Learning the Future: Bogdanov, Neurath, and Scientific Socialism


By Edmund Berger

Socialism has had a sort of poor track record as of late when it comes to science and technology. From Stalin’s violent repression of Mendelian genetics (and privileging of the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko) to the modern contemporary contingencies of anarcho-primitivists, it’s often easy to see what is ostensibly an ideology of advancement oscillating itself between confirmations of the worst despotisms of the dominant, capitalist order, and regressive attitudes towards the raw materials of possible emancipation. The paranoia of computers, simulation, and modelling that blossomed in the 1960s and has persisted until recently recalls, uncomfortably, the anti-scientism of climate change deniers. Where it does embrace technoscience, it adopts them as adjacent to, but not directly bound up within, the emancipatory project. Radical experiments in leftist technoscience, be it Chile’s CyberSyn or the Soviet Union’s own attempts at some form of cybernetic socialism during the Khrushchev years, have fallen by the wayside and are obscured from view. Critical theory continually returns to Situationist discourse, but always seems to focus on those elements that foreshadow insurrectionary anarchism and communization theory. It ignores the constructive side of the ‘construction of situations’ equation – the side on which we can find Constant Niewunhuy’s New Babylon, or Asger Jorn’s celebration of automation.

This is what I think is the greatest strength of Nick Srnicek and Alex William’s Inventing the Future – the reinstallation of technoscience as something intrinsic to a radical, left wing program. Automation, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and the planning of complex economic systems all find their application of the largely imaginal[1] horizon of a post-work world. Far from their inevitable brutal application under capitalist control, they offer a vision of technoscience as emerging from long-term state investment (where it emerges from in our current world, anyways) under the direction of democratic control by the population. Alongside this, breaking beyond capitalism requires the repurposing of existing technologies and infrastructures, to unmoor the class structures and exploitative mechanisms designed within their application. Building on Spinoza, the two suggest that “we know not what a sociotechnical body can do. Who among us fully recognizes what untapped potentials await discovery in the technologies that have already been developed? What sorts of postcapitalist communities could be built upon the material we already have?”[2]

Such a program – of developing new technologies through democratic mechanisms, and the repurposing of existing technologies – implies the generation of a sociotechnical literacy (to borrow a term from Arran James). How can a population be brought up to the level of being able to have substantial input into this sort of dynamic reformation? In a time when anti-scientism has yet to wane, how can the working class – and the surplus populations – learn of complexity, modeling systems, and the way that these technics and techniques exist in reciprocal feedback with the ebbs and flows of the population? True, outlets for learning of these things exists, but they remain shunted off in the university (itself repurposed long ago as training grounds for the petite bourgeoisie) or behind exorbitant paywalls. These privatizations of knowledge and knowledge production find their match in cultural attitudes and mores that tell the working class that these forms of knowledge are irrelevant to their daily situations – unless, of course, there is a perceived threat to their pocketbooks. To build a sociotechnical literacy, essential to a future-oriented hegemonic project, thus requires the building of an educational infrastructure that will help people to navigate the cutting edges of technoscience, while also speaking to them on a cultural level.

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A Digital Capitalism Reading List

