Against the Logistics of Exploitation (Stockholm Meeting, Nov 23-25) | Transnational Social Strike Platform

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#Googlewalkout employee interviews | Vox

 

Nearly 17,000 Google employees walked off the job yesterday.

The Google walkout was about sexual harassment as well as a lack of transparency and accountability at the company, employees said.

Google employees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, join a worldwide walkout in protest of company policies on sexual harassment.
Lane Turner/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Nearly 17,000 Google employees walked off the job yesterday as part of a massive, worldwide protest against the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment cases.

The walkout, which was organized by seven Google employees, was a response to a New York Times report on the multimillion-dollar payouts offered to high-level employees who had been accused of sexual misconduct. Some protesters carried signs that read, “Happy to quit for $90m,” a reference to the exit package Google gave Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, who was forced to leave the company in 2014 after an employee accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him. “What do I do at Google? I work hard every day so the company can afford $90,000,000 payouts to execs who sexually harass my coworkers,” read another.

It was also an opportunity for Google employees — who have repeatedly clashed with senior management on a number of topics, from censorship in China to the company’s role in government projects — to put forth a vision for a better, more equitable company.

“A company is nothing without its workers,” the organizers wrote in a piece for the Cut. “From the moment we start at Google, we’re told that we aren’t just employees; we’re owners. Every person who walked out today is an owner, and the owners say: Time’s up.”

Some of the employees who chose to speak with me about why they protested asked to be referred to by a pseudonym and to not specify which campus they work at, but felt that it was important to come forward. Two of the three people who agreed to speak with me are men, as are nearly 70 percent of all Google employees, according to the company’s annual diversity report.

All of them emphasized that despite enjoying their jobs, they felt responsible for creating an environment where anyone could thrive, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, and where no one was afraid to report harassment or assault. They also referred to past Google controversies, like the sexual harassment reported by former Google software engineer Kelly Ellis, who quit the company in 2014 because of its “sexist culture”; and the fact that internal company communications, including a video from an all-hands meeting, were leaked to the right-wing website Breitbart.

Despite the massive size of the protests and the fact that Google sanctioned the walkout, support for it wasn’t universal. One employee told me that there were “people in the company who are against the walkout” and disagree with the organizers’ demands. (It’s worth noting that James Damore, the author of an “anti-diversity” manifesto who was fired in 2017, had plenty of ideological allies at the company.) Those who did participate in the walkout, though, view it as a necessary step in the ongoing fight toward equity and transparency at one of the world’s biggest companies.

Their responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.

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Global Climate March on December 8: Climate Alarm

A proposition of international protest from France after the big succes of
the march for the climate in september 8 (more than 130 000 people) and
october 13:
https://www.france24.com/en/20181013-france-tens-thousands-march-demand-action-climate-change

The main platform calling is “It Is Still Time” https://ilestencoretemps.fr/

Facebook event
https://www.facebook.com/events/340482030052960/

Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1630479090389945/

Facebook group for local organizators
https://www.facebook.com/groups/434826327041047/

Discord chat
https://discordapp.com/invite/44RPdNs?fbclid=IwAR2c5KGu8xGXu6NH6Pnu3OehulYchmIpeqjSPKwTihvr50awVA16j-zIurE

34 events in France
Paris : https://www.facebook.com/events/340482030052960/
Albi : https://www.facebook.com/events/377405346158161/
Amiens : https://www.facebook.com/events/632419823827121/
Angers : https://www.facebook.com/events/342163226551570/
Angouleme : https://www.facebook.com/events/963243080528752/
Argenteuil : https://www.facebook.com/events/1838096812906264/
Aubenas : https://www.facebook.com/events/1083895785103950/
Auxerre : https://www.facebook.com/events/2293210097374509/
Blois : https://www.facebook.com/events/485364671949397/
Bordeaux : https://www.facebook.com/events/346142159473427/
Boulogne Sur Mer : https://www.facebook.com/events/577558846008294/
Bourg en Bresse : https://www.facebook.com/events/2156001251077038/
Charleville Mezières : https://www.facebook.com/events/336834623749070/
Grenoble : https://www.facebook.com/events/2386206288273423/
La Rochelle : https://www.facebook.com/events/257898164916662/
Marseille : https://www.facebook.com/events/1877597305650005/
Montélimar : https://www.facebook.com/events/1366722196798290/
Montpellier : https://www.facebook.com/events/940904046108417/
Moulins : https://www.facebook.com/events/1417096901726777/
Mulhouse : https://www.facebook.com/events/1961680483910423/
Nice : https://www.facebook.com/events/290963651746730/
Orchies : https://www.facebook.com/events/1838096812906264/
Rennes : https://www.facebook.com/events/324248818129039/
Roanne : https://www.facebook.com/events/908550399341288/
Saint Die : https://www.facebook.com/events/329085477671506/
Saintes : https://www.facebook.com/events/1967374956691053/
Saint Etienne : https://www.facebook.com/events/2124039551257537/
Saint Malo : https://www.facebook.com/events/310182309799302/
Senlis : https://www.facebook.com/events/486467295181427/
Tarbes : https://www.facebook.com/events/2165308190168696/
Toulon : https://www.facebook.com/events/2679769178915433/
Toulouse : https://www.facebook.com/events/259970081328765/
Uzès : https://www.facebook.com/events/2425259121027537/
Vannes : https://www.facebook.com/events/108600473425370/

Thousands march across France to demand climate action

© François Guillot, AFP | More than 14,500 people marched against climate change in Paris on October 13, 2018

Tens of thousands of people marched in Paris and other major cities across France on Saturday to call for greater action on climate change.

Around 80 demonstrations were scheduled to be held nationwide on Saturday, from the northern city of Lille to Marseille, in the south of France.

The protests came a week after after an alarming United Nations report calling for urgent global action to avoid a climate catastrophe.

In Paris, an estimated 14,500 people marched from the central Opéra district to the historic Place de la République, according to the Occurrence research institute. The Paris police put the number much higher at 18,500, while organisers said that 50,000 people had turned out.

The huge crowds brandished colourful banners that read, “Change the system, not the climate” and “#ThereIsStillTime”.

An estimated 10,000 people took to the streets in eastern city of Lyon, while between 2,000 to 3,500 marched in southwestern Bordeaux. In Lille, the protest drew “more than 3,000”, according to police.

“The public outrage is justified because so many warnings are being ignored by governments around the world,” Rajendra Shende, chairman of the environmental organisation TERRE, told FRANCE 24.

The last major climate change protest in France – which drew an estimated 115,000 people nationwide, according to organisers – was held on September 8, a little more than a week after the country’s former environment minister Nicolas Hulot resigned from office, disappointed over the lack of progress on climate change and other issues.

Hulot was succeeded by François de Rugy, who hailed Saturday’s turnout as a “call to action”.

“I applaud those who marched for the climate this afternoon across France. Everyone’s mobilisation is a call to action!” he tweeted.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

https://www.france24.com/en/20181013-france-tens-thousands-march-demand-action-climate-change

Proletkult (is back!), the fiction, by the Italian collective Wu Ming | via Noemi Ghetti

“Bogdanov imagined pulling out his revolver and shooting his heart. Then he would have tied the anchor to the corpse, he would have knocked it overboard, and he would have thrown the gun behind his body. The stories of Leonid Voloch would be lost forever at the bottom of the gulf. His journey on the socialist planet would have died with him. A philosophical story. A novel of science and fantasy that no one would ever read “.

The book

Moscow, 1927. Let your stories mingle with reality to the point where you come to life: is not this the secret dream of every narrator? This is what happens to Aleksandr Bogdanov, writer of science fiction, but also revolutionary, scientist and philosopher. While preparations are under way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution and the showdown between Stalin and his opponents is approaching, the author of the famous Red Star receives a visit from a character who seems to have come straight out of the pages of his novel. It is an opportunity to retrace the steps of a life lived on the edge of the abyss, between insurrections, exile and wars, chasing the ghost of an old lost companion along the way. A search that will deeply shake the convictions of a lifetime. “They head to the exit, passing between the models on display. The different rockets seem to reveal the provenance of their designers. That of Max Valier, South Tyrolean, is a spindle of metal and German will, with two stubby wings, similar to arms, each ending in a pointed missile. The spaceship of Federov is a tin whale, full of mysterious diverticula and extroflexed trumpets, which one imagines to navigate melancholy and Russian to other galaxies. Goddard’s lunar torpedo is a giant, no-frills, pragmatic, and Yankee bullet. The Esnault-Pelterie aircraft are butterflies of French elegance, while the four-stage rocket engine with a double reaction engine, of the Italian Gussalli, is baroque from the name ».

 

Original Italian text follows (above is Google translated)

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The Class Strikes Back Self-Organised Workers’ Struggles in the Twenty-First Century

The Class Strikes Back

Series: Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume: 150

The Class Strikes Back examines a number of radical, twenty-first-century workers’ struggles. These struggles are characterised by a different kind of unionism and solidarity, arising out of new kinds of labour conditions and responsive to new kinds of social and economic marginalisation. The essays in the collection demonstrate the dramatic growth of syndicalist and autonomist formations and argue for their historical necessity. They show how workers seek to form and join democratic and independent unions that are fundamentally opposed to bureaucratic leadership, compromise, and concessions.

Specific case studies dealing with both the Global South and Global North assess the context of local histories and the spatially and temporally located balance of power, while embedding the struggle in a broader picture of resistance and the fight for emancipation.

