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Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Storm in the World Economy


Uncaptive Minds Discussion Forum


16th February 2009


The last winter has seen the biggest breakdown in the world financial system since the Great Depression, and the opening-up of what promises to be a deep and prolonged recession.


Banks have collapsed. Household names from Woolworths to Wedgwood have gone to the wall. The ideological dominance of the free-marketers and neoliberals has been swept away.


And yet few are challenging the real cause of the crisis – capitalism itself. The broadsheets write acres about Karl Marx, but in most Western countries the workers’ movement is not even fit to take a punch at the ruling class.


We will be discussing the composition of the global working class today, its relation to the economic crisis and the prospects of uprooting this system.




Kim Moody (leading figure in the American rank-and-file trade union publication Labor Notes)


Andrew Fisher (Left Economics Advisory Panel)



7pm, Monday 16th February, Lucas Arms, Nr. King’s Cross, London


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

The Rouge Forum – Update 9th February 2009



A Message from Rich Gibson



Dear Friends, That’s also the place where you’ll find the call for proposals for the Rouge Forum Conference, May 15 to 17, at Eastern Michigan University. will get what in the “what about ME?” scramble for bailout money this time? Much of that will be set up by who paid who what. Last time the Tarp recipients spent $144 million on lobbyists.    Send a check when you write congress or Obama: Iraq war is far from over; war in Afghanistan is expanding. The anti-war movement is split, never met the potential represented by the mass outpouring of opposition to the Iraq invasion. Still, it appears that the biggest anti-war actions will be on March 21, the sixth anniversary of the invasion (really 3/19), in cities all over the US. Here is Tom Ricks, “The Iraq war is not over,” although corporate media still cannot spell O-I-L.

Resistance rises world wide, if we in the US do not see a lot of it. The French general strike most recently demonstrated that students and school workers can indeed initiate and lead struggle for social justice. Here is an update from Italy: UTLA test boycott is still on. Let’s spread this idea and expand it to ALL the high-stakes exams. Friends in Fresno are preparing to make presentations to their school board for just that purpose. is an opportunity to make some international connections:
American Councils for Education: Seeking Fellowship Placements The American Councils for Education, in association with the U.S. Department of State, is seeking to place five young professionals in non-governmental internships across the country during the fall 2009 intern season (September-December).? Prospective interns will be arriving in the United States in mid-August under the auspices of the federally funded Legislative Education and Practice program (LEAP) and will be ready to report to work in early September. LEAP Fellows are dedicated public servants between 23 and 33 years of age from Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. They are college -educated (many have advanced degrees in law or international studies), speak fluent English, have had previous U.S.-based experience, and are eager to learn how Americans address rule of law, civil society, work in advocacy, infrastructure, energy, human rights, and related topics, so that they may better their own societies. Interns will be available to work a full-time schedule and will be fully supported by American Councils and the U.S. Department of States in terms of compensation, health insurance, etc. To learn more, please contact RaeJean Stokes at 202-833-7522 or via email at:
leap@americancouncils.orgThanks to Joe B and C, Amber, Donna, Sharyn, Erin, B and N, Bob, Susan O and H, Gene, Patrick, Harold, Bonnie, Kathy, Angie, Ravi, Bill, A and G, Karen C, Willie Himebaugh, Chuck R, Tom T, and Wayne.

The Rouge Forum No Blood For Oil page is updated at:

The deadline for articles for the Rouge Forum News is March 1. Schools, k through universities, face massive cuts. What’s going on in your area?  Send articles, cartoons, photos, etc to Adam Renner:

Spread the word. NO CONCESSIONS. Concessions are like giving blood to sharks. It only makes bosses want more (look at the United Auto Workers). Not one step back. In fact, we want MORE. We know the bosses are weak. We want a shorter work week with no cut in pay. No Layoffs. Add another shift, cut class size. No evictions. Free health care for all. Tax the rich. Free wireless everywhere. Stop high stakes exams. Recruiters off the campuses. Academic freedom for students and teachers. (and you can make up some of your own, I am sure).

Take a look at the Rouge Forum blog and join in the discussion. If we can get that going, we can demonstrate the collective nature of our problems, which have few if any individual solutions, and share information about what people are doing:



Juan Cole believes Obama may have to delay his Afghan surge as the US supply routes are cut


Gilbert Gonzalez is working on a video on the Bracero Program. He’d like some help. This is a teaser video



Down with the Banks and Up with the Rebels!

All the best

Rich Gibson



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Wavering on Ether:


The next talk in this series will be given by William Dixon on: “Capitalism on the Window Curve: A Perspective on Crisis”


7.30PM – 9.00PM

30 Russell Sqaure

RUS (30) 401 – Classroom 15

Thursday 19th February

Details: email

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski 

The Flow of Ideas:

The Fetishism of Commodities – Geert Reuten



”Exploring Marx’s Capital”

Thursday, 12th February at 7.30pm, IIRE (Lombokstraat, 40 – Amsterdam)

“The fetishism of commodities”

By Geert Reuten, University of Amsterdam

This is the second lecture of the project “Exploring Marx’s Capital”, which is an integral part of the series Returns of Marxism in Amsterdam 2008/2009.

