Networked Labour University Information Bulletin No. 1 | 1-7 May 2015 [ENGLISH] | Networked Labour

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1. Culture and knowledge for classless societies is networked in process! 

Networked Labour University is designed as an educational module to be integrated with a broader network composed of Global Networked Labour Union, Networked Labour Research unit, and networked labour coop GNLU. Tied to a greater ecology of universal, free and open access community projects, such as Faircoop, the Earth Cooperative, all our projects aim mutual empowerment at the bottom level. Unconditional empowerment of the dis-empowered, excluded, and oppressed with direct solidarity is the reason why we exist for. Our platform is designed to liberate knowledge from alienation and domination of any kind at the point of production and distribution. In order to enable money-free access to most essential cultural resources we rely on free/libre, open source software, but the platform also aims to facilitate broader solidarity economy by encouraging and enabling open-cooperative exchanges between participants.

Our invitation is an wide open one, anyone can join and contribute by offering and taking courses, moderating circles or skill shares, helping out with web design, platform development, promotion, or any other way!

2. Networked Labour University Opening Meeting

Date: 7 May 2015
Time: 14.00 – 17.00 (ECT / UCT+1)

Check-ins (14:00 – 14:15)

Opening and presentation of the system (14:15 – 15:00)
Networked Labour University and Worker to Worker Study Circles

Discussion (15:15 – 16:45)
How to use cross-border communication and which digital tools to build commons knowledge, culture, politics, and economy for the classless society and from the oppressed point of view?

Closing and Check-outs (16:45 – 17:00)

Access: Participation is on-line, open and free. What you need to do to is to open an account on the website below and to selfenrol for the event before. Working languages are English/Turkish

Website: networkedlabour.networg.nl/moodle
Email: networg@networg.nl

Click here to register as a user 

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Networked Labour University, a project networed in process! | Networked Labour

Networked Labour University is a universal, free and open access platform that allows collective learning for individuals and groups. Unconditional empowerment of the disempowered, excluded, and oppressed with direct solidarity is the reason we exist for. Based on a transformatory and emancipatory perspective the platform is designed to liberate knowledge from alienation and domination of any kind, at the point of production and distribution. We use free/libre, open source software is to enable money-free access to most essential cultural resources. The platform is being developed to facilitate broader solidarity economy by encouraging and enabling open-cooperative exchanges between participants. Anyone can join us and contribute by offering and taking courses, moderating circles or skill shares, helping with web design and platform development or in any other way!

Website: http://networkedlabour.networg.nl/moodle/Empowered by http://www.networkedlabour.net/

via Networked Labour University, a project networed in process! | Networked Labour.

Commons Internet | Summit IS4IS | International Society for Information Studies (IS4IS)

2_v2The 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).

(source http://icts-and-society.net/events/5th-icts-and-society-conference/)

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?”

(source http://icts-and-society.net/events/5th-icts-and-society-conference/)

via Commons Internet | Summit IS4IS | International Society for Information Studies (IS4IS).

Charter for Europe, 1.2 – articles – L’internationale

(BY WAY OF) INTRODUCING THE PROJECT OF A CHARTER FOR EUROPE

by Francesco Salvini & Raúl Sánchez Cedillo (Fundación de los Comunes)

To think Europe as a space to be invented, to be drawn up, to be constructed. This is the collective exercise that brought us to Madrid some months ago, to rethink Europe as a territory whose political, institutional and productive definition rests in our hands, or in other words, in the protagonism of social struggles and political creation from below, passing through our everyday ways of doing things.

It is in this sense that the space we created in the New Abduction of Europe, an encounter that took place in the Museo Reina Sofia in February and March 2014, was a place for working on these problems with new methods and tools for discussion and reflection. A place where we could collectively imagine – in the midst of an urgent and complex situation – a world within which many worlds fit, as the Zapatistas used to say. In other words, we gathered to rethink practices of the political imagination within the European situation, starting from the territory of making (making society, making the common of human beings) rather than from ideological organization or the diffuse elaboration of slogans. For this we used a series of tools that allow for the construction of a transeuropean political techné, common to many, different and a priori discordant subjects.

via Charter for Europe, 1.2 – articles – L’internationale.

Strength and Power Reimagining Revolution | Guerrilla Translation!

deshaucios_OLmoCalvo_Diagonal-585x390Image by Olmo Calvo

by Amador Fernández-Savater

Translated by Stacco Troncoso, edited by Jane Loes Lipton – Guerrilla Translation!

How is it possible that fifty people can stop a forced eviction? Not just once, but over and over again (as many as six hundred times). This question has been on my mind for a while. During the 25-S protests in Madrid 1, we saw for ourselves that the police can evict any number of protestors from anywhere. So, exactly what sort of strength allows those fifty people to stop a foreclosure eviction? What does it mean to have strength, if it’s not quite the same as having power (physical, quantitative, economic, institutional, etc.)? The following is my attempt at an answer that, by no means, fully exhausts the question. That is to say, there’s room for more answers and, above all, to keep asking the question – this, I believe, is the most important thing.

via Strength and Power Reimagining Revolution | Guerrilla Translation!.

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

Freelancers’ Movement – http://freelancersmovement.org/

Independents Unite! Inside the Freelancers' Rights Movement by Joel Dullroy and Anna CashmanIndependents Unite! – Preview Edition Now Available

The preview edition of Independents Unite! Inside the Freelancers’ Rights Movement is now available for download. This preview edition includes five chapters. Further chapters will be released in future editions of the book.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Around the world, independent workers are getting organized. No longer an ignorable minority in society, freelancers are waking up to the potential power within their growing number. They are combining through online communities, campaign groups, incorporated associations and even proto-unions to exert influence over their conditions.

Independents Unite! Inside the Freelancers Rights Movement, by Joel Dullroy and Anna Cashman, introduces the concept of the collective empowerment of freelancers. The book provides an overview of the existing elements of the freelancers’ movement, with comparisons of the organizations and campaigns currently at work and the goals they are striving to achieve. It lays out the conditions which have led to the growth of the freelancing workforce to show how the current situation has been purposefully created through political decisions, and can therefore be altered and improved by the same means.

With a foundational text in place, critical discussions on the topic of independent worker rights can continue to develop, in symbiosis with the freelancers’ movement itself.

PREVIEW EDITION:

This preview edition includes five complete chapters:

Introducing the Freelancers’ Movement

How Many? Counting Freelancers

Pushed: How Politics and Ideology Created the Freelancing Grey Zone

The Reaction Begins: How Freelancers are Getting Organized

Case Study: Freelancers Union

DOWNLOAD NOW:

The book is available as a free download, in both PDF format and .mobi format for Kindle readers. Supporters may also select to pay a donation to help the authors complete their research and writing.

Download free e-book – €0.00

Supporter – download book with donation – €5.00

Big Supporter – download book with donation – €10.00

via Freelancers’ Movement.

Post ECC 2013 session: From here to there. Moving forward. | ECC 2013 – Communication Platform

38_escher_superspiral_1953I. 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.

Guiding questions:

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.

Guiding question:

How to build a more coordinated commons communication strategy to support the further cristalization of a commons movement?

via Post ECC 2013 session: From here to there. Moving forward. | ECC 2013 – Communication Platform.

Everyday and transformational co-operation | Seeds beneath

Everyday co-operation is the idea that life is underpinned by instinctive and generally unacknowledged co-operation between individuals: from tacit agreements about letting one another past on pavements or the unconscious decision not to hoard the spoons at work to the reciprocity that allows people to trust one another, lend books to one another, and so on.

Everyday co-operation is an essential part of everyday life. Many of those people studying the ‘science of co-operation’ – an area of study now encompassing evolutionary biology, game theory, economics, sociology, political science and much else besides – tell us that the reason for everyday co-operation is because people are rational and self-interested, and therefore will pursue the strategy that best realises their interests.

Short-term it might be most beneficial to hoard spoons, not return a book your friend lent you or renege on an informal agreement with a colleague. But long-term these strategies will backfire, so it makes sense to co-operate. It’s what also called reciprocal altruism and I’ve referred to as economic co-operation.*

This idea – that it’s in the long-term best interests of people to co-operate and work together – is not only an important part of the functioning of society, arguably awareness of it is also behind some recent business thinking: the increasing interest in employee ownership as a way of engaging and increasing the productivity of workers, for example, Michael Porter’s concept of businesses delivering ‘shared value’ to suppliers, customers and staff, Unilever’s ‘enlightened capitalism’ or innovations that involve customers or users in ‘co-producing’ a good or service.

Everyday co-operation is everywhere and pretty much non-controversial. It’s a good thing. It makes things run smoothly. And it makes our lives better than a world where short-term self-interest ruled all (which would probably be “nasty, brutish and short” as Thomas Hobbes put it in 1651). Few people would disagree that the world needs everyday co-operation.

via Everyday and transformational co-operation | Seeds beneath.

Towards a first stateless commons transition plan: a partnership of P2P-F with the Catalan Integral Cooperative

CIC montage

The General Assembly of the Catalan Integral Cooperative has confirmed a proposed partnership with the P2P Foundation.

This is an important development for several reasons.

First, the Catalan Integral Cooperative is the first new type of cooperative that is entirely in line with the idea for a new type of coops engaged in the co-production of the commons, and, after themselves already embodying these ideas before we formulated them in our recent appeal, they are committed to continue and pioneer the path of open cooperativism.

Second, the CIC fully endorses the Commons Transition Plan that was formulated in connection with the floksociety.org project in Ecuador. The FLOK experience was important in that it was a historical first for such ideas to be endorsed at a nation-state level, but also because that cooperation with a government brings its own type of challenges. How to transition towards partner state practices with a state that is not a partner state itself ?

The experience in Catalonia promises to be very different. While the CIC endorses the Commons Transition Plan as its own development plan and roadmap, of course to be adapted and concretized to their own needs, it wants to apply the proposals for the commonification of public services and the partner state, not at the state level, but at the civic level. So the aim here is to directly create civic institutions which can, within or outside of the CIC, carry out the same support functions and enable the further expansion of the commons economy, in particular to stimulate p2p-based production and manufacturing, which the CIC itself is already pioneering. If successful, we may well have a adaptable/changeable but also largely replicable model that could be used in other regions of the world as well, because it will have been the experience where different pieces of successful DNA have come together in a working model.

Here is the announcement of the CIC, translated from Catalan and Spanish:

via P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Towards a first stateless commons transition plan: a partnership of P2P-F with the Catalan Integral Cooperative.

Can Bourgeois Democratic Revolution 2.0 Happen without Turning the Earth to Venus?

Pillar10-History-French-Revolution-Delacroix

There are major differences yet again major similarities between what happened in 1648’s Britain, late 1776’s America, and 1789’s France when popular bourgeoisie democratic revolutions were taking place. Today we observe similar great-power-hand-over approaching between ruling classes, cluster of class fractions, this time at a global scale.

Working class forming itself at the global level as well. While highest-skill knowledge and ICT managers are forming a new labour aristocracy, who are both willing to and capable to enter alliances with the emerging silicon-valley capitalists running Google, Facebook, Twitter, and also preparing to take over from Apple and Microsoft’s midway (Gates-Jobs) generation. But also envisaging new forms of socio-political systems, like ‘distributed and commons based ‘minarcies’. A fierce dog-fight is taking place right now amongst the layers of the networks of the emerging new elite class. Yet a bigger fight is in between this new class and the layers of the ‘old boys capitalist networks’, which have been formed by the rulers of the military-industrial-financial-complexes of the industrial era.

