Archive for October, 2006

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

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 www.LinkTV.org. 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 . . .

The World Turned Upside Down

Friday, October 27th, 2006

zapataguitar.jpgThanks to Leon Rosselson for providing material to compile this post!

Perhaps the best song written about enclosures and struggles for commons. It talks about the struggles of the ”Diggers” who reclaimed the king’s land as a commons for all. It was composed by Leon Rosselson in 1975, taken into the charts in 1985 by Billy Bragg and also performed by Dick Gaughan, Chumbawamba and Attila the Stockbroker among others (according to Wikipedia, although I think that Chumbawamba’s version is a late XIX century song with the same title). To put this song in the context of other “Digger” songs check here.

The song, “The World Turned Upside Down,” by English folksinger Leon Rosselson, weaves many of Gerrard Winstanley’s own words into the lyrics. Gerrard Winstanley (1609 - September 10, 1676) was an English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. He was aligned with the group known as the True Levellers for their beliefs, based upon Christian communism, and as the Diggers for their actions because they took over public lands and dug them over to plant crops.

Click play to hear:

1) Leon Rosselson presentation of the song at a radio show on www.radiobritfolk.co.uk.

2) The song itself, sang by the author

For the lirics and some quotes from Gerrard Winstanley writings click (more…)

The vanguard

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifThis clip is from The Power of Nightmares, a BBC programme broadcasted in 2004 tracing the development of christian neocon and islamic jihadists. Here the argument is that the followers of Leo Strauss, the German born American philosopher who became the father of neocon thinking, acted like a marxist-leninist vanguard group. The clip has some Bible-Nintendo shots for Christian children and an hilarious “integrity music fitness” TV advertisement, that offers you to get fit while praying I suppose. Incidentally, the three parts film (a must-be-watched-available to download at www.archive.org) also argues that the Islamic Jihadists have taken up the vanguard features recognisable in Marxism-Leninism. If you cannot see the video below, click here.

Aphorism

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…)

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…)

The cooptation of commons: “capital’s plan B” - Part 2

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is the final part of George Caffentzis’ talk.

The cooptation of commons: “capital’s plan B” - Part 1

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifI post here part 1 of a talk delivered on the Future of the Common in April 2006, in which George Caffentzis voices his fear about capital’s “plan B”: the cooptation of commons as a transition towards a fully marketised world (Part 2 available tomorrow. There is also an online article by Caffentzis along this lines available in the ”Shut them down” collection). Caffentzis refers here to the thinking within the World Bank which started to come out in a 1992 World Development Report, continued through hundreds of studies and then, ended up in June last year. This discourse attempts to highjack discourses and practices of cooperation, collective action and commons as it became clear at the G8 meeting of Gleneagles (see entry video clip of Paul Wofowitz in the blog entry: Paul Walfowitz joins the struggle). Consequently, it is even more important for us to sharpen our understanding of what do we mean by commons, and problematise how this meaning and corresponding practices cannot be coopted. To put it with Caffentzis’ latest line, commons for us are about healing the separation between waged and unwaged workers and the means of subsistence/production. A good starting point — going back at least to Marx — to ground our reclaiming of the commons. Click the video below. If you cannot see it, try here.