Tektology – Energetic Materialism: The Bogdanov – Sultan Galiev Connection


13th Historical Materialism Conference London, November 10-13, 2016

Örsan Şenalp, orsansenalp@gmail.com


Alexander Bogdanov and Mirsaid Sultan Galiev are two forgotten precursors of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Both were scientist, artists, teachers, and political leaders who were eliminated by the primary names of the Revolution. Bogdanov lost his leadership quarrel with Lenin, and Sultan Galiev was the first Bolshevik leader Stalin arrested. Bogdanov was leading the Moscow branch of the Communist University, and Sultan Galiev was one of the managers at the Kazan branch. Bogdanov’s life work and magnum opus Tektology is recognized as a forerunner of modern Structuralism, Cybernetics, General Systems, Chaos and Complexity Theories -which have shaped the development of ‘bourgeois sciences’, during the 20. Century. On the other hand Sultan Galiev is seen as the father of ‘Third Worldist Revolutionism’, because of his political vision, called ‘Muslim National Communism’, and the strategy he developed for the creation of ‘Colonial International’ to lead the world revolution. While Bogdanov’s work was first of its kind that was updating Marx’s Dialectical Materialist methodology in a way that could provide systematic principles, uncovering patterns, generalizations and simplification to analyze the complexities inherited in every kind of living and nonliving systems as well as their change; Sultan Galiev’s theses can be seen as predecessor to the structuralist analyses of global capitalism and imperialism delivered in late 60s and 70s by theorists like Althusser, Foucault, Balibar; Dependency theory of Baran and Sweezy, or ‘Capitalist World-System Analysis’ of Wallerstein and his colleagues. However, despite the physical and psychical proximity of the spaces they lived, work they did, people they met, and vision they developed, there has been no historical study establishing the relationships between these two significant figures of the Soviet Revolution. Proposed research, as part of a broader project analyzing further the contemporary relevance of Bogdanov and Sultan Galiev’s theory and practice for global labour class formation and organizing its emancipation, aims to trace such relationship by investigating any influence of Bogdanov’s elaborated scientific philosophy (Empriomonism / Tektology), on the political and strategical vision developed by Sultan Galiev (Muslim National Communism and Colonial Internationalism). My starting point is the key article written by Sultan Galiev in 1925, which caused his second arrest in 1928,  where he claimed deploying ‘Energetic Materialist’ methodology, with his own words “more radical strand of revolutionary philosophy of Historical and Dialectical Materialism” (Sultan Galiev, 2016), when building his political analyses and world revolution strategy. It was well known, then and now, that it was Bogdanov who did dedicate his life time effort to advance Marxist methodology by synthesizing ‘incomplete-monist’ Energetism and Empriociticism of Ernst Mach, Wilhelm Ostwald, and Richard Avenarius, and Dialectic and Historical Materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Although the term ‘Energetic Materialism’ reemerged in 70s and 80s with the work of Gilles Deleuze, for the time of Sultan Galiev the only source for  such a ‘rebranding’ had to refer Bogdanov’s work. My initial research questions thus are: Were there any direct or indirect personal relationships, or correspondence between Bogdanov and Sultan Galiev? and to what extend the philosophy and methodology developed by the former did influence the political analysis and practice of the letter? I will study relevant archive material, analyze and compare published and unpublished writings in their originals, and map the social networks of the two figures to find answers to these questions.
Keywords: Alexander Bogdanov, Mirsaid Sultan Galiev, World Revolution, Science, Philosophy, Methodology, Dialectical Materialism, Historical Materialism, Energetic Materialism, Empriomonism, Tektology, Emancipation of Labour

—– Very early draft work in progress —-

Next Post Capitalist Convergence Call Monday 5th Sept 19:00 CET, 13:00 EST

Info for the next call: 

The aim now is to host regular calls every Monday.

The next cal is Monday 5th Sept 19:00 CET, 13:00 EST

There was a low turn out last week so if the times don’t work for you let us know.

Be sure to read the list of initiatives. This call is also open to those who could not attend the forum.


The call will be through English.

Please RSVP to confirm your participation by emailing Kevin.

You can reach him by email kev.flanagan@gmail.com

We will aim be online 15 mins before start time to help with connection issues.

In line with values expressed in the initiatives please use FLOSS (free libre open source software) as much as possible for communications. The call will be on Jitsi as an alternative to Skype and Google. Please test Jitsi works with your browser in advance of the call. The invitation is open for more technical participants to connect and share knowledge and learning with non techies.

The meeting room is – https://meet.jit.si/CommonsSpace

Please turn off video as this can be demanding on bandwidth and also press mute when not speaking to avoid call interference and feedback.

It is also good to have a backup option. For this it is proposed to use https://www.freeconferencecall.com/

Here is a list of local numbers you can call from your country http://bit.ly/FreConf

Once you call follow the instructions and enter the following code 2393366# to join.

In advance of the call to learn more about who is joining please introduce yourself on the mailing list and include information about initiatives/projects/organisations you are involved with and your interest in the initiatives proposed during the convergence. Which you can review below and here https://fsm2016.org/en/groupes/initiatives-of-the-convergence-for-post-capitalist-transition/

You can volunteer and assist in keeping minutes and notes from the call on the pad –


About the Initiative

On Wed 10th of August over 150 people attended the Convergence on Post Capitalist Transition at the 2016 World Social Forum in Montreal. It was clear from the many discussions and initiatives present that ‘There are Plenty of Alternatives’ to capitalism and neoliberalism. Following the convergence activists convened at the WSF Agora on Sat 13th of August and came to agreement to work together on common goals and actions.

For updates and developments see https://commonsspace.hackpad.com/Initiatives-of-the-Convergence-for-Post-Capitalist-Transition-V6Oc6IeAM7M
and sign up to the mailing list http://lists.p2pfoundation.net/wws/review/wsf2016

Over the next 3 months from Sept to Nov 2016 the initiators of the Post-Capitalist Convergence will host a series of online dialogues with the aim of supporting networking and the creation of working groups for shared actions –

1) To transition to a post-capitalist society and challenge capitalism on local, regional, national and international levels by building political power, through participatory democracy, local assemblies and economic democracy.

2) To support and extend trans-national networks of solidarity.

3) To share knowledge and experiences of transition initiatives, in all their diversity, through both networking and popular education.

4) To develop policies and practices to support inclusive initiatives that respect women, gender diversity, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.

5) To support the creation and issue of alternative and community currencies.

6) To move away from societies based on mass consumption towards societies where resources are cared for, upcycled, recycled and shared. This also requires political action and transformation to move beyond economics based on extractivism.

