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Dud Capitalism

POLITICAL WEEKEND: HOSTED BY REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY

Political weekend: hosted by rs21

Saturday, 29 March 2014 at 11:00 – Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 17:00 (GMT)

GoldsmithsCollege, University of London

New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, United Kingdom

Book online: http://bit.ly/rs21weekend

Timetable: http://rs21.org.uk/timetable/

A weekend of discussion and debate on what it means to be a revolutionary socialist today: organised around three key panel discussions and a number of workshops. The weekend is organised by rs21, a new grouping of revolutionary socialists in Britain. This is our first major public event and we welcome participation from anyone who is interested in similar issues and has been asking similar questions.

The Panel sessions:

• Neoliberal capitalism and the state of struggle

• Marxist approaches to racism, sexism and oppression

• Revolutionary organisation and the working class

We will also be hosting a Question Time with figures from the movement including Mark Steel, Sara Bennett and Mike Gonzalez titled “How do we organise to transform the world?”

Workshops include:

• Social reproduction: what it is and why it matters

• Protest movements and united fronts today

• Shifts in reformism and reformist consciousness

• What is revolutionary leadership?

• Marxism at the margins: intersectionality and identity

• Anti-politics: responses to austerity from Occupy to Russell Brand

• How should revolutionaries organise?

• Racism, new and old

• Neoliberalism’s impact on the working class

Speakers include:

• Mark Steel Independent columnist and comedian

• Nina Power author of One Dimensional Woman

• Mike Gonzalez author of upcoming book on Venezuela

• Mireia Gargallo from the Spanish squares movement

• Neil Davidson author of How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?

• Lucia Pradella from the Historical Materialism journal

• Ian Birchall biographer of Tony Cliff

• Estelle Cooch former deputy editor of the Socialist Review

• Dan Swain author of Alienation: An Introduction to Marx’s Theory

• Sara Bennett from Unite the Union executive (pc)

• Jonny Jones former deputy editor International Socialism journal

• Amy Gilligan from the National Union of Students executive

• Colin Barker author of Marxism and Social Movements

 

**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 at Academia: http://independent.academic.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskpoint.blogspot.com

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Karl Marx

MARXISM 2011 TIMETABLE

Central London 30 June – 4 July

Final timetable out now: www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2011/timetable.html

Book online: www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2011/bookonline.html

 

New speakers and sessions now confirmed:

* Kamal Abu Aita of the Egyptian tax collectors’ union will join the general secretary of the PCS civil service workers’ union Mark Serwotka and striking workers at the opening rally, which takes place on the evening of a day of coordinated strike action by up to a million workers

* Panos Garganas of the Greek Socialist Workers Party will speak on “Greece & the Eurozone Crisis”

* Laurie Penny (Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism) will join Nina Power (One Dimensional Woman) and Judith Orr (Sexism and the System) to discuss “Women, Class & Capitalism”

*Mireia Rosello of the Spanish “indignados” movement will join Sean Vernell of the lecturers’ UCU union to speak on “Youth, Anger and Revolution in Egypt, Spain, Britain…”

* Omar Bargouti, Mohammed Tonsi & Wassim Wagdy will participate on the panel “Eyewitnesses to the Arab Spring”

* Gilbert Achcar (The Arabs and the Holocaust and The Clash of Barbarisms) will debate Simon Assaf on the Libyan intervention

 

Other highlights:

* Owen Jones launches his acclaimed book Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class

* Terry Eagleton (Why Marx was Right) speaks on the Communist Manifesto

* John Bellamy Foster (The Ecological Rift) on “Marxism and Ecology”

* Tariq Ali speaks on “The Arab Intifada and American Power”

* Iain Sinclair (Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire) on “London and the Olympics”

* Graham Turner (No Way to Run an Economy) asks “Where is the Global Economy Going?”

