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« March 2017 »
Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses:“the adjective ‘material’ … must be affected by different modalities: the materialities of a displacement for going to mass, of kneeling down, of the gesture of the sign of the cross, or of the mea culpa, of a sentence, of a prayer, of an act of contrition, of a penitence, of a gaze, of a hand-shake, of an external verbal discourse or an 'internal' verbal discourse (consciousness), are not one and the same materiality. I shall leave on one side the problem of a theory of the differences between the modalities of materiality.”
The same must be said in discussions of biopolitics/biopower, in which ‘power takes hold of life’: life is instantiated in different modalities (one could say the same of ‘immaterial labor’ in which ‘language is put to work’). To say otherwise means the position becomes laughable: what is power taking hold of previously, are pre-biopolitical powers taking hold of humans who are not alive? Does capitalism pre- the biopolitical production of postfordism involve nonliving workers and consumers? Of course not, and this misses the point of what is at stake in issues of biopolitics.
Biopolitics is a matter of managing the modes in which life takes on modalities. How has any relation of power not been biopolitical, though, how has any power not sought to manage the modalities life takes on? To some extent, this the definition of power relations. Millenarian peasant uprisings were contests over which modalities of life would be instantiated. Ford was invested in the management of ‘his’ workers’ lives when they were out of the plant. As Dalla Costa notes, the wage in the factory has always commanded more than just the labor and the time in the plant. Following Virno, labor power is biopolitical from the beginning as it involves the management of bodies, or to paraphrase Panzieri, to plan the labor process means to plan workers. Or in Federici's recent work, primitive accumulation is a biopolitical process. The conceit of production ‘becoming biopolitical’ is founded on a notion of prior arrangements of production being not biopolitical. More perniciously, the conceit of reproduction becoming productive is founded on a notion that reproduction was not productive previously. Women’s work prior to postfordism is the constitutive exclusion of the more messianic claims made in alongside the term multitude. By falsifying prior history a rhetorical halo around the present is created, but this a light that dazzles rather than illuminates.
This halo effect is a rhetorical device that is part of a tendency neatly summarized by Jacques Rancires: "It is always in the heart of the worker aristocracy that a hegemonic fraction forms, presenting itself as THE proletariat and affirming the proletarian capacity to organize another social order, starting with the skills and values formed in its work and its struggle." [Ranciere, "Les maillon de la chaine (proletaires et dictatures)",Les Revoltes Logiques #2, Spring-Summer 1976, 5, quoted in the translator's introduction to Ranciere's _Nights of Labor_.]
I can't help but hear this quote echoing in my head as I read some of the pieces in the issue of Ephemera dedicated to the Theory of the Multitude.
This is not to say that there is nothing new under the sun. Rather, what is new is a new arrangement of forces within the management of the modalities that life takes on, not the contest itself over the modalities of life. Similarly, what is new with regard to reproduction and production is how the cycles and circuits of accumulation are arranged spatially and temporally. This 'how' needs investigation (with the point of departure being the breakdown and overrun of accumulation processes, not their presumed neat and normal functioning), but it certainly not the case that now reproduction is implicated in production. Life, materiality, command, resistance these terms are the worlds within which changes occur. The worlds themselves are not new as places wherein action happens.
(see Rabinow and Rose, http://www.molsci.org/files/Rose_Rabinow_Biopower_Today.pdf
Changing gears, but along the same lines of papering over differences of modality (which are at the same time a species of commonality) by declaring more absolute kinds of differences:
Negri writes in "Twenty Theses On Marx" (In Casarino et al, eds, _Marxism Beyond Marxism_) that his theoretical work has always attempted to address the 'new phase of political history', in which all of society is subsumed under capitalist accumulation, which brings about 'the end of the centrality of the factory working class as the site of the emergence of revolutionary subjectivity'. (p149)
This quote demonstrates important points about Negri's work. Negri believes that we are in or are entering a qualitatively new moment in history. One salient trait of this new era for Negri is that the prior centrality of the industrial proletariat no longer holds. Negri leaves unaddressed the nature of this 'centrality' that has apparently ended.
I think that Negri's work is most useful when read against Negri. I think one should take Negri as reinterpreting Marxian categories in synchronic fashion, addressing definitions of terms relative to the entirety of the history of capitalism taken as one historical period. Negri is insistent, of course, that his work is diachronic, that it charts and derives from changes in the shifting history of periods and stages within capitalism. I think that Negri's work is less useful read in this fashion. The best way to read Negri, in my opinion, is to take the theoretical points he lays out as true of the present and read them back in to earlier history.
Negri writes that today "the laboring processes extend equally as far as the social extends" (p152), which is a useful insight. This means that every point in the space and time and society is subject (at least potentially) to an attempt at management, as well as a site of possible elaborations of disruptions of the order of things and of alternative forms of life antithetical to the prevailing norm. Once again, however, this has always been true, though Negri's work implies otherwise. (It is also worth noting that the coterminousness of labor and society is derived, for Negri, from communication, from the processes of 'immaterialization' of labor, which is quite different from positing that capital by nature needs to command and manage life both in an outside of designated workplaces.)
Negri writes (in a section titled "The Periodization of Capitalist Development Shows That We Are At The Beginning of a New Epoch") that he considers "post-Fordism as the principal condition of the new social organization of labor and as the new model of accumulation, and post-Modernism as the capitalist ideology adequate to this new mode of production." Negri terms the unity of "these two conditions together the real subsumption of society within cpaital." (154) There are, of course, many changes afoot in the world. But does Negri's periodizing impulse make the present moment any clearer? One effect of Negri's enunciation of the new is a hiding of the commonality between the present and the past, and an over-emphasis of the differences embodied in the present. (For example, if one believe that there has always been a potential for autonomous production of sociality, and that reproduction has always been value productive, then it is not so striking to say that today there is a potential for the autonomous production of sociality, and that reproduction today is value productive. These are some of the constitutive exclusions which allow the production of the rhetorical flash of newness that Negri accomplishes.
Negri traces a history of hegemonic class figures (p154-156), from the professional to the mass worker and announces that the passage from one hegemonic class figure to another inaugurates a change of epoch, in which "new, original, and radical perspectives of development have appeared." (p156) Negri announces that there is a new epoch, that of the 'social worker' (which will later in Negri's work become the multitude), characterized by "computerization of society", which Negri later recasts as 'immaterialization'. In this era "[t]he political composition of the proletariat is social (...) it is completely abstract, immaterial, and intellectual, in terms of the substance of labor; it is mobile and polyvalent in terms of its form." (p156) It is important to note that at this stage Negri has not yet undertaken the revision of immaterial and intellectual labor that he later takes up with his work with Hardt, in which there is an attempt to include affective labor within this type of work. Clearly here Negri is identifying a potentially hegemonic class fraction, a possible class vanguard.
Midnight Notes Collective write: "Working class strategies of the twentieth century typically had at their core, as leading subject, a particular class sector. For example, in the wage strategy and social democratic deal, the mass worker of the industrial factory acted as the "vanguard" of the class as a whole. ("Vanguard" here indicates who, within the whole class, is most effective against the capitalists; it does not equate to "vanguard party," nor to "class consciousness.") That sector could provide the power to launch a potentially revolutionary assault on capital by blocking accumulation based on particular structures and processes which themselves rested on this sector. A class vanguard also acts to gather the rest of the class around it as a focus of demands and struggles." This is the hegemonic class figure that many operaists sought to identify and influence.
"[W]e must question whether the apparent vanguards were as they appeared. Again within the Keynesian-Fordist deals, a focus on the apparent vanguard ignored too many powerful aspects of the class and its struggles, most particularly the struggles of women against reproducing labor power for capital. The notion of a vanguard of the class -- a sector of the class, not a self-proclaimed organizational vanguard, e.g., a party -- is thus problematic even where seemingly most clear."
"Vanguardism tends to ignore the complexity of divisions within the class or to attempt to overcome those divisions by asserting the primacy of some sectors. The conception of the vanguard is that the privileged sectors can impose a unity on other sectors through an assault on capital. The problem (...) is that this unity papers over contradictions that actually prevent the unity from withstanding capital's counterattacks."
"Ignoring the complexity of the division of labor also induces an overestimation of the structural power of the vanguard sector, not so much in its ability to provoke a crisis of capital, but in its ability to resolve the crisis in favor of the working class. The capitalist division of labor fragments the class, producing within each sector a partialness that renders the sector inadequate as a basis for constructing a new society." (These quotes taken from here - http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3843/mngcjm.html
Given that for Negri a new epoch means a corresponding new hegemonic class fraction, when he announces that we are on the threshold of a new epoch then he is also saying that a new hegemonic sector is present or is forming.
There are two questions here for me. One is what is the function or effect of Negri's epochalization. The second is what would Negri's work look like shorn of this epochalization. Regarding the first, one effect is a body of work that is initially quite exhilarating to read. One gets the sense that we are on the cusp of something (of a new epoch, obviously). Aside from that, however, it seems that Negri's search for the new epoch and its corresponding class figure (in which the technical composition will find "an adequate translation in the political composition" [p155]) is linked to his turn toward representational modes of politics, such as a call for rights, for intervening in the EU constitution, calls for a new New Deal, a new Magna Charta, and so on.
Sergio Bologna writes: "Conflict as the moment of identity, as ‘the’ moment of constitution, of politics, of class constitution … this for me is a forced understanding. Amongst other things, this conception still attributes great value to visibility. The ‘other’, in order to be such, must be visible, manifest, and the more clamorous the conflict, the greater the identity it confers … This is the back door through which the traditional logic of politics is returned to play. I prefer the image of beams eaten from within by termites, I prefer a non-visible, non-spectacular path, the idea of the silent growth of a body that is foreign to the sort of visibility that leaves you hostage to the universe of mediation." (Quoted in Steve Wright, Children of a Lesser Marxism, here http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=04/12/16/1529237&mode=neste...