For more information, see:

Each lecture of the month from December onwards focuses upon a topic in Marx’s Capital. More precisely, it follows chronologically the main topics of Marx’s Capital Volume I, from the “commodity form” to primitive accumulation”.

The mini-series “Exploring Marx’s Capital” is related to the Capital Reading Group of Capital Volume I (both in English and in Dutch) that we started in November at the IIRE and at the University of Amsterdam.

The meetings of the Capital reading group take place twice a month, and are followed by the public lecture at the end of the month. If you are interested in participating, please do not hesitate to contact the
following emails: – for the reading group in English; – for the group held in Dutch.

Please circulate

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

On the Idea of Communism – Conference Programme


Conference: 13-15 March 2009

“It’s just the simple thing that’s hard, so hard to do” (B. Brecht)

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
13th/14th/15th March 2009
Logan Hall, Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL





Friday March 13

2pm    Costas Douzinas – Welcome

Alain Badiou: Introductory remarks

Michael Hardt: “The Production of the Common”

Bruno Bosteels: “The Leftist Hypothesis: Communism in the Age of Terror”

Peter Hallward: “Communism of the Intellect, Communism of the Will”

Alberto Toscano:    “Communist Power / Communist Knowledge”

Jean-Luc Nancy will be present throughout the conference and will intervene in the discussions.

6 pm    End

Saturday March 14

10am    Alessandro Russo: “Did the Cultural Revolution End Communism?”

Wang Hui:    “Transition towards Socialism”

Toni Negri: “Communisme: reflexions sur le concept et la pratique”

1pm    Lunch

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

3pm    Terry Eagleton: “Communism: Lear or Gonzalo?”

Jacques Ranciere:    “Communists without Communism?”

Alain Badiou: “Communism: a generic name”

6pm    End


Sunday March 15

10am    Slavoj Zizek: “To begin from the beginning over and over again”

Gianni Vattimo:    “Weak Communism?”

Judith Balso: “Communism: a hypothesis for philosophy, an impossible name for politics?”

Concluding Debate

2pm    End


For the previous post on this item, which provides a rationale for the Conference, see:



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas at:

The Commoner

New Issue


The Commoner, No.13 – Winter 2009 – ‘There’s an Energy Crisis (among others) in the Air …





Kolya Abramsky and Massimo De Angelis: Introduction: Energy Crisis (among others) is in the Air


Tom Keefer: Fossil Fuels, Capitalism, and Class Struggle


Kolya Abramsky: Energy and Labor in the World Economy


Evo Morales: Open Letter on Climate Change: “Save the Planet from Capitalism”


George Caffentzis: A Discourse on Prophetic Method: Oil Crises and Political Economy, Past and Future


Ewa Jasiewicz: Iraqi Oil Workers’ Movements: Spaces of Transformation and Transition


Patrick Bond: The Global Carbon Trade Debate: For or Against the Privatisation of the Air?


Ariel Salleh: Climate Change, Social Change – and the ‘Other Footprint’


Shannon Walsh: The Smell of Money: Alberta’s Tar Sands


Jane Kruse and Preben Maegaard: An Authentic Story about how a Local Community became Self-sufficient in Pollution Free Energy and Created a Source of Income for Citizens


TRAPESE Collective: The Rocky Road to a Real Transition: The Transition Towns Movement and What it Means for Social Change


Monica Vargas Collazos: The Ecological Debt of Agro-fuels


Tatiana Roa Avendano and Jessica Toloza: Dynamics of a Songful Resistance


Sergio Oceransky: Wind Conflicts in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec – The Role of Ownership and Decision-Making Models in Indigenous Resistance to Wind Projects in Southern Mexico


Jane Kruse: The End of One Danish Windmill Co-operative


Plus videos …



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Foucault Society Seminar: The Birth of Biopolitics

The Foucault Society, New York City

Seminar Series:  Michel Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics

We are pleased to announce the Winter/Spring 2009 schedule for the Foucault Society’s Seminar Series on Michel Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).  Our year-long public seminar pursues Foucault’s questions:  What is at stake in liberalism?  How do liberal governments produce governable subjects—individuals who consent to be governed?  We situate the lectures in the context of Foucault’s better known work (e.g. Discipline and Punish and History of Sexuality), discuss what he means by biopolitics, consider how the lectures develop his theory of power/knowledge, and debate how this text can help us to refine our understanding of Foucault’s intellectual and political project. 


This program is funded by a mini-grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.



All meetings will be held from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at Macaulay Honors College —CUNY, 35 West 67th Street , New York , NY 10023 .


Proceedings to be published in Foucault Studies


Foucault Society web site – for more details:



Registration fee:  $12/meeting (full series: $50).  Student/senior discount: $8/meeting (full series:  $35).  No one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay. 



To register, for more information, or to purchase the book at our special discounted rate, please contact the Seminar Organizers:  Shifra Diamond or Michael Jolley:  



About the Foucault Society:

The Foucault Society is an independent, non-profit educational organization offering a variety of forums dedicated to critical study of the ideas of Michel Foucault (1926-1984) within a contemporary context.  The Foucault Society is a 501 (c) (3) recognized public charity.  As such donations are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Shifra Diamond
Ph.D. Candidate
Human Sciences: Program in Language, Culture & Society
George Washington University
Home e-mail:
Campus e-mail:



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:


This film, directed by Bryan Singer (who directed The Usual Suspects – one of my favourite films) is reviewed by Gregory Rikowski on his MySpace blog. The screenplay was by Christopher McQuarrie – who also wrote the screenplay for The Usual Suspects.

You can see Gregory’s review at:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Capitalist Crisis: An Interview with Andrew Kliman

Anyone interested in the current crisis of capital would find this pamphlet by Andrew Kliman to be most timely and illuminating. Kliman demolishes several myths, over-exaggerations and hypes regarding the current crisis of capital and indicates its real roots. He shows that the ideas of Karl Marx have much greater explanatory power than those of Keynes or mainstream economics for understanding our predicament.

The full details regarding this pamphlet are:

Capitalist Crisis: An Interview with Andrew Kliman, Pamphlet No.4, November 2008, published by The Commune

Price £1 percopy + postage and packing

Available from Housemans Bookshop, Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London, or order by email:

For more articles about the economic crisis, visit:

Correspondence: The Commune, 2nd Floor, 145-147, St. John Street, London EC1V 4PY

The Commune:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski, The Flow of Ideas:

Why Read ‘Capital’? Marx in the 21st Century


Launching a fortnightly seminar discussing the main issues & themes in Karl Marx’s Capital Volume I


Open to anyone with an interest in finding out more about Marx’s great work.

Marx in the 21st Century

Speaker: Prof. Alex Callinicos
Tuesday 10th February
Room K4U.12

Strand Campus
King’s College

– – –



The ever-deepening crisis of capitalism is sending tremors through the dominant neo-liberal economic consensus.
Many people are now questioning the logic of the free-market, and looking for an explanation of the current crisis.

Prof Alex Callinicos (European Studies, Author of The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx) looks again at Marx’s Capital, his understanding of the system, and argues for its continued and growing importance.


– – –


Called by a group of King’s students (in association with the International Socialism Journal, this meeting hopes to launch a fortnightly seminar discussing the main issues & themes in Capital Volume I, but is open to anyone with an interest in finding out more about Marx’s great work.

– – –


Copies of Capital Volume I & associated works will be available at a stall provided kindly by Bookmarks Bookshop:



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

The Rouge Forum – Update 3rd February 2009



A Message from Rich Gibson



Dear Friends

February 12th is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. Sounds like a good day to remind people about evolution, dialectics, and leaps of change! Have a party! Happy Happy Merry Merry–Charles!

A reminder: set aside May 14th to 17th for the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, just minutes from the Detroit Airport. Here is the conference information and call for proposals:

United Teachers of LA called for a test boycott, perhaps the first large school worker union to do so:

Though the boycott is limited to what many RF activists feel is second-tier testing, the idea could well spread. Messages of support can go to the UTLA leadership at:

In France, a general strike was kicked off by teachers and students, proving once again our long held thesis that school workers and students are well positioned to initiate, if not fully carry through, action for social justice:

From the EdNotes blog, a video the United Federation of Teachers (NYC) would prefer that we not see (scroll down a bit):

Colleague Chalmers Johnson, author of the Nemisis trilogy, weighs in with “The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon,”

We all noticed that Exxon recorded the highest profits ever
and military contractors expect no layoffs whatsoever. War, in many instances, means work.

Bill Zucker sets up a shout, “I want some Tarp!”

Those who wonder what their NEA union leaders and staff are paid can check EIA, a right-libertarian site, here (there are instructions on how to check on the LMR 2) Note that NEA past president Reg Weaver took home $554,524 and he probably was able to live on his expense account.

The Rouge Forum blogspot is up and running at: You are welcome to chime in!

Thanks to Eric, Kev, Wayne, Bob, Amber, Tom, Perry, Angie, Stella, O, Donnie A, Jim B, Peter M, Hannah, Beau, Dave, Tommie, Sandy, and Sherry.

All the best

Rich Gibson



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:


Gregory Rikowski reviews and reflects on this film from 1946, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Gregory’s review is at:

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: