northampton (especially the EDU3004 module, ‘Education, Culture & Society’), will be preserved at The Flow of Ideas. Work has begun on this project, and the first five articles are now available, as listed below:

 

 

 

2008

 

 

Rikowski, G (2008) Education Incorporated: New Labour, the Knowledge Economy and Education, London, 3rd February, online at:
http://www.flowideas.co.uk/index.php?page=articles&sub=Education Incorporated

 

 

 

2005

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2005) Hutton’s E-Foss, London, 23rd November, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Will%20Hutton%20and%20His%20E-Foss

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2005) Habituation of the Nation: School Sponsors as Precursors to the Big Bang? London, 19th October, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Habituation%20of%20the%20Nation

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2005) Second Time as Farce: From GM Schools to Independent Ones, London, 9th October, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Second%20Time%20as%20Farce

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2005) Kids in the Land of No Dreams, London, 7th October, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Kids%20in%20the%20Land%20of%20No%20Dreams

Heterodox Economics and Sustainable Development, 20 years on

11th Conference of the Association for Heterodox Economics

Call for papers

9-12 July, 2009

Kingston University, London

The Eleventh Anniversary Conference of the Association of Heterodox Economics (AHE) will be held at Kingston University, London from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th July 2009.

In more than ten years the AHE has established a reputation as a major national and international forum for the discussion of alternatives to mainstream economics, and for the interdisciplinary and pluralistic nature of its discussions. It is also contributing to strengthening the community of heterodox economists, and to the development of heterodox economic theory on various themes through the dissemination of ideas and arguments.

This year, the Conference theme is Heterodox Economics and Sustainable Development, twenty years on. Sustainable development is the main challenge facing humankind for this century. The recognition of fundamental failures within mainstream economics and discontent amongst people concerned about environmental problems are widespread. This make the case for alternatives, interdisciplinarity and pluralism, i.e. all the core standpoints of the AHE movement. The aim of this conference is to offer an overview of the current insights of heterodox approaches to sustainability issues and to serve as a call to action to the heterodox community to begin to pull together a coherent perspective that would permit conscientious and productive consideration of problems.

 

In that perspective we particularly encourage submissions on:

(1) The state of the art on sustainable development and in particular the meaning of being heterodox with respect to this challenge.

(2) The state of heterodox approaches on sustainability issues in the broadest sense (including both environmental and social concerns), including Critical Realism, Ecological Economics, Feminist Economics, Green Economics, Institutional economics, Marxian economics, Post-Keynesian economics, and Social Economics.

(3) The potential trade-offs and/or synergies between various heterodox perspectives on sustainability issues.

(4) The need for engagement in the wider public sphere, including the theme of education for sustainable development.

 

The conference invites submissions of single papers or sessions which conform to these aims, or address other issues in the social sciences from standpoints which differ from or critically examine the economic mainstream. A feature of the AHE is as a pluralist forum for dialogue, and we encourage proposals for sessions which address a single issue or theme from a variety of viewpoints or disciplines.

The international character of the conference has been a vital factor in its growing success. Scholars requiring documentation in support of visa or funding applications should indicate this in their initial submission. At present the AHE regrets that it has no funds to provide financial support, but is actively seeking it and welcomes proposals from participants regarding organizations for the AHE contact in search of support for participants from outside the US and European Union.

To facilitate dialogue and timetabling, participants whose initial submission is successful must provide a full paper by the deadline of Sunday 3rd May. They should also register by Sunday June 7th, and will be expected to take part in at least two full days of the conference, in order to be included in the final programme. Participants should also be prepared to serve as discussants and/or session chairs.

This year poster sessions will also be organized for postgraduate or postdoctoral students who would like to discuss their work with others but are not yet in a position to provide a full paper.

The conference language is English.

 

Guidelines for Submission

This year there will be two types of session, normal sessions and poster sessions.

Normal sessions will be 90 minutes long and will usually consist of two papers with at least one discussant. Arrangements for poster sessions, which are intended to encourage new work by postgraduate or postdoctoral students, will depend on the number of submissions and will be announced nearer the date of conference.

Proposals for single papers: please send an abstract of not more than 500 words by email only to the local organiser Julian Wells (J.Wells@kingston.ac.uk), AND the AHE coordinator, Alan Freeman (afreeman@iwgvt.org). Text, HTML, Word and PDF format attachments are acceptable. Please indicate in your submission whether your paper is intended for a normal or poster session.

Proposals for complete sessions: please send a description of the session of not more than 500 words together with the names and email addresses of the proposed speakers, and attaching abstracts for their presentations of not more than 500 words each for each paper. Please send these by email only to Julian Wells and Alan Freeman, as above.

Deadlines

Proposals for either single papers or complete sessions should be received by Sunday 8th February 2009.

The AHE Committee will consider all abstracts and will notify you of acceptance or rejection of your proposal by Monday 23rd February 2009.

Those whose abstracts have been accepted for a normal session must send their full paper by Sunday 3rd May 2009 and must register, for a minimum of two days of the conference, by Sunday 7th June 2009.

To see details of previous conferences, and to keep up to date with the 2009 conference and other AHE activities please visit:

http://www.hetecon.com/

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Glenn Rikowski’s MySpace Profile is at: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Whatever Happened to the Education Debate? Rouge Forum Update

 

A Message from Rich Gibson

 

 

Dear Friends
Remember to mark you calendars: the weekend of May 15th, the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

What with wars and economic collapse in the forefront of American
minds, it seems the hot education debate is vanished. Perhaps for
good reason as the major party candidates agree on the crux of NCLB,
merit pay, the expansion of charters, the heroification of Teach For
America’s drive-by projects in poor neighborhoods, and they must be
clear on what will be the school budget impact of the financial firestorms.

Depending on where you live, PBS and NPR plan discussions between
McCain and Obama surrogates, but really, what can be said to
demonstrate passionate disagreement? Not much. Here is Fairtest’s
examination of the candidates positions:
http://www.fairtest.org/what-presidential-candidates-are-saying-about-nclb

Having surveyed the web sites of the major unions in the US, only one
has anything to say about the bankster bailout—the American
Federation of Teachers, in support of it. The rest are pouring
millions of dollars into the Obama campaign.

Why would the huge National Education Association and AFT shower
Obama with member cash when his fundraising is already over the top, $150 million in September, within a billion dollar electoral
spectacle? In the case of NEA, it’s dues income and jobs. The early
childhood education centers Obama may set up will be contested
terrain for NEA, but rumor has it that Reg Weaver, outgoing NEA
president, is lined up for an administration job in that field.

Meanwhile, the tyranny deepens as banksters, AIG bailout recipients,
go partridge hunting on taxpayers’ nickels:
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/10/14/2008-10-14_aigs_lords_and_lady_of_the_hunt_may_find.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/opinion/19dowd.html?ei=5070

 
 

 

(Defarge was right)
Those who were born with the least capital will get hurt first and
worst in these crises. And the wisdom they display will often be
exemplary, a lesson for us all. Right now, people in Morelos Mexico
(named for the revolutionary) are battling the police and the
military. They are led by teachers and other school workers who are
demanding an end to school privatization, a project of the “Alliance
for Quality Education”: which also seeks to demolish teacher benefits
won over decades. The fight has gone on for more than two months,
demonstrating that educators are centripetally positioned to initiate
social change. The Morelos fighters were recently joined by comreades
from Oaxaca—a learning from all; one lesson being that their top
union leadership consistently betrays them. The Morelos educators are
good examples of people connecting reason to power, with solidarity.
Here is one of many links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjVNKGMSqII

Thanks to Gil, Amber, Gina and Adam, Sandy. Bill and Bill, Greg and
Katie, Melissa, Nancy, Bonnie, Sarah, Giselle, Eva, Lisa, Liz, Betty,
Gloria and the Michigan gang, Kim, Bob, Dirty Edd, Pete, Dave, George
and family, Wayne, and Sue. H.

All the best

Rich Gibson

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowieas.co.uk

Glenn’s MySpace Profile is at: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Currently listening :
sensoria
By HeadenD
Release date: 2008-10-07

Historical Materialism Conference 2008

 

7 – 9th November, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1

 

Pre-registration details (and you save money if you register online before the conference), see: http://mercury.soas.ac.uk/hm/conference2008.htm

 

The fifth annual Historical Materialism Conference held in conjunction with the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Prize Committee and with Socialist Register will take place between 7 – 9 November, 2008 at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

It is organised in association with the International Initiative for the Promotion of Political Economy, the journal Situations and the Journal of Agrarian Change, and with the assistance of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of SOAS.

Ever since its foundation in 1997, Historical Materialism has sought to contribute to the intellectual recomposition of the global Left by serving as an international venue for critical Marxist research. The journal’s initial wager – that Marxism remains a vital, and heterogeneous and many-faceted political and theoretical tradition – has been borne out in a conjuncture where Marxist thinkers have amply demonstrated the critical resources at their disposal (witness recent debates on imperialism and neoliberalism). Within the academy, the facile dismissal of Marxism seems to have run out of steam, and the attitudes of new generations of students and researchers have changed accordingly. Marxist intellectuals are no longer simply forced to survive in hostile conditions or to retreat into isolated academic subcultures, despite an often adverse global political context. In this setting, they face new challenges, which this conference seeks to address.

How can we develop the plurality of Marxist debates, fields and schools without making concessions to eclecticism, narcissism or compartmentalisation? How do we square the concrete multiplicity of Marxisms with the strong commonalities in intellectual vocabularies, theoretical sources and political aims? Hasn’t the question of the diversity of Marxism – of many Marxisms – accompanied the tradition’s entire development, a testament both to its internationalist horizon, and to the inexhaustible potential of its many critical insights and conceptual formulations? What strategies can allow us to confront, and perhaps overcome, some of the disparities or even misunderstandings born of these processes of differentiation?

Having tried to foster a form of critical cosmopolitanism and debate in past conferences, bringing together thinkers working in different fields, and out of different traditions, this year’s Historical Materialism conference wants to emphasise problems and opportunities raised by the existence of ‘Many Marxisms’. To this end, it aims to take stock of recent developments in Marxist thought, surveying the most vibrant recent debates; to confront critical moments in the historical development of Marxism; to identify crucial concepts and areas of research that can cut across any preconceived academic specialisation or geographical isolation of Marxism; to reflect on the ways in which Marxism has and continues to intervene in mainstream intellectual debates; and, finally, to generate a space in which the outlines of the many twenty-first century Marxisms may be delineated.

THE FULL TIMETABLE AND ONLINE REGISTRATION DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

For more details, please contact: historicalmaterialism@soas.ac.uk

THEMES COVERED WILL INCLUDE:

APPROACHING PASSIVE REVOLUTIONS * ART AND CAPITALISM * ASPECTS OF IMPERIALISM * BASE AND SUPERSTRUCTURE * BEYOND GLOBAL VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS IN COMMODITY STUDIES * BOLSHEVISM: YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW * CAPITALISM / KNOWLEDGE CAPITALISM * CAPITALISM AND ARCHITECTURE * CLIMATE CHANGE, SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIALISM * CONTEMPORARY RADICAL THOUGHT AND MARXISM: AGAMBEN, HOLLOWAY, ZIZEK * EARLY MODERN CAPITALISM * ECOLOGICAL CRISIS AND MARXIST THEORY * EVERYDAY LIFE * FINANCE AND NEO-LIBERALISM * FINANCIALISATION AND CRISIS * FOOD CRISIS * FROM THE GRUNDRISSE TO CAPITAL * FUTURE OF WORLD CAPITALISM * HISTORICAL MATERIALISM AND LATE DEVELOPMENT * HISTORIOGRAPHY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF MARXISM * INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS * IS TODAY’S CAPITALISM ACTUALLY-EXISTING BARBARISM? * LABOUR-PROCESS AND RESISTANCE * LATIN AMERICAN LEFT TODAY * LEARNING FROM ENEMIES AND RIVALS: SCHMITT, STRAUSS, WEBER * LIFE, POLITICS & CAPITALISM * MANY MARXISMS AND INDIA * MANY MARXISMS: KEY FIGURES * MANY MARXISMS: PROBLEMS AND POLEMICS * MARX AND FETISHISM * MARX ON WORLD ECONOMY AND WORLD POLITICS * MARXISM AND CINEMA: FILM NOIR AND NEO-NOIR * MARXISM AND METROPOLITICS * MARXISM AND PHILOSOPHY * MARXISM AND THE SCIENCES * MARXISM OUTSIDE THE WEST * MARXISM, FEMINISM AND WOMEN’S POLITICS * MARXISMS AND LITERATURE * MARXISMS AND RELIGION * MARXISMS AND SOUTHERN AFRICA * MARXISMS AND VIOLENCES: GENDER AND RACE * MARXIST THEORIES OF PRACTICE * MODES OF FOREIGN RELATIONS * MONETARY POLICY AND BANKING UNDER NEOLIBERALISM * MONEY * NEGATIVITY AND REVOLUTION * NORTH EAST ASIAN MARXISMS AND SOCIALISMS * ON THE CONCEPT OF SURPLUS POPULATIONS * PERSPECTIVES FROM ALTHUSSER * PERSPECTIVES FROM MARX’S ‘JEWISH QUESTION’ * PHILOSOPHIES OF REVOLT AND REVOLUTION * PHILOSOPHY IN THE EARLY MARX * POLITICAL CATEGORIES OF MARXISM * POLITICAL ECONOMY AND ECONOMICS TODAY * POLITICS OF THE PROMOTION OF GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS * RACISM, CLASS AND POLITICS * RESTRUCTURING, CAPITAL AND LABOUR * REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST * SEXUAL LIBERATION: HISTORICAL MATERIALIST APPROACHES * SITUATIONISM AT THE LIMITS: MUST WE BURN DEBORD? * SOCIALISM IN SEARCH OF AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM * STATE IN THE BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION * THEORIES OF CLASS * THEORIES OF IMPERIALISM * TIME, TEMPORALITY, HISTORY * TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE NEOLIBERAL STATE * UNEVEN AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT: TOWARDS A MARXIST THEORY OF ‘THE INTERNATIONAL’? * US FINANCIAL POWER IN CRISIS * UTOPIANISM * VALUE: POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS * ‘WESTERN’ MARXISM AND THE ANTI-COLONIAL WORLD/INTELLECTUALS * WINDOWS ON EMPIRE: PERSPECTIVES FROM HISTORY, CULTURE AND POLITICAL ECONOMY * WORKERISM: A GENERATION LATER *

PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Gilbert Achcar, Talat Ahmed, Greg Albo, Jamie Allinson, Kevin Anderson, Ricardo Antunes, Giovanni Arrighi, Sam Ashman, Antonio Carmona Báez, Richard Bailey, Metin Bal, Colin Barker, Kate Bayliss, Pınar Bedirhanoğlu, Mike Beggs, Riccardo Bellofiore, Aaron Benanav, Ted Benton, Henry Bernstein, Cyrus Bina, Werner Bonefeld, Mark Bould, Pepijn Brandon, Peter Bratsis, Robert Brenner, Dennis Broe, Dick Bryan, Ergun Bulut, Verity Burgmann, Alex Callinicos, Paul Cammack, Mauro Farnesi Camellone, Al Campbell, Bob Cannon, Gavin Capps, Thomas Carmichael, Emilia Castorina, Maria Elisa Cevasco, Hsiu-Man Chen, Vivek Chibber, Alexander Chryssis, Martin Cobian, Peter Custers, John Darwin, Neil Davidson, Charles Davis, Chuck Davis, Gail Day, Tim Dayton, Roni Demirbag, Radhika Desai, Pat Devine, Paulo dos Santos, Peter Drucker, Jean-Numa Ducange, Gérard Duménil, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Timm Ebner, Bolivar Echeverria, Juliane Edler, Ersin Vedat Elgur, Katsuhiko Endo, Sara R. Farris, Lucy Ferguson, Don Filtzer, Ben Fine, Robert Fine, Bridget Fowler, Carl Freedman, Alan Freeman, Andrea Fumagalli, Cristina Morini, Lindsey German, Melanie Gilligan, Ruth Wilson Gilmour, Saroj Giri, Richard Godden, Maya Gonzalez, Jamie Gough, Peter Gowan, Kevin Gray, Nick Gray, Chris Harman, Barbara Harriss-White, Owen Hatherley, Cristoph Hermann, Andy Higginbottom, Mike Hill, Christian Høgsbjerg, Evren Hosgor, Nik Howard, David Jack, Elinor Jean, Oliver Jelinski, Nicholas Joll, Ismail Karatepe, Ken Kawashima, Paul Kellogg, Geoff Kennedy, Sami Khatib, Aykut Kilic, Donald Kingsbury, Nick Knight, Martijn Konings, Michael Krätke, Rick Kuhn, Ishay Landa, Tim Lang, Spyros Lapatsioras, Paul LeBlanc, Sergio Lessa, Alex Levant, Peter Linebaugh, Alex Loftus, Rob Lucas, Dennis Maeder, Matteo Mandarini, Christian Marazzi, Jonathan Martineau, Paul Mattick, David Mayer, Andrew McGettigan, Philip McMichael, David McNally, James Meadway, John Milios, Owen Miller, Andrew Milner, Dimitris Milonakis, John Molyneux, David Moore, Cristina Morini, Adam Morton, Zwi Negator, Susan Newman, Jörg Nowak, Benjamin Noys, Bertel Nygaard, Bridget O’Laughlin, Keith O’Regan, Sebnem Oguz, Ulrich Oslender, Ceren Özselçuk, Maria Cristina Soares Paniago, Leo Panitch, F. Papadatos, Juan Pablo Painceira Paschoa, Leda Maria Paulani, Simon Pirani, Iain Pirie, Nina Power, Gonzalo Pozo-Martin, Thomas Purcell, Diana Raby, Michael Rafferty, Geert Reuten, Paul Reynolds, Ben Richardson, John Riddell, John Roberts, Bruce Robinson, John Rose, Thomas Sablowski, Spyros Sakellaropoulos, Jorgen Sandemose, Saskia Sassen, Michael Sayeau, Sean Sayers, David Schwartzman, Alan Sears, Lynne Segal, Ben Selwyn, Sanjay Seth, Stuart Shields, Nicola Short, Joe Sim, Rick Simon, Subir Sinha, Panagiotis Sotiris, Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos, Kerstin Stakemeier, Guido Starosta, Marcel Stoetzler, Robert Stolz, Gaspar Miklós Tamás, Bruno Tinel, Peter Thomas, Massimiliano Tomba, Alberto Toscano, Greg Tuck, Mehmet Ufuk Tutan, Kees van der Pijl, Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Carlo Vercellone, Danga Vileisis, Sherryl Vint, Satnam Virdee, Andriana Vlachou, Elisa Waeyenberge, Jeffery R. Webber, Dominic Wetzel, Adrian Wilding, Evan Calder Williams, Frieder Otto Wolf, Andrew Wright, Steve Wright, Galip Yalman, Iván Zatz

 

Historical Materialism Annual Conference 2008,
7-9 November

2008 Conference Programme now available!! (pdf format)

 

 

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Glenn Rikowski’s MySpace Profile is at: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski   

US Election, Economic Crisis and the War

 

 

STOP THE WAR COALITION

Email office@stopwar.org.uk   
T: 020 7278 6694  
Web:
http://www.stopwar.org.uk  

 

 

PUBLIC FORUM

US ELECTION, ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE WAR

MONDAY 3 NOVEMBER 7PM,

CONWAY HALL, RED LION SQUARE, HOLBORN, LONDON

Nearest tube Holborn

SPEAKERS:  
LINDSEY GERMAN: Convenor of Stop the War Coalition  
TONY BENN  
JONATHAN STEELE: Guardian Journalist and author of Defeat: why America and Britain Lost Iraq 
MOAZZAM BEGG: Ex-Guantanamo detainee  
NICK BROOMFIELD: Award winning director of Battle For Haditha

Entrance to this event will cost £2. To reserve your seat, phone ‘Stop the War’ on 0207278 6694 or e-mail: office@stopwar.org.uk

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk