Archive for the 'capital's measure/value practices' Category

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

chinese-toy-factory-worker.jpgHere is a news item I wanted to highlight some times ago, but it fell off my desk somewhere. It is about the debate in China about a new draft labour contract law that would grant new rights to Chinese workers. Although there would be very moderate reforms, they are strongly opposed by international investors, which have found an organised platform in the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (representing over 1,300 corporations, including 150 Fortune 500 companies), The US-China Business Council represents 250 US companies doing business across all sectors in China, and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China representing more than 860 members.) Read on the full report from Global Labour Strategies or the extract in Focus on Global South.

At the hospital. . .thinking of capital’s measure

Monday, November 13th, 2006

hygieia.jpgIn the hospital bed next to my father, there lie a tall and very thin 92 years old man, with closed eyes and a powerful voice, when he decides to produce a sound. His daughter, a grandmother herself in her mid to late 40s, is visiting every day, to feed him and take care of him. “Help!”, he shouts suddenly, “help!”, with a sound that seems to have come from deep down the labirinth of his id. “Here I am” — says she — “I am here to help dad” — she says with a gentle tone. “You ugly beast” — roars the old man with his eyes still closed — “you are not here to help, you are here to throw me in a ditch”. (more…)

Thanks Unicef (for nothing)!

Monday, October 30th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is a clip showing Lebanese parents describing the type of school equipment Unicef solidarity has been able to deliver. The clip is from Mosaic, at Bags that tear apart, two pens per students which do not write, children who are ashamed . . we can imagine the many meetings attended by busy Unicef project managers who must have spent hours to decide how to measure things, how to minimise “waste”, how to provide “effective” help without wasting resources . . .


Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

To set limits is to give form. Hence to set limits to capital’s boundless pursue of monetary wealth by means of struggle is at the same time to give form to our lives, to seek and live other forms of human wealth and value. It then goes without saying that the causa efficientis of setting limits to capital is socialised humanity, and therefore the latter is not only the goal of struggle, but also the means.

My son, the alien and me

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

aien-dude.jpgThe work of reproduction is totally flexible, so much that it even become model for flexible capitalism. The work of reproduction is totally affective, so much that it become model for the affect-capitalism of sckizo-and-smily weitresses. In the work of reproduction with the ones we love, in which we reproduce the individual bodies of a community of affects, we give ourselves to the other, and the degree of which we don’t defines the boudnaries. My child has nightmares tonight, and I lay next to him. I quited him down with a song and now he seems finally asleep. I have done this already three times, and three times I though he was asleep, and three times I attempted to sneak up and reach my nearby laptop to write this damned blog. (more…)

Water commons and water enclosures - rough notes 1

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Here are some late and rough notes of my trip to Durban and Johannesburg in March this year and on my visit to some communities in struggles around issues of water and electricity. I was there primarily to attend the five days colloquium on Economy, Society and Nature organised by the Center for Civil Society and others in Durban, South Africa (see also previous post: Toxic tour: Durban, South Africa). After the first two days of more theoretical talks on primitive acccumulation, environment and financial crises, South Africa neoliberal policies, and so on, we hear stuff from the ground . . .the mike goes around among the participants coming from many communities in struggle around Durban and other areas in Southern Africahall.jpg . . .water is here a major issue, the anger is spoken up and the private companies insults exposed, the details revealed, the water restriction coins shown. . .the effects of enclosures on the doing of the people revealed: . . .when we talk about water restriction, meters, and the capital measure imposed on the body, not only do we mean imposing water-poverty on communities. . . we also mean a change in rhythms, sociability, a re-disign and re-engineering of what is to be in relation to the other

. . .if the water comes down drop by drop because of the restrictions, women cannot easily do “multitasking”: hold that child, while preparing soup, while washing that other child hence . . .more work . . . (more…)

China competes with the West in “developing” us

Monday, October 16th, 2006

A recent article by the New York Times (Jane Perlez, “China Competes with West in Aid to its Neighbors”, The New York Times, September 18 2006) was surveying recent Chinese investment in development projects across the world, especially Asia and Africa. One of the key issue is that

Chinese money usually comes unencumbered with conditions for environmental standards or community resettlement that can hold up major projects. The aid does not carry penalties for corruption that are being increasingly used by the World Bank president, Paul D. Wolfowitz. And China’s offers rarely include the extra freight of expensive consultants, provisions that are common to World Bank projects.

laying-rail-tracks.jpgIf we put this into broader perspective of how global capital works, this is one example of how homeostatic mechanisms not only are the governing mechanisms of markets, but also apply for governance and development in which there are different players facing different constraints and acting up different but interlocked strategies. So for example, (more…)

“National Security” and the “economy”

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifWars are justified in terms of “national security”, and todays empire’s wars are, for good or bad, justified in the same terms. Critics generally tend to dismiss the national security argument, by pointing out, as in the case of Colin Powell’s infamous speech on WMD at the UN used to justify US and British attack on Iraq, that the threats to national security are often constructed, and indeed, they become more real as a result of imperial policies. In a sense, this is true. But in another sense, this is not taking the forces of Empire seriously enough. There is in fact a sense in which “national security” — as defined by capital’s empire — is threatened if new markets, new realms of market relations, are not created. The difficult thing is to articulate this broader sense of “national security” with the lies and constructions used to justify wars. (more…)

“Responsible globalisation”? Sure, but only through “irresponsible” demands.

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

The “Forum for a responsibe globalisation” is a four days event to be held in Lyon, 25 to 28 October this year. The event is organised by Scientific Foundation of Lyon, “established in 1918 by industry leaders of the region” and currently with a board of directors from major companies such as Banque Palatine, Bayer CropScience, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Groupe Seb, Institut Français du Pétrole, Sanofi-Aventis, Siparex, Total, and representatives of public organisations, higher education and research institutions. Surely, a “public interest” institution, as decreeted in 1919.

In the web site we learn that (more…)

Happy meals, children and exploitation

Friday, September 29th, 2006

We eat crap because it is cheap, and “taste good”, we make our children to eat crap, because it is cheap, they give them toys and it “taste good”, somewhere . . . someone . . .along the line, must live a crap life . . . here it is. (more…)