Contributors are: Anne Alexander, Dario Azzellini, Mostafa Bassiouny, Antonios Broumas, Anna Curcio, Demet S. Dinler, Kostas Haritakis, Felix Hauf, Elias Ioakimoglou, Mithilesh Kumar, Kari Lydersen, Chiara Milan, Carlos Olaya, Hansi Oostinga, Ranabir Samaddar, Luke Sinwell, Elmar Wigand.

 

Publication Date: 3 January 2018

 

YouTubers Union! | via Felix Stalder

Welcome to the official homepage of the YouTubers Union!

We are a community based movement that fights for the rights of YouTube Creators and Users. Our core demands are:

  • Monetize everyone – Bring back monetization for smaller channels.
  • Disable the bots – At least verified partners have the right to speak to a real person if you plan to remove their channel.
  • Transparent content decisions – Open up direct communication between the censors (“content department”) and the Creators.
  • Pay for the views – Stop using demonetized channels as “bait” to advertise monetized videos. 
  • Stop demonetization as a whole – If a video is in line with your rules, allow ads on an even scale.
  • Equal treatment for all partners – Stop preferring some creators over others. No more “YouTube Preferred”. 
  • Pay according to delivered value – Spread out the ad money over all YouTubers based on audience retention, not on ads next to the content.
  • Clarify the rules – Bring out clear rules with clear examples about what is OK and what is a No-No.

Everyone is welcome to join – we need you! No matter if you are PewDiePie or just a user.
You don’t have to pay any money and you have zero obligations.
You can join us simply be becoming a member of our Facebook group and/or by joining our forum.

United We Stand!
Jörg Sprave
– Initiator –

On  2nd March 2018 Jörg Sprave released a video entitled “Creators, Users… To Arms! Join the YouTubers Union.” The Youtube union was Born, It was created as a way to give Youtube creators a voice. The goal being to encourage, or force Youtube to consider the opinions or creators and recognise their important contribution to the platform. When Jörg first announced his intention to form a union there was a flood of support from large and small creators as well as viewers. The main purpose of the Union is to give creators a voice which is loud enough to matter to Youtube, one that is loud enough that it cannot be ignored.

Jörg has made it clear that he intends to run the Union as a democracy, operating as it’s leader only for as long as it is required to facilitate the Union’s foundation. Afterwards there would be a leadership vote and decisions made on a management structure as the need arises. In the short term it is far more important that we recognise the need to talk with one voice, rather than deciding the specifics of our goals. Jörg did lay out some goals as a starting point in his original video in order to get the ball rolling and he has bee instrumental in both organising the formation of the union and encouraging participation and discussion as we move forward in deciding the next steps to take.

Here is Jörg’s original video

For more information you can check out the Youtubers Union Forum, or the Facebook Group.

‘Nothing to lose but your chains’ – Rethinking Global Labour: After Neoliberalism via Linda Clark

 

RONALDO MUNCK, in conversation with Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick.

Friday 2nd November, 6pm, Room 101, 30 Russell Square, Birkbeck, University of London.

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/downloads/maps/central-london.pdf

Post-financial crisis, many have bemoaned the demise of labour as a political force given relentless globalization and the increased insecurity and precarious nature of employment for many workers. In his new book, Ronaldo Munck challenges this view and heralds a new era in which a new global working class and their organizations can resist capitalism’s onslaught. Join us for a discussion of the challenges and opportunities for workers in the UK and worldwide. Contributions from the floor are encouraged and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

RONALDO MUNCK is Head of Civic Engagement at Dublin City University and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the University of Liverpool and St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia. He has authored or edited more than 30 books on topics related to globalization, international development and social movements, including Contemporary Latin America, Marx 2020: After the Crisis and ‘Rethinking Global Labour’ (Agenda Publishing, 2018)

REBECCA GUMBRELL-MCCORMICK is Senior Lecturer in Management, Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author, with Richard Hyman, of ‘Trade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices.’

 

Rethinking Global Labour was published in September 2018. It is part of the ‘Building Progressive Alternatives’ series from Agenda Publishing.

‘A much needed book … should be read by everyone interested in understanding and building a truly international labour movement.’ – Melanie Simms, University of Glasgow

‘A remarkable book. It is a powerful call for labour to return to its social movement origins and fulfil its historic role in a post-globalized world.’ – Edward Webster, University of Witwatersrand

‘A wide-ranging, multidimensional and thoughtful discussion of the future for the workers of the world.– Goran Therborn, University of Cambridge

From the Introduction:

‘Traditionally, both industrial relations theory and the somewhat pessimistic tradition of Western Marxism have a tendency to view workers as passive and trade unions as purely reactive organizations. Yet all the factors that have led to a decline in labour’s power in developing countries – such as offshoring, restructuring and lean production – have also led to a recomposition of labour on an international scale and the creation of new forms of organization that challenge and resist the worst of capitalism’s onslaught.

Today – as workers, – be they settled or migrants, rural or urban – face an economic order that has had no clear strategy since the 2007-2009 crisis, they are forced increasingly to seek alliances across geographical regions and gender, age, race and ethnic divides. By joining together, not only do they stand to lose their chains but they can also be part of constructing another more humane world.’

The University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. Registration number: 977818 England. Registered Office: 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW.

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The rapid spread of wildcat strikes in China is mapped!

China’s move into a “mixed economy” has created a wealth inequality crisis to rival any nation’s; wildcat workers’ strikes (aided by Young Communist movements) have become increasingly common, though they are not often reported in the news (it helps that Chinese state media and the country’s official censors suppress these reports).

The Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin maintains a map of all these strikes, which you can drill down into for news and other detail. As Naked Capitalism notes, it’s instructional to view the map as a time-series by filtering it by year; looking at the rise and rise of strikes from 2011 to 2018 paints a picture of a country in real upheaval.

You can also export the data from the map in a structured format, which should be very useful for a certain kind of scholar or activist.

via Cory Doctorow’s blog BoingBoing.net 

 

How tech workers became activists, leading a resistance movement that is shaking up Silicon Valley

Employees at Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech companies are discovering their power to bend the trajectory of multibillion-dollar corporations.

When news broke in December 2016 that then president–elect Donald Trump would meet with some of the tech world’s most prominent CEOs—Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet’s Larry Page, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, among them—many tech workers were furious. In an industry that draws talent and ideas from around the world, Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign promises were abhorrent, and just meeting with him seemed like a tacit endorsement of these views.

His promises of mass deportations and a Muslim ban raised additional alarms for some: “If you’re going to target a sector of the population, it requires a database and collecting information on people,” says software engineer Ka-Ping Yee, who worked at the mobile money-transfer platform Wave during the election. “[Databases are] a necessary component of that particular evil.” And who was better poised to build them than the highly skilled engineers of Silicon Valley?

So Yee was heartened when his friend (and fellow Canadian) Leigh Honeywell, then a security manager at Slack, enlisted him to help draft a statement to both the incoming administration and tech leaders that Silicon Valley’s rank and file were not on board. “We were seeing what felt like a new energy in tech-employee organizing,” says Honeywell, who had volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The result was the Never Again pledge, signed by 2,843 engineers, designers, and other workers at companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Referencing the role of IBM’s punch-card technology in Holocaust record-keeping, the signatories vowed not to participate in the creation of any targeted databases for the U.S. government. And they laid out a playbook for worker-led resistance: Raise issues with leadership, whistle-blow, protest, and—as a last resort—resign.

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Gramsci nel cieco carcere degli eretici/Gramsci in the blind prison of the heretics by Noemi Ghetti

Quote

via Gramsci nel cieco carcere degli eretici/Gramsci in the blind prison of the heretics by Noemi Ghetti

Gramsci in the blind prison of the hereticsBy Noemi Ghetti

Abstract

downloadAmong the pages of Quaderni: Prison notebooks, the “Dante notes” on the Canto of the Heretics(Q 4, 78-88) give us access to the human, intellectual and political life of Antonio Gramsci.

In his outline of Quaderni on February 8, 1929, while Mussolini was ratifying the Lateran Treaty, concordat regulating relations between State and Church, the essay on Canto X of Dante’s Inferno was being written throughout 1930-32, after Stalin’s totalitarian revolt and the fracture between Gramsci and his comrades in the prison of Turi.

Uniquely, thanks mainly to the exchange of correspondence which, through Tatiana Schucht and the economist Piero Sraffa, went from Turi to Cambridge to Moscow, the notes were read and commented on by Togliatti precisely while the figure of Gramsci, canonized in April 1931 at the congress in Cologne, was being forced out of the public scene of the party.

Promising philologist and linguist in his university days, Gramsci questions the abstract interpretation of Benedetto Croce, the “secular pope” who by distinguishing structure from poetry, intellectual activity from life, becomes the “leader of revisionism”.

Contemporarily, through the translation of the works of young Marx, we find Gramsci’s analysis of the theoretic roots of Marxism and the crystallization in economisation of the structure and sub-structure of historical materialism.

The analysis of the Canto on the irreducible atheists who refuse the immortality of the soul is a new model of literary criticism: close relations, political passion, theological research and the cultural battle come together in his writing in an extraordinary praxis of prison life which, while his solitude becomes extreme, becomes more and more universal. Political tragedy and personal drama intertwine, like Cavalcanti and Farinata in Dante’s Canto, also in the extraordinary comment by Gramsci, who unveils, through the conflict between Cavalcanti and Dante that constitutes the enigmatic plot of the famous verses, an analogy to his conflict with Togliatti.  Hidden behind the protagonists is Dante’s mortal struggle with Cavalcanti, master and friend, poet and atheist philosopher, and the conversion from love seen as physical passion with which the Italian language was born in 1200, to Christian love. Gramsci returns to the origins of secular Catholic hegemony, directing his studies, Quaderni, on the “question of language” and the history of Italian intellectuals, and laying the foundations for an elaboration of the revolutionary and still modern question of cultural hegemony from the base, as a struggle to express a new secular humanism.

