Draft text in-progress (post being updated)
Production of revolutionary (emancipatory-liberating) subject and subject of revolutionary (emancipatory-liberating) production Continue reading
After its launch yesterday, on 1 May 2015, we are happy to announce that the Networked Labour University (ProletKult 2.0) and its sister projects; co-operations research unit NetworkedLabour.net (http://www.networkedlabour.net/), Global Networked Labour Union (https://gnunion.wordpress.com/), and Social Network Unionism Project (http://www.snuproject.wordpress.com/) are accepting donations in Faircoin to following wallet address: fSUf2gJmo4G2nr7AwbjWFyXMjDgA5D4o9g
For more information on FairCoin and our sister network Fair.coop’ donation campaign visit: https://fair.coop/faircoop-donates-100-000-faircoins/
By Enzo Rossi (Political Science) & Dan Hassler-Forest (English)
In Friday’s issue of De Volkskrant, Arthur Schram argues that all is well with the managerial university. Colleagues and students in the Maagdenhuis should just abandon their left-wing romanticism and get down to churning out the next batch of degrees, papers, or whatever they are told to produce. So let’s take a closer look at his arguments, of which we can discern two: (i) rendementsdenken mandates whatever restructuring it requires, and (ii) professional managers are the best judges of that.
The first argument trades on the ambiguity of the term rendementsdenken. The term is stretched over a continuum that runs from “balancing your books” to “maximizing your profits”. Hardly anyone disagrees with the former, and hardly anyone who works or studies at a university thinks that it should be run like a corporation, to enrich shareholders or management. In fact, hardly anyone thinks that way about any other kind of public service—such as health care and judiciary workers, for instance.
Together we build a Commons Humanity
Global Networked Labour Union seeks your broadest support for the network of emancipatory projects we have been building in collaboration with others. You can give us an hand in any way that you could. Most preferably by joining your labour, heart and mind with us, so that we would walk together towards a commons humanity in dignity, overcoming all kinds of alienation in and between peoples and societies.
In case you like to support our work financially, the amount you
donate will be used to cover the project related costs. Amount over
due will be shared with and donated to sister communities that are
developing similar projects like ours and working for all of us by
commoning the humanity.
Hackers, makers, workers, farmers, designers, squatters, and all communities GNUnite in stitching One Big Mesh Network for the Emancipation of Labour and the Commons
On the Creative Question – Nine Theses
By Geert Lovink, Sebastian Olma and Ned Rossiter
‘Culture attracts the worst impulses of the moneyed, it has no honor, it begs to be suburbanized and corrupted’. ― Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’. ― Oscar Wilde
1. Goodbye to Creative Industries
A creepy discourse on creativity has captured cultural and economic policy. Creativity invokes a certain pharmacological numbness among its spruikers – a special sub-species entirely unaware of how far removed their version of creativity is from radical invention and social transformation. Their claims around the science of economy are little more than a shoddy con. While ‘creativity’ is increasingly seen as a main driver of economic development, the permanent reference to creative classes, creative cities, creative industries, creative innovations and so on has rendered the notion all but meaningless. Degraded to a commercial and political marketing tool, the semantic content of creativity has been reduced to an insipid spread of happy homogeneity – including the right amount of TED-styled fringe misfits and subcultures – that can be bureaucratically regulated and ‘valorized’. To this rhetoric corresponds a catalogue of ‘sectors’ and ‘clusters’ labelled as creative industries: a radically disciplined and ordered subdomain of the economy, a domesticated creative commons where ‘innovators’ and ‘creatives’ harmoniously co-mingle and develop their auto-predictive ‘disruptions’ of self-quantification, sharing and gamification. Conflict is anathema to the delicate sensibilities of personas trading in creative consultancy.
2. Welcome to the Creative Question
The creative question has replaced the social question. In the 20th century the consequences and problems of industrial capitalism found a temporary solution in the class compromise of the welfare state. In digital capitalism we have to address the social question in terms of the creative question: what is today’s source of value and who owns it? We need to turn the pompous, meaningless chatter on creativity into a debate on how to come out on the positive side of the digital pharmakon (the nuanced combination of all things good and evil). To those who tell you ‘how we are going to live twenty years from now’, shout them down with ideas of how you want to live in twenty years!
Below text is an excpert from unpublished and unedited 2012 article Another World, Now! Coming of the Transnational REvolutions and the P2P Prince.