One mode of reading Negri in way that shears his project from the hegemony of a given class fraction (capable, as noted in the Midnight Notes quote above, of imposing crisis but not necessarily of resolving the crisis in favor of the working class) would be start with a critique of hegemony and hierarchy inside the working class, and at the same time with an understanding of the nature of capital like that developed by Dalla Costa, Federici, Fortunati, and others, that is, a view of capital as always-already involving a complex of both waged and unwaged labor subjected to command via the wage, the state, and other mechanisms.
As far as I can think it out, this would entail re-reading the history of working class movements in way that analyzes the processes of construction of a single hegemonic figure, as well as articulating the figures and possibilities excluded or suppressed by this process. It would also entail elaborating new non- or anti-hegemonic politics, perhaps using resources found in the various minor histories of the class.
Sergio Bologna: "[T]he thought of Organised Autonomy, in particular the thought of Toni Negri, is a system of thought which in a certain sense has theorised ambiguity. Exactly on this point: the relationship between political elites, ideology and movement. This attempt to refuse Leninism, to say essentially that the political forms of today are dynamic political forms which open (and) close, which are not permanent. Obviously, it was a way of hiding, shall we say, the dialectic between political elite and movement (Cuninghame 2001).[Quoted in Wright, The Party Of Autonomy, http://www.endpage.org/Archives/Subversive_Texts/Wright_S/A_Party_of_Autonomy.xhtml]
This point is I think one of the linchpins which holds up the effect in Negri's work that I don't like: "in the period of manufacture, and (...) in the two phases of the period of large-scale industry (...) processes of social cooperation of the productive forces were consequences of the development of the industrial and political capitalist machine. Now, however, cooperation is posed prior to the capitalist machine, as a condition independent of industry." (p156) This only makes sense a criterion by which distinguish the present from the past if one fails to see a larger backdrop of social cooperation prior to (logically and historically, ie, the commons) capitalist production, and if one fails to see the continued presence of forms of intervention into labor cooperation in the world today.
[Notes to self: translate and insert Mezzadra's comments on class composition analysis and homogenization in the dialog b/w him and the CS. Also, dig up quotes and compare Agamben, Virno, and Negri on 'general intellect'. I like the term as a philosophical anthropology (one which would hold true for the entirety of the history of capitalism) - as the point of departure for analysis and articulation of class subjectivity, of modes of subjectification. I don't like the term as a conclusion into a purported analyis of the present, that now there is general intellect, as if this philosophical anthropology becomes true.]
Dear friends and comrades –
This is an announcement from Tarantula Distribution and the socialwar.net website, to share some news from both the distribution project, and also current struggles several of us here feel to be important.
The distribution website ― http://www.socialwar.net
― has recently been overhauled, and now contains many new features. The earlier version of this website was the product of a novice web designer, and proved to be incompatible with many web browsers. Over the recent months, however, this novice has gradually learned more web design skills, and the site’s browser compatibility problems now appear to be resolved. So, please check out the new site, especially if you had problems getting it to display the last time around! Of course, it would be great to hear of any remaining glitches on the site, and to receive suggestions for further improving it. While Tarantula Distribution has made an effort to circulate thoughtful critiques of technological society, we do not consider sloppiness in web design to be central to our fight against this society!
One important addition to the new site is the anonymous article “Strangers Everywhere,” which discusses the recent round of raids and arrests against anarchists in Lecce, Italy. Since this article was first put together, repression against our comrades in Italy has only increased, with comrades in several other cities being imprisoned, and approximately two hundred raids over the course of two weeks. The article itself may be found at http://socialwar.net/main/free_texts/strangerseverywhere.htm
. Beyond circulating this text, I encourage radicals to stay informed through looking for updates on such sites as http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk
, and, most importantly, to demonstrate practical, revolutionary solidarity with our comrades in struggle. Even small numbers, acting with intelligence and imagination, can do a lot of damage to the state’s projects of repression right now. Beyond a clear rejection of any attempts to militarize what is fundamentally a social struggle, or to put quantitative results above quality in our actions, I have no interest in telling people how precisely to proceed or what to do.
I hope to compile and distribute more documentation about the events in Italy soon.
In another situation of state repression, the trial of the “Aachen Four” continues in Germany. The judicial torture of our anarchist comrades there has met with strong opposition, from gatherings outside the courthouse to an “International Day of Action” involving everything from flyering to sabotage, with activities in a wide range of cities (unfortunately, very little in North America). Again, I encourage everyone to stay informed ― especially through looking at http://www.escapeintorebellion.info
― to spread the word, and to deepen one’s own practice in solidarity with those arrested.
Another situation of both profound repression and also of resistance unquestionably unfolds every day in Iraq. Without entering into every complexity of events there right now, I will simply recommend Fire to the Powder Keg: War and Social Guerrilla Struggle in Iraq
(trans. Wolfi Landstreicher) as one of the very best English-language books available on the subject. This book is available through Tarantula Distribution (see http://socialwar.net/main/new_titles.htm
for all of our new titles) or directly through its publishers at Eberhardt Press (http://www.eberhardtpress.org
This has been an extremely partial and selective account of important events of late; I absolutely encourage those involved in other struggles to make the resources of Tarantula Distribution and the socialwar.net site their own. These projects do not exist to make a buck ― although breaking even at some stage would be pleasant ― but to help encourage discussion, information exchange, collaboration and complicity between those fighting for an utterly transformed world. If you have a text which we may be interested in distributing through Tarantula, or perspectives that could be of interest to the readers of the socialwar message board, don’t hesitate to get in contact. Also, stacks of flyers or newsletters to pass out with Tarantula Distribution mail are always welcome.
Looking forward to a long hot Summer…
For anarchy and communism –
Tarantula Publishing & Distribution
818 SW 3rd Ave. PMB 1237
Portland, OR 97204
Naples, Rione Traino-Campo Flegreo, this years hackmeeting started today in an abandoned industrial complex in a working class area with a reputation, or so they say. The social centre Terra Terra has been occupied for two years by young people from the surrounding area.
Every social centre has its style, from the ornate artisinal moaics and modificationsin Barrochio (recently object of a fascist attack where two occupants were stabbed), to Forte Prenstino (where something simlar happened two weeks earlier, one stabbed) whose walls are covered with comic art fused with hip-hop murals. In TerraTerra the walls are covered with banners, hand-painted slogans, mixing Mayakovski with anti-imperialism - hammer and sickles are the leitmotiv! But hey, I'm a libertarian and they're not stalinists, part of the lost tribe of anti-statist communists with a little sauce leniniste. At the hackmeeting every year is different, not just another city, but another 'reality' understood in terms of political orientation. The HM is not bound by such dynamics but is obviously only some people's cup of tea. Subjectivity! What would we do without it!
But back to the fascists, because it is now becoming a serious problem and the situation is ominous. There has been a notable and probably orchestrated escalation in fascist violence, complete with its anachronistic connotations of a time past, designed to cause massive damage or seriously injure, if not kill, libertarians and communists or randomn strangers hostile to their biological or identitarian concept of clannish purity. In the last twelve months, to count just the cases that come to mind, there have been 6 people stabbed in milan as well as five serious arson attacks, 3 in bergamo and two arson attacks on the same social centre, two knifed in turin, where one person suffered grevious injuries requiring emergency surgery, one slashed neck in Rome as well as a building bombed. All of these attacks hit self-organised and occupied spaces, some of them also homes, squatts. It seems archaic but you can feel that things are getting serious. These assaults find people a little unprepared, understandably as to dwell on the extreme right-wing and their tiny social base is agitational harakiri. Yet, it remains a fact that unless a convincing social response that mitigates the problem is demonstrated soon, the initiative will pass to those who will interrupt the fascist monpoly on politically motivated assault on individuals. Necessarily so, if the alternative is simply to be reduced to subordinate in a context where the victor can enforce randomn bheatings at will. That's not a reasonable proposition, and one unworthy of the tradition of insubordination with which these places, in some ungraspable way, identify and belong.
On the cusp of leaving Italy it was important to come here, the site of the only community my imagination allows me to fully identify with. Here self-organization is the rule; assumption of responsibilityl; no policy taken for granted; no delegation; commoners of free software & redoubt of pirate pride. Unlike typically political contexts in Italy, no-one would even dream of playing the leader here, sociality and willingness to learn and teach are the only passports. Even amongst the most autistic there is the reassuring shiver of mutual recognition, rumours of a memory from moments past; Genoa, Bolognese cousins, Turin, the brothers and sisters from reload in Milan (irreducible to the bland denomination of comrades, compagni, a term used here more as a from of emotional blackmail than as an attribution of affinity and substance), the hacklab in Perugia, the pirate television in Naples. In the ludic atmosphere it'd be easy for one to miss the fact that here the game is grand. That the means of production and signifying have been seized. But we do not create all the facts.
Elsewhere, it is a moment of regression in Italy, of degeneration. Economic stagnation permeates everyday life, scarce social or labour mobility, a captive workforce in an increasingly expensive city in sum. With the defeat in the referendum on assisted pregnancy, research and stem-research and the genuflection to catholic doctrine by much of the politicasl class, and notably leader of Margerita, Ruttelli, now openly wooed by Berlusconi in the impending showdown with his nemesis, Prodi, who already defeated him in the nineties. Politically it represents the increasing boldness of the recycled orphans of the discredited DC. I'm afraid that there will be a death, and consequent intensification of time spent in defensive or offensive measures against fascist gangs, by christmas at the lastest. A question has been posed. A ressusitation of antifascism as ideolgy would be catastrophic. It would in fac be to assume the same wacky marginality which the fascists themselves have within the electoral system.
