Modes of Foreign Relations, Uneven and Combined Development, and Tektology


In 2007 I did write a review article for the first volume of Kees Van Der Pijl’s magnum opus: Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economy, subtitled as Nomads, Empires, States. The title of my review article was “Modes of Foreign Relations vs Uneven and Combined Development: The Marxist Legacy and Relations between and within Alienated Societies”, and it was published by the journal of International Sociology in 2008. The text is online and can be accessed here. Just for self-crediting note, it was written before the reviewed book won the Isaac Deutscher prize in 2008, and the topic was discussed by a panel during the sixth Historical Materialism conference, which also hosts the Isaac Deutscher prize ceremony. Thus it was written independently from the separate journal symposium held on Cambridge Review of International Affairs in 2009 on the topic; and more importantly without any knowledge of the exchange (Alex Anievas refers in the intro to the CRIA symposium) took place between Justin Rosenberg and Alex Callinicos on “UE&CD and the international” somewhere in 2007.

The second and the third volumes of Van Der Pijl’s trilogy titled as The Foreign Encounter in Myth and Religion and The Discipline of Western Supremacy. Both volumes did exceeded my expectations, satisfying enthusiasm I got with the first volume. Although it was my intention I could not yet write a review for the entire work, nevertheless it would be just to say that Van Der Pijl’s trilogy has already taken its place amongst the 21st century classics. Along the pages of the three volumes Van Der Pijl applies Marx’ method of abstraction, that is historical and dialectical materialism, to the relations between alienated world societies, thus to the field of ‘foreign relations’, independently. Doing so the whole project not only smashes the cold blooded, state-maniacal, and disciplinary ‘International Relations’ to the ground, by a strong argument politicizing and historicizing it based on rich empirical material; but it also does so by providing a brilliant historical materialist analysis for rethinking modern nationalism. Van Der Pijl also claims that applying Marx methodology, in a similar way, on different fields of social life, as ideology, power and so on, and integrating those analyses that would be possible to develop a more complete Marxian state and class theories that are essential to advance the critique of today’s global political economy.

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The P2P Prince?: The form and the program of the transnational REvolutionary subjectivity

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. [1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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

Enric Duran on shared and disobedient crowdfunding platform networks | P2P-Foundation

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, managed on mainland Spain by a foundation dedicated to the expansion of common good,, a recent cooperative project and also a foundation in Veezuela called

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Network movements and the new ‛social atmosphere’ | Transnational Institute

New forms of social mobilization have outdated previous political practices. Network movements are a new “social atmosphere” that imbues irreversibly other social and political actors. How can we categorize them?

“We are the social network.” This slogan adorned a huge banner on the demonstration in Rio de Janeiro on 17 June 2013 1. The banner from that #17J, the day when the Passe Livre (free fares) protests became a rebellion, explains more about the new paradigms of collective mobilisation than many doctoral theses.

Of the twenty people or so who held the banner, none had political party, union or political organisations’ flags. A few days after the “We are the social network” demonstration, some organisations of the traditional left tried to join the protests with their usual methods: closed identities (symbolic colours, banners), unity structures (blocs), hierarchies (leaders, spokespeople) and identifiable political messages. They were trying to be part of the crowd that was taking to the streets of the main cities of Brazil, and also reacting to the advance of conservative groups that were trying to take the leadership of the protests against the government of Dilma Rousseff. The ‛crash’ between traditional organisations and the multitude reached its peak on 21 June at Paulista Avenue, the main street in São Paulo. The demonstration moved towards Brigadeiro subway station. On the left side, heterogeneous protesters (skaters, LGBT groups, Anonymous mask-wearers, families) walked in a dispersed way, without party symbols. On the right side, organisations and leftist movements occupied the street, marching in a bloc and waving flags.

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Unite the Union’s USI mediates the established union world entering into the networked organising (networganizing) era

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:

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:

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Debt, war & democratic revolutions Madrid, 27th – 28th February and 1st March 2014

detalles de El rapto de europa por Rembrandt

Organised by L’internationale, European network of museums, and Fundación de los Comunes within the framework of “The Uses of Art”

The event will include four round-tables and a debate on the evenings of February 27th – 28th and March 1st. The debates will be open to the public and streamed live. A dialogue will be established with members of the whole audience, whether physically present or participating through  social networks.

 Thursday 27th February

18:30 – 19:00 Presentation

Jesús Carrillo, MNCARS

19:00 – 20:00 Opening dialogue

Antonio Negri, Zdenka Badovinac, Manuel Borja-Villel and Raúl Sánchez Cedillo

The austerity policies put in place by European governments through the Troika have turned a financial crisis into a project bent on the destruction of social and workers’ rights, and they have established a regime of infinite debt on individuals and institutions. But new political and institutional creations are demonstrating that debt and democracy based on citizen participation and on social rights are incompatible. In these creations we get a glimpse of prototypes of a Europe made from the bottom up, out of the sense of brotherhood of the social struggles and self-organisation by citizens.

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All the fists of the world are GNUniting! First Brainstorm – Online Meeting This Sunday at 13.00 PM GMT

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!

1994-2014 Today is the 20 year anniversary of Zapatista uprising, same day that NAFTA got into effect | via OWS Zapatista

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!

Zapatista Freedom School online 5 days summaries

Horizontal Hope – looking for English translators |via PAN

“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.

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The New Social Unionism: A New Union Model for a New World Order by Peter Waterman

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The concept of a new social unionism (NSU) is intended to relate to and be appropriate for our contemporary world. This is a world increasingly marked by the dramatic expansion and equally dramatic transformations of capitalist, military, state, imperial, technical and patriarchal forms and powers. It is consequently marked by the appearance of what I will call the new alternative social movements (NASMs – feminist, anti-militarist, human-rights, ecological, etc.) alongside such old ones as those of religion, nation or labour.

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Transformative Power: Political organisation in transition by Hilary Wainwright

In a context of uncertainty and flux, it helps to start from the specific. My starting point is the rise of Syriza, the radical left coalition rooted in the movements resisting austerity that has become the main opposition party in the Greek parliament. Syriza’s ability to give a focused political voice to the anger and despair of millions has made a breakthrough from which we can learn.

This is a matter not only of its soaring electoral support, which rose from 4 per cent of the national vote in 2009 to 27 per cent in June 2012 on the basis of a refusal of the policies imposed by the IMF, the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB), but also of the fact that this electoral mandate is reinforced by organized movements and networks of solidarity that Syriza has been part of building.

This is not to imply that Syriza’s success is stable or that its momentum will necessarily be maintained. One of its 71 MPs, the ex-Pasok member and trade union leader, Dimtris Tsoukalas, warns that ‘votes can be like sand’.1 Threatening winds will blow persistently from a hostile media determined to exploit any sign of division; from national and European elites creating an atmosphere of fear towards the left and from an aggressive fascist party exploiting xenophobic tendencies in Greek society with some success, having won 7 per cent in the polls. Continue reading

Open Source / Libre Training Material (in progress) on Social Media for Grassroots Labour Activism | NetwOrganisation

P2P AND TRANSNATIONAL EXCHANGE AT THE SHOP-FLOOR LEVEL: Social media and online networking guide for shop stewards and union activists

MODULE I – prepared for and by the support of TIE-Netherlands 

  • Introduction
  • Stronger ties with online networking
  • Tools for cybermeetings and webinars
  • Bottom up publishing & sharing
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Participation/Openness/Security
  • An Example
Spanish, Russian, Turkish editions are being prepared:
Download the pdf version in Dutch here Eindversie_Brochure_Social-Media_TIE_NL-1.pdf

The Dramatic Rise of Peer-to-Peer Communication within the emancipatory movements Reflections of an International Labour, Social Justice and Cyber Activist

In the article I give a personal review on some of the important spaces of convergence and mobilisations some of which took place in 2011 and 2012 and others are currently being planned: like, 15O, Joint Social Conferences, Hub Meetings of Indignados, Global May, Agora 99 and Florence 10+10 among others. I also deliver my observations on the dramatic rise of peer to peer (P2P) communication as well as increasing involvement of new generation activists in these spaces and mobilisations. Such developments might allow radical reformist and revolutionary forces to invent an upgraded methodology for working together which might in return make it possible to form transnationally connected and strong alliances between horizontal and less vertical forms of agency, so called movement of movements.

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Social and political movements related to the P2P (participatory), open (open access to knowledge), and ‘commons’ paradigms | P2P Foundation

A directory of social and political movements related to the P2P (participatory), open (open access to knowledge), and ‘commons’ paradigms.

