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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.
The ICTs-and-Society Network has published its 2015 call: ICTS 2015. The Summit is also the ICTS 2015 (besides FIS 2015, ICPI 2015 and DTMD 2015).
It’s all about the commons – the Internet as a commons. The call for papers lists more than 20 sub-topics. The main questions are: “What are the main challenges that the Internet and social media are facing in capitalism today? What potentials for an alternative, commonist Internet are there? What are existing hindrances for such an Internet? What is the relationship of power structures, protest movements, societal developments, struggles, radical reforms, etc. to the Internet? How can critical political economy and critical theory best study the Internet and social media today?”
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!
Over the past few years, European social movements have struggled to find new ways of cooperating and connecting in order to oppose the verticalization of European governance. Following the crash of 2008, in fact, a regime of austerity, that is severe cuts to public spending, has gone together with a remodulation of modes of welfare and work inspired by the German model. This model has seen the massive introduction of part-time, badly paid jobs (the so called mini-jobs ) which are part of a system of workfare where the state makes sure that everybody is forced to accept whatever job available through a new capillary control of recipients’ lives. While the European Central Bank like the Federal Reserve has deployed quantitative easing, and inundated the financial system with money, none of this has effectively gone into the creation of new jobs, into expanding credit to consumers and business or to essential public services. The process of complete precarization of labor and increasing accumulation of wealth is thus unfolding along the lines of a geographical and ethnic division of labor which sees the European Union divided between centre and periphery, North and South, East and West with war pressing in on its Eastern and Southern borders.
The verticalization of European governance has thus reinforced a whole series of trends: ‘the attack on waged labor, the compression of union rights, the dequalification and privatisation of learning and research, the enclosure of common goods, a new government of labor mobility and the exploitation of migrant labor’ (http://www.autistici.org/strikemeeting/). These considerations are central to the formation of a transnational space of action for social movements aiming to reverse the tide of complete neoliberalization of Europe and opening onto the global level as the only adequate dimension of struggle.
Mücadelelerden mücadelelere bir çağrı: barınma ve kent hakkı için müşterekler için; güvencesiz emeğe ve neoliberal kentleşmeye, savaş ve devlet militarizmine karşı ve yurttaşlık hakkı ve sığınmacılık özgürlüğü için yerel ve küresel mücadeleleri bağlayabilecek örgüt pratiklerini geliştirelim.
“Üçüncüsü yapılacak Agora99’u 2015’te İstanbul’da düzenleyelim!”
25 Ekim’de İstanbul’da düzenlenecek ön buluşma için forumlara ve ağlara çağrımızdır.
Dünya, 2011 yılından itibaren, gerçek anlamda ulusları aşan ve küresel ölçeğe erişen bir taban ayaklanmaları dalgasına tanıklık etmiştir. Tunus, Mısır, İzlanda, Yunanistan, İspanya, İsrail, Şili, İngiltere, ABD, Türkiye, Brezilya ve diğer birçok yerde insanlar adaletsizlik ve eşitsizliği protesto etmek ve demokrasi uğruna sokaklara dökülmüştür. Yıllardır süregelen mücadeleler yeni bir görünürlük kazanmış ve yeni hareketler ve mücadeleler vücut bulmuştur.
Yerel ölçekteki çeşitli meselelerin tetiklediği bu ayaklanmalar ilk bakışta birbirinden kopuk ve eşzamanlı olmayan bir niteliğe sahipmiş gibi görünebilir. Ancak, öz-örgütlenme, bağlantı ve yataylık bu ayaklanmaların ortak özelliği olmuştur: hepsi de demokratik karar almanın yeni biçimlerini uyguluyor ve lidersizlik niteliği taşıyor. Hepsi, meclisler, çalışma grupları ve yakınlaşma alanları aracılığıyla örgütleniyor ve sosyal medya zemininde ve çevrimiçi buluşmalarla kitlesel katılıma olanak sağlıyorlar.
Aynı zamanda, yerelliğin ve ulusların ötesine geçerek grupları, hareketleri ve bireyleri bölgesel, ulusal ve enternasyonal düzeyde birbirine yaklaştıran bağlar, ayaklanmaların yayılmasına ve devam etmesine ve dünyanın birçok yerinde, insanlık değerlerine dayalı ağların kurulmasına olanak sağlamıştır. Büyük meclisler öz-düşünme ve fikir teatisi imkânlarını ortaya çıkarmıştır.
Bunlardan biri de Agora99 olmuştur.
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?
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.
We’ve recently featured Coopfunding, an Open-Sourced crowdfunding platform designed to “…promote the financing of projects with a social, self managed and cooperative nature.” Today we present a guest article by Enric Duran, one of the developers behind Coopfunding and its parent-project, the Catalan Integral Cooperative, explaining the reasons that led to the creation of Coopfunding. This article was originally published in Radi.MS
The expansion of crowdfunding in the last few years has been quite vertiginous.
Hundreds of projects have been able to get off the ground around the world coming from very different backgrounds but united in the aim of creating a link between donors and the projects they sponsor.
Crowdfunding, for its practicality and usefulness, has expanded without any ideological limitation and while it served to finance many social projects it has also supported more conventional initiatives based on consumerism and business as meant in the capitalist system.