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

 

 

Noemi Ghetti’s writings include literary criticism and historical novels:  Il principe diabolic: La storia di Niccolò Machiavelli (Nuove Edizioni Romane, 1997), translated in 2012 in Slovenian for Založba Ark, and Storie di eroi greci e romani. Dalle ‘Vite parallele’ di Plutarco (II ed. 2008). She writes for daily and weekly magazines (Left, Il Sogno della farfalla, Altritraliani.net, Babylon Post, Cronache laiche, Formiche e Madrelingua, trimonthly supplement in «Pagine della Dante».                                               

She has worked on the transposition of classics for readings and musical dramas: these include Kaspar Hauser based on the memoires of Anselm Von Feuerbach, first presented in 2011 at the National Opera Theatre in Tirana.                                                                                                    

In 2011 she published L’ombra di Cavalcanti e Dante, and in 2014 Gramsci nel cieco carcere degli eretici, both with L’Asino d’oro Edizioni.http://www.lasinodoroedizioni.it/libri/144/gramsci-nel-cieco-carcere-degli-eretici

 

 

James D. White and the Red Hamlet…

Media of Marx and RussiaIn series of books and articles, James D. White have been building a strong and ground-breaking argument regarding Marx, Marxism, Marxist methodology, Marx’s theory of history and how and why his life project of critique of political economy was not competed and remained as “Das Capital”, could not expand on theorising State and World market, and forming an integral whole. With his 2018, Marx and Russia: The Fate of a Doctrine, White culminates his life work and set forward his argument. In doing so he does not only breakes a new ground for the study of Marx and Marxism, Russia and Russian Revolution, White also sets the modern history on its feet, clarifies key misconceptions generated by acts and non-acts of figures like Marx and Engels themselves, and others like Plekhanov, Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky too. He brings back lost figures like Kovalevsky, Sieber, and finally Bogdanov and fixes a major cracks in the history, generated mainly by the official soviet histography, or historians of Marxism, who did not effort and go back to the original sources to uncover stuff and kept reproducing same misconceptions through generations.

The below are James D. White’s 1996 and 2001 books, in which he sets out this argument and presents sea of evidences.

Karl Marx and the Intellectual Origins of Dialectical Materialism (1996)Image result for Red Hamlet Bogdanov
http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php…

Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution (2001)
http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php…

I could not find a pdf version of his 1994 The Russian Revolution 1917-1921: A Short History
(https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Revolution-1917…/…/0340539100)

Here is the link to White’s 2018 Marx and Russia: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/marx-and-russia-9781474224086/
And finally, his forthcoming book, in November 2018, is the first ever written and published intellectual history of Alexander Bogdanov, Red Hamlet: The Life and Ideas of Alexander Bogdanov (https://brill.com/view/title/25179)

Emergence of Transnational Managerial Class | an update

https://graphcommons.com/graphs/64d91469-5f7d-4dba-9204-c8574945948c/embed?fitgraph=true

Tektology is a comprehensive methodology. Upgrading Dialectic and Historical Materialism of Marx and Engels, with Energetics of Mach and Ostwald, it was founded by Lenin’s most important challenger Alexander Bogdanov Malinowski, between the late 1890s and 1920s. It was developed as a radical critic of Taylor’s Scientific Management yet beyond that in order to look at the entire universe and all its properties from an ‘organizational’ and ‘class’ points of view; in order to discover and study common/general patterns and mechanisms in the emergence, transformation, evolution, and demise of all complex elements and systems forming human experience, and rebuilt it in an emancipatory way. Although it is recognized as the forerunner of the modern Cybernetics of Norbert Wiener, and the General Systems Theory of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, some claims that Tektology was going further then the two and foreseeing many later discoveries made in these latter fields, following the developments in the 20th century.

This evolving project aims at visualizing and mapping the connections and dots for a longitudinal analysis of the emergence of a Transnational Managerial Class; which has been emerging form the early 20th century; the time of Tektology and the scientist-intellectuals in the West; from revolutionary Russian intelligentsia turned into Nomenklatura- to the management gurus and futurists of the post-war period: such as James Burnham, Peter Drucker, Alvin Toffler, Jeremy Rifkin. Tracing such agency until today, the research aims at making off such a transnational class, emerging within and between ideologies and planning practices of communism and capitalism. Such a class might finally be asserting itself as the agency of a new global ruling class fraction, with the eruption of 2007-8 crisis and claiming the commanding heights for itself. Doing so by declaring that it would be able to lead the world to an alternative route beyond capitalism: Post-capitalist world. With the concomitant rise of ‘cyber-imperialism’, at the current highest stage of capitalism, we might be witnessing this new class confronting the transnational and national capitalist class fractions as well as the emergent ‘collective worker. Therefore, the history of neoliberalism and rise of global governance may be about to become the history of the endgame for the current mode of production. The “collective worker”, agency of the global working class/proletariat, that would be the one challenging and contesting the alternative route to capitalism for its own terms. Providing an alternative to both the global capitalism vision as the agency of the ancient regime holds on; or the cybernetic ‘post-capitalist’ managerial system which is promoted by this emergent new global ruling class candidate.