The modern prince, the myth-prince, cannot be a real person, a concrete individual. It can only be an organism, a complex element of society in which a collective will, which has already been recognised and has to some extent asserted itself in action, begins to take concrete form. (A. Gramsci)
Italian political activist and theorist Antonio Gramsci’s core concepts like hegemony, organic crisis, historic bloc, war of position and war of manoeuvre are central to our understanding of today’s complex global capitalist system as well as the catastrophic changes that are currently taking place in it. Referring to the original concept developed by Gramsci, global political economy theorist Stephen Gill describes the 2008 global financial turmoil as the manifestation of an organic crisis at the global level.  We can also read the outcomes of the global organic crisis following another neo-Gramscian theorist Robert Cox as a mixture of three scenarios he describes. First one is a global (military) Keynesian recovery being pushed by the West. Regional wars moving from the periphery to the centre involving massive destruction of lives, cities and the nature, as we witness it happening since the 9/11. The second scenario is the rise of global fascism in tandem with the regional wars. This has also been happening, especially increasingly in the centre, since 2007; highlighting the race to the bottom caused by the strengthening of totalitarian forms of capitalism at the main contenders like China, Russia and India. Finally and the last scenario is accompanying transnational revolutions, like the uprisings in the northern Africa, Americas and Europe also happening.
What brought humanity to this point is not a secret and also made clear by many thinkers, intellectuals, and activists. The above mentioned article by Gill is only one of the public records. It is very clear however where we have to drive history as the humanity, the third option: Transnational revolutions. Again, following Gramsci and Gill, we can think of the realisation of the transnational revolutions in relation to the ‘Prince’. For his time Gramsci thought of it as the collective subjectivity which will give the moral leadership to a wider counter-hegemonic historic bloc, and shape the form and content of the communist revolution in a national context. And it was the communist part of the working class. Gill referred to the anti- and alter-globalisation movement. Continue reading
Degrowth will only be possible by changing the artificial scarcity-based design practices and engineering of the for-profit sector and by removing the incentive to externalize the true production costs in terms of matter and energy. A commons-oriented approach should combine global open design based in communities, local on-demand distributed manufacturing, and the use of renewable distributed energy. Along with changes in governance and ownership, it can contribute to a global phase transition.
Recorded at the 4th International Degrowth Conference 2014 in Leipzig Germany
Speaker Michel Bauwens
You can find more videos from the Extra Environmentalist Livestream from DeGrowth 2014 on their Youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/xenvironmental/videos
I. Constructing an identity of the commons movement
The Hegelian distinction between the thing-in-itself and, the thing-conscious-of-itself turned out the be our starting point. This distinction also applies to (social/political) movements. Hence, there is a need to consciously carve out the core identity of a commons movement (a crucial task before approaching other movements). Given that ECC participants are not the commons movement (see endnote), we can’t simply „declare“ or „construct“ this identity; we can only support its evolution by serving as a platform enabling all parts of the movement to become visible to each other and to the whole.
Respecting diversity is a key principle in the co-construction of a commons-identity (remember: there is no blueprint, nor panacea!). That is, the commons/p2p movement is held together by weak ties among a diversity of actors. The movement is indeed an ecology of different degrees and forms of commitment, sensitivities and ways of approaching the commons. Hence, a core identity of the commons ‘movement’ must be ‘strategically ambiguous enough’ so as to accommodate this enormous variety and to foster the crystallization of the commons.
What are the problems afflicting all existing commons? (e.g. power relations)
What happens outside of commons (e.g., climate crisis)?
How are commons going to be relevant for responding to the various crisis and challenges?
However, working on a movement and personal identity goes hand in hand with doing commons/commoning. That is: We have to work in parallel on different tracks. (see below)
Information on different commons-related issues is abundant. We are pretty well informed already, but there is still a need to acknowledge the different positions and backgrounds we are coming from on the commons agenda. We especially need to foreground issues of equity, gender and global power relations/geopolitics. And, more than information we need to develop „collective sensing organs“, for mass communication (but not a centrally managed organ!). This will be key to create a common narrative as well as diverse commons narratives.
How to build a more coordinated commons communication strategy to support the further cristalization of a commons movement?
Commons at the 4th.International Degrowth Conference -> Let’s make them visible.
This is an uncomplete collection of commons-related events at the 4th. international degrowth conference in Leipzig, which will start on September 2. There will be an enourmous number of parallel events, sessions and workshops during the 3 main conference days. So, if you want to find commons-related events, the following might be useful for you. We gathered information in English and German for panels and workshops prepared by commoners or where commoners participate. Moreover, You are also invited to one (or two?) network meetings of commoners.
We are thrilled, that the Degrowth-Conference goes beyond the degrowth movement and opens a space to discuss commonalities and differences with other movements. So,let’s make the commons visible at the conference and use this awesome opportunity to plan for our next steps. May be in a not so far future, the Commons Movement will organize a movement congress as well. Leipzig might be an example.
Remember, this collection is uncomplete, so: if you are a commoner and offer an event/ workshop etc at the degrowth conference, please add it to this list (you may use the comments or this pad: https://titanpad.com/Gjuw2Jl2zQ)
Thank you! And please spread the word. Share this information with all commoners who will be present in Leipzig.
Perhaps, the most important point is, that we’ve reserved a room for an informal networking meeting among commoners from all over the world: on Thursday September 4, at 2:30 pm, Room S 215 (see below)
The date is a bit odd, because it is parallel to the big convergence panel + other commons related sessions, but we can and should organize another informal meeting towards A COMMONS MOVEMENT CONGRESS IN 2016 on Thursday night or Friday. Suggestions welcome. Who takes the lead? -> mail to: Silke.Helfrich@gmx.de or via one of the commons/commoning mailing lists.
We will not wait for the appointments of the rulers – we will set our own agenda. Even if it will be 2015 before the ECB holds its hors d’oeurve event of prominent faces to inaugurate its new tower, Blockupy will be in Frankfurt this fall.
Now, after the “May of Solidarity” across Europe and before the blockade of the ECB inauguration next year, is the right time: we will discuss, we will bring together our struggles and make plans. We will meet to music, with a beer, at a film. And, of course, we will be present in those places where we disrupt normal activities: on the streets, over the fence.
Blockupy – we refuse to adapt! “Austerity kills!” still applies. The rulers are intensifying their structural measures, even if they are more “softly” packed. They are transforming the crisis politics of the Troika into “business as usual” – mini-jobs, Hartz-IV, authoritarian policies and social cuts, racist deportations, militarized borders, and privatization of public goods, ruined healthcare systems, appear to be the answer to unemployment, precarity and nationalist reflexes. The crisis should become a form of life…
Democracy comes from our many struggles. Blockupy attempts, together with others, to create a platform in Europe at a slow moment – against austerity and exploitation, for solidarity beyond borders. Europe is not a question of passport or origins for Blockupy – Europe is the region in which we are starting to struggle together. We are expressing a collective refusal of all nationalist, sexist and racist “crisis solutions”.
#talk – and listen/what to do. Together in workshops, podium discussions and assemblies we want to ask questions that we can answer in collective action: how do we find the cracks in the capitalist cement? How do we guarantee an unconditional welcome to all refugees and migrations? How do we take back our cities, which are selling themselves? How can we find each other so as to live and work with dignity? We will talk about what we must do, what we want to do, to develop alternatives, to bring our struggles together and become stronger.
#dance – grooves and resonances. The festival will bring a different light to many places in the city – spaces of self-managed culture, projects of other ways of living and taking residence, pubs and cafes, theatre, cinema or bookshops. We will met, listen, confuse and explain. We will dance, eavesdrop and be in the squares. A sustainable politics of protest cannot abstain from bringing disorder and confusion to the ruling order.
From now on, a concrete third way that is different from both statism and neoliberalism, does exist and can be discussed.
I was director of the FLOK research team, [which in late June finished up its work sponsored by the government of Ecuador to “fundamentally re-imagine” the country based on the principles of the commons]. Many people have asked about my assessment of the results of the process. The FLOK process was a complex process and the assessment can only be complex as well.
One of the first questions, and critiques, is about the relationship with the government itself.
We are living in an exceptional time that demands brave, creative initiatives. If we are able to imagine a different city, we will have the power to transform it.”
Almost 80 years later, the City Hall of Barcelona sells a very different dream to the world. An over-developed,highly commercialized Barcelona that has become a theme park for tourists, who blissfully wander the streets of the charming metropolis, unaware of the harsh difficulties many of its citizens are actually going through. The clash between those two Barcelonas is becoming increasingly intolerable, as seen in the recent struggles over the eviction of self-organized community squat/centers such as Can Vies, among others.
