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In Letters of Blood and Fire
Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism
Karl Marx wrote that the only way to write about the origins of capitalism in the 16th century is in the letters of blood and fire used to drive workers from the common lands, forests and waters. In this collection of essays, George Caffentzis argues that the same is true for the annals of twenty-first-century capitalism. Information technology, immaterial production, financialization, and globalization have been trumpeted as inaugurating a new phase of capitalism that puts it beyond its violent origins. Instead of being a period of major social and economic novelty, however, the course of recent decades has been a return to the fire and blood of struggles at the advent of capitalism.
RIP Thomas McEvilley, Radical Art Historian, Classicist Scholar
Scholar, poet, novelist, art historian, critic, and translator Thomas McEvilley died March 2, 2013 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York. He was 73 years old. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Burstein and two sons, Thomas and Monte (his middle son, Alexander, died some years earlier). His death was the result of complications from cancer, according to his wife.
First Comox Valley Anarchist Book Fair
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, May 4, 2013
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, the Village Muse Bookstore in Cumberland (centrally located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia) will be hosting the first ever Comox Valley Anarchist Book Fair at The Abbey, featuring a May Day feast of subversive ideas and creative resistance possibilities. As a black and green event, it is bathed in both the radical legacy of the Cumberland mine wars and the soaring Beltane spirit of the Merry Month of May, and has absolutely nothing to do with Queen Victoria's birthday. This anarchist festival of the book has been fomented in the cooperative spirit of mutual aid that unites Cumberland and Denman Island co-conspirators. While we anticipate that lots of anarchists and anarchist-friendly folks will converge on Cumberland that weekend, you don't have to be a self-described anarchist to attend the Book Fair. All you need is an open mind and an anti-authoritarian sense of curiosity.
3rd Futurological Symposium on
"Free Cultural Spaces"
Ruigoord, Amsterdam, July 19-27, 2013
In 2013, Ruigoord celebrates its fortieth anniversary as a “Free Cultural Space.” The whole year through, manifestations will take place in honor of this wonderful fact. The climax, however, will be on the weeks before and after the 24th of July; the anniversary of the day the village was squatted.
To commemorate this event we are planning a 3rd Futurological Symposium on “Free Cultural Spaces” from a global perspective.
“Perder” Important Show of Latin American Political Art
Perder la forma humana. Una imagen sísmica de los años ochenta en América Latina
(Losing the human form. A seismic image of the eighties in Latin America)
Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid
October 26, 2012 - March 11, 2013
Introduction by Alan Moore– This is a major exhibition of political art. It is probably the best I have ever seen. “Perder la Forma Humana” presents the situations and the creative responses to the epoch of dictatorships in Latin America in the 1980s. The presidency of plastic hero Ronald Reagan was a disaster for our neighbors to the south if they professed any opposition to the smooth workings of multinational capital. Activists, most of them young, were detained, tortured and killed by the tens of thousands during many long years of harsh rule by right-wing generals. The U.S. military helped to coordinate these repressions. (This kind of federal coordination was recently echoed in the nationwide shutdown, benign by comparison, of the encampments of the U.S. Occcupy movement.)
Living Theatre Closes NYC Space, Judith Malina Retires
Jon Kalish, New York Daily News
Clinton St. theater was behind on its rent. Anarchism and Utopian views have cut down on grants.
A lower East Side theater that championed anarchism, Utopian experimentalism for 66 years will close for good this week — and its fiery founder will spend her remaining days in an unhappy retirement.
Judith Malina will move Thursday to the Lillian Booth home for retired artists in New Jersey after losing her lease on Clinton Street's Living Theatre, where she produced cutting-edge theater for six decades.
"I'm in the theater because I'm a revolutionary and I'm very unhappy about having to give this place up," Malina told The News.
Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism, Part 2
Mar 7-9, 2013, Berlin, Germany
An international array of philosophers, critical theorists, media theorists, art historians, architects, and artists will discuss the state of the mind and brain under the conditions of contemporary capitalism, in which these cognitive apparati have become the new focus of labouring.