For our argument’s sake, the form of organization for such class agency will be traced and mapped too. This form is the established network form, around which managerial classes agency is linked to, fused with, and convert those heads of corporations and state apparatus, the state-society complex: in academia, military, trade unions and NGOs, policy groups, etc. While the Corporation, and Corporate Governance are legal manifestation of such organizational form in the business dimension of the ‘civil society’; the WB, IMF, OECD, UN Agencies (as transnational quasi-state apparatus) and policy planing think-tanks: like Council of Foreign Relations, New American, Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, WEF, Open Society, Open Knowledge, New Economy Foundations, etc. are manifestations of such form in the political realm.

Global war, global fascism, or global revolution?

Southern InsurgencyWhat documents Immanuel Ness in his recent book (Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class) are the real reasons behind the increasing acceleration in robotic, space technology, AI and emergent industry 4.0; emergence of control and surveillance regimes, as well as civil wars and conflicts. Rulers of the world have to coop with billions of poor, unemployed, immigrant their systems generated while they have to generate more of them. They need to be able to control and steer more and more people desperately. As Stephen Hawking rightly indicated it is capitalism (the logic of control, passion for possession, destructive exploitation of ecosystems including humans, etc.) what we need to be afraid of. Not robots, AI or technology in general but those of generated by this logic. Fear is new for those falling from global north to global south first time; yet it is where the hope lies. The hope lies in the possibility of intellectual and industrial workers of the world achieving to form one body; global coming together of those who are living in shock of losing certain privileges s/he had once, very much afraid of it; and of those steered towards suburbs and slums of the mega-cities emerged in the global south; and formed the new industrial army of proletariat. Had the brain and body of this force formed a unity, in at least 4-5 billion people power, planet has the chance to avoid destruction and life could rebuild itself in amazing new forms and contents.

Time to praise Alexander Bogdanov’s geniuine contribution to the radical imagination of global systemic emancipatory change, that we call revolution!

There may be one person, probably the one and only in human history, who could manage to get such widely recognized achievements in all of the mentioned fields (of arts, philosophy, politics, technology, and science) and being a polymath scientist at the same time.

Since I was a little kid, have I been amazed by biographies of important personalities and started to read as many of them as I could. Stories of the known real persons who achieved great mastery and delivered majestic work especially in five major fields of philosophy, art, politics, science, and technology, thus contributing to the common heritage of  several dozens millennia year old humanity has been a guiding light for many. Biographies of those names from Homer to Plato and Aristoteles, from Buddha to Confucius, from Bruno to Vinci and Rumi, from Queen Victoria to Mozart, from Goethe to Hegel and Marx, from Mach and Einstein to Merlyn Monroe and Maradona, from Elvis to Hawking and Beatles, from Churchill, to Stalin, Lenin, and Mao and so on so forth got written, collected, achived, and listed for already hundereds of years. The following link provides a great (may be a bit Western centric) but sort of a global compilation of such biographies (amongst them 100 Famous Women, Famous Historical Figures, 100 most influential people in the world).

It is a striking statistic of these lists that amongst the most influential people, the most well-known and impactful ones are those who are/were able to combine being a polymath (which means a person who is trained in several scientific disciplines) and achieving success in more than one major fields mentioned above (art, science, technology and inventions, politics, philosophy -this includes religion and ideology/discourse too, and then politics). After scanning my memory again, and again, and again, and then testing my memory against the backdrop of above lists I could not find (may miss one or two but could not encounter) one single personality, who did demonstrate major and recognized achievements in all of these fields, and plus being a polymath at the same time.

To my knowledge however, there is one person, probably the one and only in entire human history, who could actually managed to get major achievements in all of the mentioned fields (of arts, politics, technology, philosophy, and science), being a polymath scientist at the same time. Yet it his name has been missing in all of the above lists, and probably from others. It is highly probabley that his name is missing in your list too. The name is Alexander A. Bogdanov, does it ring any bells? I would ont think so.

