Đất thổ cư nhơn trạch |

by

19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism

2 comments

Categories: Antonio Negri, Colectivo Situaciones, Current Publications, Michael Hardt

19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism
Colectivo Situaciones
Translated by Nate Holdren & Sebastián Touza
Introductions by Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri

An 18th Brumaire for the 21st Century: militant research on the December 19th and 20th, 2001 uprisings in Argentina

In the heat of an economic and political crisis, people in Argentina took to the streets on December 19th, 2001, shouting “¡Qué se vayan todos!” These words – “All of them out!” – hurled by thousands banging pots and pans, struck at every politician, economist, and journalist. These events opened a period of intense social unrest and political creativity that led to the collapse of government after government. Neighborhoods organized themselves into hundreds of popular assemblies across the country, the unemployed workers movement acquired a new visibility, workers took over factories and businesses. These events marked a sea change, a before and an after for Argentina that resonated around the world.

Colectivo Situaciones wrote this book in the heat of that December’s aftermath. As radicals immersed within the long process of reflection and experimentation with forms of counterpower that Argentines practiced in shadow of neoliberal rule, Colectivo Situaciones knew that the novelty of the events of December 19th and 20th demanded new forms of thinking and research. This book attempts to read those struggles from within. Ten years have passed, yet the book remains as relevant and as fresh as the day it came out. Multitudes of citizens from different countries have learned their own ways to chant ¡Qué se vayan todos!, from Iceland to Tunisia, from Spain to Greece, from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park. Colectivo Situactiones’ practice of engaging with movements’ own thought processes resonates with everyone seeking to think current events and movements, and through that to build a new world in the shell of the old. Continue reading →

by

12/12 Seminar: Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society

1 comment

Categories: Events

Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society
A seminar with Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation
Monday December 12th at 2pm in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall Seminar Room
Centre for Work, Organization and Society, University of Essex

Many observers argue that the change induced with the internet is on a par with at least the effects of the printing press, which was instrumental in creating a cascade of changes such as the renaissance, the reformation and the Enlightenment, culminating in the replacement of feudalism with capitalism. It is therefore reasonable to posit a phase transition this time as well, but what kind of transition and on which timescale? This is the question we want to address. Our first answer is that the emergence of a new hyper-productive mode of value creation, i.e. commons-based peer production as, a new ‘mode of production,’ and its co-emerging institutional framework, illuminate us about the incipient ‘patterns’ of the emergent new social order.  Continue reading →

by

Communization and its Discontents

11 comments

Categories: Benjamin Noys, Current Publications

Communization and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles
Edited by Benjamin Noys

Can we find alternatives to the failed radical projects of the twentieth century? What are the possible forms of struggle today? How do we fight back against the misery of our crisis-ridden present?

‘Communization’ is the spectre of the immediate struggle to abolish capitalism and the state, which haunts Europe, Northern California and wherever the real abstractions of value that shape our lives are contested. Evolving on the terrain of capitalism new practices of the ‘human strike’, autonomous communes, occupation and insurrection have attacked the alienations of our times. These signs of resistance are scattered and have yet to coalesce, and their future is deliberately precarious and insecure.

Bringing together voices from inside and outside of these currents Communization and Its Discontents treats communization as a problem to be explored rather than a solution. Taking in the new theorizations of communization proposed by Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee, Théorie Communiste, post-autonomists, and others, it offers critical reflections on the possibilities and the limits of these contemporary forms, strategies, and tactics of struggle. Continue reading →

by

Revolutions in Reverse

3 comments

Categories: Current Publications, David Graeber

Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination
David Graeber

Capitalism as we know it appears to be coming apart. But as financial institutions stagger and crumble, there is no obvious alternative. There is good reason to believe that, in a generation or so, capitalism will no longer exist: for the simple reason that it’s impossible to maintain an engine of perpetual growth forever on a finite planet. Yet faced with this prospect, the knee-jerk reaction is often to cling to what exists because they simply can’t imagine an alternative that wouldn’t be even more oppressive and destructive. The political imagination seems to have reached an impasse. Or has it?

In this collection of essays David Graeber explores a wide-ranging set of topics including political strategy, global trade, debt, imagination, violence, aesthetics, alienation, and creativity. Written in the wake of the anti-globalization movement and the rise of the war on terror, these essays survey the political landscape for signs of hope in unexpected places. Continue reading →

by

Undressing the Academy

2 comments

Categories: University for Strategic Optimism

Undressing the Academy, or The Student Handjob
University of Strategic Optimism

The weary student handbook genre is in need of a belligerent mauling. This is our crack at the job. We don’t want to talk down to anyone, but neither do we want to chat them up, so this is an attempt at thinking out the university from our own perspective, that of students. Here we air our dirty snapshot of the academy, at least semi-naked, just as we come across it.

This potted guide is our pot shot at undressing and dressing down this place, the university, and understanding our place within it: its problems and potential, its power-relations and its possibilities for politicisation. It is not an outpouring of theories, more stories – a collection of experiences and practical tips, observations, suggestions and clues – a thinking (and occasional fantasizing) out loud. This is our attempt to share some of the knowledge to be gleaned in the university, but a knowledge that is rarely measured on any certificate come graduation day. Continue reading →

by

Markets Not Capitalism

10 comments

Categories: Current Publications, Gary Chartier & Charles W. Johnson

Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty
Ed. Gary Chartier & Charles W. Johnson

Individualist anarchists believe in mutual exchange, not economic privilege. They believe in freed markets, not capitalism. They defend a distinctive response to the challenges of ending global capitalism and achieving social justice: eliminate the political privileges that prop up capitalists.

Massive concentrations of wealth, rigid economic hierarchies, and unsustainable modes of production are not the results of the market form, but of markets deformed and rigged by a network of state-secured controls and privileges to the business class. Markets Not Capitalism explores the gap between radically freed markets and the capitalist-controlled markets that prevail today. It explains how liberating market exchange from state capitalist privilege can abolish structural poverty, help working people take control over the conditions of their labor, and redistribute wealth and social power.

Featuring discussions of socialism, capitalism, markets, ownership, labor struggle, grassroots privatization, intellectual property, health care, racism, sexism, and environmental issues, this unique collection brings together classic essays by leading figures in the anarchist tradition, including Proudhon and Voltairine de Cleyre, and such contemporary innovators as Kevin Carson and Roderick Long. It introduces an eye-opening approach to radical social thought, rooted equally in libertarian socialism and market anarchism. Continue reading →

by

Six Impossible Politics Before Breakfast

No comments yet

Categories: Events, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

Six Impossible Politics Before Breakfast: A Discussion on Art & Politics in an Age of Austerity
Wednesday July 6, 7:30 PM @ Post-Museum 107+109 Rowell Road S209033

‘Be realistic, demand the impossible’ is one of the most famous slogans to come out of the May 1968 student movement. It marked a shift away from a politics of pragmatism, away from already existing institutional and political forms, and towards a demand for giving power to the imagination.

Over the last forty years later the situation is both radically different and strangely the same: the impossible is still demanded, but this time it is demanded of us. Immense efforts are mobilized to stabilize capital (bailing out the banks), while declarations of austerity are used to justify cuts to social welfare, pensions, and virtually any forms of public good that still exists. Perhaps the slogan for today should be something more like ‘be impossible, demand the realistic’ – but even this would a ‘realism’ where the horizon of possibility seems to have shrank. Continue reading →

by

Spectacular Capitalism

2 comments

Categories: Current Publications, Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy
by Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Despite recent crises in the financial system, uprisings in Greece, France, Tunisia, and Bolivia, worldwide decline of faith in neoliberal trade policies, deepening ecological catastrophes, and global deficits of realized democracy, we still live in an era of “spectacular capitalism.” But what is “spectacular capitalism?” Spectacular capitalism is the dominant mythology of capitalism that disguises its internal logic and denies the macroeconomic reality of the actually existing capitalist world. Taking on this elusive mythology, and those who too easily accept it, Richard Gilman-Opalsky exposes the manipulative and self-serving narrative of spectacular capitalism.

Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, Gilman-Opalsky argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by upheavals that do the work of philosophy. One could ask: Who better raises questions about public and private spheres of influence and control, Jürgen Habermas or the water war activists who made a rebellion in Cochabamba, Bolivia in the spring of 2000? Or, has any sociological theorist done better than the Zapatistas to reframe and raise questions about indigenous identity? Spectacular Capitalism makes the case not only for a new philosophy of praxis, but for praxis itself as the delivery mechanism for philosophy – for the field of human action, of contestation and conflict, to raise directly the most irresistible questions about the truth and morality of the existing state of affairs. Continue reading →

by

A Users Guide to (Demanding) the Impossible

No comments yet

Categories: Current Publications, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

A Users Guide to Demanding the Impossible
by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

This guide is not a road map or instruction manual. It’s a match struck in the dark, a homemade multi-tool to help you carve out your own path through the ruins of the present, warmed by the stories and strategies of those who took Bertolt Brecht’s words to heart: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

It was written in a whirlwind of three days in December 2010, between the first and second days of action by UK students against the government cuts, and intended to reflect on the possibility of new creative forms of action in the current movements. Continue reading →

by

Reconsidering Commodities & Markets

No comments yet

Categories: Events

Seminar: Reconsidering Commodities & Markets
Wednesday May 4th, 2011 @ 1pm
University of Essex Room 3.108

Seminar presentations by: Cecelia Cassinger (Essex), Emma Dowling (Queen Mary), Stephen Duncombe (NYU), George Tsogas (Cass)

What would commodities say if they could speak? Marx’s question can seem playful in some registers. And yet, objects voice themselves not only through our playful – or rueful – gaze.  If Marx had listened long enough, these talking commodities would have announced the traumas of their exploitative and violent birthing to him. Likewise the rise of consumer culture, the proliferation and intensification of the commodification, can be understood as the expansion of the violence of accumulation all across the social field. Today the critique and denunciation of these forces have become yet another commodity in the spectacle; something we witness today in the backlash against banks, bankers and speculators and all the glorified preening of capitalist consumption they stand for. Is this trend, then, the ‘new spirit of capitalism’? Continue reading →

1 2 3 4 5 6 7