Hermeneutic Antidisturbios: 25S, the Anti-Eviction Movement and the 14 November General Strike in Context
Last autumn, a new and awful form of protest came to Spain. A string of homeowners on the verge of eviction by court orders and the riot police (antidisturbios) committed suicide by leaping from the windows of their mortgaged houses. The growing anti-eviction movement has altered the dynamic of social protest in Spain, broadening and deepening the opposition to austerity already manifested in the 15M and 25S movements. In the general strike of 14 November, called for by the largest unions, ‘everyone except the Partido Popular and Basque nationalist unions’ poured into the streets. Darío Corbeira, editor of Brumaria, sends the following reflection on the context of the unfolding social struggle.
On 25 September, several thousand citizens responded to an anonymous call to surround Madrid’s Congress of Deputies: ‘Surround the Congress, remain there indefinitely. Desert and break with the current regime, demand the dissolution of the entire government, courts and heads of state, and abolition of the existing Constitution. Begin constituting a new system of political, economic and social organization.’ The gathering citizens aimed to convey to the parliamentarians their deep opposition to the austerity program of Mariano Rajoy Brey’s governing Partido Popular (PP) and to the interventions of the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Union. Framing it was a radical critique of the parliamentarism that came out of the so so-called Transition to democracy. As made clear in their manifestos, proclamations and chants, the protesters saw that form of democracy as utterly bankrupt. What began that day has become known as the 25S movement, distinct from but clearly related to its predecessor 15M and the other movements that have emerged from the neighbourhoods, universities, hospitals, cultural centers, and manufacturing areas. All were questioning the perverse effects of neoliberal policies designed by financial capitalism and applied to the letter by the governing authorities. Those effects have shaken the fragile ‘welfare state’ slowly built up since Franco’s death and have undermined all it has achieved by way of diminishing the gaping social and economic disparities that persist in Spain despite the governments of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party/PSOE).
4th International Gathering of the 'Workers' Economy'
Self-management and Work as Alternatives to the Global Economic Crisis
July 9-12, 2013 - João Pessoa, Brazil
In an international context where the global capitalist crisis is increasingly affecting European countries, especially in the Mediterranean region, the only response from governments has been to implement the usual austerity measures. But austerity—tried and tested in other parts of the world—has, yet again, not only failed to regenerate economies, it has also led to further impoverishment, structural unemployment, marginalization, and insecurity for the majority who must work to earn a living. In response, large protest movements have begun to emerge in the “developed” countries, where the effects of the crisis are being felt the most. These movements underscore the need for changes in the economy’s management—changes that not only contemplate the welfare of workers, but that also assure workers’ management of the economy.
In the so-called “developing” countries—particularly in Latin America—social movements, people’s organizations, and labor movements have been spearheading self-managed organizations at a grassroots level for some time now. We can think of, for example, the worker-recuperated enterprises in various South American countries, or other forms of workers’ control, both urban and rural. In some instances, these movements have gained recognition and support from governments, bringing into question the role of the state and the relationship between state power and the autonomy of popular movements. On the one hand, the state can potentially facilitate the processes of workers’ control. On the other hand, it can be seen as an antagonistic instrument of traditional power with the potential to limit the autonomy of self-managed organizations.
Commons Charters: From The Great Lakes to Madrid, and Reclaiming a Common(s), NYC, Feb. 14, 2013
When: Thursday February 14th 6:00pm
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: Free and open to all
We would like to invite everyone to a discussion and evening organized
with our friends from Making Worlds.
The event builds upon existing discussions that we have each organized
over the last few years around the common(s) and more recent discussions
in which we have tried to imagine collectively different modes of pairing
struggle and antagonism to capitalism with formal/informal processes of
mutual aid, collective care and cultivation of the common(s).
The questions are basic ones concerning the processes of destruction or
privatization of the basic premises of life (food, water, air, genes,
seeds, ideas, language, learning, land, ...) and include the material
needs of being able to collectively reproduce our lives in struggle. They
also revolve around the capacity of this change in climate (both
ecologically and socio-politically) we are living through to posit or
propose alternatives to state (public?) or corporate (private?) control of