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Monthly Archives: December 2008

MICHELE ROBERTS: NOVELIST AND RADICAL FEMINIST

By Ruth Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski has written an article on Michele Roberts: Novelist and Radical Feminist which can now be viewed at The Flow of Ideas web site (the Rikowski family web site). In this article, Ruth indicates how she first experienced Michele Roberts and her writings at the CILIP Members’ Day, and goes on to draw parallels between Roberts’ life, social and political views and her own. For both Michele Roberts and Ruth Rikowski, the love of writing shines through and throughout their lives. 

You can see Ruth’s article at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Michele%20Roberts

 

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

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Culture (and Cultural Studies) After the Crunch: the End of Neoliberalism?

 

 

10.30am-5pm, February 4th, 2009

 

 

At Rich Mix, London

 

 

Organised by the Pavis Centre for Cultural and Social Theory, The Open University & the Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London

 

 

The crisis of financial markets and the cheap-credit economy is interpreted by many as spelling the end of the 30-year neoliberal regime which has had such profound political, social and material consequences for world culture. Are we now witnessing the opening of a new conjuncture? What might be the social and cultural consequences of emergent forms of re-regulated capitalism? Does the Democratic landslide in the U.S. Presidential election presage an upsurge of progressive political activity -from within and outside government – in the Anglo-Saxon world, as did the elections of 1932 and 1964? Or has the cultural impact of neo-liberalism changed forever the meaning of ‘progressive’ cultural and social forces?

 

 

Speakers
Prof. Tony Bennett (Open University)

Prof. John Clarke (Open University)

Prof. Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths College)

Dr. Jeremy Gilbert (University of East London)

Prof. Lawrence Grossberg (University of North Carolina)

Prof. Mica Nava (University of East London)

Dr. Jason Toynbee (Open University)

 

 

Tea, Coffee and Lunch will be provided

For free registration send an email to Fernando D. Rubio: f.d.rubio@open.ac.uk

 

Directions

Rich Mix, London.

35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road
London, E1 6LA

Tube:  Liverpool Street

Buses: 388, 8    

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Queer Studies: Methodological Approaches“,
A special issue of the Graduate Journal of Social Science, is out now!

Please distribute this info widely, and have a good reading!
All the best,
Roberto Kulpa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0044.785.999.5074
http://www.robertkulpa.com

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

 

“Don’t dream it… be it!”
Sweet transvestite from transsexual transylvania

 

Dear All
GRADUATE JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
is bi-annual peer-reviewed journal published by the Amsterdam University Press. We support Open Access and Open Software, hence we publish on-line and for free.

THE NEW DECEMBER ISSUE IS OUT!
“Queer Studies: Methodological Approaches”
Please see below for the TOC and visit out web site: http://www.gjss.org/index.php/current-issue

DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER,
so that you can be automatically informed when new issue and new call for papers is published. (For privacy policy, see the bottom of this email).

ENJOY READING!
GJSS Editorial Team

———————————————————————

 

Volume 5, Issue 2: December 2008

 

Queer Studies: Methodological Approaches

…The content of December 2008 issue follows a certain logic that emerged from submitted papers. The opening article of acclaimed academic Tiina Rosenberg on queer genealogies is followed by the series of papers dealing with issues of self-reflexivity, intersections, dispersion, and accommodations of “queer” to non-Western (English) contexts. The closing articles scrutinise identity and materiality of objects and bodies, to be metaphorically summarised in Judith Halberstam’s article on “non-identification” and “negativity” of “queerness”. [READ MORE…]

Index [PDF]

Editorial
Mia Liinason and Robert Kulpa, Queer Methodologies? pp.1-4 [PDF].

Articles

  • Tiina Rosenberg,
    Locally Queer. A Note on the Feminist Genealogy of Queer Theory, pp.5-18 [
    PDF].
  • Liv Mertz,
    “I am what I am?”? Toward a Sexual Politics of Contingent Foundations, pp.19-34 [
    PDF].
  • Michela Baldo,
    Queer in Italian-North American women writers, pp.35-62 [
    PDF].
  • Maria A. Viteri,
    ‘Latino’ and ‘queer’ as sites of translation: Intersections of ‘race’, ethnicity and sexuality, pp. 63-87 [
    PDF].
  • Elisabeth Enbebretsen,
    Queer ethnography in theory and practice: Reflections on studying sexual globalization and women’s queer activism in Beijing, pp.88-116 [
    PDF].
  • Linn Sandberg,
    The Old, the Ugly and the Queer: thinking old age in relation to queer theory, pp. 117-139 [
    PDF].
  • Judith Halberstam,
    The Anti-Social Turn in Queer Studies, pp. 140-156 [
    PDF].

