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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Capitalist Crisis

A RIGHT PANIC IN EDUCATION!

Apparently, persons at the self-esteemed National Association of Scholars seem a little perturbed and disgruntled regarding the contents of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS). One of their eminent amd most dashing of  ‘scholars’, a certain Ashley Thorne, has keyboarded two recent articles ‘revealing’ that the JCEPS publishes Marxist-inspired and other Left-inclined critical analyses of education. Well, I never! What a ‘world exclusive’ of prodigious proportions! First rate journalism!  

Thorne’s ‘arguments’ are wilfully misinforming and pseudo-indignant, but what these articles indicate is that elements on the radical Right are getting a tad jittery about the relative success of Marxist and Left critiques of capitalist schooling. As well they might, given the current crisis of capital and its consequences for education and training in the politics of austerity.  

The two epic articles can be observed at:

Thorne, A. (2009a) Guided by a Red Star: Ed Schools Bring Frankenstein to the Cradle of Marxism, The National Association of Scholars, 15th December, online at: http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?doc_id=1127

Thorne, A. (2009b) Che Lives? The National Association of Scholars, 29th December, online at: http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?doc_id=1135

You can view the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies at: http://www.jceps.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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I say, old chap!

SYMPOSIUM ON SOCIAL CLASS

The Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities Research group has the pleasure in inviting you to its inaugural Symposium on Wednesday 27th January 2010, Chapman Hall, Southlands College, Roehampton University, 2-6pm on:

Class: Towards New Frameworks of Analysis

We are delighted to announce that the speakers will be:

Professor Mike Savage (University of Manchester)
Cultural capital and the politics of belonging

Professor Andrew Sayer (University of Lancaster)
Class, worth and contributive injustice.

Dr. Ben Rogaly and Dr. Becky Taylor (University of Sussex and
Birkbeck College).
“I don’t want to be classed, but we’re all classed”: Making liveable lives in contemporary England.

The discussants will be Professor Gill Crozier (Roehampton University) and Dr. Paul Watt (Birkbeck College).

We will send out a full programme shortly.

As places are limited, please let us know if you wish to attend.

RSVP: A.Kanwar@roehampton.ac.uk

Details: http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/news/events/january-2010/Class_Towards_New_Frameworks_of_Analysis.html

N.B This Symposium is open to Academics and Postgraduate students.

Best wishes,

Floya

Professor Floya Anthias
School of Business and Social Sciences
Roehampton University
Queens Building
Southlands College
80, Roehampton Lane
London S.W.15 5SL
Tel: 0208 392 5047

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Upping the Anti

UPPING THE ANTI ISSUE 9

Dear Friends and Comrades,

We are pleased to announce that the ninth issue of Upping the Anti, a journal of theory and action, can now be ordered online http://uppingtheanti.org/subscribe/ or purchased at these fine booksellers http://www.uppingtheanti.org/journal/bookstores/.

UTA 9 includes:

• Interviews with Eli Clare and Sherene Razack
• Ben Saifer on Campus Israel advocacy and the politics of “dialogue”
• Kate Milley on anti-Native organizing and the “Caledonia Crisis”
• Chris Hurl and Kevin Walby on the rise and fall of the Canadian Union of Students
• Roundtables on the ten year of anniversary of the “Battle of Seattle” and anti-Olympics organizing in British Columbia

Upping the Anti is a radical journal published twice a year by a pan-Canadian collective of activists and organizers. We are dedicated to publishing radical theory and analysis about struggles against capitalism, imperialism and all forms of oppression. Since our debut in 2005, we’ve published articles by and interviews with renowned activists and intellectuals, including Aijaz Ahmad, Himani Bannerji, Grace Lee Boggs, Ward Churchill, Michael Hardt, John Holloway, Sunera Thobani, Deborah Gould, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

We have covered a wide range of topics including Palestine solidarity activism, the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary anti-war movement, trans politics and anti-capitalism, Indigenous solidarity, contemporary feminist organizing, activist burnout, the dynamics of the animal liberation movement, and the contradictions and challenges facing student organizing.

Looking for that perfect holiday gift?

This holiday season, give the gift of revolutionary thought to your friends, family, co-workers or comrades. For a limited time, you can get Issues 8, 9 and 10 of Upping the Anti delivered right to your door, or to the door of your choosing for just $25 CAD or $35 USD.

Canada – Holiday Promo
Issues 8, 9 and 10 of Upping the Anti delivered right to your door
$25.00 – Login or Register to add this to your cart.

USA – Holiday Promo
Issues 8, 9 and 10 of Upping the Anti delivered right to your door
$35.00 – Login or Register to add this to your cart.

Order by December 30th and receive 3 issues of Upping the Anti for $25!

Happy holidays

The Upping the Anti Editorial Committee

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Revolution

THE (IM)POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION

Chris Knight, Hillel Ticktin and William Dixon debate:

THE (IM)POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION

Thursday 21st January, 7.15pm, Room B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, Thornaugh Street. WC1 (Russell Square tube)

At the next election millions will vote for pro-capitalist political parties that offer little except cutbacks and austerity. Despite economic crisis, climate chaos and disastrous wars, people see no alternative to capitalism – and revolution seems, at best, an impossible dream.

Yet all three speakers at this debate believe this situation cannot last indefinitely. Their differing interpretations of anthropology, economics and history each show that a 21st Century global revolution is a real possibility – not just a dream.

Could they be right? Come and join the debate.

Chris Knight is an anthropology lecturer, sacked for his involvement in the G20 anti-capitalist protests, and author of Blood Relations, Menstruation and the Origins of Culture.

Hillel Ticktin is editor of Critique, a Journal of Socialist Theory.

William Dixon is a Mute magazine contributor.

(The speakers’ names link to interesting articles.)

Check the Critique and Radical Anthropology Group websites in 2010 for further meetings in London.

Please publicise widely, thanks.

 Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Review of Radical Political Economics

REVIEW OF RADICAL POLITICAL ECONOMICS – VOL.41 NO.4

Review of Radical Political Economics — Table of Contents Alert

A new issue of Review of Radical Political Economics has been made available:

1 December 2009; Vol. 41, No. 4 

URL: http://rrp.sagepub.com/content/vol41/issue4/?etoc

Articles

Introduction: The Political Economy of Financialization
Jonathan P. Goldstein
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 453-457
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/453?etoc

Financialization and Marx: Giving Labor and Capital a Financial Makeover, by Dick Bryan, Randy Martin, and Mike Rafferty
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 458-472
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/458?etoc

From the Gold Standard to the Floating Dollar Standard: An Appraisal in the Light of Marx’s Theory of Money
Ramaa Vasudevan
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 473-491
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/473?etoc

Post-Keynesian Theories of the Firm under Financialization
Thomas Dallery
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 492-515
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/492?etoc

Islamic Alternatives to Purely Capitalist Modes of Finance: A Study of Malaysian Banks from 1999 to 2006
Tamer ElGindi, Mona Said, and John William Salevurakis
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 516-538
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/516?etoc

Financialization and Changes in the Social Relations along Commodity Chains: The Case of Coffee
Susan A. Newman
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 539-559
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/539?etoc

Book Review Essay: Heterodox Crisis Theory and the Current Global Financial Crisis: The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash Charles, R. Morris; New York: Public Affairs, 2008, 194 pp.,$22.95 (hardback). The Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles, Globalisation, and the Worldwide Economic Crisis, Graham Turner; London and Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 2008, 232pp., $27.95 (paperback). The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means, George Soros; New York: Public Affairs, 2008, 162 pp.,$22.95 (hardback). Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, Kevin Phillips; New York: Penguin Group, 2008, 239 pp., $25.95 (hardback)
Jonathan P. Goldstein
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 560-569
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/560?etoc

Book Review: Poverty & Inequality: An End to Poverty? A Historical Debate, Gareth Stedman Jones, New York: Columbia University Press, 2005, 288 pp., $29.50 (hardcover). Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences, James Lardner and David A. Smith, eds., New York: The New Press, 2006, 328 pp., $16.95 (paperback). The Politics of Inequality: A Political History of the Idea of Economic Inequality in America, Michael J. Thompson, New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, 264 pp., $32.50 (hardcover)
Stephen Pimpare
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 570-576
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/4/570?etoc

Book Review: Poverty, Work, and Freedom: Political Economy and the Moral Order, David P. Levine and S. Abu Turab Rizvi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 159 pp + bibliography and index. ISBN-13 978-0-521-84826-8 (hardback), ISBN-10 0-521-84826-1; $65 (US) or {pound}40, hardback. (hardback)
Matt Davies
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 577-581
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/577?etoc

Book Review: New Departures in Marxian Theory, Stephen A. Resnick & Richard D. Wolff; Routledge, 2006, 418 pp
Ian J. Seda-Irizarry
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 581-585
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/581?etoc

Book Review: Multinationals on Trial: Foreign Investment Matters, James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer (2007), Aldershot Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, pp159; Price $89.95
Dennis C. Canterbury
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 585-589
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/585?etoc

Book Review: International Migration: Prospects and Policies in a Global Market, Douglas S. Massey and J. Edward Taylor, editors (Oxford University Press, 2004) Worlds in Motion: Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millennium Douglas S, Massey, Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaou chi, Adela Pellegrino and J. Edward Taylor (Oxford University Press, 1998)
Marcos T. Aguila
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 589-593
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/589?etoc

Book Review: Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants, By Jorge G. Castaneda. New York: The New Press, 2007. 222 pp. $25.95 hardback
Mary C. King
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 593-596
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/593?etoc

Book Review: Communities Without Borders: Images and Voices from the World of Migration, David Bacon (Forwards by Carlos Munoz Jr. and Douglas Harper), Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press 2006 235pp $29.95. ISBN13 978 0 8014 
7307 4
Richard Leitch
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 596-599
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/596?etoc

Book Review: Rethinking Municipal Privatization, By Oliver D. Cooke New York: Routledge, 2008. Hardcover ISBN 10: 0-415-96209-9
Tom Angotti
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009; 41 599-601
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/599?etoc

Book Review: Solidarity Economy: Building Alternatives for People and 
Planet, Jenna Allard, Carl Davidson, and Julie Matthaei (eds) Chicago, 
ChangeMaker Publications, 2008; 427 pages, 978-0-6151-9489-91 by Len 
Krimerman, GEO Newsletter and Director, Creative Community Building 
Program, University, of Connecticut
Len Krimerman
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009;41 601-603
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/601?etoc

Book Review: Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science 
Threatens Your Health, David Michaels, New York, Oxford University Press, 
2008, pp372, ISBN 978-0-19-530067-3
Joan Greenbaum
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009;41 604-605
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/604?etoc

Book Reviews: Labor-Environmental Coalitions: Lessons from a Louisiana 
Petrochemical Region By Thomas Estabrook. Amityville, NY: Baywood 
Publishing. 2007
J. Timmons Roberts
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009;41 606-607
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/606?etoc

Book Review: Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization, Edited by Laura T. Raynolds, Douglas L. Murray, and John Wilkinson. London and New York: Routledge, 2007. 240 pp. ISBN: 978-0-415-77203-7. $29.95 
Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival, By Daniel Jaffee. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007. 331 pp. ISBN: 978-0-520-24959-2. $22.95
Noah H. Enelow
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009;41 608-611
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/608?etoc

Books Received
David Barkin
Review of Radical Political Economics 2009;41 612-618
http://rrp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/41/4/612?etoc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Social Movements

INTERFACE – A JOURNAL FOR AND ABOUT SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Interface – A Journal For and About Social Movements

Call for papers – Issue 3: CRISES, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND REVOLUTIONARY TRANSFORMATIONS

Interface is a new journal produced twice yearly by activists and academics around the world in response to the development and increased visibility of social movements in the last few years – and the immense amount of knowledge generated in this process. This knowledge is created across the globe, and in many contexts and a variety of ways, and it constitutes an incredibly valuable resource for the further development of social movements. Interface responds to this need, as a tool to help our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses and knowledge that allow lessons to be learned from specific movement processes and experiences and translated into a form useful for other movements.

We welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research. Our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements – in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We are seeking work in a range of different formats, such as conventional articles, review essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews – and beyond. Both activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process generally will be geared towards assisting authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.

Our third issue, to be published in May 2010, will have space for general articles on all aspects of understanding social movements, as well as a special themed section on crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations.

CRISES, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND REVOLUTIONARY TRANSFORMATIONS

“In every country the process is different, although the content is the same. And the content is the crisis of the ruling class’s hegemony, which occurs either because the ruling class has failed in some major political undertaking, for which it has requested, or forcibly extracted, the consent of broad masses … or because huge masses … have passed suddenly from a state of political passivity to a certain activity, and put forward demands which taken together, albeit not organically formulated, add up to a revolution. A “crisis of authority” is spoken of: this is precisely the crisis of hegemony, or general crisis of the state”

So wrote the Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci from behind the walls of Mussolini’s prison, in his famous notes on “State and Civil Society”. His words aptly describe the trajectory of crises in modern history – these are periods when the wheels of economic growth and expansion grind to a halt, when traditional political loyalties melt away, and, crucially, when ruling classes find themselves confronted with popular movements that no longer accept the terms of their rule, and that seek to create alternative social orders.

The clashes between elite projects and popular movements that are at the heart of any “crisis of hegemony” generate thoroughgoing processes of economic, social and political change – these may be reforms that bear the imprint of popular demands, and they may also be changes that reflect the implementation of elite designs. Most importantly, however, crises are typically also those moments when social movements and subaltern groups are able to push the limits of what they previously thought it was possible to achieve in terms of effecting progressive change – it is this dynamic which lies at the heart of revolutionary transformations.

Gramsci himself witnessed, organised within and wrote during the breakdown of liberal capitalism and bourgeois democracy in the 1910s through to the 1930s. This was a conjuncture when tendencies towards stagnation in capitalist accumulation generated the horrors of the First World War and the Great Depression. Movements of workers and colonized peoples threatened the rule of capital and empires, old and new, and elites turned to repressive strategies like fascism in an attempt to secure the continuation of their dominance.

Today social movements are once again having to do their organizing and mobilizing work in the context of economic crisis, one that is arguably of similar proportions to that witnessed by Gramsci, and a political crisis that runs just as deep. The current crisis emerged from the collapse of the US housing market, revealing an intricate web of unsustainable debt and “toxic assets” whose tentacles reached every corner of the global economy. More than just a destruction of “fictitious capital”, the crisis has propelled a breakdown of world industrial production and trade, driving millions of working families to the brink and beyond. And, far from being a one-off, this crisis is the latest and worst in a series of collapses starting with the stock market crash of 1987, the chronic stagnation of the once all-powerful Japanese economy, the Asian financial meltdown of 1997 and the bursting of the dot.com bubble.

The current conjuncture throws into question the fundamentals of the neoliberal project that has been pursued by global elites and transnational institutions over the past three decades. Taking aim at reversing the victories won by popular movements in the aftermath of the Second World War, neoliberalism transferred wealth from popular classes to global elites on a grand scale. The neoliberal project of privatizing the public sector and commodifying public goods, rolling back the welfare states, promoting tax cuts for the rich, manipulating economic crises in the global South and deregulating the world’s financial markets continued unabated through the 1980s and 1990s.

As presaged by Gramsci, neoliberal policies have whittled away the material concessions that underpinned social consensus. Ours is a conjuncture in which global political elites have failed in an undertaking for which they sought popular consent, and as a consequence, popular masses have passed from political passivity to a certain activity.

Since the middle of the 1990s, we have seen the development of large-scale popular movements in several parts of the globe, along with a series of revolutionary situations or transformations in various countries, as well as unprecedented levels of international coordination and alliance-building between movements and direct challenges not only to national but to global power structures. The first stirrings of this activity were in the rise of the Zapatistas in Mexico, the water wars in Bolivia, and the protests on the streets of Seattle. On a global scale we saw dissent explode in the form of opposition to the wars waged by the US on Afghanistan and Iraq. In terms of sheer numbers, the mobilisation of against the latter invasion was the largest political protest ever undertaken, leading the New York Times to call the anti-war movement the world’s “second superpower”.

Each country has had its own movements, and a particular character to how they have moved against the neoliberal project. And for some time many have observed that these campaigns, initiatives and movements are not isolated occurrences, but part of a wider global movement for justice in the face of the neoliberal project. An explosion of analysis looking at these events and movements has occurred in the academic world, matched only by extensive argument and debate within the movements themselves.

In this issue of Interface, we encourage submissions that explore the relationship between crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations in general and the character of the current crisis and how social movements across different regions have related and responded to it in particular. Some of the questions we want to explore are as follows:

– What are the characteristics of the current economic and political crisis, what roles do social movements – from above and below – play in its dynamics, and how does it compare to the political economy of previous cycles of crises and struggle?

– What has been the role played by social movements in moments of crisis in modern history, and what lessons can contemporary popular movements learn from these experiences?

– What kinds of qualitative/quantitative shift in popular mobilisation we might expect to see in a “revolutionary wave”?

– Are crises – and in particular our current crisis – characterized by substantial competitions between different kinds of movements from below? How does such a dynamic affect the capacity to effect radical change?

– What goals do social movements set themselves in context of crisis and what kinds of movement are theoretically or historically capable of bringing about a transformed society?

– What are the criteria of success that activists operate with in terms of the forms of change social movements can achieve in the current conjuncture?

– Is revolutionary transformation a feasible option at present? Is revolution a goal among contemporary social movements?

– What are the characteristic features of elite deployment of coercive strategies when their hegemony is unravelling?

– How have global elites responded to the current crisis in terms of resort to coercion and consent? Have neoliberal elites been successful in trying to reestablish their legitimacy and delegitimizing opponents?

– Are we witnessing any bids for hegemony from elite groups outside the domain of Atlantic neoliberalism?

– How is coercion in its various forms impacting on contemporary social movements and the politics of global justice?

