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« September 2014 »
New issue of ephemera on ‘The politics of worker’s inquiry’
The Politics of Worker’s Inquiry
ephemera: theory & politics in organization
Volume 14, Number 3 (August 2014)
Edited by Joanna Figiel, Stevphen Shukaitis, and Abe Walker
This issue brings together a series of commentaries, interventions and projects centred on the theme of workers’ inquiry. Workers’ inquiry is a practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labour and its potential for revolutionary social transformation. It is a practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. It also seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify social and political antagonisms.
Workers’ inquiry developed in a context marked by rapid industrialization, mass migration and the use of industrial sociology to discipline the working class. It was formulated within autonomist movements as a sort of parallel sociology based on a radical re-reading of Marx and Weber against the politics of the communist party and the unions. The process of inquiry took the contradictions of the labour process as a starting point and sought to draw out such political antagonisms into the formation of new radical subjectivities. With this issue we seek to rethink workers’ inquiry as a practice and perspective, in order to understand and catalyse emergent moments of political composition.
Including essays from Fabrizio Fasulo, Frederick H. Pitts, Christopher Wellbrook, Anna Curcio, Colectivo Situaciones, Evangelinidis Angelos, Lazaris Dimitris, Jennifer M. Murray, Michał Kozłowski, Bianca Elzenbaumer, Caterina Giuliani, Alan W. Moore, T.L. Cowan, Jasmine Rault, Jamie Woodcock, and Gigi Roggero; an interview with Jon McKenzie; and book reviews by Craig Willse, Stephen Parliament, Christian De Cock, Mathias Skrutkowski, and Orla McGarry.
The International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” Mexico City November 7-8
Following the first four encuentros internacionales (international gatherings) of the “Workers’ Economy,” held in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil from 2007 to 2013, and after the first Regional Gathering of Europe and the Mediterranean, held in Marseille, France in January 2014, it is now proposed to conduct Regional Gatherings in every even-numbered year and International Gatherings in odd-numbered years. Following this plan, the 1st Regional Gathering of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Region of “The Workers’ Economy” will be held in Mexico City, Mexico on November 7th and 8th, 2014; the 1st South American Regional Gathering of the “The Workers’ Economy” will take place in Argentina on October 3th and 4th, 2014; and the 5th International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” will be held in Venezuela in July, 2015.
We invite you to attend the 1st Regional Gathering of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Region of “The Workers’ Economy” in November 2014.
Conducting an encuentro in the North America, Central America and Caribbean Region on themes pertaining to “the workers’ economy” entails enormous challenges for the emerging struggles of workers building an alternative economy. First, there is a huge gulf between the developed countries of North America (Canada and the USA) and those further south (Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean) — in technological development, economic organization, and standards of work and life. Second, the imperialist role and agenda pursued by American capitalism has meant economic and political dependence among most capitalist governments and countries in the region. Third, the region’s workforce continues to experience enormous disparity and dispersion.
Review of Communization and its Discontents
Published in Anarchy: A Journal Of Desire Armed #74
Anthologies are always tricky. The job of an editor includes surveying the intellectual landscape for as much of a similar understanding of the topic as possible, then finding the right contributions from the right authors, and gathering them together in as coherent a manner as possible. This doesn’t always work out the way the editor or a publisher might want. Anthologies are always a mixed bag as well, with some contributions making more of an impression and others being totally forgettable. Part of the challenge with an anthology concerning trends in this particular intellectual radical theory is that there are some seriously divergent understandings and theorizing about this communization stuff, both from inside and outside the tendency. Much to Minor Compositions’ and Noys’ credit, the essays in this anthology span a wide range of opinions and assessments about communization, from unqualified excitement through qualified enthusiasm to qualified skepticism, if not dismissal.
Occupy the Mexican Consulate in New York City, June 19-20, 2014
Thursday Jun 19 at 3:00pm to Friday Jun 20 at 5:00pm at
Mexican Consulate 27 E 39th St btw. Madison & Park Aves,
nr. #4, 5, 6, S, 7, B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, 1, 2, 3 & 42nd St. cross town bus: http://goo.gl/Oqy0cx ; buses: goo.gl/97dMyW description: https://www.facebook.com/events/1416636688614361/ ``two day occupation...come any time``\
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2014 10:46:07 -0400 From:
Occupy the Mexican Consulate in NYC to stop the deadly attacks on the Zapatistas and their teachers
Are you coming? Let us know!
WHAT Non-violent protest to stop the paramilitary deadly attacks on the Zapatista autonomous communities who are resisting the predator corporate power, defending the land, the natural resources of the jungle, and building a horizontal, leaderless community for a world where many worlds fit.
As Sub-Commander Moises highlights, ``we will not respond with violence`` .
WHERE Mexican Consulate
27 E 39th St, New York, New York 10016
WHEN This is a 2-day occupation, from THURSDAY 19 at 3 pm to FRIDAY 20t at 5 pm. New York Civil Rights Legendary Attorney Norman Siegel has agreed to be a legal observer and advisor for this Occupation. You can come anytime and stay for as long as you can!
WHO An initiative originated in the heart of our fellow John Penley,
[ facebook.com/john.r.penley ; facebook.com/john.penley.3 -t.] growing in the hearts of many others, with the help of the
OWS Zapatista Solidarity Network. [ facebook.com/OccupySolidarityNetwork ]
In response to the May 2, 2014 paramilitary attack on the Zapatista community of La Realidad and the killing of community member Companero Galeano, over 2000 organizations, intellectuals, and activists from North America and beyond – includding Mumia Abu-Jamal, Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Junot Diaz, Cornel West, Emory Douglas, the IWW, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and many, many others –“ denounced this violence and called for a week of action in solidarity with the pain and rage of the Zapatista communities.
During the week of May 18-24, companer@s in solidarity in more than 40 cities across the world responded to this call. Their actions, reported to the Anattackonusall.org website, circulated through the corresponding facebook and twitter account, andcovered in the free and independent media in English, Spanish, Greek, and Italian, included: demonstrations at consulates and corporations, in the streets, and in public spaces; conferences and panel discussions on Zapatismo and autonomy; silent marches and memorials; readings, info sessions, teach-ins, and study groups; art installations, video and banner production, concerts, poetry readings, and Zapatista documentary screenings; fund-raisers, flyer distribution, e-graffiti actions, and encampments, and email and phone campaigns to Mexican Consulates across the US as well as to the office of Manuel Velasco, Governor of Chiapas, and more.
Â Do you want to help re-build the school that was destroyed in La Realidad Autonomous community?
``The capitalist government at its three levels [federal, state and local] destroyed the autonomous school and the autonomous clinic and the hose from where the water comes and, with that, they want to put an end to the Zapatista fight. Zapatista people don`t forget that the government destroyed their first community Aguascalientes, and then Zapatista women and men built other five Aguascalientes. And when they destroyed the humble houses of our MAREZ authorities (Municipios AutÃ³nomos Rebeldes Zapatistas) in 1998 (â€¦) the MAREZ kept working following their path and strongerâ€ - Subcommander Insurgent MoisÃ©s.
"We want to let all our comrades in Mexico and the world know that we have opened a bank account in the name of our dear compaÃ±era Fernanda Navarro, so deposits of money can be made to the campaign for the reconstruction of the school and clinic that were actually destroyed by the beast in the service of big capital" (See the picture with the bank information if you want to make a donation)
"Wages for Students" Pamphlet in New Spanish Translation
The Spanish translation of the pamphlet entitled "Wages for Students," written about forty years ago by some members of the Midnight Notes Collective and friends, was just published by a Chilean group.
Here is the link to the entry on the book: http://vaticanochico.com/es/ediciones/sueldo-para-estudiantes/
And here is a direct link to the Spanish pdf: http://vaticanochico.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SueldoparaEstudiante...
The Haymarket Martyrs
[A 1926 article from The Labor Defender]
Does this rising generation know that those who inaugurated the eight-hour day were put to death at the command of capital?
Until forty years ago men, women, and children toiled ten and often twelve hours a day in factories for a mere pittance and children from eight to nine years of age had to work to help to keep up the family.
The Knights of Labor, a powerful organization, claiming 500,000 members, had never agitated for a reduction of the hours of labor. Then who were the pioneers of the eight-hour movement?
Those martyrs who were strung from the gallows in Chicago on November 11, 1887, the much lied about and abused Anarchists.
Launch of the "Justice for Walter Rodney" Committee
Many persons from around the world welcomed the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Walter Rodney on June 13, 1980. A number of concerned citizens from all parts of the world have come together to form the Justice for Walter Rodney Committee. Among the tasks of this newly established Committee is to work with others in all parts of the world to ensure that the processes of this inquiry are fair, transparent and does not dishonor the memory of Walter Rodney.
Since the formation of the Justice for Walter Rodney Committee, we have formally communicated with the Secretariat of the Commission with specific recommendations to enhance the process of a fair and transparent inquiry.
As a consequence of our involvement and our knowledge of the work of Walter Rodney we informed the Secretariat of the Commission that we are willing and ready to assist the work of the commission in arriving at the truth. Many of the media are certainly aware that most if not all of us called, and have continued to clamor over the last 34 years for an impartial international commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances, events, institutions, organizations, and individuals that played a role in the killing of Walter Rodney.
Sol Yurick Memorial
Brooklyn, NY, May 4, 2014
11AM to 4PM
at The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This will be a memorial for Sol Yurick, one of the best novelists of the 60s and 70s, who died in January 2013. Come and share in our collective remembering of his life and work.
For more information contact George Caffentzis
The Solitude of Latin America
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[Nobel Prize Lecture, 8 December 1982.]
Antonio Pigafetta, the Florentine navigator who accompanied Magellan on the
first circumnavigation around the world, kept a meticulous log of his
journey through our South American continent, which, nevertheless, also
seems to be an adventure into the imagination. He related that he had seen
pigs with their umbilicus on their backs and birds without feet, the female
of the species of which would brood their eggs on the backs of the males,
as well as others like gannets without tongues, whose beak looked like a
spoon. He wrote that he had seen a monstrosity of an animal with the head
and ears of a mule, the body of a camel, the hooves of a deer and the neigh
of a horse. He related they had put a mirror in front of the first native
they met in Patagonia and how that overexcited giant lost the use of his
reason out of fear of his own image.
This short and fascinating book, in which we can perceive the gems of our
contemporary novels, is not, by any means, the most surprising testimony of
our reality at that time. The Chroniclers of the Indies have left us
innumerable others. Eldorado, our illusory land which was much sought
after, appeared on numerous maps over a long period, changing in situation
and extent according to the whim of the cartographers. The mythical Alvar
Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, in search of the fount of Eternal Youth, spent eight
years exploring the north of Mexico in a crazy expedition whose members ate
one another; only five of the six hundred who set out returned home. One of
the many mysteries which was never unravelled is that of the eleven
thousand mules, each loaded with one hundred pounds weight of gold, which
left Cuzco one day to pay the ransom of Atahualpa and which never arrived
at their destination. Later on, during the colonial period, they used to
sell in Cartagena de India chickens raised on alluvial soils in whose
gizzards were found gold nuggets. This delirium for gold among our founding
fathers has been a bane upon us until very recent times. Why, only in the
last century, the German mission appointed to study the construction of a
railway line between the oceans across the Panamanian isthmus concluded
that the project was a viable one on the condition that the rails should be
not of iron, a scarce metal in the region, but of gold.
The independence from Spanish domination did not save us from this madness.
General Antonio Lopez de Santana, thrice dictator of Mexico, had the right
leg he lost in the so-called War of the Cakes buried with all funeral pomp.
General Garcia Moreno governed Ecuador for sixteen years as an absolute
monarch and his dead body, dressed in full-dress uniform and his cuirass
with its medals, sat in state upon the presidential throne. General
Maximilian Hernandez Martinez, the theosophical despot of El Salvador who
had thirty thousand peasants exterminated in a savage orgy of killing,
invented a pendulum to discover whether food was poisoned, and had the
street lamps covered with red paper to combat an epidemic of scarlet fever.
The monument to General Francisco Morazan, raised up in the main square of
Tegucigalpa is, in reality, a statue of Marshal Ney which was bought in
repository of second-hand statues in Paris.
Edward Snowden: A Healing Voice
Like many people, I was surprised to hear of Edward Snowden’s decision to leave his job and move toward Hong Kong in search of a place where he could reconcile his conscience with his understanding of humanity and the US Constitution. Ever since, I have been trying to understand how he had come to a decision that, one may be certain, others contemplated, but then did not pursue for reasons that are not important, at this point, to figure out.
As days, weeks, months passed, most citizens of the US had difficulties in assessing Edward Snowden’s act: was he a hero or a traitor? In the midst of these hesitations, his father embraced him tightly. [His mother may have done the same, but more discretely, so discretely in fact, that no one but herself and Edward and his father know about it]. It was a very encouraging and courageous act even if it had to be handled, as too many things have to, in these days, with the help of a lawyer.
Is this lawyerly mediation of father-son love a sign of the times we are living in?