In this way, more traditional fund raising events like benefit gigs and have been overlooked, and we should take in to account that with the crowdfunding model we are at risk of leaving the financing of social initiative in the hands of unscrupulous business which, through the management of crowdfunding platforms, are making the same profit that any middle man would make in an ordinary business transaction, through the charge of commissions which range between 5% and 10% of the donations received. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indygogo have already made profits in the millions region.
we are at risk of leaving the financing of social initiative in the hands of third party business
Also, there are several projects which are managed by cooperatives which nevertheless still charge a 5% fee on donations in order to support themselves, like Goteo.org, managed on mainland Spain by a foundation dedicated to the expansion of common good, funditaly.it, a recent cooperative project and also a foundation in Veezuela called www.causasolidaria.com.
When: 10:00, 14 May 2014
Preparatory and test call for planning the ‘Organizing digital labour & digital labour organizing’ workshop. The actual workshop is being planned to take place in Berlin between 23-25 May 2014, during Labour Start‘s 5. Global Solidarity Conference.
To open up the preparation process for the workshop as wide as possible and to allow those interested online participants to test and practice with the online system we will be using, we will be making several test conference calls in coming days. The first call will take place on Wednesday 14 May, between 10.00 am and 15.00 pm [UK time], so wider global participation will be possible during the day.
The draft description of the workshop, which we be taken as the starting point, can be found at ‘Union Upgrading’ Group Wiki created on Organizing Network -which we will be testing and using to document the workshop and the preperation, and to take the minutes. If you like to participate the preparatory call, and the workshop itself please add your name, affiliation, contact information, and any ideas or suggestion of yours on the wiki and click on ‘Save’. In order to be able to use all the functions of the Organizing Network, for instance the wiki, you will need to register first. Please read the user guide for the ON here.
The test call is open to all unionists, labour organizers, social justice activists, free information and knowledge [h]activists, researchers who are interested in and experienced on the topic. The call is especially set up for those who wish to actively collaborate in the preparation of the content of the workshop, and who needs to practice with the digital tools we will be using.
This wiki is a meta-strike developing space created by GNUnion. Inviting interested digital and analog workers, labour and union activists to use it for inventing, initiating and networganising collective hactions to target Meta-Data abuses of the Capital. Besides PRISM contractors, there is a need to forge class struggle against digital capitalists of Amazon.com, Huffington Post, and others who undermines human dignity and rights, gained after hundereds of years fighting back!
*Operation PRISM Knock-out!
Objective: To stop PRISM contractors abusing people and data, and promote an escape route to FLOSS alternatives
Targets: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, Skype, Yahoo
Twitter: GNUnion – One Big Mesh Network
*Operation Mechanical Jurk
Objective: developing direct hacktion operation targeting Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk mass-exploitative model
This interview with Dmytri Kleiner, conducted by KMO for his C-Realm Podcast, was transcripted by Guerrilla Translation at KMO’s request. The audio was, unfortunately, unusable for the podcast because of background noise, but the resulting interview was too good to not to share. The following is re-posted from the C-Realm blog.
KMO: You are listening to the C-Realm Podcast, I am your host, KMO, and I’m speaking with Dmytri Kleiner, venture capitalist and miscommunications technologist. Dmytri, welcome to the C-Realm Podcast.
Dmytri: Thank you, but that’s “venture communist.”
Did I say “capitalist?”
It’s an easy mistake.
You know, I’ve read the phrase “venture communist” several times in the past few hours in preparing for this interview, and yeah… it just rolled out “venture capitalist,” didn’t it?
So, Dmytri Kleiner, “Venture Communist” – what does that mean?
Well, it’s sort of the name of a research project I started awhile ago. My background comes from the social justice movement of the 90s. I was part of some of the kinds of hacker groups that eventually became things like Indymedia, and stuff that we called technology affinity groups. At that time there was something going on called the dotcom boom, that you probably remember. A lot of us who were part of these hacker affinity groups supporting activist projects were working for these dotcoms.
The below are Google Hangout videos taken from the USI’s website:
i. Hack the Union from US interviews with Andrew of Union Solidarity International: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4U4FNAkZtSc
ii. A small step for unions, but a giant step for global labour
This following link is to a nice article by Walton Patland introducing the ON platform:
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.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising that took place the same day that NAFTA got into effect. With the presence of thousands of students attending the Zapatista Freedom School from all over the world in December and January (including some of our fellows in Occupy Wall Street), the Tsotsil Mayan female Indian Comandanta Hortencia read a message on behalf of all the Zapatista Autonomous Communities. “Twenty years ago, we had nothing. We now have our own hospitals, schools and democratic governments. In our towns and liberated territories, the bad politicians no longer have power, and the political parties can no longer manipulate us. Twenty years ago, we threw to the garbage basket all the political parties, and we keep improving our heath care, education and political system. We are certain that there is still a long way to go, but we will keep making progress (…) This is a true cleansing war against the original inhabitants, the Indians – there are dozens of thousands of soldiers occupying the lands that belong to us. In spite of so much evil we learned to survive and resist in an organized way. We are sharing our experience and preparing our young people to resist. We are here and we will stay here.”
Happy anniversary EZLN!
Happy and Rebellious New Year Occupy!