* Peter Thomas (The Gramscian Moment) on “Gramsci and us: Building Socialist Hegemony Today”

* Danny Dorling launches Bankrupt Britain

* Alberto Toscano (Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea) on “University Struggles then and Now”

* Ben Fine (From Political Economy to Economics) on “Reading Marx’s Capital”

* Peter Hallward (Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment) on “Marx against Fatalism”

* Owen Hatherley speaks on his book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain

* Stuart Christie and Andy Durgan debate the Spanish Revolution

* Authors China Mieville and Max Schaefer discuss “Committed Fictions: Politics and Writing”

* Ronnie Kasrils launches The Unlikely Secret Agent

* Guglielmo Carchedi (Behind the Crisis) on “Marxism and Crisis Theory”

* Alex Callinicos (Bonfire of Illusions) on “Crisis and Revolution after the Arab Revolts”

* Istvan Meszaros (Beyond Capital) on “The Structural Crisis of Capitalism”

Join thousands of others at Europe’s biggest festival of radical ideas—featuring over 200 meetings, debates, film screenings, and musical performances.

For more go to: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

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

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

No Future

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK – UPDATE 20th FEBRUARY 2011

EVENTS

MEDITATION FOR SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

February 25, 2011
1:00pm – 3:30pm
OISE/Centre for Women’s Studies in Education
252 Bloor St. West, Toronto (St. George subway stn.)

We can do more for the world when we are tending to our own wellbeing. Meditation can help to ground, centre, and rejuvenate you. In this workshop you will learn to meditate and will be empowered with tools to bring meditation into your daily life on an on-going basis. Hosted by Centre for Women’s Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

For more info, email: cwse@utoronto.ca

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SOCIAL ECONOMY CENTRE (OISE/UT) FEBRUARY LUNCHBOX SPEAKERS’ SERIES

“Community Foundations”

With Rosalyn Morrison – Community Initiatives, Toronto Community Foundation, and Betsy Martin – Community Foundations Canada

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Noon – 1:30 pm
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. West, Toronto
Room 12-199

Rosalyn Morrison will talk about how the Toronto Community Foundation mobilizes more than 300 individual and family donors, high-impact community organizations and cross-sector leaders to tackle complex, quality of life issues in creative and inspiring ways.

Betsy Martin will discuss how foundations in Canada can support social enterprise and how this is part of the evolution of the investment model of foundations around the world. She will give examples of what community foundations in Canada and the United States are doing, to give a sense of the potential for this kind of community foundation investing.

Moderator: Michael Hall, Primus

Bring your lunch and a mug.  Water, coffee and tea will be provided.

For more information, please contact: Lisa White: secspeakerseries@gmail.com This event will also be webcast live on the Internet.  Please see our website for detailed instructions: http://socialeconomy.utoronto.ca

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SOCIAL PLANNING TORONTO 2011 RESEARCH & POLICY ROUNDTABLE: WHO’S IN CHARGE?

Please join us for our Research & Policy Roundtable being held on February 24th, 2011. The theme of the 2011 roundtable is “Who’s in Charge? The impact of agencies, boards & commissions on public accountability & service delivery”.

Since the late 1970s, a transformative shift has taken place in how governments manage and administer public services in many democratic countries around the world. Influenced by neo-liberal ideologies, governments have been increasingly under pressure to reduce their size and control over public services. Governments were declared “too big” and “too bureaucratic” to be able to properly and promptly deliver services transparently and flexibly. Governments were encouraged to incorporate private sector management models to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of services and service-delivery. One central feature of this new model has been the creation of hundreds of decentralized and quasi-autonomous government agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs) to manage and administer public services. According to the Ontario Public Appointments Secretariat, there are approximately 630 of these agencies, boards and commissions operating in the province.

For more info: http://bit.ly/eJQeQv

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GIANT STEPS: RADICAL WOMEN IN THE BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLE

A talk by Komozi Woodard, Esther Raushenbush Chair, Sarah Lawrence College
Author: Want to Start a Revolution?

7:00pm, Tuesday March 1, 2011
Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School, TRS 2109
55 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Sponsored by Socialist Project, Centre for Social Justice, New Socialists, No One Is Illegal – Toronto.

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CELEBRATE PEOPLE’S HISTORY AT TORONTO FREE GALLERY

Feb. 10 – March 19, 2011
Toronto Free Gallery
1277 Bloor Street West
Toronto
Free Admission

Hours of Operation: Wednesday-Friday 12-5pm, Saturday 12-6pm

Toronto Free Gallery and Groundswell present Celebrate People’s History!, a show of poster art created by over ninety artists – including many of Toronto’s own – to document the hidden history of social justice movements.

The posters make up a hidden history of people’s struggles, covering well known events and praising groups and leaders of prominence, but also bringing to light less known struggles. The set includes tributes to the AIDS activist group ACT UP, the 1969 Stonewall rebellion, the 1921 Appalachian miners strike at Blair Mountain, UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta, the anti-eviction battle at San Francisco’s International Hotel, the 1988 democratic uprising in Burma, the women leaders of Oaxaca’s 2006 civil uprising, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the 1804 Haitian Revolution, singer Paul Robeson, and heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.

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NEWS & VIEWS

VANCOUVER MAYOR FINDS NEW RESPECT FOR SANITATION WORKERS WHEN HE WALKS A DAY IN THEIR SHOES

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson found out what it’s like to work collecting and sorting garbage in Vancouver when he appeared on a recent episode of CBC series Make the Politician Work.

During the two days Robertson spent as a city sanitation worker he tried a number of jobs normally done by front line staff who are members of CUPE.

“What really struck me was how much people care about their work at the city, how concerned they are about the future and doing better and better. That’s great value for us at the city and it’s great value for taxpayers too,” said Robertson.

The episode aired on Feb. 13 and you can watch it here on the CBC website: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/Make_the_Politician_Work/1747857163/ID=1795295084

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2010-2011 MIGRANT FARM WORKERS REPORT PUBLISHED

Report finds federal government complicit in Canada’s abuse of migrant farm workers

Canada’s most comprehensive annual report on the challenges facing migrant farm workers has been released. It confirms that abuse and exploitation of migrant farm workers are rampant in Canada’s agriculture industry. The 2010-2011 Status of Migrant Farm Workers in Canada report is published by UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA). For more than two decades UFCW Canada has been a leading advocate for farm workers’ rights, and in association with the AWA operates 10 agriculture worker support centres across Canada.  The latest report is the seventh released since 2003. The 25-page report exposes federally operated migrant farm worker programs as rife with human and labour rights violations — and those programs are expanding with the assistance of the Harper Conservative government.

Read more (.pdf): http://www.ufcw.ca/templates/ufcwcanada/images/awa/publications/UFCW-Status_of_MF_Workers_2010-2011_EN.pdf

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A NEW AMERICAN WORKERS MOVEMENT HAS BEGUN

By Dan La Botz, Solidarity

Thousands of workers demonstrated at the state capital in Madison, Wisconsin on Feb. 15 and 16 to protest plans by that state’s Republican Governor Scott Walker to take away the state workers’ union rights. Walker, cleverly attempted to divide the public workers by excluding police and firefighters from his anti-union law, and the media have worked to divide public employees against private sector workers. Yet, both firemen and private sector workers showed up at the statehouse to join public workers of all sorts in what has been one of the largest workers demonstrations in the United States in decades.

Read more: http://www.solidarity-us.org/current/node/3159

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WI GOVERNOR’S FAKE BUDGET CRISIS: GAVE TAX BREAKS TO WAL-MART TO FURTHER REAL AGENDA – UNION BUSTING

(Alternet)

There is no fiscal crisis in Wisconsin. Governor Walker reports a nearly 130 million dollar deficit, but doesn’t report that he caused it by giving a 140 million dollar tax break to large multinational corporations here in Wisconsin (e.g. WalMart). However, this cover story gives him an excuse to do the unthinkable.

Read more: http://act.alternet.org/go/4579?akid=6540.141253.1Sy7fn&t=39

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THE EGYPTIAN UPRISING AND WORKERS’ GRIEVANCES

By Nada Matta, The Bullet

It is too early to give an explanation for the Egyptian revolt. Much still needs to be understood about the character and the driving forces behind this sustained mass mobilization, as well as its dynamic and development. Some initial thoughts could still be entertained, however, especially with regards to the nature of the protestors’ demands. Though the revolt was caused by increasing economic hardship and insecurity, as well as by mounting political repression and authoritarianism, the demands of its youth organizers were solely focused on political democracy.

Read more: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/465.php

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WORKERS BAND TOGETHER AS UNIONS ARE LEFT BEHIND

The AFL-CIO spent over $50 million worth of its members’ dues and deployed 250,000 workers to support Obama’s campaign. But three years later, workers say unions have failed to deliver on their promises and are struggling to defend their rights.

Raquel Rojas isn’t exactly union material – an immigrant, a seasonal worker, scraping by on multiple part-time, low-wage jobs. So when Raquel said she watched her managers at the Cheesecake Factory in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor disrespect workers and sexually harass their employees, she had little recourse – until United Workers knocked on her door.

Read more: http://rt.com/usa/news/usa-workers-unite-unions/

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VIDEO: BRENDA STOKELY – “A MOVEMENT TO CHANGE THE WORLD”

Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly Labour Conference: Building the Working Class Movement
Keynote speaker: Brenda Stokely

Toronto, January 30, 2011

“A Movement To Change the World”

Moderated by Kelly O’Sullivan

Brenda Stokely is a human rights activist dedicated to ending all forms of national oppression, racism, sexism and exploitation of workers. She co-found and built several key organizations, including the 2004 Million Worker March Movement, NY Labor Against the War (co-convener), founding member of Troops Out Now, Coalition to Save Harlem and many more.

Watch the video: http://www.socialistproject.ca/leftstreamed/ls91.php

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(END)

ABOUT CSEW (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION & WORK, OISE/UT):

Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

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

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

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

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Dave Hill

STATEMENT AND EDUCATION POLICY MANIFESTO – BY DAVE HILL

Statement and Education Policy Manifesto by Dave Hill

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Details at: http://www.brightontusc.blogspot.com

I have spent my lifetime as a teacher in ‘challenging’ primary and secondary schools, in teacher ‘training’ and in universities trying to tackle inequalities in schooling: inequalities that result in millions of working class children having far less educational opportunities – and subsequently, usually lower paid jobs – than the children of richer parents; especially the 7% who go to private schools – and snap up most of the highest paid, elite, jobs.

The very choice of what and how it should be taught, how and what schooling should be organised, how it should be funded, and where and how the funding should be targeted, and a consideration of ‘who wins and who loses’ through all of the above, are all intensely political. And we want that politics to be in the interests of the millions not the millionaires!

I come from a working class family brought up in some poverty: for example on free School Meals (like a million others!) in St. Martins’ St., off the Lewes Rd., Brighton. I went to Westlain Grammar School, my brothers to under-funded secondary modern schools, such as Queens Park and Moulscoomb. Three times as much was spent on the education of grammar school students than on Secondary Modern students! My children went to local state schools. The inequalities I have witnessed – and lived – as a child, as a teacher and socialist political activist, have led me to spending my life fighting for greater equality in education and society, and against racism, sexism and against homophobia.

What an indictment of our divisive education system that students from private schools are 25 times more likely to get to one of the top British universities than those who come from a lower social class or live in a poor area! And that (in 2008) only 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals obtained five or more A* to C GCSE grades; compared with 63% of pupils from wealthier backgrounds.  This stark education inequality mirrors that in our grossly unequal society.

It is incredible, actually it is only too believable, in Britain today, that the richest section of society has 17 years of healthy life more than the least well-off in society. The minimum wage should be raised by 50%. How can people – decent hard working people like some in my own family, live on take-home pay of less than £200 a week! And there should be a maximum wage, too! Nobody, banker, boss, or buy-out bully, should be on more than £250,000 a year. This figure should reduce progressively so that within 10 years no-one is taking more than four times the average wage, nobody should be creaming off £27 million or £67 million a year for example! Certainly not when there are 4 million children living in poverty! I was once one of them. I was helped by the welfare state. We need our public services.  We need to improve them, not cut them; not attack them.

All three parties, New Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory, dance to the music of big business. All are promising cuts. Whatever they say, those cuts will hit schools, children, and the quality of education in our state schools. Already we are seeing staff cuts and course closures in universities up and down the country. In Brighton, for example, both Brighton and Sussex Universities are promising to cut out the nurseries, and Sussex to chop over 100 jobs. Brighton University is proposing to cut its Adult Ed art courses. Vandalism! Cutting popular and widely used public services!

And don’t believe cuts are necessary. They’re not! Cutting the Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme, bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, stopping the Identity Card programme, and collecting even some even of the £120 billion in taxes unpaid by the rich… yes, £120 billion!…would mean cuts are not necessary at all!

But you won’t hear that from the other parties, just from Socialists, like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and from Respect.

A Socialist Manifesto for Education is:

[1] Cut class sizes (they are currently some of the largest in the rich world- much larger than in private schools for example). According to OECD research Britain is 23rd out of 30 developed countries in terms of large class size. Other countries such as Finland have a maximum class size of 20. Finland is widely seen as providing an extremely high quality of education. For a maximum class size of 20 by 2020 in both primary and secondary schools!

[2] Abolish league tables and abolish SATS (some external testing is necessary, but SATS so very often restricts teaching to ‘teaching to the test’, and results in undue stress (and an increase in bedwetting, compared to the pre-SATS era, for example).

[3] Restore local democratic control of ‘Academies’. They should be run by the democratically elected local councils, and keep to national pay and conditions agreements. Why should rich businessmen and women take control of any of our schools? Let’s keep the added investment- but it’s the government that pays for that added investment anyhow! Let’s keep and enhance the added investment, but distribute it fairly between all schools. Our schools and the children in them are not for sale! Nor, through uneven funding for different types of school (e.g. Academies) should some schools be set up for success at the expense of others being set up (and under-funded) for relative failure.

[4] Private profiteering out of our schools! Bring the education services hived off to private profiteers back into either national or local private ownership! These include Ofsted, Student grants, school meals, cleaning and caretaking.

[5] Free, nutritious, balanced school meals for every child to combat poor diets, obesity, and… yes… for some children… hunger!

[6] Restore free adult education classes in pastime and leisure studies as well as in vocational training/ studies

[7] Restore free, state-funded residential centres and Youth Centres/Youth clubs for our children so they can widen their experiences of life in safe circumstances and enhance their education beyond the confines of the home or city.

[8] For a fully Comprehensive Secondary School system; so that each school has a broad social class mix and mix of ability and attainment levels. 

[9] For the integration of Private schools into the state education system – so that the goodies of the private school system are shared amongst all pupils/ students. All schools to be under democratic locally elected local council control. No to Private Schools. No to religious groups running schools. No to big business / private capital running our schools and children! 

[10] Free up the curriculum so there can be more creativity and cross-subject/ disciplinary work.

[11] Get Ofsted and their flawed tick-box system off the back of teachers. The results of Ofsted are to penalise even the best schools (outstanding in every aspect- other than in SATS attainments) in the poorest areas.

[12] Encourage Critical Thinking across the curriculum. Teach children not ‘what to think’, but ‘how to think’: including how to think critically about the media and politicians.

[13] Teach in schools for ecological literacy and a readiness to act for environmental justice as well as economic and social justice. Encourage children to ‘reach for the stars’ – and to work for a society that lets that happen – a fairer society with much more equal chances, pay packets and power, and about environmental and sustainability issues.  

[14] Proper recognition of all school workers, and no compulsory redundancies. For teachers, secretarial and support staff, teaching assistants, school meals supervisory assistants, caretaking staff, there should be workplace democratic regular school forums in every school. Regarding jobs (for example the threatened job cuts at Sussex University – and the ‘inevitable’ job cuts in every? school after the election – and no compulsory redundancies – any restructuring to be conditional on agreement with the trade unions.

[15] Setting up of school councils – to encourage democratic understanding, citizenship, social responsibility, and a welcoming and valuing of ‘student/pupil voice’.

[16] Ensuring that schools are anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic – making sure schools encourage equality, welcoming different home and group cultures. As part of this, anti-bullying practices in every school must be fully implemented, to combat bullying of all sorts, including racism, sexism, homophobia, and bullying based on disabilities. And this should be not just in anti-bullying policies, but also be part of the curriculum too!

[17] An honest sex education curriculum in schools that teaches children not just ‘when to say no’, but also when to say ‘yes’; a programme that is focused on positives and pleasure and personal worth, not on stigmatising sex and sexualities.

[18] No to ‘Faith Schools’ and get organised religion out of schools. If Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, or whichever religion wishes to teach religion, let them do it in their own time, places of worship (Saturday/Sunday schools) or in their supplementary or complementary schools. Teach ethics and spirituality by all means, and teach about religions. But no brainwashing. Teach a critical approach to religions.

[19] Broaden teacher education and training so that the negative effects of the ‘technicisation and de-theorising’ of teacher training (that were the result of the 1992/1993 Conservative re-organisation of what was then called teacher education- subsequently retitled teacher training). Bring back the study and awareness of the social and political and psychological contexts of teaching, including an understanding of and commitment to challenge and overturn racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of underexpectation and discrimination – such as discrimination against working class pupils.

[20] A good, local school for every child. No school closures! “Surplus places” should actually mean lower class sizes! And increased community use of school facilities.

[21] A completely fully funded, publicly owned and democratic education system from pre-school right through to university. Education is a right not a commodity to be bought and sold. So: no fees, like in Scandinavia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, where education up to PhD level is free. No to university or further education/vocational training fees! And bring in a living grant for students from less well-off backgrounds/ income.

In my jobs, firstly as a teacher, and now as a Professor of Education (and writer/editor of 17 books on education and equality) I have been round hundreds of schools. Many of them are brilliant. Schools in the poorest areas, schools in better off areas! Brilliant. But, with better funding, smaller class sizes, an end to the destructive competition between schools (if every school is a good local school) and with more professional judgement being allowed for teachers- then I look forward to a time when all state schools match the class sizes and results of the currently more lavishly funded private schools’. And working class kids – black, brown, white – get the fair deal currently trumpeted – but in actuality denied – by all three major parties.  

Professor Dave Hill, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Professor Dave Hill teaches at Middlesex University and is Visiting Professor of Critical Education Policy and Equality Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

The Brighton Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition blogspot is at: http://www.brightontusc.blogspot.com

Dave’s Wiki and Publications are at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Hill_(professor)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

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

Sextures

QUERYING SEXUAL CITIZENSHIPS: DIFFERENCE, SOCIAL IMAGINARIES AND EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP 

‘Harbingers of death’, ‘the shame and ruin of humanity’, ‘anti-life’, ‘threat to the survival of the human race’, ‘moral and physical cripples’, and ‘vampires sucking the life blood of the nation’ are only some of the images of radical alterity invoked and regularly rehearsed by major political figures in post-socialist European countries when faced with native lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer (LGBTQ) claims to citizenship. Citizenship, understood here as the practicing of social, cultural, political and economic rights, and the active involvement in the organized life of a political community, is still firmly tied in most countries of Central and Eastern Europe to a heteropatriarchal social imaginary in which the nation continues to be metaphorically configured as the exclusive home of the traditional heterosexual family – the purveyor of pure ethnic bloodlines based on rigid asymmetrical power system of gender relations. The conflation of heterosexism with ethnic nationalism that permeates this imaginary also fuels a vicious politics of national belonging where the use of highly inflammatory, offensive and dehumanising language has led to a dramatic increase in violence against members of various sexual minorities, which in turn has resulted in the effective silencing of queer voices in the public sphere and the paradoxical feeling that sexually different people were somehow ‘more free’ under the previous regime.The Amsterdam Treaty, a legal document attempting to define the evolving concept of European citizenship, intends to temper the current trend of hyper-nationalist integration into ‘Europe of nations’ by moving to a vision of Europe of (individual) citizens. The Treaty, particularly Article 13, clearly states that the respect for human rights and the principle of non-discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation forms the basis of 21st century European citizenship. However, many new member-states of the EU and candidate-countries blatantly and proudly flout their human rights obligations derived from their (current or future) accession into the EU and continue to devise a raft of laws and policies denying basic human and citizenship rights to lesbians, gays, transsexuals and queers, including the right to assembly and free expression.

Deep historical distrust in identity based organizations and identity politics, a weak civil society, a fragile rule of law, and the ignorance about, or unpreparedness to use, the legal and political instruments of European citizenship, create a very unique set of challenges for LGBTQ people in post-socialist Europe on their road to freedom and equality. Transnational LGBTQ rights movements arising from the institutional, legal, social, political, economic and intellectual successes of the gay, lesbian and queer movements in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand become increasingly aware that a western model of sexual politics and citizenship based on political and economic (capitalist) liberalism is simply unworkable in post-socialist Europe.

Given this context, SEXTURES invites theoretical, conceptual and empirical essays from scholars of all disciplines (philosophy, women’s studies, gay and lesbian studies, Slavonic/Eastern European/ Balkan studies, cultural studies, sociology, geography, anthropology, political science, history, and comparative literatures) who are working on topics related to gender, sexuality and citizenship in post-socialist Europe.

We are particularly interested in inter- and transdisciplinary essays, critically drawing from feminist, gay and lesbian, transsexual, queer, postcolonial and critical race theories, that examine the concept of (sexual) citizenship in all its complexity; from being a social relationship inflected by intersecting sexual, gender, ethnic, national, class and religious identities; positioning across various cross-cutting social hierarchies; cultural assumptions about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ citizens and ‘humans’ and ‘aliens’; to institutional practices of active discrimination and marginalization, and a sense and politics of belonging to an imagined community like the nation or  ‘united Europe’.

We welcome thoughtful philosophical reflections on the relationship between ideology, utopia and European citizenship with a particular emphasis on the productive function of the social imaginary as understood, for example, by Deleuze and Ricoeur. In this context, we particularly encourage submissions examining the promises and limits of the concepts of ‘flexible’ or ‘nomadic’ citizenship for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, and queers living in post-socialist Europe.

We are also interested in empirically grounded close examinations of actual practices of social belonging (or non-belonging) as lived by ordinary LGBTQ people in a number of everyday social situations at home, school, work, dealing with the state, etc. In this context, we welcome submissions that explore the emotional dynamic, and the cultural politics of emotions, played out in these situations.

While we focus on Central and Eastern Europe, we welcome submissions that cover issues of sexual citizenship in other parts of the world.

Submissions should be no longer than 8000 words. Please consult our guide for contributors when preparing your manuscripts. The guide can be found at http://www.sextures.net/guidelines-for-contributors. Deadline for submission of papers is 2 June 2009.

About the Journal

Sextures is a refereed international, independent, transdisciplinary electronic scholarly journal that aims to provide a forum for open intellectual debate across the arts, humanities and social sciences about all aspects affecting the intricate connections between politics, culture and sexuality primarily, but not exclusively, in the Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe. It is published in English twice a year. Sextures is dedicated to fast turnaround of submitted papers. We expect this special issue to be published in September 2009. More information about the journal can be found on its website: http://www.sexturesnet.

Please direct all inquiries regarding this special issue or send manuscripts to:


Dr Alexander Lambevski

Founding Editor and Publisher

alex@sextures.net, editor@sextures.net

http://www.sextures.net

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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