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EDUCATION

EDUCATION AND THE TRAGEDY OF LABOUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

 

This Draft paper of mine, Education and the Tragedy of Labour – completed on 25th June 2020 – can now be found at Academia, in the ‘Drafts & Pre-prints’ section, at:

https://www.academia.edu/43678143/Education_and_the_Tragedy_of_Labour

 

Abstract:

The argument of this paper is that, insofar as education is tied to the social production of labour-power in capitalism, or is infused with the business takeover of education, then, by default, it is in a tragic condition. This argument is pursued in conjunction with an exploration of some aspects of the literature on tragedy. The tragedy of labour results from the opposition between labouring for value production and capital’s profit system, and labouring for ourselves – individually and collectively – for human desires, needs and enhancement. Radical alternatives are required for the latter, otherwise education is doomed to be tied to capital’s prerogatives.

 

Glenn Rikowski at ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski at Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

AutodownloadPERSISTENT UNEMPLOYMENT, AUTOMATION, AND THE TRANSCENDENCE OF CAPITALISM

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2015

6:30-9:30 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Sarah Mason, former Occupy LA activist

Ali Kiani, Iranian Marxist activist and translator

 

Capitalism today is marked by persistent unemployment, particularly of youth, as well as low-wage labor.  This is not only a local but also a global problem. Although the displacement of human labor by machines is as old as industrial capitalism, it has accelerated and moved into new sectors in recent years.  These issues have been debated widely from Marx’s time, to the Critical Theorists and Marxist-Humanists of the 1950s and 1960s, to today.  Is persistent unemployment due to technological change a further oppression of the working people, or does it offer possibilities for human liberation?  How can both of these issues be connected, in dialectical fashion?  We will explore these issues by examining some pages from Marx’s GRUNDRISSE and CAPITAL, from Herbert Marcuse and Raya Dunayevskaya on automation, and from Paul Mason today.

 

Suggested readings:

Paul Mason, “The End of Capitalism Has Begun,” GUARDIAN, July 17, 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun

Raya Dunayevskaya, “The ‘Automaton’ and the Worker,” PHILOSOPHY AND REVOLUTION, pp. 68-77

Herbert Marcuse, on automation, ONE-DIMENSIONAL MAN, pp. 28-37 http://www.marcuse.org/herbert/pubs/64onedim/odm2.html

Karl Marx, Section 5: “The Struggle between Worker and Machine,” in Ch. 15: “Machinery and Large-Scale Industry,” in CAPITAL, Vol. I https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch15.htm#S5

Karl Marx, on machinery in GRUNDRISSE, Nicolaus translation, pp. 699-713, online here https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch13.htm and here https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch14.htm

tech_assembly-automation

Sponsored by the West Coast Chapter, International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: arise@internationalmarxisthumanist.org and http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/

Here is URL for meeting for Facebook, Twitter, etc.: http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/events/los-angeles-persistent-unemployment-automation-and-the-transcendence-of-capitalism

Join our Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

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Working to Death

Working to Death

WORKING US TO DEATH: ALIENATED LABOR UNDER CAPITALISM

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015

6:30-9:30 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Stephan Hammel, Marxist musicologist

Kevin Anderson, author of Marx at the Margins

Mansoor M., Iranian computer engineer and cultural worker

 

Since the 19th century, capitalism has radically transformed work, making the worker, in Marx’s language, a mere “appendage to the machine.”  This deepened under 20th century assembly lines and has been extended globally today, as seen in places like China or Bangladesh.  In recent years, alienated labor has begun to spread from the factory floor into white collar and professional work in the U.S. and other developed countries. All of this is fueled by fear in a system wherein ever-larger sectors of the population face permanent unemployment and precarity.

download (7)

Suggested readings:

Recent New York Times article on Amazon (white collar and professional workers) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=0

New York Times article on suicides of Apple workers in China from 2012 (factory workers) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html

Marx: Alienated (Estranged) Labor essay from 1844: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm

Marx: Fetishism section from Capital https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm#S4

