Archive for the 'the "outside"' Category

Looking for a photo on shop floor commons

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

refusalofworkflowcharts.jpgit is a desperate thing to search for pictures on “refusal of work” and constitution of shop floor commons over the internet. The “refusal of work” search tab, reports few pictures of diagrams describing the procedures a company must adopts if a worker refuses to work for health and safety reasons (see aside), and a bunch of unrelated issues . . .The search begun because I am looking for a photo that is impressed in my memory, of a group of Italian factory workers in the late 1960s or 1970s (Fiat?), who were in the action of refusing to work (one of them was sleeping, the others I thing playing cards) . . . In reality I am looking for any type of photos that document refusal of work on the shop floor (that is refuse capital’s measure of life activity), because I want to make a case that commons also emerge on the shop floor . . .I know they exist from the tales that Italian factory workers have told me back in the 1970s . . .I know it also for what some time ago I read about Ford, Harley Devidson etc. in the United States in the same period. . .I tried to search for “workers playing card”, I tried “ford workers 1970s” and a series of variation on the theme . . . nothing, pages after pages of workers who were pictured in the act of working, or, at most, pose for the group picture (now that is a very temporary commons!). . . quite frustrated I tried a different technique in my google search, and I entered the tag “workers history” and variations on the theme . . .then I realised that our historical photo album is pretty much peculiar: photos of union leaders, some demonstrations, some posters, some image of proud worker . . but very little, if not, sense of the community that these people were sharing and constituting in their daily practice and struggles . . . in other words, we look at the pictures of some of the past actors of our history as subjects of struggle, and we do not see them as kin as a sort of family, that is as card players hiding from the boss, laughing behind the back of authority to recover the dignity lost on the line, teasing each other, arguing or fighting or coming together in companionship, and organising for a big push the next strike . . . all this, it seems to me, is not documented in images, and it is as if our family photo album was filled only with passport pictures of our relatives.

Global warming and indigenous survival: the Inuit

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifAn extract from a talk by Sheila Watt-Cloutier of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference at a Internation Forum on Globalisation teach in few days ago (taken here from Democracy Now of 23 November). She is making the very simple, but essential point, that global warming is not so much about the “environment”, but about people and communities whose livelihoods and ways of life are threatened by it. People like the Inuit, whose cultural tradition of hunting and sharing food across the artic are threatened by the effects of the global system of capitalist production. The speaker gives us some interesting insights on how the life of the Inuit depends on the ice sea, which is the main “hightway” for transportation as well as the “supermarket” from which food is obtained. Global warming here clearly appears here as a context of enclosures, and I could not avoid to think that as for the Inuit it represent an opportunity to struggle, for capital it represents an opporunity to replace the “supermarket” of the ice sea with new Wall Marts or Tescos wherever they think to relocate the Inuit once the see ice has melt.

Democracy in the streets and assemblies of Oaxaca

Friday, November 24th, 2006

appo.jpgFirst some background and then, if you read on below, some resources.

“Today, Friday November 11th”, a friend writes, “the Constituent Congress of the APPO [ASAMBLEA POPULAR DE LOS PUEBLOS DE OAXACA] was officially begun in the city of Oaxaca. Announced after the First State Assembly of the People’s of Oaxaca in late September, the purpose of the Congress is to formalize the structure, permanent leadership, and objectives of the APPO, as well as to agree on a medium and long term plan of action. The Congress will continue through Sunday. Much will be written about it over the coming days, but I wanted here simply to point out that most of today was spent registering the delegates — a process alloted two hours has taken the whole day. Why? The answer reveals something important about the nature of the APPO. Here is the language, roughly translated, from the formal Invitation to participate in the Congress:

“Delegates will have the right to speak and vote as long as they are accredited… as delegates of their communities, ejidos, organizations, unions, neighborhoods, schools, ranches… or municipalities, etc: based on the following:”

3 delegates per neighborhood (”barrio o colonia”)
5 delegates per municipality or “pueblo indigena”
3 delegates per nucleus of ‘communeros o ejidatarios”
3 delegates per municipal agency
3 delegates per social organization
3 delegates per union
3 delegates per school
2 delegates per barricade
2 delegates for each sector of Section XXII”

The calculation expresses a kind of physiognomy of the movement. Note that each barricade (essentially a neighborhood block) is accorded the same voice as a sector of the teachers union.”

Here are the first results of the constituent process: a) The 17 November Appo declaration, followed by b) the general summary of the results of the work group of the constitutive congress of the popular assembly of the people of Oaxaca. An impressive document, especially for results of work groups 2 and 3. For a good short background and summary piece by La Jornada reporter (this is in English) see this piece by LUIS HERNÁNDEZ NAVARRO posted in Counterpunch. A good source of information and update is narconews site. For an excellent “chronicle of radical democracy” see the article by Gustavo Esteva

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…)

Aphorism: reproduction and co-optation

Friday, November 10th, 2006

From a strategic point of view, reproduction broadly understood is important because it is on its terrain that co-optation occurs at the end of any cycle of struggle, and this is a quite obvious, straightforward matter. Capital’s co-optation of our struggles — by means of various forms of governance coupling the desires and aspiration of struggling subjects to a new generation of capital’s loops — occurs because despite our protest movements, we still have to reproduce our lives and livelihoods . . .And therefore, either we fundamentally change the modes of reproduction of our lives by using the force generated by our oppositional movements when they gain momentum, or we will have soon to go back to their modes of reproduction of our lives by sheer necessity. The question of commons, of counter-enclosures, of a radically different access to the means of reproduction of livelihoods must therefore be at the centre of any truly radical discourse.

Democracy Now in Oaxaca, the autonomous zone!

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

oaxaca.jpgvideo_button_white_dred.gifAfter police murder of Indymedia activist Brad Will, Gustavo Esteva was interviewed on Democracy Now! — the independent US media — on the subject of people demanding, precisely, democracy now in Oaxaca. Click here to watch reports, interviews and analysis at the frontline, as well as memorials of Brad Will. Also, watch pictures of the latest clashes here and picture gallery of the social sityation in Oaxaca. A report with discussion of the origin of the conflict can be read here


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.

Somos todos agent Smith!

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

thematrix.jpgHypothesis on the Matrix film trilogy:

matrix 1 = class autonomy;

matrix 2 = marxism leninism;

matrix 3 = capital’s governamentality.

This epic in three films is the epic of the capitalist dream, of capital’s longing for survival, a survival that depends on capital’s managers to find the right answer to the question: how to turn class autonomy into capital governamentality, that is how to couple class struggle to capital’s loops? That was the Matrix’s epic story, the dream of capital, with our struggles (Matrix 1) as part of its dynamic (Matrix 2), finally co-opted (Matrix 3) (more…)

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…)