Exploring the commons by Marco Berlinguer | OpenDemocracy


Today’s rediscovery of the notion of the commons stems directly from the need to regulate and to explore how to enable the collaborative action of a multiplicity of protagonists who are autonomous and so not governable by simple authoritative mechanisms.

Transform! started work in 2004 on the project ‘Networked Politics’, through which we explored a wide range of issues in two critical new terrains of contemporary politics: new organisational forms of collective action and the implications of an economy increasingly based on information, knowledge and communication.

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Today they finally managed to manufactured a war between Turkey and Syria, this will surely lead to a NATO intervention and reaction from Iran, Israel, Russia and China.

We need to stop this immediately! by creating the lagest anti-war campaign of the world history!

This is an urgent call for all involved, individuals, assemblies, groups, who ever can contrbute to create this movement.

Tomorrow evening 7pm Local Time there will be mass rally in Taksim Istanbul. Please send your support and organise support actions..

Use these pages to communicate and share your support.




This is the InterOccupy newsletter for the week of September 25th, 2012. You can also access the newsletter here – which is the best place to read it. To receive this newsletter in your inbox each week, make sure to subscribe here!

Quick Links: Upcoming calls | Newswire | New Hubs | Hub Updates

Welcome to the InterOccupy newsletter for the week of September 25th, 2012. Remember that you cansubmit your actions, announcements and resources to InterOccupy. Are you interested in joining the IO team and helping communication flow for the movement? Register for our next orientation call. We could also use help with occassional small tasks, so if you don’t have time to join the team but want to pitch in when you can, please sign up here!

If you liked the swirl tactic used on #S17 in NYC’s financial district and want to adopt it in your town we can help you do it! Make sure to check out Move to Amend’s regional gathering taking place Friday 9/28 – Sunday 9/30 in Northampton, Massachusetts. Don’t miss American Autumn: An Occudoc screening from 9/28 and 10/4 at Quad Cinemas in NYC, proceeds from the box office will go to Occupy Allies.

Rank & File Participation and International Union Democracy | GLC via Peter Waterman

Peter sez:

A surprising and gratifying piece, by a Swiss and European union officer, that reveals the gradual impact of the new social movement, civil society and global justice and solidarity movements on traditional union thinking and action. I am impressed by the emphasis on the international as integral to the revival of trade unionism. As someone working more or less from the other end – that is from the new global social justice movements towards the unions – this piece raises some hope of union reinvention from the inside. One would welcome a critical evaluation of this experience by some independent observer. And in the meantime hope it will spark systematic dialogue internationally. I hope to return to this piece systematically at a later date. And I should add that one also needs to critically consider the experience and capacities of the NGOs and social justice movements to which Pedrina refers to only positively.

Now read on…

Global Labour Column

Rank & File Participation and International Union Democracy

by Vasco Pedrina…

Global Labour Column, edited by Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development (CSID)

Trade union democracy and active rank & file participation are two sides of the same coin, both nationally and internationally. Historically, trade unions were built and operated almost exclusively by workers who devoted their spare time to the union cause. Along with the growth in their membership and the development of their economic strength, trade unions developed administrative and technical structures whose operation has increasingly been ensured by full-time union officials. Ultimately, this organisational transformation often led to bureaucracy, and the weakening of rank & file participation and trade union democracy. This transformation was characterised by an ever-increasing delegation of tasks from the active union base to the full-time union officials, a shift in union activities from the field to trade union offices, and a weaker trade union presence in the workplace.

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Liquid Democracy by Godfrey Moase

I, like an ever decreasing number of my fellow Australians, am a frustrated member of a mainstream political party.

In the usual run of affairs being a member of a political party involves three modes: being ignored, being used or just plain being pissed on. The common thread running through all three modes is that you are the pawn of some ‘great’ man (let’s face it they usually are men) using you to maintain their own control of the chessboard and ‘win’ the game.

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New Unionism Network discusses `How to build real global unions?`

So what do YOU think???
Network members have been bouncing around a couple of tricky questions for the last few years. We think it’s time to start generating (and sharing) some answers.

1) How do we start building real global unions?

2) How have unions been evolving around the world and what can we all learn from this?

We want to hear about your experience and to find out what you think! Or, if you’re undecided, we want your votes on some related questions. We’ll be launching both discussions soon… please if you’d like to stay in the loop.