 

 

Probably the reason is because he was the editor of the second Russian translation of Das Capital of Karl Marx which become standard edition; he was the author of the first Marxist political economy study-book; the author of the first book on the emergence of social-class consciousness, ideological and cultural hegemony -long before Lucaks, Gramsci and others; the inventor of philosophical approach ‘Empriomonism’ which was updating dialectical materialism for 20st century, and he was the most prominent leader amongst Bolsheviks after Lenin; he was the founder of the first communist party schools in Capri and Bologna; the author of first Bolshevik utopian novel Red Star which became the symbol of the idea of global revolution; he was the founder and leader of the Proletarian Culture movement (ProletKult); and he was also a polymath scientist, founded the first Blood transfusion institute and recognized as the founding father of Cybernetics and General Systems Theory with his magnum opus Tektology: General Science of Organisation.

The name of Bogdanov may not be counted in conventional lists of famous influential peoples, who have come to be seen as those who made somehow large impact on the course of development of human history. Yet as the only person who could get major achievements in (several fields of) sciences and technology, but also in politics, arts, and philosophy; it is most likely and highly possible that he has also made the largest and most invisible impact on our development as the humankind. It is time to get a grip and discover that impact and to fill a gigantic gap that remained in the common heritage of humanity, leaving it incomplete for almost a century.

Here is where one could find a great amount of work to start with. And here, Historical Materialism Book Series’ project of Alexander Bogdanov Library which is earning most of his writings into English language.

 

Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists – Founding Statement of Principles – Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

We are an alliance of Middle Eastern socialists opposed to all the international and Middle Eastern regional imperialist powers and their wars, whether the U.S., Russia and China or Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. We also oppose other authoritarian regimes such as Assad’s in Syria and El Sisi’s in Egypt as well as religious fundamentalism whether of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah consider themselves gradualists and oppose the Jihadism of Al Qaeda and ISIS, all of these organizations share the goal of establishing a state based on Shari’a Law and preserving the current capitalist order. We oppose capitalism, class divisions, patriarchy/sexism, racism, ethnic and religious prejudice and speak to the struggles of women, workers, oppressed nationalities such as Kurds and Palestinians, oppressed ethnic and religious minorities, and sexual minorities. We also oppose Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. We stand for socialism as a concept of human emancipation and an affirmative vision distinguished from the authoritarian regimes that called themselves “Communist.”

Source: Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists – Founding Statement of Principles – Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

UnionBase is America’s largest digital platform for workers and unions

Launching the new version of UnionBase

Welcome to UnionBase, the world’s first social networking platform for the labor movement with 30,000 Union Profiles, an expertly crafted user experience for union and non-union workers and a cutting edge Verification System.

Workers and unions will be able to connect like never before. Founded by Larry Williams Jr. in 2015, UnionBase is a first of its kind pro-union social networking platform. Larry is the President of Progressive Workers’ Union (PWU) and has been a union organizer, educator and leader for 10 years in Washington, D.C.

Source: Unionbase

“Social democracy has been exhausted”: Kees van der Pijl on Marxism, barbarism, and prospects for left renewal

What are the hope for a renewed Social Democracy across Europe? Who constitute the new Atlantic ruling class? How do we combat the rise of xenophobia? And what is the future of the war-torn countries across the globe? Kees van der Pijl, one of the leading Marxist political scientists, takes us through his intellectual and political development since the 1970s, as well as pointing towards the future developments for emancipatory politics in this wide-ranging interview with George Souvlis and Yulia Yurchenko (originally published by LeftEast).

Q1: Would you like to present yourself by focusing on the formative experiences (academic and political) that have strongly influenced you?

My generation was a lucky one, the baby-boomers whose society was in competition with state socialism, our own social order discredited by the Great Depression and two world wars. So capitalism was compelled to show a human face (at home, not in southeast Asia, Africa or Latin America, of course). Although coming from a very modest background, I was able to study for practically nothing, enjoy quality schooling compared to what is offered today, and profit from other social provision and protection. It was generally a Spartan but optimistic environment to grow up in. From my background in the declining petty bourgeoisie of small shopkeepers, I also inherited a mentality of hard work, not counting on others, and a penchant for not trusting the high and mighty (that turned out very useful, too).

So when my generation experienced first-hand what is now recognised as the moment the capitalist class called into question the post-war class compromise forced upon it by Depression and war, and we ourselves burst onto the scene with a permissive culture breaking with the rigidities of reconstruction Cold War Europe, we were relatively well-trained, hungry for a different world (socialism in any form), and optimistic.

Yet at the time I personally completely failed to see what Wolfgang Streeck has called the three successive attempts by Western governments (inflation, state debt, private debt) to cover the breakdown of the post-war class compromise by throwing money into the breaches. We interpreted the 1970s crisis as a crisis of capital, whereas it was in fact a crisis of the post-war class compromise as a consequence of the restructuring of capital to relations of exploitation and domination outside that compromise –both at home and abroad.

I was hired by the University of Amsterdam in 1973, which was then faced with a massive expansion of student intake, in a climate of student revolt, ‘Marxism’, and with mainstream theories such as positivism being ridiculed. Much time was spent in meetings that in hindsight served no purpose but to offer a terrain the government and university administration had decided or just guessed would slowly tame the student movement by incorporating the administratively-minded into the governing structures and prepare these for a transition towards a market-oriented university regime.