The deadline for contributions for the third issue is January 1, 2010.

Please contact the appropriate editor if you are thinking of submitting an article. You can access the journal and get further details at: http://www.interfacejournal.net/.

Interface is programmatically multilingual: at present we can accept and review submissions in Afrikaans, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu. We are also willing to try and find suitable referees for submissions in other languages, but cannot guarantee that at this point.

We are also very much looking for activists or academics interested in becoming part of Interface, particularly with the African, South Asian, Spanish-speaking Latin American, East and Central European, Mediterranean, Oceanian and North American groups.

Editorial contacts

Interface is not a traditional, centralised journal with a single key editor! Because we are a global journal, and movements (and their relationships to academia) are organised so differently in different parts of the world, the basic structure of the journal is as a network of regional or linguistically-defined groups, each of which organises its own editorial processes and tries to find an appropriate way of working with its own local realities. Articles and queries should go to the contact person listed below for the relevant region:

Movements in Africa: Please submit papers in Zulu, Afrikaans or English to Richard Pithouse indianocean77@gmail.com; in English to Mammo Muchie mammo@ihis.aau.dk; and in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves anamargarida.esteves@gmail.com.

Movements in the Arab world: Please submit papers in Arabic or English to Rana Barakat barakat.rana@gmail.com or Abdul-Rahim al-Shaikh aalshaikh@birzeit.edu; or in Arabic, English, German or Hebrew to Magid Shihade mshihade@gmail.com.

Movements in Central and South America: Please submit papers in Spanish to Sara Motta saracatherinem@googlemail.com or Adriana Causa acausa@gmail.com and in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves anamargarida.esteves@gmail.com.

Movements in Eastern Europe: Please submit papers in Croatian, English, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian or Turkish to Steffen Böhm steffen@essex.ac.uk or Andrejs Berdnikovs aberdnikovs@gmail.com.

Movements in North America: Please submit papers in English to Ray Sin raysin@ku.edu or Lesley Wood ljwood@yorku.ca.

Movements in South Asia: Please submit papers in English to Alf Nilsen alfgunvald@gmail.com . We are currently looking for another regional editor to work with Alf.

Movements in Southeast Asia and Oceania: Please submit papers in English to Elizabeth Humphrys lizhumphrys@gmail.com, in Spanish to Cristina Flesher Fominaya flesherfomi@gmail.com and in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves anamargarida.esteves@gmail.com.

Movements in Western Europe:
Please submit papers:
* in English to Cristina Flesher Fominaya flesherfomi@gmail.com or Laurence Cox laurence.cox@nuim.ie or
* in French or Italian to Laurence Cox laurence.cox@nuim.ie or
* in German to Steffen Böhm steffen@essex.ac.uk or Laurence Cox laurence.cox@nuim.ie
* in Portuguese to Ana Margarida Esteves anamargarida.esteves@gmail.com
* in Spanish to Cristina Flesher Fominaya flesherfomi@gmail.com
* We can also accept papers in Catalan, Maltese and Norwegian: please contact Laurence Cox laurence.cox@nuim.ie in relation to these.

Transnational Movements:
Please submit papers in English, Dutch, French and Spanish or with special reference to labour or social forums, to Peter Waterman pwaterma@gmail.com; in English, with special reference to dialogue-based movements, to Richard Moore rkm@quaylargo.com; in Arabic, English, German or Hebrew to Magid Shihade mshihade@gmail.com; or in English, French, Italian or German to Laurence Cox laurence.cox@nuim.ie.

Book reviews: In English: please contact Aileen O’Carroll Aileen.OCarroll@nuim.ie.

Movements in Central Asia and East Asia: We are hoping to expand our intellectual and linguistic capacity to include these areas, but at present do not have sufficient editorial expertise to review papers on movements in these regions. Expressions of interest from potential regional editors, willing to help assemble a regional subgroup of academics and activists to review papers on movements in any of these regions, are very welcome.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Dialectics of Class Struggle in the Global Economy

DIALECTICS OF CLASS STRUGGLE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

http://www.routledge.com/shopping_cart/products/product_detail.asp?curTab=DESCRIPTION&id=&parent_id=&sku=&isbn=9780415778107&pc=
Dialectics of Class Struggle in the Global Economy

Clark Everling

(Routledge, 2010)

Dialectics of Class Struggle restores Marx’s emphasis on class struggle as the dialectics of human social production. Humans’ reproduction makes them subjects for their activities in two forms:

* Their objective forms (e.g., capitalists and workers), which are necessary to their reproduction as classes, and

* Their social forms (e.g., shared urban existence), in which they are subjects within social production in certain cooperative ways.

This is a dialectical relation, a social opposition and unity that inheres in the same individuals at the same time. Western Marxism and Social Democracy only repeat the positive categories necessary to the reproduction of classes.

Much ink has been spilled in attempts to prove that humans are only animals and are, like other species, only aggressive. Marx distinguishes both class and cooperative relations as inorganic: humans create their subjectivity through their mutual social production. They build upon previous forms of social production and, with capitalism, become not only an opposition of classes, but have the capacity for urban individualism and cooperation.

Dialectics of Class Struggle examines the historical development of classes from ancient times to present. It analyzes the development of ancient slavery into feudalism and the latter into capitalism. It focuses upon the laws and limits of capitalist development, the contradictions inherent in the capitalist state, and revolutions in the twentieth century and the possibilities for human freedom that they revealed. It concludes with an examination of class struggles in the global economy and shows the human deprivations as well as the human possibilities.

Clark Everling is Professor Emeritus at Empire State College at the State University of New York, USA.

Contents: 1.   Marx’s method 2.   Marxist theory: from class struggle to political economy 3.   Pre-capitalist social formations 4.   Capitalism and social production 5.   Capitalist state and society 6.   Imperialism and world wars 7.   The dialectics of world working class struggle 8.   International working class revolution 9.   Globalization and class struggle 10.  Dialectics of the present struggle: the laws of capitalist development

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Gilles Deleuze

DELEUZE AND MARX

The above special issue of Deleuze Studies is now available online from Edinburgh University Press at: http://www.euppublishing.com/toc/dls/3/suppl?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Register at http://www.eupjournals.com to receive Table of Contents Alerts when new material in your field of interest is uploaded to the site and to view sample issues and featured articles for free.