Arriving in the Naples alone I happened on some milanese heading the same way. There subsequently followed a ritual attemot by the taxi cartel to rip us off ;-) and we acted all haughty! 200 metres later we found aguy who offered a reasonable deal, and took us in 5, which was cool, and didn't give a shit about the law! But Napoli has a differential adoption of legalism. Adter all I've seen families of four without helmets drive around Naples on scooters, which is a lot of transgressions, theoretically... Any way, he was decent and interested in history so we got talking about Massianello, whom I learnt about in Lienbaugh and Rediker's book. Massianello led what they characterise as the first modern popular insurgency. After ten days of Naples under insurrectionary control, they were crushed and Massianllo was beheaded on the Piazza del Mercato. L&R suggest that knwoledge of the rising, transmitted through sailors, soldiers and political agitators, influenced the course of the englisgh revolution which occurred alnmost immediately afterwards, the debates at Putney etc. The aggression with the fascists feels far away. Perversely there was a stabbing amongst leftsists here last week, the first incident of its gravity that has occurred in the recent years. The authorship of the deed is attributed to a group characterised by its stalinism, and fixation on avantgardist and militant-purity fantasies. They don't seem to have learnt very much from the 1970s, but rather inherited some of the worst of its most grotesque explanations and applied them to a world irreversibly changed.
I like Napoli but I don't really get it!
* Why – when – how – who – etc.
A. The West has the right objective conditions yet lacks the rebellious nature of the people, at present at least.
B. The East and South have masses of rebellious people but lack the objective conditions.
C. Anarchism like Communism has been stuck theoretically and practically for the last 200 years.
D. Revolutionary transformation of consciousness and its advancement of human faculties.
* Answers – solutions – post-dialectics – etc.
1. Why do I start with West (English), the global situation of the internet is obvious. In English for the West first because intellectually it is more advanced whilst the rest of the world has emotional superiority.
2. The mixture of a highly advanced emotion from the South and East with the very developed intellect of the West is the answer to 90% of all contemporary human problems.
3. Self-criticism and self-complementation on correct occasions alone guarantees permanent development in all fields.
4. You cannot make a penny or a cent without further destroying some other human lives.
5. Rapid accumulation of knowledge and its revolutionary transformation into social practice and preparedness for the revolution.
As to the readers of all sides of the ideological specter, please, just wait a second and comprehend before you respond, adjust yourselves to a totally new universal situation. Those of you who desire to rescue and save humanity from utter devastation should only lend a hand and coordinate this colossal task.
Whereas to those readers who wish to maintain whatever authority and hierarchy from our ugly past should listen carefully to what I have to say because otherwise they are going to find themselves expelled from society on a trip. Likewise those who won't to maintain any sort of governance or statehood or capitalism under any banner, please listen, it might be the last time we say please give up peacefully so we would not have to use any force.
The majority of the people are in no position whatsoever to take back their right of self-determination; most people are deluded into voting believing that they are taking part in an equal and democratic process. Capitalism is democratic as in Greek it means power to the owners of Athens salves.
Democracy is for the master not for the servant, democracy of the rulers over the ruled. What good democracy if you have no money to buy food?
Finally here we are in the year 2005AD at exactly the same year 0005AD and 2005BC the situation of the individual has not changed an inch, what has changed are the gadgets of control. The social relations have not changed for the last 70000 years, why because the enslavement of another fellow human being remains and is live and kicking.
As always there is an urgent need for a major conscious leap into a future designed by humanity for the sake of living free and in dignity. No cults of leadership under whatever disguise, this time the revolution will not be as it was in the past, i.e., in the hands of Bolsheviks and authoritarian communists, but in the hand of the whole people who want to participate in the creation of their own destiny.
here is a chunk of a text that a friend and I are translating, a short article called "On the feminization of labor":
"if biopolitical capitalist production bases itself above all on a strategic coordination of the multiplicity of networks and of social relations directed at maximizing profit and assure capitalist domination, then resistances no longer appear as marginal phenomena but rather as active elemetns in the center of a society that opens itself in networks. But there is a second motive for not giving credence to the idea of a "total" capital: if the function of capital is to penetrate, traverse, coordinate, and to direct the social toward the extraction of surplus value and toward accumulation, then, capital can not be the source of riches and of power. From the very moment in which is functions in this way, that is to say, from the very moment in which capitalist production becomes biopolitical, it implicitly recognizes that neither wealth nor power emanate from it. Beginning from here, there opens the possibility of thinking a biopolitics "from below" and this brings us anew to affective and relational labor: in contrast to what happenend with other forms of labor, in all work with a strong affective, relational, and communicative component, neither cooperation nor the capacity for the production of life-worlds and of social relations is imposed or organized from the exterior, but rather they are completely immanent to the labor itself and to the context in which it inserts itself. That is to say, it is not a matter of a force activated and made coherent by capital, but rather that its potential for cooperation permits it to valorize itelf. It does not need capital nor capital's capacity to orchestrate production. Thus, affective labor, despite constituting today a necessary foundation for capitalist accumulation, can translate itself into the creation of subjectivities, communities, and forms of life beyond capital. It can convert itself into production, not of surplus value, but rather of autonomous circuits of valorization and, perhaps, of liberation. Here, the most recent struggles and forms of self-organization protagonized by women - from the nurses' committees (France, 1995) and Women in Black (Belgrade) to the movements of women against the patenting of seeds (India) - can give us a clue."
Do others think this perspective seems to be roughly in line with that of Hardt and Negri? I do.
It seems to me that this periodizing perspective, announcing the new epoch as Angela has noted, is premised less on the present - despite trumpeting changes in the present - than it is on a certain picture of that past. This view produces a picture of that past in contrast with the present.
This picture strikes me as highly questionable, at best. First, the labor of reproduction has always been relational and affective, and has always been bound up with the circuits of accumulation since the beginning of capital. Second, read uncharitably, this perspective implies a shift from a 'total' capital to a newly non-'total' capital.
I think one of the central issues here is the understanding of the central subject or figure of labor relative to a given class composition -- the mass worker, for instance, was a 'hegemonic' figure. The hegemony of the mass worker inside the class, according to the perspective above, seems to be an automatic process, a necessary and accomplished result, rather than itself being a fraught and contested process.
Basically, I can't understand how the traits ascribed to labor now, and spoken of as new traits, could possibly be new. To my mind these are possibilities that reach far back, certainly they've existed since the beginning of capital.
I saw Hardt speak at the society for european philosophy conference in London a year or two ago. He remarked on the idea that resistance is prior to power, and sketched three senses of this:
1. Deleuzian, ontological - only resistance/labor has the power to create
2. Trontian, socio-political, in history (my term, not his) - resistance/labor creates the actual forms that capital adopts as it is forced to change by blockages in accumulation (the capitalization of resistance that Angela has commented on)
3. E.P. Thompson and subaltern studies, historical research - researching and narrating histories to uncover and lay out the agency of folks who were/are typically thought of as without agency
It strikes me that the perspective laid out in the chunk of translation here, which I think is basically Hardt/Negri's perspective, is in contract with at least the third point above. The 'labor becomes biopolitical' perspective implies a history of non-agency prior to postfordism/real subsumption, with agency arising as a possibility of labor nowadays. It's as if at a certain point in history resistance _became_ prior to power. Like I tried to say above, I think the traits ascribed to labor today in the 'biopolitical labor' stuff only make sense as revisions of marxian categories, changing the understanding of what labor is throughout the history of capital.
I wonder if perhaps some of this is related to the Deleuzian periodization of control societies vs disciplinary societies? Not solely due to that, of course, but perhaps a resonance between that Deleuzian idea and a pre-existing tendency toward periodization (and a corresponding vanguardism, however heterodox, which seeks a vanguard figure to achieve and exert intra-class hegemony in a fashion adequate to the new hisorical moment)?
More for the need to read list - Gramsci on conjunctures and hegemony, as something to contrast with. Also, I need to dig out the remarks by the Situaciones group on both conjunctural thinking and hegemony as a mode of thinking and acting politically, both of which, I think, in the view of Situaciones imply belief in a certain social automaticity.
On lunch break yesterday I encountered two people canvassing for Illinois PIRG. I've also seen many a flyer advertising "summer jobs to save the environment!", so they must be hard up for bodies.
PIRG raises money for environmental causes. They also raise money for Save The Children (you can tell who they're fundraising for based on the jackets they're wearing at the time). Last I knew, PIRG pays their canvassers $35 a day, with a small commission on money raised above a certain amount. Turnover is astronomical, because they fire people who don't meet quota and because the pay is close to minimum wage ($6.50 an hour in Illinois) for standing up all day on concrete, and talking to many, many people. Friends of mine who worked for them on the east coast were trying unionize in two cities and ultimately gave up because they couldn't live on it. The company has allegedly busting other staff unionization attempts.
The canvassing group ACORN has done the same (for details go to iww.org and put "acorn" into the search function). They pay $14K a year (they're a social justice group, like PIRG, any price for the cause, I suppose). When I canvassed for Grassroots Campaigns Incorporated (the for profit group to which the Democratic Party contracted out a chunk of the fundraising for the Kerry campaign, and who, it seems, no longer have a website) we got paid $60 a day if we made quota, which worked out to approximately $7 an hour, with percentage bonuses for bringing in large amounts over quota. A number of things occurred that may have been wage and hour violations (a friend who worked at America Coming Together alleges similar stuff, which boils down to unpaid forced worktime), but we never pressed charges. They closed the office and laid us off with a 12 hour notice.
So what, so nonprofits and progressives are still bosses, big deal. Who does this surprise? No one with any sense or who has had a job. What I wonder about really, though, and don't have time to get into just now, is all of this in the context of the idea in some aut circles, that work is no longer generative of subjectivities. All the above jobs have attendant subjectivities and lifestyles - it's part of how the places operate. The same goes for the bike messenger industry, which has an enormous social scene and informal networks across shops. And then there's more white collar kinds of nonprofit work, employees of unions, (basically anyone working for the social justice industry, the mendicant orders of empire). There are some remarks tangential to this in the Precarious Lexicon of precarias a la deriva, about a typology of different sorts of precarity. Eventually I'll get that translated. It seems to me that a lot of the social justice industry, and some other precariou work (like bike messengers) still has attendant forms of subjectivity but ...
I'm not sure how to articulate it. I think it's like this: (the story goes that) the factory used to be THE site of subjectification for workers. In a way it's like the workplace contained subjectification, like concentric circles. (That probably was never totally accurate, but certainly today) it seems to me with these precarious work situations the relationship is flipped - subjectivities are the outer of the concentric circle, at least in canvassing work, bike messengers etc. Those subjectivities are employed, mobilized, and certainly molded, by the bosses. Speaking of bosses, I have to run.
It is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. Thus in asthma, there is swelling of the tissues in the air passages of the lung, making it tight (bronchoconstriction) thus difficult to breathe.
Causes of Asthma:
There are certain things that can make asthma symptoms worse and lead to asthma attacks. Some of the more common things that can worsen your asthma symptoms are exercise, allergens, irritants, and viral infections. Some people only have asthma
with exercise or a viral infection. The lists below give some examples of things that can worsen asthma symptoms.
• Animal dander (from the skin, hair, or feathers of animals)
• Dust mites (contained in house dust)
• Pollen from trees and grass
• Mold (indoor and outdoor)
• Cigarette smoke
• Air pollution
• Cold air or changes in weather
• Strong odors from painting or cooking
• Scented products
• Strong emotional expression (including crying or laughing hard), and stress
Its symptoms are :
breathing gets pretty difficult, Episodes of wheezy difficulty in breathing, Narrowing of the air passages in the lungs and hence increased resistance to airflow., Rapid and considerable changes in airway obstruction, Frequent nocturnal episodes and low morning peak flow values, Symptom-free periods, Bronchial hyper-responsiveness to nonspecific stimuli such as cold air or histamine, which generally varies within short periods of time, and is sometimes reversible, either spontaneously or with treatment.
Remedy and prevention:
EAT plenty of Foods rich in the B vitamins such as green leafy vegetables and pulses.
Eat plenty of Good sources of magnesium such as sunflower seeds and dried figs.
Learn about your asthma and how to control it.
Use medications as directed by your doctor to prevent or stop attacks.
Avoid things that make your asthma worse, as much as possible.
Get regular checkups from your doctor.
Follow your asthma action plan.
Babies exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to get asthma. If a mother smokes during pregnancy, her baby may also be more likely to get asthma.
Personal smoking may also cause asthma.
may be linked to asthma as well as other health problems.
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something i wrote for alternatives. it a bit too much like all the stuff i write but anyway.
Winter has become a season of rebellion in South Africa.
In August last year, thousands of protestors from the sleepy town of Harrismith in the Free State descended on the N3 highway. Armed with placards and song, the protesters charged that after ten years of democracy not much had changed for the country’s poor. The “better life for all” that had been promised in 1994, and repeated with each successive election, had not arrived, while access to housing and basic services such as water and electricity were increasing mediated by the cold logic of the market.
The state’s response was unequivocal. In scenes reminiscent of the heady days of the struggle against apartheid, shotgun-wielding policemen fired rubber bullets at the fleeing protesters. When the enforced calm finally returned to Harrismith, one protestor was dead. The planned blockade of the highway was over before it had started. Those who had been identified as the leaders of the protest were rounded up and charged with public violence and, for the first time in a new South Africa, sedition.
The events in Harrismith are, however, part of an older narrative of betrayal that began in 1996 when the ANC government adopted the Growth Employment and Redistribution Strategy. Based on the advice of the World Bank policy experts, GEAR was a dramatic shift away from the parties stated commitment to addressing the imbalances of apartheid and set the South African state on a path of neoliberal restructuring. Realising that the new policy would never win popular support, the full weight of Mandela’s messianic appeal became focused on left criticism of the new economic policy and GEAR was dubbed non-negotiable.
Under the regime of GEAR, the commodification of housing, water and electricity was deepened and thousands of people across the country were evicted or cut off from essential services for non-payment. GEAR was transforming bare life as it animated the poor’s daily struggle for survival. With no other option, poor communities turned to protest actions against the effects of GEAR, in particular cut-offs of basic services. The context of non-negotiability of GEAR, set in 1996, would, however, determine the state’s ultimate response. As the 2005 winter sets in, literally exacerbating the daily struggle for survival, South Africa is again engulfed in protest as communities across the country take to the streets. In the past month, communities from the most far-flung corners of South Africa have risen up, demanding the ‘delivery of basic services’. At stake is bare life itself.
Although the charge of sedition would finally be dropped against the thirteen community activists in Harrismith (largely due to intense local political and media pressure), the state’s response to the uprising offers a unique insight into the rationality underpinning GEAR. The message is clear. Responsible citizens must grin and bear the stench of their poverty in the national interest. Bare life itself has become non-negotiable. Anything less is sedition!
The end of idealism
The blind is leading the blind
Philosophy as clinical psychiatry
The death of philosophy
Dull and frigid philosophers
The impotence of capitalist thinkers
Philosophers to the garbage
YOUR FALL IS NEAR DEAR
And the revolution is here to stay
Philosophers like scientists are dogmatic and very limited, they always serve the master. Philosophy is the religion of capitalism and science is metaphysical; the poverty of intellectual life. Afraid of freedom and concrete equality they bow to every idle and submit their critical thinking to the service of the empire that be.
Confused by their own tautology and anxious about their ontological crises, they plunge into the formal and abstract.
Well, this time there is no escape dear philosopher and scientist, because your hay days are few.
Termination of the capitalist system
1. By dismantling the army and police we dissolve the state and authority and thus no one will be capable of attacking or exploiting another.
2. By the cancellation of inheritance law and terminating private ownership of natural resources and the means of production, i.e., by the elimination of capitalist social relations and business our world turns into paradise and not hell.
3. The burning of money as an exchange value.
4. The ending of all laws and bourgeois morality thus terminating the hegemony of the ruling classes.
5. Capitalism is a physical and mental disease, a profitable disease for the few, its urgent cure is the uprooting the infected reactionary cyst called system control for the dictatorship of the rich.
6. The only cure and solution is revolutionary transformation of society on the basis of gift economy and total material equality.
7. Anarchic anti-capitalist social leap into a world where human life has the highest consideration.
Most anarchists are not anarchist at all – Capitalism causes madness
Since anarchists from the time of Bakunin and Kropotkin up to now depended solely on the Marxist analysis of capitalist economy that turned out to be very wrong and misleading. This erroneous analysis brought down the whole socialist camp and exposed the invalidity of communist theory.
The dependence of anarchism on failed Marxist predictions and prognostication caused plenty of harm to anarchic theory and turned anarchists into regimented scouts of social therapy. No wonder that modern anarchism looks like this today, North American anarchism is not anarchism at all, but a replica of middle class activism.
Anti-economical anarchism is the only true anarchism since it alone can totally eliminate all sorts of authority, hierarchy and what ever oppression anywhere.
Anarchism as represented by our friends in north Europe, is pathetic and makes you want to puke, to even think of organized anarchism is an ultra contradiction in term. As a result of so many crucial mistakes contemporary anarchists behave as a bunch of left wing liberal scouts, negotiating their party line and dogmatic ideology, just as our hated cousin the Bolshevik.
The magic ward of affinity group means let's hide in little gropes and pretend we are operating on a global scale, or let's dress in a differently colored costumes so we could play safely whilst confronting the 8 masters.
Primitivism is not anarchism nor salvation is going to come from the internet, the revolution awaits you someplace and somewhere else.
This is not a criticism of the anarchic movement as such, but a recommendation for the adaptation of a meta-Marxist post-capital anti-dialectical approach based on anti-analysis and the demolishment of capitalist social relations.
What we need is an anti-economical post-Marxist meta-synthesis for the creation of the last revolution. Economy is theft and property is robbery.
All necessities of life is distributed free during and after the revolution, the collapse of capitalism will enrich the whole world population and turn each and everyone into an overnight millionaires, we shell have by the year 2015 7000000000 millionaires, a very happy and celebrative humanity.
Arm your pleasure and equip your passion with revolutionary knowledge so you will be always ready to make and participate in the already long overdue social revolution.
If by waiting few more years we can further reduce the required violence to a minimum then be it. After destroying the state and hierarchy wages and commerce disappear to the disappointment of many anarcho-capitalists.
Labor will turn into a revolt, we want to manage our lives ourselves and no one else and anyone who dares otherwise shell facet a violent attack, since slavery and exploitation are unforgivable and epidemic.
The destruction of life is not a demagogic issue but a survival defense and a last stand of the slave who is on a head collision with his master.
Freedom must be taken by force; justice is equality when there is no exploiting fellow human any more. Values and business is an organize deceit orchestrated by blood stained economical gangsters embraced by weak and corrupt politicos.
Capital economy is the king and the ruling classes, immersed in wealth and power whilst devastating our lives, our planet and obliterating the future.
They impoverish the rest of humanity whilst keeping the middle class and allowing it consume, thus keeping it in check, business-bossy and ossified.
Humanity wants revolt and it wants it now and we are here to provide it with exactly that. Lets not allow 200 years of anarchism be thrown to the garbage of history because of some alienated tendencies. We exist and that is enough to create the biggest and final revolution in our miserable human history, cause a revolution that has never been witnessed before i.e, the creation of freedom. Humanity demands freedom and we demand material equality, a meta-critical mass rebellion engulfing the whole planet thus turning life into a more bearable and pleasant existence for all.