What the recent scandals like PRISM, NSA, GCHQ displayed however is that these new players are gaining a massive structural power, giving them superiority and higher position vis-à-vis their counterparts. They gain the ability to play the most aesthetical, like being the voice of the youth and innocent, providing tools for participation, democracy, and revolution; they also claim to be caring for and having solutions in mind for the climate change. Of course all this is bull shit, they do not, but they have the position to bring this claims on. The new class has been playing out this structural position well in these dog fights, by employing the advantageous negotiation power with and over ‘the State’.

Mass scale civil-popular surveillance [meta-data] machine is much more powerful, operational and also cheaper then the systems that could have been developed and employed by the State elite. The information, intelligence, and access to sensitive personal knowledge is a great advantage in the framework capitalistic competition in the market as well. In the fight over who will hold the state, it meant that the new elite can promise more soft and hegemonic political power to the state elite then the old boys capitalists could do by using the monetary and military means. For instance, think of the influence would critical intelligence -formed based on personal sensitive information which can be traced by these Nasdaq companies- could make on the stock markets, deploying the viral power of social networks. It is sure that it can be bigger than the buy-sell power of large hedge funds.

All these fights has generated immense tension and destruction in all the realms, of economy, finance, politics, culture, nature, so on. What was appearing as a global ‘economic crisis’ to our eyes, after being filtered by the mass media serving to the old boys ruling classes, were the tensions and destructions caused by the fight. This time, however, all these selfish and childhood fights between these ignorant and savage classes has generated a positive feedback cycle that leads the planet towards an end that will not distinguish between the ruler and the ruled. The overlapping crises are leading us towards what can be called the ‘Venusization of the Earth’. Which means that the massive carbon emission, caused by the destructive forces of the economic structure works for the ruling classes, might any time trigger a irreversible chain reaction by releasing more and more carbon molecules to the atmosphere. Turning it to a very tight greenhouse effect keeping the heat generated by the sun light and warming up Earth’s surface rapidly. This will vaporize the oceans, sees, drinkable water on and near the surface; destroy the plants, all vegetables, so there will be no Oxygen left. Although there were no human intervention, this is exactly what happened to planet Venus.

This scenario unfortunately comes closer to reality every day, because of the amount of carbon the system releases to keep going with its exploitation of the nature. It is almost hundred percent certain that this course will be ending the entire life-cycle on Earth for once and for all, with no turning back, before we see any bourgeoisie revolution 2.0, which aims at more democratic and distributed capitalism, happening. The wars and civil wars this fierce competition started off is spreading, while they kill innocent people and children they also bring accelerated carbon release with every bomb dropped, in every sabotaged pipe line, and every burning oil station. When the nuclear arsenal enter the picture, this will mean a rapid end, for humanity including those elite, if it possible at all to see these people as Humans.

“New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism”

About the Book

Bureaucratic labor unions are under assault throughout the world. The decline of labor unions has exposed workers throughout the world to capitalist absolutism, where trade unions are unable to defend workers’ interests under capitalism. As financial capital controls investment decisions on a global scale over the past 30 years, most unions have surrendered the achievements of the mid-20th century, when the working class was a militant force for change throughout the world. As unions implode and weaken, workers are independently forming their own unions, rooted in the tradition of syndicalism and autonomism—and unions rooted in the tradition of self-directed action are auguring a new period of class struggle throughout the world. In Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, workers are rejecting leaders and forming authentic class-struggle unions rooted in sabotage, direct action, and striking to achieve concrete gains.

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Confronting the most difficult challenges facing the international labour movement

by  – 15th May 2014, 17.00 BST

In the next couple of days, more than 1,500 trade union leaders from 161 countries will meet in Berlin for the Third World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).  The ITUC unites national trade union centres, including Britain’s TUC, all over the world.