However, that spirit Orwell once sensed in Barcelona never really died. The Spanish revolutionaries of today may not be fighting fascism with weapons, but they are fighting neoliberalism with real democracy. That’s what the 15-M movement is all about, a movement that is now evolving into various efforts to take people’s assemblies from the streets to the political institutions. At a national level, the most relevant are Movimiento por la Democracia, Partido X and Podemos, whose front man Pablo Iglesias was chosen by the Confederal Group of the United Left (GUE) as a candidate for the Presidency of the European Parliament, no less! Catalonia also has its own bottom-up political organizations, such as Procés Constituent (with its charismatic leader, Teresa Forcades) and CUP, which already has three representatives in the Catalan Parliament.
The event will occur during a whole week and it will be launched on the 1st of June, Sunday, with a Google hangout (the starting time is 8:00AM EDT, 2:00PM CEST,
During the hangout – artists, researchers, thinkers, theorists, performers, students – will share visions and ideas about the future of education, nurturing an exchange of multidisciplinary opinions and experiences from all over the world. To make sure to be present at the hangout, just follow the link that will be provided on theevent pagetwo hours before the starting time of the live discussion.
During the following days after the first hangout, we would like to continue our discussions VIA social media and other ways, in the hopes of improving all and any parties involved.
The event culminates on the 7th June with another final hangout.
Join this 1 week conversation dedicated to the future of education!
The event is supported by:
All the fists of the world are GNUniting!
First Brainstorm – Online Meeting This Sunday at 13.00 PM GMT
We are the workers whose free labour and privacy has been stolen, and sold
for greed! We have been abused, spied on and betrayed constantly. Before
this massive exploitation and surveillance machine turns into a global
apparatus in the hands of fascism, being operationalized for direct
oppression, we have to unite our fists and strike back!
This May Day is the time… How and what is not decided yet, there are
initial ideas but much is needed to put the global collective intelligence
at work to defend our and our children’s rights and dignity! Join us this
Sunday and bring your most free, creative, powerful and peaceful ideas and
dreams along… We did beat Freon, Caesars, Barons, Kings, Emperors,
Merchants, Industrial Capitalists and Nazis in the past, we can beat the
TNCs, CEOs and 1% as well!
We call all the workers, hackers, makers, farmers, artists, indignant and
outraged to GNUnite all their constructive capacity around the most
spectacular free libre and open sourced swarm to fight back and win!
Hasta la Siempre Victoria!
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/593164267417330/
HashTags: #WREF, #www
#www call: http://gnunion.wordpress.com/www/
Hosted by GNUnion – One Big Meshwork for All the Working People
Again, 2014 will be full of struggles, actions and mobilisations for a real global change. This Mumble call will be about starting a new series of forums and assemblies that are open to all individuals who will able to make independent efforts from any corporate, state and NGO funded agenda and; who could be exactly themselves when changing the world, when getting together, discussing and collaborating with others; either as a part of a collective, group, network or individually, and by using either online, or face to face means, or both.
Global Networked Labour Union, GNUnion – One Big Mesh Network, is the released 1.0 Beta version of new generation, free to join, borderless worker self-organisation, a work in progress. Its main ispiration is the history, struggle and experiences of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) on the one hand, and free-libre, and open source software GNU/Linux, on the other.
GNUnion is also inspired by comrades standing against global capitalism in women, Lgbt, immigrant, environmental and social justice movements, Zapatistas, anti & alter golobalisation movements, social forums, free knowledge- information and culture movements; as part of organisations like WikilLeaks, Caos Computer Club, MayFirst People Link, or of recent wave of digital and real world uprisings Anonymous, 15M, Occupy, Gezi and others.
“What can we do to change things?” It’s hard to avoid this issue when considering the sad state of our societies …
Let us quickly recall some elements in explaining the genealogy of this political crisis.
Poverty proceeds from a dialectic that Marx revealed diligently: a minority monopolizes wealth at the expense of a majority that nevertheless embodies the lifeblood of a society. This majority progressively structured by the aggregate of individual interests, becomes powerless before the interpenetration of financial monopolies.
And yet if there is a way out of this debacle, it is in our collective strength, particularly when arranged in a synergistic manner.
This is what we think.
municipality trucks entering the ODTÜ forest
Since most of the students are in vacation due to 9-day holiday and cannot resist, Ankara Municipality grasps the opportunity and starts to cut down the trees in order to build a highway. Despite an ongoing judiciary process, AKP’s Ankara Municipality is keen on having a-fait-accompli strike at the forest.
A video from the scene:
‘ODTÜ does not approve the midnight raid nor consider it a good-willed approach. What’s been done is entirely illegal,’ Ahmet Acar said
Demonstrators gathered near ODTÜ to protest the night-time construction raid through planting new trees where they had been cut down…