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Sponsored by the West Coast Chapter, International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: arise@internationalmarxisthumanist.org

http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/

Here is URL for meeting for Facebook, Twitter, etc.: http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/events/los-angeles-working-us-to-death-alienated-labor-under-capitalism

Join our Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

download (6)

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

Outland

Outland

CORPORATE CARE: MIGRANT LABOUR AND THE CARE INDUSTRY IN TIMES OF (NON) CRISIS

CALL FOR PAPERS

Corporate Care: Migrant labour and the care industry in times of (non) crisis

A one-day conference at Goldsmiths College, New Cross, London, 29 October 2015

Deadline: June 12, 2015

Though unsurprisingly hitting the low-income and unemployed harder than ever, the 2007-2011 Global Economic Crisis and subsequent politics of austerity have also revealed the emergence of new and unexpected trends in the West: in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, both non-migrant and migrant women in numerous Western countries were less affected than men in terms of jobs losses, though their working conditions might have not improved. Subsequent austerity policies, on the other hand, seem to have disadvantaged women in terms of working conditions, though they also appear to have reinforced their commitment to paid work (Karamessini and Rubery, ed., 2013; Farris, 2015).

The intertwined fate of non-migrant and migrant women during and after the crisis is due to their position vis-à-vis care, or social reproduction. The assumption that care is a “woman’s job” remains firmly in place, while public state care provision continues to shrink. But while non-migrant women’s rate of participation in the workforce means that they do less unpaid care work in comparison to previous periods, migrant women from ‘post-socialist’ countries and the Global South take on the bulk of the social reproductive tasks in paid form in the booming care industry.

But what is the care industry? How did the crisis change its configuration?

Studies conducted across Europe and the West in the last ten years show that the care industry was not negatively affected by the crisis. On the contrary, the demand for care and domestic service has grown rather than decreased. Moreover, a process of polarization appears to be impacting upon migrant workers employed in the care industry: on the one hand, a proliferation of domestic and care placement agencies as well as so-called ‘non-profit’ organisations (particularly in Southern Europe) is increasingly meeting the growing demand for carers and housekeepers by individual households. Effectively functioning as corporations, many of these organisations are making enormous profits out of mediating for, or directly exploiting, the hugely needed work of migrants in the care sector. On the other hand, anti-immigration policies at the national level and the refusal of numerous states to issue visas for care and domestic workers (particularly during the first years of the crisis) have pushed migrants working in this sector into the underground. But rather than being discouraged to employ migrants, more and more families in fact rely upon “word of mouth” to hire them as carers and housekeepers, as they remain the most cost-effective solution for their caring needs. Yet even in the underground, illegal agencies and organisations profiting from this flourishing industry begin to emerge.

With the crisis and austerity politics in the background, this one day conference aims to analyse this new set of dynamics by focusing upon the care industry, the emergence of corporate care and (female) migrant labour in particular.

While the employment of migrant women in the care industry has been widely studied, the impact of the recent crisis and austerity politics on female migrant labour in the care sector and the boom of care placement agencies have remained largely under-scrutinized.

This conference thus aims to fill a gap in this field of studies by seeking papers that address the following questions in particular:

  • How does the increasing presence of corporations and also non-profit organisations in the care industry in a period of crisis and austerity affect the sector?
  • How does the profitability of care impact upon our understanding of social reproduction theory in particular?
  • How do care and domestic placement agencies change conceptions and cultures of care and domestic work?
  • How have the crisis and austerity politics transformed the working conditions of migrants in the care sector in different countries?

Abstracts should be 300 words long and clearly state the question they address. Preference will be given to papers that seek to combine theoretical and empirical work.

Deadline for submission is June 12, 2015. Please send abstracts and any inquiries to s.farris@gold.ac.uk

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cfp-corporate-care.-migrant-labour-and-the-care-industry-in-times-of-non-crisis.-goldsmiths-college-29-october-2015

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

The Failure of Capitalism

The Failure of Capitalism

CYBER-PROLETARIAT: GLOBAL LABOUR IN THE DIGITAL VORTEX

NEW FROM PLUTO PRESS:

Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex

By Nick Dyer-Witheford

http://bit.ly/1AeNq5z

—————–

Praise for CYBER-PROLETARIAT:

‘Cyber-Proletariat tracks the eddies and flows of the perfect storm that is contemporary capitalism. This panoramic work reveals the relentless force of material destruction and brutal violence concealed by the sleek surfaces of digital culture’ – Benjamin Noys, Professor of Critical Theory, University of Chichester and author of Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism

—————–

Coltan mines in the Congo; electronics factories in China; devastated neighbourhoods in Detroit. Cyber-Proletariat shows us the dark-side of the information revolution; an unsparing analysis of class power and computerisation.

Nick Dyer-Witheford reveals how technology facilitates growing polarisation between wealthy elites and precarious workers. He reveals the class domination behind everything from expanding online surveillance to intensifying robotisation. At the same time he looks at possibilities for information technology within radical movements; contemporary struggles are cast in the blue glow of the computer screen.

Cyber-Proletariat brings heterodox Marxist analysis to bear on modern technological developments. The result will be indispensable to social theorists and hacktivists alike and essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how Silicon Valley shapes the way we live today.

—————–

ON THE PLUTO BLOG: http://bit.ly/1HsH55Z

READ THE BOOK ONLINE: http://bit.ly/1K0fr0B

—————–

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Even Bigger Data

Even Bigger Data

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

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imagesPOST-SOCIALIST ECONOMIES, NATIONALISTIC CONFLICTS AND LABOUR IN CENTRAL-EASTERN EUROPE AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION

One Day Workshop at Middlesex University, Hendon, London NW4 4BT

Hosted by the Business School and the Post-Socialist Labour Studies Group.
Friday May 29 2015, from 9.30am to 6pm

For further information, and to register at the workshop, please contact:
Claudio Morrison (c.morrison@mdx.ac.uk) or Elena Karoullas (E.Karoullas@mdx.ac.uk)

A workshop is jointly sponsored by the Royal Economic Society and the London Region of BUIRA (British Universities Industrial Relations Association) will be held under the auspices of the Post Socialist Labour Studies Group at Middlesex University on Friday May 29th 2015. The workshop focuses on ethno-national conflicts in post-socialist and post-soviet states and the political economy of the region, explorin g links between emergent neoliberal forms of capitalism and the rise of radical nationalism. Guest speakers will include practitioners in labour and industrial relations and economic policy from the region as well as academic specialists and labour representatives from countries gravely affected by present and past conflicts such as Ukraine, Russia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Confirmed participant speakers include:
Dr Claudio Morrison (LWO, Middlesex University); Professor Martin Upchurch (LWO, Middlesex University); Professor John Grahl (Economics, Middlesex University); Dr Daryna Grechyna (Economics, Middlesex University); Kiril Buketov (IUF Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers Worldwide); Volodymyr Ishenko (Center for Social and Labour Research, Kiev); Goran Markovic (East Sarajevo University, Sarajevo Plenum); Filip Ilkowski (Institute of Political Science, Warsaw) Petr Bizyukov (Centre for Social and Labour Rights, Moscow); Veronika Biziukova (Levada analy tical centre, Moscow); Professor Vera Trappmann (University of Leeds) Dr. Jelena Timotijevic (University of Brighton); Dr Jan Fidrmuc (Economics, Brunel University).

Directions to the Hendon Campus
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/get-in-touch/directions-london
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1577293192531879/

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/post-socialist-economies-nationalistic-conflicts-and-labour

Modernism

Modernism

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

 

No Future

No Future

WHY IS THERE UNEMPLOYMENT?

WHY IS THERE UNEMPLOYMENT?

WHY ARE THOSE WITH JOBS OVERWORKED?

WHAT CAN WE DO?

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015

7:00-10:00 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Ali Kiani, Iranian Marxist activist and translator

Sarah Mason, former Occupy LA activist

 

Questions to be addressed:

**Why is the U.S. economy characterized by persistent unemployment for tens of millions? Does it stem from the downturn since 2008, from neoliberal capitalism, or is it a permanent feature of capitalism itself?

**Why at the same time are tens of millions required to work long hours, often far beyond the 40-hour-week?  Why has the 40-hour standard, in place for 80 years, not been reduced?

**Are more jobs the solution to unemployment, or does the whole concept of work and wage labor need to be questioned?

 

Those seeking more background before the meeting might consult these readings:

Marx, “The Progressive Production of a Relative Surplus Population or Industrial Reserve Army,” in CAPITAL, Vol. 1 (14 pp.)

Marx, “The Struggle for a Normal Working Day,” in CAPITAL, Vol. 1, Ch. 10, section 6 (24 pp.)

Peter Frase, “Post-Work: A Guide for the Perplexed,” in JACOBIN 2-25-13 (3 pp.)

 

Sponsored by the West Coast Chapter, International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: arise@internationalmarxisthumanist.org

http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/

Here is URL for meeting for Facebook, Twitter, etc. http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/events/los-angeles-why-is-there-unemployment-why-are-those-with-jobs-overworked-what-can-we-do

Join our Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski

FUEL FOR THE LIVING FIRE: LABOUR-POWER!

My article Fuel for the Living Fire: Labour-Power! is now available at Academia.

It can be viewed at: https://www.academia.edu/11923648/Fuel_for_the_Living_Fire_Labour-Power_

It is Chapter 7 in The Labour Debate: An Investigation into the Theory and Reality of Capitalist Work, edited by Ana C. Dinerstein and Micheal Neary, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002, pp.179-202.

Glenn Rikowski

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Living Fire

Living Fire

ROME

ROME

REVOLUTION AND RESTORATION

Historical Materialism Rome Conference 2015

17-18-19 September 2015, Roma Tre University

CALL FOR PAPERS

D​EADLINE: 26.03.2015

Details: https://hmrome2015.wordpress.com

Two hundreds years after the Vienna Congress, a new strategy of restoration has imposed itself at the core of Europe. The process of reorganization of class power, which started in the 1970s, has stabilised after the 2007-2008 crisis on the basis of austerity policies, the dismantling of workers’ rights and the welfare state , the contraction of democratic space, and punitive restrictions on the right to protest. We know the 1815 restoration was a reaction to the revolutionary conquests of 1789; can we say something analogous about this new restoration? Does this latter amount merely to a response to the attack launched by the subaltern classes in the ’60 -’70? Can we define neoliberalism, as David Harvey suggests, as the ‘restoration of class power?’.

What deserves further exploration is the extent to which neoliberal restoration has acquired the offensive and constitutive dynamic traditionally linked to the concept of ‘revolution’. The interrelation between restoration and revolution emerges, in part, from the composition, nature and unfolding of the struggles that characterize our times: urban movements claim ing a ‘right to the city’, border conflicts, migrant struggles, the constellation of Arab ‘springs’, independent and conflictual trade unionism, experiments in workers’ self-management, feminist, queer and decolonial movements, rural, indigenous and environmental struggles .

Can these new struggles contrast the neoliberal manipulation of those democratic forms that emerged from the post-war compromise between labour and capital, and between direct and representative democracy? Can new subjectivities, new rights from below, new institutions offer any foothold for detaching the idea of ‘revolution’ from its absorption by the mechanism of ‘restoration’? Within this complex and stratified framework, it is crucial to take-up the traditions of Marxist theory – from the in-depth analysis of Bonapartism by Marx and Engels to Workerism, passing through Gramsci and the reflections on the appropriation and subordination of anti-colonial movements – that have distinguished themselves by their capacity to interrogate the deep connection between revolution and restoration in the history of the capitalist social totality.

Separate calls go out for the following streams (click on titles for full CFPs):

Marxism and Philosophy: The Italian Debate and its International Effects

New World Disorder: Crisis, Conflicts and Transformations of Class Struggles 

Powers, Organizational forms, New Institutions

​T​he Right to the City

We welcome abstract proposals on these themes or any others, in all disciplines, from all continents and from all perspectives within Marxism.

Please send your 200 words abstracts to: hmrome2015@gmail.com

IMPORTANT: if you apply to any of the 4 strands listed above, add the title of the strand in your email subject.

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/historical-materialism-rome-conference-2015-call-for-papers

Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

 

Time and Space in the Social Universe of Capital’ – by Michael Neary and Glenn Rikowski, now at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/10545768/Time_and_Speed_in_the_Social_Universe_of_Capital

 

Stuff

Stuff

WORKING WORLDS

Call for Papers:

Working Worlds explores the world-making capacities of the work of art. The conference seeks to reimagine the artwork as a space of compossibility in which multiple worlds, both real and potential, past and future, coexist. The present conference invites papers to intermix different scales of worlds, from the world in miniature to a world in collapse. Recent debates in art history have emphasised the artwork’s potential to represent global phenomena: conflict, ecological catastrophe and the flows of capital. Lost in these discussions is the fact that the artwork may also be understood as a world in and of itself. The artwork is of this world, but it is not reducible to it. From the sculptural practice of Camille Henrot to the performances of Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, attention paid to the particularity of the artwork reveals its potential to actualize speculative fictions in which worlds are formed and collapsed. Though the period addressed by the conference finds its beginnings with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, an event that for many heralds the era of globalisation, Working Worlds also invites papers that draw lines of continuity between the modern and the post-modern, and thereby seek to challenge existing narratives that draw too firm a line between these historical periods.

 

Working Worlds proposes three panels with topics not exclusively related to:

  1. The work of the artwork / worldmaking / the artwork as theory
  2. Artistic labour / digital labor / artwork as situation / artwork as event / cognitive mapping
  3. Institution / artworld / capitalism as global process

 

Speakers should be prepared to present papers for 25 min followed by a discussion. Please send 300 word abstracts by February 26th to: Andrew Witt and Rye Holmboe, workingworlds2015@gmail.com The conference will be held on the 16th of May, 2015.

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/call-for-papers-working-worlds-may-16-2015-university-college-london

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

 

Time and Space in the Social Universe of Capital’ – by Michael Neary and Glenn Rikowski, now at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/10545768/Time_and_Speed_in_the_Social_Universe_of_Capital

KRISIS

KRISIS

NEVER WORK

Cardiff University Conference

Friday 10 July 2015

Call for Papers

“A corpse rules society – the corpse of labour.” – Manifesto Against Labour, Krisis-Group

Since the 1970s modern societies have been increasingly faced with social issues caused by a reliance on a form of life that technological development is making redundant: work. Competition drives companies to eject human beings from the labour process even while it relies on those people as consumers and producers of value. Equally, more human beings than ever before depend upon the capitalist production process for their survival, yet at this historical juncture it appears no longer to have need of them. It is this contradiction that some contemporary social critics have diagnosed as the basis of a crisis of civilisation through which we are currently living. The symptoms of this crisis are manifold and, one can argue, affect every aspect of society: privatisation, financialisation and economic crises, mass unemployment, the casualisation of labour and austerity programmes, regional conflict, the rise of political extremism, growing wealth inequality, individualisation, school shootings and the ever-growing number of people suffering from narcissistic personality disorders, to name but a few.

Despite the sheer scale of problems that society currently faces, the dominant social discourse has rarely considered that a crisis of the very categories of capitalist society could be the source of the problem. Work, in particular, is central to modern notions of individual and collective identity, of morality and even of human nature. It is the means through which individuals are expected to realise themselves and to gain access to social wealth. It is perhaps for this reason that, while work is often seen as central to resolving the current crisis – either through calls for higher wages and the right to work or through attacks on immigrants and the unemployed – it is rarely seen as the problem in itself. The aim of this conference is therefore to ask what might a critique of work usefully offer us in addressing contemporary social issues and, if one will allow it, the possibility of a greater crisis of modern civilisation.

Contributors might consider:

  • What kinds of critique of work are necessary, on the basis of what criteria and in the name of what alternatives?
  • What hampers such a critique and how can we remove, go around or through these barriers?
  • What critical theories can usefully contribute to a contemporary critique of work?
  • How can contemporary social movements benefit from a critique of work?
  • How might a theoretical critique of work manifest itself practically and how might critiques of work in practice inform theoretical critiques?
  • What lessons can we learn from historical and contemporary social movements against work?
  • What might a critique of work tell us about the political, economic and psychological forms and changes that society is currently experiencing?
  • What are particularly unexamined aspects of the critique of work that need addressing?
  • How widespread and persistent are critiques of work in contemporary social movements and what kinds of critique of work have they developed?
  • What useful relationship might the critique of work have with critiques of the state, patriarchy, politics and other social forms?
  • What alternatives to work still exist, have existed and might exist?

 

Confirmed keynote speakers will be: Anselm Jappe (author of Guy Debord, Les Aventures de la marchandise, Crédit à mort) and Norbert Trenkle (author of Die Große Entwertung, Dead Men Working). Both of our keynotes are members of the wertkritik, or “critique of value”, school of Marxian critique.

Abstracts of 350 words, with a small bio, should be sent to Dr Alastair Hemmens (hemmensa@cardiff.ac.uk) by 20 February 2015.

The conference itself will take place at Cardiff University, Wales, on 10 July 2015.

This research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship: Dr Alastair Hemmens, “‘Ne travaillez jamais’: The Critique of Work in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century French Thought, from Charles Fourier to Guy Debord.”

Website: http://www.marblepunk.com/2015/01/never-work-cardiff-university.html

Robert Kurz

Robert Kurz

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Manifesto Against Labour

Manifesto Against Labour

 

The Future PresentOUTUBRO

We would like to introduce you to the new edition of Outubro, a Marxist journal published since 1998 in Brazil.

www.revistaoutubro.com.br

https://www.facebook.com/revistaoutubro

From this edition on, Outubro will be published exclusively online with fully free access. Articles and book reviews continue to be published in Portuguese, and Abstracts in Portuguese and English. We believe that in this new format our journal will gain agility, ensure its periodicity, maintain its quality and increase its audience.

Despite the difficulties faced by Marxist journals in Brazil, October has kept over more than 16 years of existence, its financial, political and intellectual independence. It was the first Brazilian Marxist journal to publish its previous editions on the internet and the first to be indexed in several international databases.

 

Edition 21 (1/2014)

Content

Articles

 

Material world: the myth of the immaterial economy

Ursula Huws

 

Proletariat

Marcel van der Linden

 

The working class: a contemporary approach under the light of historical materialism

Marcelo Badaró Mattos

 

The Prerevolutionary strike movement in Russia (1912-1916)

Kevin Murphy

 

Labor movement, industrial belts and people’s power: experience and class consciousness during the Popular Unity in Chile

Mariano Vega Jara

 

Slum´s evictions in the city of Rio de Janeiro: a nowadays history

Romulo Costa Mattos

 

Revolutionary party and its degeneration: Gramsci, critic of Michels

Renato César Ferreira Fernandes

 

Fetishism and phantasmagoria of capitalist modernity: Walter Benjamin reader of Marx

Fabio Mascaro Querido

 

Marxism, politics and religion of “a convinced and confessed Marxist”: Michael Löwy reader of Jose Carlos Mariategui

Deni Ireneu Alfaro Rublo

 

Book Reviews

 

RIDENTI, Marcelo. Brasilidade revolucionária: um século de cultura e política. São Paulo: Unesp. 2010, by Daniela Vieira dos Santos

 

SPIVAK, Gayatri Chakravorty. Pode o subalterno falar? Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG, 2010, by Camila Massaro de Góes

 

HOBSBAWM, Eric. Como mudar o mundo: Marx e o marxismo, 1840-2011. De São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2011, by Rodrigo Duarte Fernandes dos Passos e Diana Patricia Ferreira de Santana

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-edition-of-ouubro-journal

 

**END**

 

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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