Entries Tagged as ''

Christian Siefkes — The Commons of the Future. Building Blocks for a Commons-based Society.

Are new commons-based communities just a fad, or are they indicators of a serious new trend? Will there, maybe, even be an economic paradigm shift—will future production increasingly take place around a jointly organized and jointly managed commons, rather than around the exchange of private property on the market? I believe that we can indeed expect such a paradigm shift. [Dowload full PDF

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Team Colors Collective — Of Whirlwinds and Wind Chimes (or ways of listening): Movement Building & Militant Research in the United States

Team Colors, a militant research collective operating in the United States, recently utilized the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Convention protests as an opportunity to begin a strategic conversation in regards to movement building and class composition. To accomplish this, Team Colors coordinated and edited a collection of essays by, and interviews with radical organizers, intellectuals and public figures in regards to their organizational processes and strategies. This collection, entitled In the Middle of a Whirlwind: 2008 Convention Protests, Movement and Movements has been available online at www.inthemiddleofawhirlwind.info as of May 25. Since its release we have held nearly a dozen events throughout the U.S. under the title “Of Friends and Whirlwinds.” These events have included presentations by contributors like Philly’s Pissed / Philly Stands Up, George Caffentzis, Ben Shepard, Silvia Federici and others.

What follows is a process of digestion, in which we review our experiences of attempting to engage in militant research, discuss what results there are to discuss, and decide what we will do in the future. Principally, this will be useful to the Team Colors Collective itself. It is our hope that others will find it useful as well. [full PDF

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Massimo De Angelis — On Crises. Chapter 7 of Beginning of History.

This is chapter 7 of my 2007 book The Beginning of History. Its title is Enclosures and Disciplinary Integration and it discusses capitalist crises as “disequilibrium” crises or “social stability” crises. It might be useful to provide a general framework to understand the current crisis in terms of the latter.  It also maps out crises as mechanisms for capitalist reproduction and discusses the role of shifting  capitalist governance to deal with these crises as well as the possible cracks in this governance. [Download PdF of this chapter]. 

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

George Caffentzis — Autonomous Universities and the Making of the Knowledge Commons

This is the last of my four scheduled Russell Scholar lectures on the theme of academic freedom. I would like to briefly recapitulate for you their trajectory.

In my previous lectures I discussed the threats to academic freedom coming from the state and market and I began to sketch a theory of academic freedom taking us beyond our need to defend academic work and institutions from these threats. I argued that the notion of a knowledge commons is crucial in defining the positive aspect of academic freedom and that the proper expression of academic autonomy in the 21st century is the preservation, defense and expansion of the knowledge commons.

In this lecture I address the role autonomous universities can play in the practical task of making the knowledge commons. [Download Full PDF]

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

George Caffentzis — Academic Freedom and the War on Terrorism: A Lobster Tale

          In this paper I will discuss “War on Terrorism’s” impact on academic freedom in the United States. I believe that it is important for defenders of academic freedom to think carefully about this impact for two reasons.

         First, the War on Terrorism is not the hasty invention of the Bush Administration provoked by the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. It initially was the brain-child of the Clinton Administration that launched it after the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in the summer of 1998. Moreover, the Bush Administration’s present disarray should not lead us into thinking that the War on Terrorism’s days are numbered. In essence, it is a “bi-partisan” policy that grows organically out of the role the United States plays in the preservation of capitalism throughout the planet. It will continue to be a political presence in the United States for years after 2008. Consequently, we will have to confront it frequently in future struggles in defense of academic freedom.

         Second, the War on Terrorism violently decentered and confused an important struggle between the supporters of a neoliberal concept and a commonist concept of academic freedom that had taken clear shape in the 1990s. This neoliberal/commonist struggle did not “become history” after September 11, 2001, of course, but the War on Terrorism has forced a shifting of alliances and relations of power among the supporters of these two concepts and politics. The field of academic freedom discourse faces the return of an old presence–the capitalist state–(the famous “two ton elephant in the middle of the room”) and we need to assess the changes it has produced after almost a decade of the War on Terrorism to understand the serious challenges to academic freedom today. [Download full PDF]

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Silvia Federici — Witch-Hunting, Globalization, and Feminist Solidarity in Africa Today.

In what follows, I discuss the witch-hunts in Africa, examining their motivations and suggesting some initiatives that feminists can take to put an end to these. My argument is that these witch-hunts must be understood in the context of the deep crisis in the process of social reproduction that the liberalization and globalization of African economies have produced, as they have undermined local economies, devalued women’s social position, and generated intense conflicts between young and old, women and men, over the use of crucial economic resources starting with land.  In this sense, I see the present witch-hunts on a continuum with such phenomena as the dowry murders and the return of sati in India, and the killings of hundreds of women in the Mexican towns at the border with the U.S. For, in different ways, they too are an expression of the effects of “integration” into the global economy, and men’s readiness to vent on women their economic frustrations and even sacrifice their lives to keep abreast of advancing capitalist relations. These witch-hunts are also on a continuum with the worldwide return of “the supernatural” in political discourse and popular practice (e.g. “satanic cults” in Europe and the U.S.), a phenomenon that certainly can be attributed to the proliferation of fundamentalist religious sects but, significantly, has emerged in conjunction with the globalization of economic life.<download full PDF> 

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Massimo De Angelis — Crises: Neoliberal Impasse and Political Recomposition

An intervention to the panel International Solidarity and Globalisation, Counter-g8 forum, 2 July 2008. 

As it has been mentioned in previous talks in these meetings, the creation of a common ground is a fundamental issue that our movements face today. But this common ground cannot be premised on the idea that the current impasse of neoliberal capital in the face of the crises has to do with the fact that “they have no brain” or “they do not know what to do”. We cannot base our desire that “Que se Vayan Todos!” [all go to hell] as the Argentineans were singing in the streets few years ago, on the basis that they are incompetent, that “they have no brain”. We have to base it on the fundamental difference and incompatibility between their way of thinking, valuing and acting upon the world that has created the current crises, and the one that emerges from the many struggles around the world. Indeed, capitalist brain is thinking, and this G8 meeting here in Ainu Mosir (Hokkaido) is an important moment of the thinking process.  <Download full PDF>

 

 

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Massimo De Angelis — Foxes in Tokyo: Eight principles

Intervention presented at the panel “on the theory of contemporary capitalism for the anti-capitalist movement”, Tokyo, anti-G8 Forum, 30 June 2008

 Preamble

My parents were farmers, migrated into the city after WWII. They thought, supported by scores of popular stories and beliefs, that foxes were very smart animals. A way of thinking the question of the “theory of contemporary capitalism for the anti-capitalist movement” must be thought of like the problem of chicken for the fox: for the fox, the problem is how to outsmart the owner of the chicken; for anti-capitalists, it is how to outsmart the owners of capital and the politicians who, with their policies, try to enforce and reproduce capital vis-à-vis struggles. In other words, the question of theory is a question of how we problematise and conceptually frame strategy. Here I offer eight general principles that can help us to do so in the shaping of our theoretical understanding. I have no claim these principles are exhaustive, just a quite important starting point. <Download full PDF article>

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Massimo De Angelis — Next Lap in the Rat Race? From Sub-Prime Crisis to the “Impasse” of Global Capital.

Why is it that fuel prices are increasing, home values are falling, credit is squeezed and job insecurity increasing? Why is it that more and more of U.S. working class families are suffering the pinch of this crisis?

 My answer might sound very cynical: It’s so the system that links their working lives to those of billions of others around the world can continue, in new ways, to divide working people here and around the world; to devalue their work and reward those who bet on the “right” asset; pit one livelihood against another in condition of endless competition; and thus reproduce scarcity in the midst of plenty. The many current crises that are hitting the world are interlinked, and what started in the U.S. as a sub-prime and foreclosure crisis, is now appearing in other parts of the world as a food and energy crisis which is now, in turn, rebounding in the U.S. To put it bluntly, the current crises create the conditions for a planetary restructuring to allow the planetary rat race to continue, and continue producing scarcity in the midst of plenty. Unless, of course, people from around the world set limits on this madness, and together restructure from below the way they produce the world’s wealth. Let us explore some of these linkages. 

Download full PDF.  

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia

Richard Pithouse — On the Pogroms in South Africa

An often politically innovative urban proletariat which appropriated urban land, as well as electricity and water, and often, although not always, turned it into a commons organised with a considerable degree of popular autonomy from state power is being recomposed into an individualized set of consumers safely warehoused on the urban periphery. The return to forced removals is a direct attack on people’s livelihoods, access to education and health care, desire for an urban life and identity as citizens. With regard to the latter it is worth recalling that the denial of the right to the city was a central part of the denial of citizenship to Africans under apartheid. Every successful eviction increases the already severe overcrowding in the spaces that survive and escalates competition for space that can take all sorts of forms including ethnic and racial conflict amongst South Africans.

Download full PDF.

 

share it These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Furl
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Ma.gnolia