Book Reviews

  • Della Porta, Donatella and Michael Keating (eds), (2008), Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences. A Pluralist Perspective. Review by Francois Briatte (pp.157-161) [PDF].
  • McGarry, Molly, (2008), Ghosts of Futures Past: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America. Review by Julia DeLeon (pp.162-165) [PDF].
  • Lisa, Rofel, (2007), Desiring China: Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality, and Public Culture. Review by Ben Chia-Hung Lu (pp.166-170) [PDF].
  • Driver, Susan (ed), (2008), Queer Youth Cultures. Review by Mark Carrigan (pp. 171-175) [PDF].
  • Horncastle, Julia, (2008), ‘Queer Bisexuality: Perceptions of Bisexual Existence, distinction and Challenges’ Review by Allison Moore (pp. 176-179) [PDF].

Read more…

———————————————————
GJSS Privacy Policy:
We don’t know much about national laws concerning privacy, data protection, etc. – but what we do know, is that the only thing we will use your email address for, is to send you new issue and new cfp alerts.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

His Volumizer blog is at: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

The Rouge Forum: Update December 2008 (Supplementary on the New School University Occupation)

 

 

A message from Rich Gibson

 

 

Dear Friends,
 

 


Events dictate an “extra edition” of the Rouge Forum Update.
 
 

 

Students at the New School in New York City seized their buildings and are holding out for the demands listed below.
 
 

 

This direct action follows student uprisings in Greece and France in the last ten days and parallels the sit-down action by workers at Chicago’s Republic Works.
 
 

 

The building seizure is precisely along the lines that the Rouge Forum urged for a decade and shows, once again, that student action can spark social resistance–and reasoned analysis– involving poor and working people who hold the power to bring real transformation.
 
 

 

In the coming period, the success of ruling classes around the world to demolish what limited living standards we have, from education to health care to food and very life, will be measured by the fight-back we can muster.
 
 

 

Since schools are the centripetal organizing point of life for most people in North America, and since youth are not habituated to defeats and are at the same time themselves under attack, it makes sense that resistance can be initiated from schools.
 

 


Building seizures are a time honored tactic. School workers in Michigan, for example, were taking over and striking schools as late as the mid-eighties while social workers in the same area staged “work-ins” to demonstrate the impossibility of their caseloads.
 
 

 

Inside seized buildings, students, workers, educators, and parents can join together and conduct real Freedom Schooling in an atmosphere, unlike most, where the hopeful message, “what we do counts,” is loud and clear.
 
 

 

Our New York City Rouge Forum members who are not already on their way to the New School might want to go as soon as possible to set up solidarity actions.
 
 

 

We will create a solidarity petition online but in the interim, RF readers can just email notes of support to me, hitting “reply.”
 

 


Down with the banks and
Up the rebels!
 

 


This is a good way to ring in the New Year!
Best

Rich Gibson
 

 

 

 

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/18/protest-at-the-new-school-turns-unruly/?scp=2&sq=new%20school%20bob%20kerrey&st=cse

 
 
 

 

“Please, come out to the New School and support us! Join us! We are at 65 5th avenue (between 13th and 14th St.). The building will be open to all consortium students at 7:30am, we invite you to come any time tomorrow, but particularly at 10:30 when there will be a rally and press conference. The morning hours will be crucial, and the student-occupiers need to know that we are not struggling alone!”
 