The ITUC event will be followed on Friday in the same city by a slightly smaller one: the LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference. Almost 700 people, from 75 countries, have registered to attend.

To a casual observer, these sound like very similar events. And there’ll certainly be some overlap. For example, the leader of Australia’s trade unions, Dave Oliver, will open the LabourStart event, though he’s also attending the ITUC Congress.

Here’s the difference: the ITUC Congress is a bit like a TUC Congress in the UK. Elected leaders attend, discuss issues, pass resolutions, elect a leadership and so on. Although, unlike TUC, ordinary rank-and-file workers, shop stewards, branch union officials and others won’t be there.  It is where the senior leadership of the international trade union movement meets.

And it’s a direct continuation of global trade union meetings that started 150 years ago in London, where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels led the foundation of the International Workingmen’s Association, known as the “First International”.

The LabourStart event, on the other hand, is something new, something that probably couldn’t have been imagined before there was an internet.

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Online Preparatory Meeting for the ‘Organizing Digital Labour and Digital Labour Organizing Workshop’ at Global Solidarity Conference

When: 10:00, 14 May 2014

Where: BigBlueButton

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.

Original Post

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.

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#MayFirst #MetaStrike: Take part in six moth long global and systemic hackaton to take down the Prism, fascism, capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism and war

Considering the total enclosure of the Internet, the enslavement of mass free labor on it, and the rise of meta-data Orweillian society, what should one make of celebration of the rise of the Internet of Everything (IoE) or Industrial Internet and calling for the demise of capitalism by people like Jeremy Rifkin! What would be Rifkin’s advise to his ruling class clients, but more importantly why the neoconservatives and Chinese state class elite pay him high compensations?

The ruling elite way of dealing with the problem of ‘near zero marginal costs’ has been massive exploitation of zero labor cost (free labor). Now they like to capture free labor in the physical world by connecting devices and people “putting them at work on the move” -as Cisco and GE founders of the Industrial Internet Consortium publicly declare. While the translation of this ideal is the objectification of entire living labor and commons (should be read as human) to a global production process, why Rifkin celebrates this! If the plan is clearly to giving IP addresses to 50 billion devices in coming 10 years to form the IoE infrastructure, making it is possible a global scale surveillance an most logical outcome would be the total exploitation of artificially constructed happy playbouring produsers who would be living in sterile smart cities. As for the masses, there shall not be need for an hegemonic governance like bourgeois parliamentarian model what so ever in this new digital world. It has become clear by now that this ambitious capitalist project has the potential to replace the ancient industrial capitalism. It is certain by now that the fall of capitalism as we know it won’t be quite and painless. The attempt towards realizing this transition has brought about imperialist peripheral wars. If one look to the fierce clashes between Russian, Westerns and Chinese rulers in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Chechnya, Ukraine and other frontiers of the Empires, the naked truth would appears in clear vision. The fact that crack between two giant tectonic plates is about to break up to a truly global corrective war between ruling classes. Titans are getting ready to clash, and planning for the aftermath of the great cleansing, of billions of un-exploitable and expensive to feed human.

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Interview with Kees van der Pijl: Global Rivalries Today

By Orsan Senalp , Mehmet Senalp – 15 Apr 14

How have global rivalries shaped the world we live in, and how do they continue to affect the way some of the most crucial geopolitical decisions of our time are made? In this interview with renowned political scientist Kees van der Pijl, we look at some of the most pivotal events of recent years, from 9/11 to the Arab Spring and the current crisis in Ukraine, to reveal the surprising underlying forces at work.

original post

Kees van der Pijl

Introductory question: Since more or less the beginning of the neoliberal offensive in the 1970s, you have been leading important research and theoretical work on the Atlantic ruling class, international capitalist class formation, transnational capitalist classes and the global rivalries amongst capitalist classes which finally triggered a massive global economic crisis in 2007. Throughout the past decade you have been extremely productive, publishing a notable amount on these topics. In addition to numerous articles, your bookGlobal Rivalries was published in 2006, followed by Nomads, Empires, States andThe Foreign Encounter in Myth and Religion in 2007 and 2010 respectively. The first and second volumes of your Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economytrilogy were also published. The last volume The Discipline of Western Supremacywas just recently released. Besides this classical body of work, which in our opinion is on a par with Polanyi’s Great Transformation, you have written and updated a free web-textbook on Global Political Economy. Last year also saw the release of a reprint of The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class. Currently you are editing a very timely and exciting volume entitled International Political Economy of Production.

Kees, after seven years how do you view the current status of global rivalries amongst the ruling classes? Could you give us your account especially in relation to the grassroots uprisings that have been happening in different kinds of state-society complexes around the world following the 2007/2008 financial crisis? Do you think these were the uprisings anticipated in infamous Pentagon reports and National Security documents released on the eve of 9/11? What do you think the Atlantic ruling classes have done to prepare their response to these early warnings?

Kees van der Pijl: Historical events, as such, are never entirely anticipated, and even when planned, (such as the invasion of Iraq), they have consequences that nobody had foreseen. Of course, once events unfold, intellectual preparation will kick in, and then it depends on the quality of theoretical insight and the accuracy of contingency planning, as well as the readiness of the apparatus to put it into practice, as to– whether the planners can gain control over the course of events again. Continue reading

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
https://www.facebook.com/GlobalNetworkedLabourUnion

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!
https://www.facebook.com/events/583310555077672/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
https://www.facebook.com/events/252508808246947/?ref=22&source=3&source_newsfeed_story_type=regular

2dh5-festival for activists and world-changers Jan 31- feb 2 in The Hague

Global-Uprisings-Booklet---kees-1The Hague will be the venue for the 9th edition of the 2dh5-festival. Almost 10 years ago we started organizing such a festival because we thought it would be good to organize space for the exchange of information and knowledge about methods, tactics and strategies to achieve change. The name 2dh5 stems from a bold and mostly fatal chess move.

We like to move around with the festival and choose a new city every second year. This time it will be held in the capital of the Low Countries, The Hague. The main program (two days of workshops and presentations) will be in neighborhood center Sam Sam in the Schilderswijk, near train station Holland Spoor (Van Mierisstraat 226). The workshops are about many different subjects, from art and juridical struggle, to migrants issues, historical developments and the significance of analysis. Some workshops are very practical (preparing for next blockupy, destroying amazon.com, safety on internet) while others are more theoretical. See the program on the website: http://www.2dh5.nl/den-haag-2014/programma

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In defense of Occupy’s politics By R.C. Smith

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occupy_banner_boxing_dayIntroduction

Since the earliest days of Occupy Wall Street, the social movement has organised around a central message: “We are the 99%”. Starting in Manhattan, New York by a small group of activists, the movement was inspired by a reasonable sense of outrage against the bank bailouts and growing inequality, as well as by such movements as the Arab Spring, the student protests in Britain, and the “indignado” movement in Greece and Spain.[1] Originally influenced academically by certain strands of anarchist study in the field of anthropology, the Occupy Wall Street movement first made camp in Zuccotti Park and managed to inspire massive marches throughout the city of New York, whilst horizontally organising its own medical centres and libraries, shutting down key bridges and ports, and inspiring countless of other movements in cities across North America and Europe.[2] All of this was achieved, primarily, around the idea of a directly democractic, non-dominant and non-hierarchical politics which has since been highly criticised by several notable leftist theorists and academics.

In this paper, I will address some of the criticisms frequently held against Occupy’s politics. In the process I will argue why it is fundamentally false to conflate Occupy’s alternative politics with liberalism, and will show why the very philosophy and foundational structures of Occupy’s non-dominant, horizontal and mutually recognitive politics is the mark of a truly radical, revolutionary horizon.

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