Contents
Special Issue on Deleuze and Marx

Editor’s Introduction

Capital, Crisis, Manifestos, and Finally Revolution
Dhruv Jain
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 1-7.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000683?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Articles

Deleuze, Marx and the Politicisation of Philosophy
Simon Choat
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 8-27.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000695?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

The Marx of Anti-Oedipus
Aidan Tynan
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 28-52.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000701?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Marx as Ally: Deleuze outside Marxism, Adjacent Marx
Aldo Pardi
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 53-77.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000713?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

The Fetish is Always Actual, Revolution is Always Virtual: From Noology to
Noopolitics
Jason Read
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 78-101.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000725?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Minor Marxism: An Approach to a New Political Praxis
Eduardo Pellejero
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 102-118.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000737?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Politicising Deleuzian Thought, or, Minority’s Position within Marxism
Guillaume Sibertin-Blanc
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 119-137.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000749?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Review Essay

After Utopia: Three Post-Personal Subjects Consider the Possibilities

William E. Connolly (2008) Capitalism and Christianity, American Style, Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Alexander Garcia Duttmann (2007) Philosophy of Exaggeration, trans. James Phillips, London: Continuum.

Adrian Parr (2008) Deleuze and Memorial Culture: Desire, Singular Memory, and the Politics of Trauma, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Jeffrey Cain
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 138-143.
http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E1750224109000750?ai=s3&ui=ue&af=T

Best wishes,
Wendy Gardiner

http://www.eupjournals.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

 

Karl Marx

CONFERENCE IN PARIS ON COMMUNISM, 22-23 JANUARY 2010

Collloque: Puissances du communisme
22-23 janvier 2010
Programme (pour tout renseignement : societelouisemichel@free.fr)
Université Paris 8
2, rue de la Liberté 93526 Saint-Denis
métro : Saint-Denis Université

Vendredi 22

Matin, 09.00
Table ronde n° 1 : Un communisme sans Marx ?

Participants : Isabelle Garo, Rastko Mocnik, Massimiliano Tomba, Pierre Dardot, Stéphane Rozès

Modératrice : Cinzia Arruzza
Le mot de communisme est né avant Marx et il continue aujourd’hui d’être employé, en des sens très divers. Pourtant, peut-on penser le communisme sans le référer d’une façon ou d’une autre à Marx, c’est-à-dire sans le relier à une critique du capitalisme qui en analyse les contradictions profondes et l’abolition nécessaire ? C’est le poids politique de la référence à Marx aujourd’hui, poids problématique, qu’il s’agit de discuter, en s’interrogeant sur la persistance, voire la remontée d’une telle référence après l’effondrement des pays dits socialistes. Le récent anniversaire de la chute du Mur, salué à grands fracas médiatiques, s’est voulu l’enterrement de toute perspective communiste. Pourtant, ce tohu-bohu de circonstance prouve lui aussi le retour de la radicalité politique et pose à nouveau le problème de son rapport contemporain à Marx et à ses approches marquées par une diversité de plus en plus affirmée. Question multiple bien  évidemment ! Ainsi, elle inclut la question de savoir en quoi le communisme a été ou non pensé et défini par Marx dans son oeuvre. Plus largement, le retour de la question communiste n’implique-t-elle pas le retour de ces questions politiques que sont les problèmes de transition et de médiation ? Loin de faire du communisme une visée qui les néglige ou les dénonce, n’est-ce pas le propre de la référence à Marx que de réfléchir à la place des luttes sociales, mais aussi à la nature et à la structure des organisations politiques, des formes politiques d’intervention ? Parler de communisme aujourd’hui oblige à aborder de front la question de la « vraie démocratie », pour citer le jeune Marx, et à rouvrir enfin le dossier central de la propriété. De ce point de vue, la question communiste oblige aussi à reposer la question du socialisme qui lui est parfois opposé après lui avoir été assimilé. Bref, la question ouverte d’un rapport contemporain et vivant à Marx pourrait bien être au cœur de la discussion si celle-ci doit se poursuivre et parvenir à réassocier les dimensions théorique et stratégique. On pourrait alors envisager que le communisme n’est ni un pur concept ni le nom d’une défaite.

Après-midi
Table ronde n° 2 : Un communisme sans histoire ?

Participants : Alex Callinicos, Alberto Toscano, Etienne Balibar, Catherine Samary, André Tosel

Modérateur : Nicolas Vieillescazes

« J’étais, je suis, je serai » écrivait Rosa Luxemburg juste avant son assassinat, en parlant de la révolution et de l’idée du communisme qu’elle faisait remonter, au moins, à la révolte de Spartakus. Ainsi le communisme s’inscrirait comme une idée de portée presque anthropologique, reflétant la part humaine qui pousse à l’égalité et à la liberté. En ce sens, elle serait, pour ainsi dire, insensible à l’histoire, même si sa puissance dépend des périodes. Sans ontredire directement cette approche, avec Marx et la généralisation du salariat, naît un point de vue matérialiste qui ancre dans les contradictions du capitalisme la possibilité effective de la réalisation du rêve. Un communisme en puissance autrement dit, au sens de la physique, dont les conditions historiques de réalisation prennent un aspect concret, mais dont la mise en énergie dépend des évènements, du tour que prend une conjonction particulière de rapports de force économiques, idéologiques, sociaux et politiques et des évènements qui en découlent. Approches opposées, disjointes ou complémentaires ?

Samedi 23

Matin, 09.00
Table ronde n° 3 : A la recherche du sujet perdu

Participants : Thomas Coutrot, Christian Laval, Elsa Dorlin, Samuel Johsua

Modérateur : François Cusset

Autrefois incarné par une classe ouvrière consciente d’elle-même et de son rôle historique, le sujet de la révolution communiste semble avoir aujourd’hui disparu sous les assauts conjugués d’une mutation du capital ayant totalement intégré la sphère culturelle à la sphère marchande, de forces politiques et idéologiques qui se sont employées à discréditer toute idée d’alternative politique et ont promu le mythe d’une classe moyenne universelle, ou, conséquemment, d’un relativisme généralisé qui a renvoyé aux oubliettes de l’histoire l’idée même de révolution. Comment donc, aujourd’hui, reformuler la question du sujet d’un possible renversement du capitalisme ? Pour Toni Negri, le communisme est appelé à naître spontanément d’un bouleversement des rapports de production qui permettrait à la « multitude » du general intellect de se « libérer » ; et il ne manque pas d’auteurs qui considèrent que la question est mal posée, soit qu’il faille chercher une issue dans les luttes micropolitiques en s’inspirant des travaux de Michel Foucault ou de Félix Guattari et Gilles Deleuze, soit qu’elle ne puisse se trouver que dans un « peuple » non assignable à quelque coordonnée sociologique que ce soit. Dans ce contexte, alors que les inégalités sont pourtant plus criantes qu’elles ne l’ont jamais été et que sembleraient pouvoir se dessiner les conditions d’une solidarité politique minimale, la question même d’un sujet communiste révolutionnaire a-t-elle encore un sens ? Le problème, finalement, n’est peut-être pas tant celui du sujet perdu que celui, plus général, de la construction d’une alternative crédible au capitalisme.

Après-midi
Table ronde n° 4 : Des communistes sans communisme ?

Participants : Jacques Rancière, Slavoj Zizek, Daniel Bensaid, Michel Surya, Gaspar Tamas

Modérateur : à signaler

Selon une célèbre phrase de Lénine, il n’est de mouvement révolutionnaire sans théorie révolutionnaire. La théorie est à la fois ce qui permet de s’orienter dans un réel tumultueux, de conférer une «identité » au collectif révolutionnaire, et de doter ce dernier d’un programme, c’est-à-dire d’un objectif à atteindre via une période de transition. Pendant plus d’un siècle, le marxisme a fourni l’ossature de cette théorie, même si d’autres courants y ont bien entendu également contribué. Parmi les éléments dont les mouvements anti-systémiques (y compris les parties révolutionnaires) se trouvent dépossédés avec la clôture du cycle historique initié en Octobre 1917, et la fin de l’expérience du communisme « réel », on compte cette dimension « doctrinale » de l’activité révolutionnaire. Il existe actuellement des personnes et des collectifs qui se déclarent «communistes » mais, comme théorie (relativement) cohérente et unifiée, le communisme semble introuvable. Faut-il se réjouir de ce fait, l’absence de doctrine hégémonique permettant aux micro-pratiques et micro-théories correspondantes de proliférer (hypothèse des « mille marxismes ») ? Faut-il au contraire le déplorer, et s’atteler à la reconstruction de long terme d’une théorie révolutionnaire ?

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Karl Marx

NEW YORK AREA STUDY GROUP ON ‘CAPITAL’ VOLS. II AND III

Since early October 2009, Howie Seligman and Loren Goldner have been teaching a ‘Capital’ study group in the New York area. We will complete Vol.I next Wednesday, December 23rd.

We will be continuing with Vols. II and III from January through early June. We will be meeting every other Wednesday night from 7 to 10 PM, at a convenient location on W. 28th St. in Manhattan. We will probably start vol. II on either Jan. 6 or Jan. 13.

I have been handling the close reading of ‘Capital’ and Howie has been providing technical analysis of current developments. This arrangement will continue and will of course be as closely related as possible to the concepts introduced in vols. II and III. 

If you are interested in participating, contact me at: lrgoldner@yahoo.com

Please provide a short description of your background in Marx, your previous experience of political activity, and where you’re coming from politically.

Loren Goldner

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Socialist Project

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK – UPDATE 12TH DECEMBER 2009

NEWS & VIEWS

CSEW LAUNCHES ANTI-POVERTY NEWSLETTER

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work has just launched a newsletter, “Learning Changes”, which will highlight the work of its Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning Project.

To read more, click here: http://www.csew.ca/APCOLnewsletter2009v1n1.pdf

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25 IN 5 NETWORK FOR POVERTY REDUCTION – BULLETIN

Dec 11, 2009: Stand Up Against the Backlash from the Auditor General’s Report

In this week’s eBulletin:

-Quote of the Week
-Ontario Auditor General’s Report Underlines Need for Social Assistance Reform
-Backgrounder: Just the Facts
-What Can You Do? TAKE ACTION

To read more, click here: http://bit.ly/5NmQu2

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VIDEO: ROOTS OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES

A Presentation of the Critical Social Research Collaborative

Ottawa, October 29, 2009 – Facilitator: Carlo Fanelli

This workshop explores alternative interpretations of the current economic crisis. The presentations are from organized labour, community activists and academics. The focus of this workshop is critical engagement, discussion and debate. Questions addressed include: How have various perspectives analyzed and understood the roots of the current economic crisis? Is there something fundamentally unsound about the current political-economic structure? Is the current crisis to be located within a set of recently established policies, or better understood over the long-term historical development of capitalism? How have the policy prescriptions and ideological rationales shifted over the years? And, more ambitiously, where do we go from here?

View: http://www.socialistproject.ca/leftstreamed/

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WE AREN’T BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Posted December 9, 2009

>From No Excuse: The Poverty Project Blog:

The Ontario Auditor General’s latest report has received a lot of media attention. With the report nearly three hundred pages long, it is not surprising that the media has to pick and choose what it will focus on. In this case, they seem to have come down on that old chestnut, welfare fraud. More on that to follow. But first I’ll say that they missed this bigger story — affordable housing programs don’t really build affordable housing.

For more details visit: http://bit.ly/6w7YQp

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THE NEW SOCIALIST REGISTER WEBSITE IS NOW FULLY UP AND RUNNING!

Featuring SR 2010 on Morbid Symptoms: Health Under Capitalism, alongside our amazing archive of all 700+ essays we’ve published since 1964!

We’re sure you will want to check it out at http://socialistregister.com

This is first year the Register is being published simultaneously online and in print and it is the first time that all the essays ever published in the Register are available in one electronic archive. We are sure you agree this is a big deal, and given how much the world needs the Socialist Register that you will want to do all you can to make it successful. We would very much hope that you will personally subscribe now (from the home page go to the Subscriptions tab and click on the Merlin order link at the bottom – at £25 it’s value for money, to use that term).

We would also appreciate your help to make effective a major subscriptions campaign we are undertaking. At the very least, if you are working at an institution with a library, could you immediately contact the appropriate people at your library and ask them to take out an institutional subscription to the Register? Many of these librarians will be getting a version of the attached flyer, but we know that librarians are only likely to act on this when requests are made from users.

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VIDEO: OCAP METRO HALL OCCUPATION

Toronto, December 8, 2009

More Than 150 Angry Social Assistance Recipients Storm and Occupy Municipal Welfare Offices

Members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and more than 150 people struggling to survive on Ontario Works and ODSP occupied the 12th floor of Toronto’s Metro Hall. The group refused to leave until they receive the Special Diet Benefit that they are entitled to. The City is responsible for administering social assistance in Toronto, and people are currently being denied their right to the Special Diet Benefit. More people than ever are being forced to live on welfare in Ontario. They face two major problems. First of all, the income they receive does not let them pay their rent and feed their families properly. Secondly, welfare offices do all they can to deny even the small benefits people are supposed to get. When they apply for Special Diet, Community Start Up and other benefits, they are denied their rights. This must stop.

View: http://www.socialistproject.ca/leftstreamed/

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CANADIAN CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES (CCPA) UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE

Dear Friends and Members,

We’re excited to announce the launch of the CCPA’s new website. Built on an entirely new platform with open-source software, the site is loaded with new features to make the Centre’s research easier to access and follow.

– find what you’re looking for with an advanced search engine;
– watch and listen to videos, slideshows and podcasts in our new multimedia section;
– share our content to social networking sites or email pages to your contacts;
– purchase CCPA books, gift memberships, and join or donate to the Centre with an improved shopping cart system.

Click here for a full tour of the site: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/welcome-new-site

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SOCIAL PLANNING TORONTO CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: RESEARCH ON HEALTHCARE FOR THE UNDOCUMENTED AND UNINSURED

Individuals/organizations are invited to submit abstracts for oral presentations or poster presentations by Friday December 18, 2009 for a conference aiming to gather local academic and community researchers with interest in health services for uninsured and undocumented clients.

For more info, click here: http://bit.ly/667OnB

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HOUSING AGAIN BULLETIN

Sponsored by Raising the Roof as a partner in Housing Again.

A monthly electronic bulletin highlighting what people are doing to put housing back on the public agenda across Canada and around the world, sponsored by Raising the Roof as part of the Housing Again partnership.

To read more, click here: http://bit.ly/6rbsyg

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THE NEW UNIONISM NETWORK – ORGANIZING FOR WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY

New Unionism is about unions setting agendas, rather than just reacting to them. This network unites supporters of four key principles: organizing, workplace democracy, internationalism and creativity.

To read our latest blog entries, click here: http://newunionism.wordpress.com/

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OPPORTUNITIES FOR GREEN JOBS IN CANADA HIGHLIGHTED IN GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH REPORT

The world is facing climate and economic crises, people are experiencing serious impacts and without urgent action the world is in peril. Mere weeks away from the important climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, world leaders are already warning that urgent action may not come soon. This must change.

The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Labour Congress have produced Green Decent and Public, a report focused on opportunities for the public sector to play a prominent role in generating good jobs. Green Decent and Public focuses on opportunities for improving energy efficiency and rapidly expanding electricity production from renewable resources. Public and community ownership of renewable power is offered as an alternative that has distinct advantages to further market liberalization in the electricity sector. These advantages include retaining economic revenues, maximizing social benefits, prioritizing conservation and ensuring energy security.

To read more, click here: http://bit.ly/4FIs8A

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RADICALS AT WORK NETWORK

Radicals at Work is a network of young activists and radicals involved in workers’ movements. We have come together to connect our radical ideas to our jobs and to work together to build a stronger labor movement.

We come from many jobs and communities – we are young rank and file workers, office workers, union and non-profit staff, activists working with workers centers, students, and teachers. We have a shared commitment to grassroots democracy and a workers movement that takes on racism, sexism, homophobia and isn’t afraid to go head-to-head with the boss.

Our website is meant to inform, spark discussion and be a place for conversations and education on some of the issues facing workers’ movements today.

To read more, click here: http://radicalsatwork.org/

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CALEDON INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL POLICY – DEVELOPING A DEPRIVATION INDEX: THE RESEARCH PROCESS

by Richard Matern, Michael Mendelson and Michael Oliphant, December 2009

This paper tells the story of the development of the Ontario Deprivation Index by the Daily Bread Food Bank and the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. A ‘deprivation index’ is a list of items which are widely seen as necessary for a household to have a standard of living above the poverty level so that most households not in poverty are likely to have these items, but households in poverty are likely to find some of them unaffordable and so not have all those items. The index should therefore contain those items that distinguish the poor from the non-poor in the prevailing social and economic conditions.

To read more, click here: http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/836ENG.pdf

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MURRAY DOBBIN’S BLOG – POVERTY: THE ULTIMATE LITMUS TEST OF DEMOCRACY

If we were to judge democracy using the language of business we would ask how it does on the “deliverables.” In other words, does it deliver on its promises of equality? In a capitalist society it is virtually impossible to deliver anything like complete equality but the role of government in the period following the Second World War was to provide a measure of equality in a system whose foundation was inequality. It has always struck me that the term we use to describe our political economic system – liberal democracy – is an oxymoron. Or more accurately a system that tries to integrate two mortally hostile notions: property rights and democracy. These are two principles that cannot be reconciled – eternal conflict is literally guaranteed.

To read more, click here: http://bit.ly/4mRZCs

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BOOK REVIEW – UNPREDICTABLE FUTURES: STORIES FROM WORKER-RUN FACTORIES IN ARGENTINA

Written by Benjamin Dangl  

Reviewed: Sin Patron: Stories From Argentina’s Worker-Run Factories, edited by Lavaca, 320 pages, Haymarket Books, 2007.

Following the social upheaval in Argentina in 2001-2002 a book was published in Spanish that a lot of activists and independent journalists in the country began trying to get their hands on. It wasn’t in all of the bookstores, but news about it traveled like wildfire. Now the legendary book, Sin Patron: Stories From Argentina’s Worker-Run Factories, is translated and available to the English-speaking world.

To read more, click here: http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/1770/1/

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JAMES LAXER’S BLOG – BEYOND THE BUBBLE: IMAGINING A NEW CANADIAN ECONOMY

(Here is a brief summary of my new book, published earlier this month by Between The Lines Publishing, Toronto.)

Beyond the Bubble: Imagining A New Canadian Economy, makes the case that the economic crash of 2008 marked the end of one world age and the beginning of another. What has ended is the neo-liberal age of globalization and the American-centred global economy. What lends weight to this thesis is both the nature of the system of finance whose collapse is at the centre of the global crisis and the crushing problems that face the United States, making the re-assertion of an American-centred global economy exceedingly improbable.

To read more, click here: http://bit.ly/4xbapx

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MUSEUM WORKERS AT WAR: PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT AND THE PUBLIC SECTOR SQUEEZE

by Priscillia Lefebvre

The casualization of labour has placed many workers in a position of precariousness forcing them into a state of perpetual insecurity characteristic of the ‘new economy’ neoliberal nightmare. In an effort to reduce production costs and maximize profitability, many employers have adopted a neoliberal approach to employment, which is achieved through the temporary and discretional use of labour, major layoffs, the retrenchment of wages, workplace intensification and the denial of benefits. The result of which has brought real wages to a near stand-still over the past twenty-years, as well as a growing chasm between worker productivity and the compensation that follows.

The battle for wage parity and job security rages on in Ottawa between the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC), which operates both the Canadian Museum of Civilization and Museum of War, and the 92% of fed up workers who voted in favour of a strike. The current strike by 420 Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members is the longest running labour strike in PSAC history. The workers have been on strike for more than 60 days after initial attempts to bargain for a fair collective agreement came to a halt on September 18th of this year.

To read more, click here: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/278.php

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OUR MANDATE:

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

***END***

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Note: the Socialist Project web site is excellent: http://www.socialistproject.ca/

Strategies of Resistance

STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE AND ‘WHO ARE THE TROTSKYISTS?’ – BY DANIEL BENSAID

A new book by Daniel Bensaid:

http://www.iire.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186%3Astrategies-of-resistance-a-who-are-the-trotskyists&catid=18%3Anotebooks-for-study-and-research&lang=en

Strategies of Resistance & ‘Who Are the Trotskyists?’

IIRE/Socialist Resistance, Notebook for Study and Research no. 41/42 (182 pp.)

With shipping to: Europe €13,50 Rest of World €20,00 Pick up in Amsterdam €8,00

The IIRE has just published Strategies of Resistance & ‘Who Are the Trotskyists?’, a collection of works by IIRE Fellow Daniel Bensaïd, including his history of Trotskyism, newly translated into English by Nathan Rao. This 182-page book has been published in cooperation with Resistance Books. The introduction by Paul Le Blanc gives a flavour of the contents:

Daniel Bensaïd’s challenging survey comes at an appropriate moment. It is a gift to activists reaching for some historical perspective that may provide hints as to where we might go from here. Embracing and sharing the revolutionary socialist political tradition associated with Leon Trotsky, Bensaïd is not simply a thoughtful radical academic or perceptive left-wing intellectual – though he is certainly both – but also one of the foremost leaders of an impressive network of activists, many of them seasoned by innumerable struggles.

Daniel Bensaïd emerged decades ago as a leader of the French section of the Fourth International, the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR). Coming from the ‘generation of ‘68′ – the layer of young revolutionary activists of the 1960s – he blends an impressive intellectual sophistication with a refreshing inclination for revolutionary audacity, and with activist commitments which have not faded over the decades. In the tradition of Ernest Mandel, Bensaïd has reached for the continuing relevance of revolutionary Marxism not only in the battlegrounds of academe (as a professor of philosophy and author of such works as Marx for Our Times), but even more in the battlegrounds of social and political struggles against the oppressive and lethal realities of capitalist ‘globalization.’

In this particular work – succinct, crackling with insights and fruitful provocations – Bensaïd surveys the history of his own political tradition. We are not presented with a catechism, but with a set of informative and critical-minded reflections and notes. We don’t have to agree with all he says. I certainly question his taking issue with Trotsky over whether or not Lenin was essential for the triumph of the Russian Revolution (Trotsky says definitely yes, Bensaïd suggests maybe not). Nor am I satisfied when he gives more serious consideration to the dissident current in US Trotskyism of Max Shachtman and James Burnham (both of whom ended up supporting US imperialism in Vietnam) than to the tradition connected with James P. Cannon (which played a role in building a powerful movement that helped end the Vietnam war). On the other hand, Bensaïd makes no pretension of providing a rounded historical account of world Trotskyism, or even a scholarly account of the more limited issues that he does take up.

He emphasizes that ‘this essay is based on personal experience’ and is focused on what he views as ‘the major debates’ within the movement. And one is especially struck by the excellent point he makes in his Introduction regarding the necessity of understanding the varieties of Trotskyism around the world in their distinctive cultural and national specificities. Little sense can be made of Trotskyism if it is not related to the actual social movements and class struggles of various parts of the world, and to the left-wing labour sub-cultures, in which it has meaning.

The fact remains that Bensaïd offers us a thoughtful, stimulating, valuable political intervention which leaves the reader with a sense of Trotskyism’s history and ideas and diverse manifestations – and also a sense of their relevance for the struggles of today and tomorrow. For younger activists beginning to get their bearings, and for veterans of the struggle who are thinking through the questions of where we have been and where to go from here, this is an important contribution.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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