 


Or see demands and various other sources below…
 

 


Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 03:15:13 -0500
Subject: [cuny_movement] New School Occupied! 10:30am Press Conference/Rally –
CUNY Students statement – Distribute widely!
To: cuny_movement {AT} lists.riseup.
net, CCU – discussion <cuny-contingents-discussion {AT} googlegroups.com>,
adjunct-l <ADJUNCT-L {AT} gc.listserv.cuny.edu>, GSOC Group <gcsoc {AT} yahoogroups.com>, militant-inquiries {AT} googlegroups.com, gcspacepubs {AT} googlegroups.com
<
mailto:sympa@lists.riseup.net?subject=subscribe%20cuny_movement >
 

 

We write this statement from an occupied New School University:
 
 

 

At 8pm, December 18th, over 75 students reclaimed the cafeteria at the New School University as an autonomous student center. Students from several Universities commandeered this space. Students of City College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center are here participating in this struggle. This is every student’s occupation.
 

 


If this can happen at the New School, through the organized activity of 75 dedicated students, it can happen at CUNY. And we certainly have reason to be upset:  On the first day of the Fall 2008 semester, the CUNY budget was slashed $50.6 million.  Massive layoffs plague all our schools. We are now being told of a looming $600-per-year tuition hike and more colossal budget cuts to CUNY students and teachers, in a school that was once FREE.
 

 


We will continue this campus occupation until our demands are met. While the demands tonight are specific to The New School we will not be satisfied until the students and faculty of CUNY, NYU, all the consortium schools and beyond, have control over their universities. Education should be free, student debts should be cancelled, students and workers should work together to achieve our goals, and we start here.
 

 


Please, come out to the New School and support us! Join us! We are at 65 5th avenue (between 13th and 14th St.). The building will be open to all consortium students at 7:30am, we invite you to come any time tomorro w, but particularly at 10:30 when there will be a rally and press conference. The morning hours will be crucial, and the student-occupiers need to know that we are not struggling alone!
 

 

Our next stop? CUNY.
–       CUNY students at The New School in Exile
 
 

 

 
Contact:
Frank at 718.314.2328, fmanning {AT} gc.cuny.edu
Conor Tomás Reed at 979.204.9253, cocoreed {AT} gmail.com
 

 

—-below we attach the communiqué from all of The New School in Exile—–

 

An Open Letter: Come Occupy a Building with Us…Now
 
 

 

Dear Friends,
 

 

We are writing to you from the inside of the New School Graduate Faculty Building on 65 5th Ave.  We are occupying it. Right now. Literally.
 

 

Students of the New School University, along with our partners from other universities and groups ­ like NYU, Hunter College, City College of NY, CUNY Graduate Center, and Borough of Manhattan Community College, have organically risen up to demand the resignation of President Bob Kerrey, Executive Vice President James Murtha, and Board Member/torturer Robert B. Millard (he multi-tasks). We have come together to prevent our study spaces from being flattened by corporate bulldozers, to have a say in who runs this school, to demand that the money we spend on this institution be used to facilitate the creation of a better society, not to build bigger buildings or invest in companies that make=2 0war. We have come here not only to make demands, but also to live them. Our presence makes it clear that this school is ours, and yours, if you are with us.
 

 

The outside doors have been closed now, so we can’t exactly invite you in…sorry… We know you wanted a piece of the action, but we’ll be around for quite some time. Join us at 7 AM tomorrow when the doors open again, or come now to stand outside with a sign in solidarity. You are cordially invited to join us in any way you can. We are not going anywhere. In the meantime, check out our Web site: http://www.newschoolinexile.com. We have all night to make things interesting, and the website will continue to be updated. Stay tuned for the musical pieces, doctoral dissertations, and creative finger-paintings that seem to be the natural result of 150 students locked into a building together for a night.

 

We are here, making decisions collectively, doing teach-ins, listening to music, studying, singing. We’ve got an upright bassist, guitarists and vocalists (If anyone can volunteer a drum-set we’ll be well on our way…). We’ll be here until this university changes, or until the party gets boring (but it doesn’t seem likely that will happen). We’re not going anywhere. We hope to see you soon, and if you really can’t wait a few hours ­ what the hell ­ occupy your own universities or work spaces.

 

Come use your voice to declare loudly that this school and this world are yours. Come use your mind to think up a better world. Come use your body to create it, one all-nighter in the university cafeteria at a time. Come stand in solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff of this university. Come to write letters of support to the people of the village of Thanh Phong whose parents were murdered by the current President of the New School during his service in Vietnam. Come join the struggle with the people of Iraq who are being tortured and killed by a company funded by this university and represented on the New School Board of Trustees. Come here to join the uprisings and outpouring of passionate resistance currently taking place all over this country, and all over the worlds ­ from factory workers in Chicago to students in Greece. Come for yourself. Come for all of us.
 

 

 
In solidarity,
The New School in Exile
 

 
From various sources Wednesday night…
New School Building Occupied 
To members of Campus Antiwar Network
Ian Chinich
Today at 12:54am

I am currently sitting inside a barricaded room with a large number of students at the New School. The students have occupied the building and are refusing to leave until their demands are met. They want the resignation of20the director of L-3 Communications from their board of governors in addition to stopping tuition increases, and divulging investment information.

 

 

We need support. We need food… we need media support… we need help spreading the word… we need you to occupy your schools and your work places… A number of students from other schools in the area have come to help us hold this space. So far the police have not forced their way in….. security has padlocked the fire escape to prevent more of us from getting in…a security guard attempted to enter over our barricades in the front to listen in but he was surrounded, we are holding our ground and we are holding out…. we shall see what happens in the morning.
 

Come to 14th street and 5th Avenue….. NOW!!!!…
 

 

Maria Lewis sent a message to the members of TAKE BACK NYU!
——————–

 

 

Subject: Come Join the SIt-In at the New School!
 

 

Greetings from liberated space! Come join us at the New School sit-in and demand student democracy and an end to school-sanctioned war profiteering! Like Take Back NYU!, New School students are fighting for student power and an end to campus complicity in systematic injustice. Let’s stand by our allies!!!

 

We are currently occupying 65 5th Ave. btwn. 13th and 14th street. Call me at (415)240-9441 and I will get you in. Please come join us, we need every heart, mind and body we can get. I have pasted a full explanation and li st of demands below.
 
 

 

What We Want:

 

The removal of Bob Kerrey as President of our university
 

 

The removal of James Murtha as Executive Vice President of our university

 

Election of the president, EVP, and Provost Students, faculty, and staff

 

Students as voting members of the interim committee to hire a provost

The removal of Robert B. Millard as treasurer of the board of trustees

 

Intelligible transparency and disclosure of the university budget and
investments
The creation of a committee on socially responsible investments
The immediate suspension of capital improvement projects like the
tearing down of 65 fifth Ave

 

Instead, money towards the creation of an autonomous student space

 

Instead, money towards scholarships and reducing tuition
 

 

Instead, money for the library and student life generally

 

——————–
 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:40:47 -0800 (PST)
From: dan vea <dan_vea  yahoo.com>
Subject: [NYMAA] some new school occupation resources
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

On Kerrey:
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Glenn’s blog, Volumizer is at: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Currently listening:
Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
By Explosions in the Sky
Release date: 2001-09-04

 

 

 
 
 

 

The Rouge Forum – Update December 2008

 

 

A message from Rich Gibson

 

 

Dear Friends,


Now that the NEA and AFT poured millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours into electing Obama, and Obama appointed Chicago’s education-thug Arne Duncan, we can see what is on the socio-economic horizon; a still more accelerated assault on poor and working people in schools and out. AFT’s boss, Randi Weingarten has already endorsed Duncan.


With tax bases evaporating as the economy disintegrates, education workers can expect to see that attack develop, soon, in the form of layoffs, increased class size, demands for wage and benefits cuts. At the same time, our students’ lives will churn even more as foreclosures boom and their parents’ jobs vanish. No union has prepared people for the period ahead, and none will.


This fine cartoon describes our situation quite well: http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_cartoons.html?id=572


People will fight back because people must, to live. At issue is whether the resistance will make sense, and win.


Already, the British Columbia Teachers Union has moved to boycott high stakes exams in solidarity with kids, and the youth of Greece show, once again, that youth can initiate social change, if not carry it through.


More, Chicago’s Republic workers resurrected the direct action tactic, the sit-down strike, winning a very limited victory, but showing us all that building seizures can work.


This is what the Rouge Forum has predicted for nearly a decade. One of the projects our steering committee initiated is ever more urgent now. Hence, the note below from Rouge Forum Steering Committee Coordinator, Adam Renner about the rebirth of the Rouge Forum News.

 
———————————–


It’s time to restart the Rouge Forum News; it’s time for our 13th edition!

 

The economy continues its descent.  Runaway capitalism slides off its rails. The results of deregulation rear their hyrdra-like head(s).  The Bush tax cuts illustrate what applying leeches to a patient who is bleeding to death must feel like. The numbers can no longer be faked, massaged, or hidden. CEOs are given a free pass while blue collar workers must fight (sit-in, resist, etc.) for their lives.  And, the blowing embers of neoliberalism might (finally) begin to flicker away.  Needless to say, we are faced with a financial crisis we have not seen for some time.  Few groups/publications have had the courage to maintain their voice, keeping the critique of capitalism in the forefront of the struggle (even when the markets would suggest otherwise). 


Alongside folks at the Monthly Review, the International Socialist Review, and a few alternative news sites, educators in the Rouge Forum have also continued to keep their voices strong, consistently providing links between runaway capital, the rabid and rapid standardization of curriculum, the co-optation of our unions, the militarization of our youth, and the creep of irrationalism in our schools. 


The Rouge Forum has been attempting to spearhead a mass movement of conscious educators, parents, and students toward connecting reason with power.  Despite the overwhelming power of the opposition, the Rouge Forum, like only a few others, has chosen to continue to struggle–by meeting, by writing, by organizing, by sharing the struggle.  Toward this end, and in order to try to make better sense of how we arrived at this economic moment, the Rouge Forum is reinstating the RF News in 2009.

 
We’d like our first edition back (our 13th overall) to focus on the financial crisis: histories, analyses, commentaries on the economic state of the union/world. 

 
We are interested in work from academics, parents, teachers, and students: teachers at all levels, students in ANY grade, parents of children of any age.


Something small, something big, something serious.  We want to publish YOUR story in our next issue.  It is the stories we get from people like you that make the RF News what it is.    If you have a story to share, but would like to protect your identity, use a pen name.  Pen names are welcome!


We NEED Art!  Songs!  Poems!  Editorial cartoons! Links to online videos or other material! Perhaps you are better at expressing yourself with art or poetry.  Send it in!


We are looking for narratives as well as research and the interplay between research and practice which focus on our current economic meltdown.  If you have a story to tell, some research to share, a book to review, we’d love to see it (and share it).


We publish material from k-12 students, parents, teachers, academics, and community people struggling for equality and democracy in schools — writing (intended to inform/educate, or stories from your classroom, etc.), art, cartoons, photos, poetry.  You can submit material for the RF News via email (text attachment, if possible) to our Rouge Forum community organizer, Adam Renner: arenner@bellarmine.edu. PLEASE SUBMIT BY FEBRUARY 15, 2009.


There will be one more Rouge Forum Update during the holiday season, unless events dictate otherwise.


Thanks to Alan S., Wayne, Bob, Susan H and O, Georgia, Margaret, Candace, Molly, Tally, Judy S., Kathy K, Tammy, Tony H and N, Gil G, Peter, Ravi, Dave, Glenn, Weird Eric, Dirty Edd and Suzanne, Sherry, Greg, Bill, Preston, MrJ, Jtop, Steve C and R, Carol Panetta and Bob Haas, Agops, Vanessa, Cindy . Jill, Sarah, Kelly, Anil, and Amber.


All the best,

Rich Gibson

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Glenn’s new Volumizer blog is at: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Volumizer Resurrection Twelve

 

 

The Volumizer was Glenn Rikowski’s AOL blog. It 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 at the Volumizer, will be preserved at The Flow of Ideas. The latest articles to be included in this project are listed below:

 

 

 

2008

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2008) Education As Culture Machine, 25th September, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Education%20As%20Culture%20Machine

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2008) Notes on the Confessions of John Denham, 26th August, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Notes%20on%20the%20Confessions%20of%20John%20Denham

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2008) Uninspiring Towers: Higher Education Futures in the UK, 1st August, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Uninspiring%20Towers

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2008) Outsourcing Public Services – with special reference to education, 26th July, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Outsourcing%20Public%20Services

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2008) Postmodern Dereliction in the Face of Neoliberal Education Policy, 27th April, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Postmodern%20Dereliction%20in%20the%20Face%20of%20Neoliberal%20Education%20Policy

 

 

Rikowski, G. (2008) Post-Fordism and Schools in England, 26th April, London, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Post-Fordism%20and%20Schools

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

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

Why Third Way Politics Refuses To Die

 

 

 

 

Why Third Way Politics Refuses To Die


By Louis Proyect

 


COME ON, GOOD PEOPLE, COME ON! We know, this is the time of the year when you receive letters galore from the ACLU, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and countless other organizations and charities that want to reach into your wallet. They do have a big marketing budget, don’t they? — and they all tell you they want to change the world, or at least alleviate its suffering. We have no marketing budget and we are not promising to change the world — not that we aren’t trying…but one has to be realistic. What we bring you is different voices, some darn serious, others quite humorous or poetic. We bring you book reviews. We bring you analysis. We bring you an extraordinarily diverse pool of authors from many countries. We bring you famous and not so famous authors. We bring you alternatives. We bring you originality and quality twice a month, rain or shine. Again, where else can you find what we bring, and all commercial free? So open your checkbook and write that darn check. It won’t save the auto industry but it will save Swans, and it will make a huge difference both emotionally and practically for our work ahead. Thank you and our very best wishes for the coming year.
Donate Now!

 

(Swans – December 15, 2008): In 1997 Tony Blair became Prime Minister of Great Britain ending eighteen years of Tory rule. For left-leaning Britons, the 1979-1990 rule of Margaret Thatcher and her successor John Major easily rivaled George W. Bush’s as an odious symbol of class injustice. When she was not embarking on foreign imperial adventures in the Malvinas, Thatcher was attacking the working class at home. Her most notable victory was in defeating the coal miner’s strike of 1984, an achievement that was as effective as Reagan’s assault on the airline controllers in preparing the way for a neoliberal economic regime.

 

 


When Blair was elected, the sense of relief evoked this “Wizard of Oz” ditty sung by the Munchkins:

 


Ding Dong! The Witch is dead.
Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead.
She’s gone where the goblins go,
Below – below – below.

Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know The Wicked Witch is dead!

 

However, British voters did not get exactly what they voted for.
As soon as the euphoria wore off, it became clear that Tony Blair was no friend of working people, as Thomas Friedman observed in an April 22, 2005, New York Times Op-Ed:

 


The other very real thing Mr. Blair has done is to get the Labor Party in Britain to firmly embrace the free market and globalization – sometimes kicking and screaming. He has reconfigured Labor politics around a set of policies designed to get the most out of globalization and privatization for British workers, while cushioning the harshest side effects, rather than trying to hold onto bankrupt Socialist ideas or wallowing in the knee-jerk antiglobalism of the reactionary left.

 


Blair demonstrated that he was no slouch when it came to sending British troops abroad, joining the U.S. in imperial aggressions against the Serbs and the Iraqis. Indeed, one would be hard put to really tell the difference between the Tories and New Labour other than the rhetoric.

 


Although the eight years of George W. Bush was a lot shorter in duration than Tory rule in Great Britain, it did manage to do as much violence to working people at home and abroad. Bush was notoriously lazy but he did have a kind of zeal for punishing those not fortunate enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

 

With the election of Barack Obama in November, the same pattern seems to be unfolding as it did with Tony Blair’s prime ministry. Both Blair and his American counterpart Bill Clinton sought to govern through the “Third Way,” a philosophy that permeates Obama’s “Audacity of Hope.” For those who have been surprised by Obama’s apparent determination to serve in the capacity of Bill Clinton’s third term, the evidence for such a proclivity was there all along for those with the patience to read through his gaseous prose. Obama wrote:

 

 

“In his platform — if not always in his day-to-day politics — Clinton’s Third Way went beyond splitting the difference. It tapped into the pragmatic, nonideological attitude of the majority of Americans.


“Just as Blair was determined to continue the free-market policies of Margaret Thatcher, so was Obama ready to apply the same kind of lash to the backs of American workers first applied by Ronald Reagan, her American counterpart that Reagan’s message “spoke to the failure of liberal government,” which had become “too cavalier about spending taxpayer money…” He added that, “A lot of liberal rhetoric did seem to value rights and entitlements over duties and responsibilities…. Reagan offered Americans a sense of common purpose that liberals seemed no longer able to muster.

 


Labour and liberal disappointment with Tony Blair and Barack Obama respectively tends to sidestep the all-important question of why these politicians try to mediate between their own party and the organized Right. In contrast, John McCain fought hard for Republican Party core beliefs. Triangulating between conservative and liberal positions originates on the left rather than the right apparently and when the conservatives keep shifting to the right, the end result of triangulation is a center further to the right than in the past.

 


Rather than seeing “Third Way” politics as a kind of conscious policy choice, I would suggest that it is better understood in structural terms as the defense mechanism of Empires in decline perhaps not even understood fully by the politicians who carry them out. In broad historical perspectives, the rise of centrism in two of the most powerful imperialist nations in history is stoked by their decline as economic powers.

 


At a time when the British Empire was relatively powerful, the Labour Party pushed relatively hard for the class interests of the rank-and-file voter. It was no accident that socialized medicine arrived when British steel, shipbuilding, coal-mining, and auto manufacturing were vibrant, profit-generating industries.

 


When British industry lost its competitive edge, not coincidentally around the same time that its former colonial subjects were winning their freedom, the capitalists understood that the old rules did not apply. The worker’s slice of the pie shrank steadily, all in the name of “modernization” and “efficiency.

 


The same ineluctable processes that gave rise to the “Third Way” in Great Britain have matured in the United States, thus giving birth to the candidacies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama alike. In one of the greatest con jobs in history, Obama was elected because voters decided that “change” meant something different from both George W. Bush and the Clinton administration that preceded it.

 


The liberal pundits who helped to get Obama elected still hold out hope that he will push through a new New Deal and thus return the U.S. to some kind of golden era of prosperity. For many of them, the proof of Obama’s FDR type credentials is his announced intention to push through a 700 billion dollar public works project. Once again demonstrating the indifference to history that characterizes the world of Huffington Post, Nation Magazine, et al., there has been no attempt to analyze whether FDR’s public works program did much good in breaking the back of the Great Depression.

 


It turns out that it was World War Two that had such a salutary effect, according to a letter written by the late Harry Magdoff in reply to a Monthly Review contributor who betrayed Keynesian illusions in a submission.
Magdoff wrote:

 


[D]espite a promise of heavy government spending, and Keynes’s theoretical support, the New Dealers were stumped by the 1937-38 recession, which interrupted what looked like a strong recovery. There was then as there is now an underlying faith that capitalism is a self-generating mechanism. If it slowed down or got into trouble, all that was needed was a jolt to get back on track. In those days, when farm life supplied useful metaphors, the needed boost was referred to as priming the pump. The onset of a marked recession after years of pump-priming startled Washington. Questions began to be raised about the possibility of stagnation in a mature capitalism, the retarding effect of monopolistic corporations, and other possible drags on business. These concerns faded as war orders flowed in from Europe, and eventually they disappeared when the United States went to war. The notion of the “Keynesian Welfare State” has tended to disguise the fact that what really turned the tide was not social welfare, Keynesian or otherwise, but war. In that sense, the whole concept of Keynesianism can be mystification.

 


War, of course, is not a feasible option today for the U.S. or any other imperialist power given the likelihood of mutually assured destruction. That being the case, how likely is it that public works programs will accomplish today what it did not in the 1930s? The answer is not very likely at all. The irony of American politics today is that the weapons it created to help win the last world war serve to inhibit it from launching new wars against powerful rivals. Without resort to war — what Randolph Bourne called “the health of the state” — the U.S. is destined to lurch from one economic crisis to another with politicians on the right and the nominal left competing with each other to turn back the clock to a glorious past that never really existed.

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Thought Becomes Realityby Circulus

 

 

CIRCULUS ALBUM APPEAL/DECLARATION OF LOVE

 

 

Dear friends,

 

I’m sure many of you are aware of the sorry state of the music industry and how much harder it is now to release albums, with major labels teaming up with mobile phone companies and all that desperate nonsense.

 


We have recorded our third album and many of those who have heard it say it’s the best one yet. Rather than giving it away to some record label we have chosen to release on our own label Mythical Cake (can anyone spot the anagram?)

 


We have called it “Thought Becomes Reality”. The artwork and songs follow a 2012 theme. In order to meet production costs and bring this album to you we are launching an exciting appeal.

 


The inside of the CD booklet depicts a drawing of a large extraterrestrial craft. There are portholes along the side of the craft. If you can help us launch this album we will show your photograph peering out of one of the portholes. You will be journeying with us and you will have made this flight possible.

 


Here it is, take it or leave it. Fifty pounds a seat. We will also send you three advanced copies well before its official release in March 2009.

 

 


Please forward this message on!

 

Love Circulus
A huge thank you to
Spiral Earth for their generous donation towards the craft.

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Currently listening :
Clocks Are Like People
By Circulus
Release date: 2006-08-14

Critical Race Theory in the UK: What is to be learnt? What is to be done?

 

 

Thursday 25th & Friday 26th June 2009

The Institute of Education

University of London

20 Bedford Way

London WC1

 

 

Full attendance: £80 inc. VAT

 

 

Keynotes include:

 

Richard Delgado

Jean Stefancic

Kevin Hylton

 

 

… With a Panel for Discussion including David Gillborn and Ann Phoenix

 

 

Whether you are new to CRT or have some experience of this emerging critical framework this major conference intends to consider the relevance of CRT to our understanding of core issues concerning ‘race’, racism, racialisation, gender, class, sexuality, age and disability in UK higher education.

 

 

Papers might explore the following:

 

·         What is the place for CRT in social theory?

·         How should we theorise ‘race’, racism and racialisation?

·         Do we need to privilege the black voice in the academy?

·         How does ‘race’ interrelate with other social inequalities?

·         Is the classroom a site for antiracist education?

 

 

This conference is being held in conjunction with the support of:

The Institute of Education, University of London

The British Sociological Association

The Centre for Research into Diversity in the Professions, Leeds Metropolitan University

 

 

In case of queries, please contact Frances Worrall:

Tel: 0121 414 2995

Email: f.l.worrall@bham.ac.uk

 

 

External links:

http://www.c-sap.bham.ac.uk/events/new_event.htm?id=183

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

THE DEEPENING ECONOMIC DISASTER – WEB SITE

See this politically interesting, economically topical and useful web site at: http://nyusociology.org/blogs/radical/2008/12/08/the-deepening-economic-disaster/

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

By Jeffrey B. Perry

Just Published by Columbia University Press (November 2008)

Biography of St. Croix, Virgin Islands-born Hubert Harrison (1883-1927)

Who Was Hubert Harrison? http://www.cupblog.org/?p=444

For a Brief Description of the Book — http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13910-6/hubert-harrison

For a Longer Description of the Book – See BlackPast.org http://www.blackpast.org/?q=perspectives/hubert-harrison-voice-early-20th-century-harlem-radicalism

For an Excerpt from the Book’s “Introduction” — http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13910-6/hubert-harrison/excerpt

For Reviewer Comments — by Cornel West, Amiri Baraka, Arnold Rampersad, David Levering Lewis, Manning Marable, Winston James, Joyce Moore Turner, David Roediger, Komozi Woodard, Bill Fletcher Jr., Christopher Phelps, Peniel Joseph, Gary Okihiro, Portia James, and Gene Bruskin — See  http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13910-6/hubert-harrison/reviews

For Online Purchase – Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hubert-Harrison-Harlem-Radicalism-1883-1918/dp/0231139101/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225666313&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Hubert-Harrison/Jeffrey-B-Perry/e/9780231139106/?itm=3

Encourage Your Library To Get the Book — So that others may have an opportunity to read about Hubert Harrison.

Please Help to Spread the Word    —   Please forward this email to friends and others who might be interested.

 

Jeffrey B. Perry

Author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

http://www.jeffreybperry.net

 

Glenn Rikowski

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

The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault


Mark G. E. Kelly
 

 

Routledge 2008

 

This book is the first to systematically reconstruct Michel Foucault’s political and philosophical thought across his career. It argues, in the areas of epistemology, power, subjectivity, resistance, politics, and ethics, that Foucault’s work represents the articulation of a consistent and progressive philosophical and political viewpoint. In the first four of these areas, I believe my treatments are by some margin the most comprehensive expositions available anywhere, and encompass new views with which Foucault scholars should engage. 

 
 

 

Mark Kelly Lecturer in Philosophy Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy Middlesex University
London N14 4YZ
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/www/crmep/STAFF/MarkKelly.htm
 
 

 

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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