Archive for the 'subjectification' Category

uncoupling at the party

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

I went partying last night in the dome, inside the castle mountain in Graz, where tunnels and bunkers have been carved out by the Nazis during the second Word War and now are used as dance floors and conference spaces. This is music that — given the sheer volume and the drum&base pumping — passes through you, or at least, it does so if “you let it”, as someone told me (ehm, shouted at me) on the dance floor. Now here is a thought. In the morning I had a workshop on my book as part of the Elevate festival, and among other things we discussed the idea that the capital relation, or the value struggle, passes through us. Mmhh, so, what happens when in the evening the music passes through you? It happens that it is banging the capitalist relation out of ourselves, at least momentarily, leading to the momentary uncoupling from the temporal dimension of capital, the one that requires schedules, deadlines, responsibilities that have no or little meaning as well as endless struggle against it. If you add the fact that in music, rhythm constitutes the commons (see this blog entry), then this is it! The dance/rave culture that lives its nights and morning floating from one dance-floor to another, is the contemporary manifestation of what in the 1970s was called “il bisogno di comunismo” (the need for Communism) . . or “commOnism” . . .

women empowerment as competition

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Here is what the World BanK has to say about it:

“Economic empowerment is about making markets work for women(at the policy level) and empowering women to compete in markets (at the agency level)”

Now, food prices are skyrocketing, fuel for transport and cooking are up, communities are strangled with debt, and what is the World Bank talking about? Empowering women to compete. This is their ultimate solution for everything.

This is what they really mean by “gender mainstreaming”. Imagine women storming cities in the 1970s, hands up high in the vagina symbol screaming at unison “GENDER MAINSTREAMING!!!”: what an image of co-optation could have been. One thing seems clear about this current respectable slogan of World Bank policy on gender and development: whatever will happen through the energy, food, financial, or environmental crises, the subjectification of women to the market in particular, and therefore the reshaping of the conditions of reproduction in general (who knows in what direction…), will be central to their managing of these crises . . .

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…)