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Category Archives: Analysis and Critique

Glenn Rikowski


Dr. Peter Thomas (Brunel University – Historical Materialism) gives a lecture in University of Tampere (Finland) 28 January 2011 (at 14-16, Linna Building K110, Kalevantie 5)


Labour-Power (Arbeitskraft)

Die Organisationsfrage as regulative idea?


Information: Mikko Lahtinen,

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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Some of my online articles on Labour Power:

Rikowski, G. (1990) The Recruitment Process and Labour Power, unpublished manuscript, Division of Humanities & Modern Languages, Epping Forest College, Loughton, Essex, July. Online at:

Rikowski, G. (1996) Apprenticeship and the Use-value Aspect of Labour Power, First Paper prepared for the ESRC Seminar Series on ‘Apprenticeship in Work and Education’, Nene Research Centre, Nene College of Higher Education, Northampton, 31st May, at The Flow of Ideas web site:

Rikowski, G. (2000) That Other Great Class of Commodities: Repositioning Marxist Educational Theory, BERA Conference Paper, Cardiff University, 7-10 September. Available from Education-line:

McLaren, P. & Rikowski, G. (2001) Pedagogy for Revolution against Education for Capital: An E-Dialogue on Education in Capitalism Today, Cultural Logic: An Electronic Journal of Marxist Theory and Practice, Vol.4 No.1:

Rikowski, G. (2005) Distillation: Education in Karl Marx’s Social Universe, Lunchtime Seminar, School of Education, University of East London, Barking Campus, 14th February:

Rikowski, G. (2006) Education and the Politics of Human Resistance, Information for Social Change, Issue No.23 (Summer):

F.W. Taylor


This is the title of a topical and important new paper by John J. Crocitti, Professor of History, San Diego Mesa College which is now available at The Flow of Ideas web site.

As Professor Crocitti notes:

“Ultimately, the drive towards SLO [Student Learning Outcomes] constitutes an effort by politicians, business people, opportunist professors and bureaucrats to deskill and control academic labor in the manner that management applied Taylorism to industrial labor during the early twentieth century”

The article can be viewed at:

Glenn Rikowski


I came across this great web site yesterday which provides – as it says on the tin – radical perspectives on the current capitalist crisis. This includes some articles on the nature of capitalist crisis/crises (theories, causes and perspectives), and analysis of the concept of  ‘crisis’ within the context of the current disruption.

There are artcles by Andrew Kliman, Paul Virilio, Hillel Ticktin, Joao Bernardo and many others on our current predicament, plus details on struggles against the rule of capital at this time.

Radical Perspectives on the Crisis, at:

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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Stephen Gill on the Current Global Crisis

Stephen Gill website:

Readers of this blog may be interested in some of Stephen Gill’s papers and posts which are connected to interpretations of the current global crisis.  Also included are biographical materials and a selected list of publications.
Dr. Stephen Gill, F.R.S.C.
Distinguished Research Professor
Department of Political Science
Ross S660, York University, 4700 Keele St, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, CANADA
Tel (direct): 416-736-2100 ext 88824; Tel: office reception 416-736-5265; Fax: 416-736-5686


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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The Ockress:


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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:

Dan Hind on the Financial Crisis


Essay: Dan Hind on the Financial Crisis

Many explanations have been offered for the current economic crisis – regulatory failure did it, or President Carter, or sub-prime lending, or Alan Greenspan. Maybe we all did it. Dan Hind, author of The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim It, points out the problems with the stories most often offered by journalists, politicians and broadcasters. And he offers an alternative reading of the crisis that draws on the work of Richard Wolff, Graham Turner, Richard Stiglitz and others to provide the best brief account yet of what has really been going on in the global economy. It’s 10,000 words long, and it is sensitively entitled Jump! You Fuckers!

You can download it from the Verso website here:




The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim It



“Fine, lucid and sharp … well written and worth reading before the next wave of western tanks crosses a border, somewhere in the Middle East” Rod Liddle, The Sunday Times


“In this thoughtful polemic Dan Hind argues that we are being misled by a debased “Folk Enlightenment” which has little in common with the Enlightenment initiated by Bacon and championed by Voltaire, Hume and Kant” – Financial Times


“Since September 11 2002, the idea of Enlightenment has been ripped from university textbooks and airlifted into battle between the West and its irrational enemies. In this elegant polemical essay, Dan Hind rightly quibbles with this supposedly Manichean tussle between the guarantors of Enlightenment in the West and everyone else. Hind wants to rescue the idea of Enlightenment from its usurpers, while pressing it into the service of something better.” James Harkin, The Independent


Nick Lezard’s paperback choice in The Guardian:

“In the tradition of those great works that ask big and fundamental, yet curiously unexamined, questions. A profound and much-needed contribution … In the spirit of Enlightenment thinkers, he both reveals the contradictions and hypocrisies of contemporary politics, and also points a way forward” – Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation.

From Dan Hind:

“A few years ago I started to notice that the word ‘Enlightenment’ was cropping up a good deal in political and cultural debate. For example influential commentators and journalists regularly described the ‘War on Terror’ in terms of a wider struggle between ‘Enlightenment values’ and their irrational enemies. Secular liberals complained that Christian fundamentalists were undermining America ’s enlightened inheritance. The defenders of conventional medicine squared off against New Age healers and mystics. On campus avowedly anti-Enlightenment post-modernists were supposedly undermining traditional scholarship. According to writers like Richard Dawkins, Francis Wheen, and Dick Taverne a rising tide of mumbo-jumbo was threatening to overwhelm us.

I wanted to see whether it made sense to think of the Enlightenment in these terms, as something to be defended against external, self-declared enemies. And I wanted to look again at what it might mean to be enlightened in the present day. Was it enough to quote a bit of Voltaire and fret about the rising tide of unreason? Or do the ideas of the historical Enlightenment have a more interesting role to play?

I am convinced, and here try to show, that our understanding of the Enlightenment has become far too narrow and that often the ideas associated with it are being used to mystify the public and to protect unaccountable power.

So, what was the Enlightenment? And what might it be now? The Threat to Reason is an attempt to answer these two questions.”

AUTHOR: Dan Hind has worked in publishing since 1998. He is currently editorial director of Bodley Head. His journalism has appeared in the Guardian, New Scientist and the Times Literary Supplement. The Threat to Reason is his first book. He lives in London

•     Publication: 13th June 2008

•     Binding: Paperback

•     ISBN: 978-1-84467-253-0

•     Price: £7.99 / $15.95

•     Extent: 192 pages


Rowan Wilson, Sales and Marketing Manager, Verso, 6 Meard Street, London W1F 0EG

Phone: +44 (0)20 7437 3546, Fax: +44 (0)20 7734 0059



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Politics, Democracy and Practice


Date: 20th February 2009, 10.00 – 4.30

Venue: Coventry University, Richard Crossman Building, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5FB

Details at:

The C-SAP Critical Pedagogy/Popular Education Special Interest Group is organising a day for higher education teachers and educators to think about the relevance and importance of the bodies of ideas known as Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education.

Are you someone who:

* Believes in academic excellence but not elitism?

*Is concerned about the creeping culture of neo-liberal managerialism in Higher Education?

* Is uncomfortable about the idea of academics as entrepreneurs?

* Is concerned that the business culture in higher education is corroding collegiality?

* Believes in the positive value of widening participation in higher education?

* Is looking for new, creative ways of working with students?

* Believes that education still plays a vital role as a vehicle for progressive social change?

* And would like to connect with others who share these concerns?

If you answer to some or all of these questions is ‘yes’, then this is a day you should make every effort to attend. We believe it is important for progressive educators to meet and share ideas precisely at a time when the current economic crisis and growing popular discontent with neo-liberal policies across the world make it vital to elaborate alternative, participatory strategies for addressing the educational challenges of our times. We see this as a moment where we can (re)polticise, critique and reclaim the categories of existing discourse (such as ‘widening participation’, ‘inclusion’, ’employer engagement’, ‘diversity’ etc.); and where we can together articulate our private troubles not simply as individual grievances but as the whole public issues they represent.

Aims and Objectives of the Day:

The day seeks to provide an opportunity for teachers in higher education across the full disciplines/subjects to share, update and develop our ideas and commitments to radical pedagogical practices that seek to promote inclusivity, social responsibility, ethical reflexivity and political awareness. By the end of the day participants will have developed:

1. A critical understanding of key ideas and methods associated with critical pedagogy and popular education

2. Creative ideas for enhancing their pedagogical practices through engaging insharing of ideas and critical dialogue with colleagues from different institutions and disciplines

3. Ideas and strategies for building alliances, networks and communities of practice amongst academics, students, cirizens, activists and social movements.

Programme for the day:

The programme for the day will include a range of keynote speakers and workshops on themes and issues relevant to our aims and objectives. This will include material such as:

[1] The Moment of Critical Pedagogy – Why Critical Pedagogy? – Why Critical Pedagogy now?

[2] The ideas of Popular Education in Research and Politics

[3] ‘Race’ and Social Justice in the University and in the Community

[4] Gender, Sexulaity and Critical Pedagogy

[5] Performance as a Critical Tool

[6] Conversational Podcasting

The day will also include a performance from Banner Theatre, one of Briatin’s longest established community theatre companies, wh have extensive experience of working with marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

Cost and who can attend: The workshop is free for participants and places will be allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Primarily ai,ed at HE teachers and students.

How to apply: Please contact FRances Worrall at C-SAP:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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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!

Rich Gibson



“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}>,
adjunct-l <ADJUNCT-L {AT}>, GSOC Group <gcsoc {AT}>, militant-inquiries {AT}, gcspacepubs {AT}
< >


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


Frank at 718.314.2328, fmanning {AT}
Conor Tomás Reed at 979.204.9253, cocoreed {AT}


—-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: 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
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>
Subject: [NYMAA] some new school occupation resources












On Kerrey:







Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Glenn’s blog, Volumizer is at:

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






See this politically interesting, economically topical and useful web site at:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Critical Mass: A New Forum on Political Economy and Power



Announcing CRITICAL MASS, an open discussion forum on political economy and power.



Dear All

The Critical Mass Forum on Political Economy and Power brings together researchers interested in exploring the possibilities and limitations of the concept of power as an alternative basis for re-thinking the tradition of political economy and its foundational categories of value, capital and accumulation. Created and maintained voluntarily by graduate students of political economy at York University in Toronto, Critical Mass aims to extend beyond York to foster online discussion and debate between the global community of researchers working in these areas.

In addition to facilitating a general discussion on political economy and power, the forum also gives participants an opportunity to discuss issues related to statistical data, to post and discuss upcoming political economy events and to receive feedback on their own research.

If you are interested in participating, please visit the forum website:

Sandy Hager

Department of Political Science York University, Toronto


Jonathan Nitzan
Political Science
York University
4700 Keele St.
Toronto, Ontario, M3J-1P3
Voice: (416) 736-2100, ext. 88822
Fax: (416) 736-5686
Email: nitzan at



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Radical Notes: Some Recent Additions



Dear Comrades
Here are recent contributions in Radical Notes:


”Crisis, the Bankers’ Bailout, and Socialist Analysis/Strategy”

Dave Hill


”Resistance, Crisis, and the First US Black President”
Curry Stephenson Malott



P.S.: Looking forward to carrying forward this debate


Ravi Kumar, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
Jamia Millia Islamia University
Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Marg
Jamia Nagar
New Delhi – 110025
Editor, Radical Notes:




Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Critical Race Theory and Education: A Marxist Response

By Mike Cole


PB 0-230-61335-7 $28.95

HB 0-230-60845-0 $84.95


The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.”—W.E.B. Dubois


“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”—Karl Marx



Book description:

Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the realm of Education has a long history in the US, and is now a bourgeoning field of enquiry in the UK. Critical Race Theory and Education is the first book-length response to CRT from a Marxist perspective. It looks at CRT’s origins in Critical Legal Studies, critiques the work of major US and UK Critical Race Theorists and also looks at some of CRT’s strengths. CRT and Marxism are contextualized with respect to both neo-liberal global capitalism and imperialism and to antiracist socialist developments in South America. The book concludes with some suggestions for classroom practice.


“Through an insightful and provocative analysis, Cole offers a bold interrogation into the ideological underpinnings of CRT, as well as a clear and useful alternative based on recent developments in Marxist theory. Critical Race Theory and Education is sure to spark renewed transatlantic debates regarding ‘race’, not only within education, but also in other fields of study, where a 21st Century understanding of racism is imperative to the transformation of material conditions of inequality and the destructive impact of global capital” – Antonia Darder and Rudolfo D. Torres, authors of After Race: Racism after Multiculturalism.

“Any movement would be fortunate to have the meticulous but wide-ranging criticism that Cole offers. This volume is a welcome contribution that comes at an especially good time, as critical race theory jumps the Atlantic and expands into fields outside law, such as education” – Richard Delgado, University Professor of Law, Seattle University, and author of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction and The Rodrigo Chronicles.

Author Biography:

Mike Cole is Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK. He is the author of Marxism and Educational Theory: Origins and Issues, (2008), and the editor of Professional Attributes and Practice for Student Teachers, 4th Edition (2008), and Education, Equality and Human Rights, 2nd Edition (2006). He is the editor of Promoting Equality in Secondary/High Schools (forthcoming 2009).

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: