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Ben Linus Taking Control

TAKING CONTROL- UPDATE 21st JANUARY 2011

Taking Control: registration now open
SOAS, University of London, 12th March 2011

Keynote: Professor Jodi Dean

Other speakers include: Professor Peter Hallward, Dr Alberto Toscano, Dr Paul Blackledge

This conference is concerned with control.  On what it means today – under globalised late capitalism – to take or be in control of institutions, whether political, economic, or academic.  We are concerned with theorising how to take control, and on what to do when we take it.  We want to focus not on the dangers of control – since the corrupting effects of power have been amply theorized – but rather on what it means to take responsibility and effect change, and what this change could be.

That is, how can a vision for society be enacted in practical terms? What is the role of democratic participation in this process of mastering social change?  And how do we remain accountable as we take control.  Does taking control mean working against, within or beside the existing institutional structure?

This question remains under-theorised in contemporary critical political theory – which often remains limited to the critique of the status quo. Without the impulse to take responsibility and take control, this critique becomes meaningless – it results in a de facto acceptance.  Where projects like the ‘Idea of Communism’ stop, this conference seeks to take the next step.  It must be situated along work such as the Turbulence Collective’s ‘What it means to win’ volume and Erik-Olin-Wright’s ‘Envisioning Utopias’.

We are clear that the idea of communism remains important and a project to be fought for.  However in the strategic question we are at an impasse, how to take control and implement a new communism? The vanguard model seems discredited, but the model of the multitude seems non-committal, a mere waiting for things to gradually come together, resulting in a de facto withdrawal from the social. Even more than this impasse, in times of late capitalism the very meaning of what being in control entails is no longer clear.  We want to move from thinking about the idea of communism to implementing it.

The event is free to attend but registration is essential.  Please email takingcontrol2011@gmail.com

Organised by ES: Philosophy Research Collective

With support from the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS

Department of Politics, Goldsmiths

For more information see http://takingcontrol2011.wordpress.com

Update 2nd March 2011:

Full Programme: http://takingcontrol2011.wordpress.com

Registration: takingcontrol2011@gmail.com

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Turbulence

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN? TURBULENCE BOOK

Our book, ‘What Would it Mean to Win?’ is published by PM Press in April 2010. It contains all the articles from the now out-of-print first issue of the magazine, our collective text ‘Move into the Light? Postscript to a Turbulent 2007’, and a previously unpublished extended interview by PM Press author Sasha Lilly with Turbulence editors Michal Osterweil and Ben Trott. John Holloway has written a Foreword.

BACK COVER BLURB: “Movements become apparent as ‘movements’ at times of acceleration and expansion. In these heady moments they have fuzzy boundaries, no membership lists – everybody is too engaged in what’s coming next, in creating the new, looking to the horizon. But movements get blocked, they slow down, they cease to move, or continue to move without considering their actual effects. When this happens, they can stifle new developments, suppress the emergence of new forms of politics; or fail to see other possible directions. Many movements just stop functioning as movements. They become those strange political groups of yesteryear, arguing about history as worlds pass by. Sometimes all it takes to get moving again is a nudge in a new direction… We think now is a good time to ask the question: What is winning? Or: What would–or could–it mean to ‘win?’”

REVIEWS

“Where is the movement today? Where is it going? Are we winning? The authors of the essays in this volume pose these and other momentous questions. There are no easy answers, but the discussion is always insightful and provocative as the writers bravely take on the challenge of charting the directions for the Left at a time of ecological crisis, economic collapse, and political disillusionment.” – Walden Bello, Executive Director of Focus on the Global South

“Turbulence presents an exciting brand of political theorising that is directed and inspired by current strategic questions for activism. This kind of innovative thinking, which emerges from the context of the movements, opens new paths for rebellion and the creation of real social alternatives.“ – Michael Hardt, co-author of ‘Commonwealth’ , ‘Multitude’ and ‘Empire’.

“The history of the past half-century and particularly the last decade is as easily told as a series of victories as defeats, maybe best as both. Sometimes we won–and this is what makes the ‘What Does It Mean to Win?’ anthology
such a powerful vision of the possible and the seldom-seen present. The authors of this book connect some of the more remarkable events of the last decade–in Oaxaca, in the banlieus of Paris, in the crises of neoliberalism– into a constellation of possibilities and demands, demands on the world but also demands on the readers, to think afresh of what is possible and what it takes to get there. As one author begins, ‘The new movements embodied and posited deliberate reactions to the practical and theoretical failures of previous political approaches on the left.’ This is the book about what came after the failures, and what’s to come” – Rebecca Solnit, author of ‘Hope in the Dark’ and ‘A Paradise Built in Hell.’

CONTENTS

‘Preface’, by Turbulence Collective

‘Foreword: Hope Moves Faster than the Speed of Thought’, by John Holloway

‘Are We ‘Winning’?’, by Turbulence Collective

‘Politics in an Age of Fantasy’, by Stephen Duncombe

‘Enclosing the Enclosers’, by Gustavo Esteva

‘Singularisation of the Common’, by Sandro Mezzadra and Gigi Roggero

‘A New Weather Front’, by Paul Sumburn

‘Money for Nothing’, by Max Henninger

‘Walking in the Right Direction?’, by Ben Trott

‘Organise Local, Strike Global’, by Valery Alzaga and Rodrigo Nunes

‘Solidarity Economics’, by Euclides André Mance

‘Compositional Power’, an interview with Todd Hamilton and Nate Holdren

‘‘Becoming-Woman?’ In Theory or in Practice?’, by Michal Osterweil

‘Politicising Sadness’, by Colectivo Situaciones

‘Commonism’, by Nick Dyer-Witheford

‘The Crazy Before the New’, by Kay Summer and Harry Halpin

‘Move into the Light? Postscript to a Turbulent 2007’, by Turbulence Collective

‘An Interview with the Turbulence Collective’, by Sasha Lilly with Michal Osterweil and Ben Trott

BOOK DETAILS
Author: Turbulence Collective
Publisher: PM Press (Oakland, CA)
ISBN: 978-1-60486- 110-5
Published: April 2010
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 160
Dimensions: 9 by 6
Subjects: Politics, Philosophy, Activism

ORDER A COPY FOR YOUR LIBRARY
Ask your university, city or town library to order to a copy of the book. Just provide them with the ‘Book Details’ above and they should be able to do the rest themselves.

REVIEW THE BOOK
We’re looking for individuals and publications interested in reviewing the book. If this takes your fancy, drop us a note letting us know your name, address and the publication you’re considering writing for and we’ll get the publisher to send you a copy of the book.

LAUNCH EVENTS
We’ll be organising a series of events to launch the book, the first of which will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, on March 14, 15 and 16.

For more information, see: http://turbulence.org.uk/2010/02/turbulence-events-in-san-francisco-bay-area-in-march/

Turbulence: http://turbulence.org.uk

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER FROM:

PM PRESS: https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product detail&p=193 

AMAZON.COM:
http://www.amazon.com/What-Would-Mean- Win-Press/dp/160486110X/ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266057060&sr=8-1

BOOKS-A-MILLION: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781604861105 

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/