I was also, from the mid-70s to when it collapsed, a member of the Dutch communist party CPN. That party had no clue of what was going on either, and basically mistrusted intellectuals. Even so, my membership satisfied my search for a real opposition, and I must say that in the party I finally encountered the working class, its culture, powerful humanity, and the tradition from which the party had been able to build the most powerful resistance movement in our country against the Nazi occupation in World War II. All this, the strength of character, humour, and iron organisation, made the party an unforgettable life experience but intellectually it did not really influence me. Those who influenced me were French communists, some East German and Soviet authors, whose books I found in the communist bookshop: Paul Boccara, Christian Palloix, and so on to Poulantzas, Suzanne de Brunhoff.

My most inspiring teacher in Leiden, where I studied, was the Indologist, Jan Heesterman, who appreciated my creativity and intellectual curiosity more than the political science teachers such as Hans Daalder and Arend Lijphart who wanted an American-style discipline. Ben Sijes, a veteran Council Communist (anti-party) was a guest professor and intellectually was very important for me, because he introduced us to Pannekoek, who (as a contemporary internationally renowned Marxist) criticised Stalinist propagation of Lenin’s original, mistaken materialism.

Once in Amsterdam, my late friend Gabriel Kolko, the US historian, who along with his wife and (co-) author Joyce had come to live there, was a great source of inspiration and so was Robert Cox whom I got to know through Stephen Gill. André Gunder Frank was employed by our university for a year or so and during that time we had some very memorable encounters. Of course my co-conspirators in Amsterdam, Meindert Fennema, Henk Overbeek and later Otto Holman, and others, and several cohorts of unforgettable students, were able and insightful interlocutors in developing intellectually.

Source: Verso

Pursuance

Image result for PursuanceImpactful, agile, secure civic collaboration

The pursuance system is the world’s first comprehensive framework for process democracy. That is, it allows individuals with no prior relationship to self-organize into robust, agile entities governed via a “proceduralism of agreement.” These entities, called pursuances, in turn engage and collaborate among themselves to whatever extent they choose, leading ultimately to a vast and formidable ecosystem of opposition to institutionalized injustice.

This system will be populated on an invitation basis, beginning towards the end of 2017. For consideration as a participant, and to receive further information as it becomes public, subscribe below.

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Intro

For the first time in history, any individual may now collaborate with any other individual. One may get a sense of the implications of this by considering how different human history would have been had early man possessed some psychic ability to find and communicate with anyone else across the world. We now have something very similar, and in some ways more powerful.

It’s easy to underestimate the significance of this in part because it’s also easy to overestimate it and, worse, to romanticize it. The advent of the internet was immediately followed by triumphalist manifestos setting out the great and positive changes that were now afoot. That much of what was predicted didn’t immediately come to pass has led some to challenge the entire premise of the internet as a potentially revolutionary force for good.

Certainly the utopian predictions of the early ‘90s were off the mark; indeed the clearest picture we have today contains seeds of actual dystopia. Meanwhile, the trivial uses to which the internet is commonly put can make it difficult to take seriously as a transcendental factor in our civilization. But then gunpowder was originally used to make fireworks. And a technology that may be used to oppress may also be used to liberate. Again, gunpowder comes to mind.

The way in which events have proceeded in our society since the advent of the internet tells us less about the internet than it does about our society. There are a few lessons we can glean, though. In the large, we know that mass connectivity does not automatically lead to mass enlightenment. We know that states will sometimes seek to use the internet to further their control over information, and that they will sometimes be successful in this. We know many things of this sort. But none of this tells us what the internet will ultimately mean for human civilization. That will be determined on the ground, in the years to follow.

Source: Pursuance

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Programmers in India Have Created the Country’s First Tech-Sector Union | The Nation

There was a time not too long ago when India’s millennial elites, born into an age of globalization, hailed the “technological revolution” as a one-way ticket to infinite opportunity. Today the economic miracle has been derailed, and young workers are starting to demand a refund.

In recent months, workers have reported that mass layoffs at Indian tech hubs are becoming routine as companies shed engineers and slash wages and benefits. Companies that previously invested heavily in emerging Indian firms for global outsourcing contracts seem to be recoiling from a volatile global labor market, and India’s rapid economic expansion is hitting snags.

The global digital bubble’s seemingly inevitable pop has also been sped along by Trump’s protectionist rhetoric and promise of “reshoring” offshored jobs to the United States. This week, even as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks business on his maiden visit to the Trump White House, the administration is also moving to tighten the criteria for the H-1B visa, a federal program that has drawn in tens of thousands of foreign professionals, particularly technicians and programmers from India—often at relatively low pay rates.

Source: Programmers in India Have Created the Country’s First Tech-Sector Union | The Nation