7) To use non-corporate communications tools (Dégooglisation). To Support Independent media and control of communications infrastructure that respect and protect the privacy and free expression of activists based on Free Libre Open Source Software.

8) To get the influence of big money out of politics.

9) At a fringe meeting in the context of the World Social Forum 2016’s Commons Space, members of Transformap, RIPESS and Greenmap decided to convene for Mapping the Alternatives during a Winter Camp late 2016, early 2017.
With no more than 15 participants – contributors to different movements, programmers and common users among them – this Winter Camp in the form of a Deep Dive shall allow for an in-depth analysis of the existing challenges to a distributed, semantic mapping process. This will help distill collective steps to meet the shared vision.
The concrete aim is to prepare an international mapping happening at a site where caring oikonomies are alive. This event is mainly conceived as a productive open space. It combines various local mapping activities in multiple workshop formats and takes place during 2017.

10) To build a shared political agenda for the advocacy of Commons. To develop Commons Charters for the defence and creation of Commons. Taking inspiration from initiatives such as the Bologna Regulation of the Urban Commons and the Barcelona Procomun declaration.
As a first action in this direction the following call from WSF participants to GSEF participants (Global Social Economy Forum) to adopt Urban Commons Charters –

From participants to the WSF who met in Montreal (August 9th-10th 2016) to the municipal elected officials and actors of the SSE gathering/convening at the GSEF in Montreal (September 7th to 9th 2016).

Proposed by the Commons Space, the Post-capitalist Transition Convergence Assembly, which included many thematic spaces of the WSF (Emancipation, Degrowth , Environment, SSE, Open Technology), invites the GSEF to study and recommend that cities adopt an Urban Commons Charter. The crafting of these charters should be based on the principles of participation and co-creation by all the citizens. These charters should give an institutional, economic and juridical framework for the emergence, self-organisation and sustainability of civic commons initiatives in cities. They also should stay open to contribution by citizens and be part of a proactive participatory decision-making process in all aspects of city life.
GSEF participants can refer to the Charters developed in many European countries, like Italy (97 cities with commons charters), France and its annual festival ‘Cities in Commons’ or Spain, where the city of Barcelona contributed recently, with civil society actors, to the development of a policy framework based on the social and political principles of the Commons.

There is common ground with other initiatives that were presented at the Agora and we hope we can work together on those points.

For further information, Future French language translation, contacts and follow up please see the following pad for details –


We invite all organisations who participated in the convergence and support the initiatives to add their names to the document.

Another World is Possible


imageFrom peervalueconf.eu – Today, 3:46 PM

Peer Value:Advancing the Commons Collaborative Economy is a conference integrating conversations and plans of action for shaping and connecting the Commons on a global level.

The conference is organized along three tracks:

Track 1: P2P: Inclusive Politics, Activism and Law for the Commons
Track 2: Decentralized Tech and Beyond:Global Design,Local Production
Track 3: From Platform to Open Cooperativism

We will explore questions such as:
What are the conditions that encourage communities to work as peers, creating commons?
What are the best practices communities can adopt to safeguard their resilience?
Decentralization – why is it important, and how is it implemented and maintained?
How can the working methodologies honed by well-established digital communities act as transitional guidelines for sustainable “material” manufacturing?
What about social innovation and livelihoods – how does contributory and open accounting work with the systems of value creation found in CBPP?
How can civil society participate in recommending policy proposals that support CBPP for governments at the local, regional, national – even global – levels?
Join your peers, add your voice and take part in the growing conversation about the Commons as an important, emerging collaborative social model.

Program: http://peervalueconf.eu

Commons Associations — keimform.de

An idea for unifying commons-based projects in a self-organised solidarity economy that’s easy and convenient to join

[Diesen Artikel gibt es auch auf Deutsch.]

The ideas presented in this document are based on an open space session that took place in April 2016 during the spring meeting of the German Commons Institute. The session was initiated by Gunter; further participants were Britta, Christian, Hannes, Nikolas, Sarah, and Sunna.

This document has been written by Christian and Hannes together with Nikolas, Gunter, and Stefan T. It has been translated by Justin and Christian.

Source: Commons Associations — keimform.de

A conference on social and labour rights for the 21st century – Alter Summit

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español] [français]

In October 2016, Alter Summit in collaboration with different partners* is organizing a European conference on social and labour rights. Through this activity and its elaboration process, we want to put the social question in the centre of the European public debate.

The conference is willing to define social and labour rights in the framework of a “democratic rebellion” in Europe, taking in account three fundamental transformations that questions these rights in our actual society: digitalization of the economy, migrations and the ecological transition.

Such ambitious objective needs the effective participation of our member organizations as well as near networks, movements and organizations. Through this participative process, we expect that social dynamics at local or sectorial levels could bring there knowledges and experiences.

Moreover, this process has to strengthen our dynamic of action beyond October 2016 and must be inserted in the movement of social change we are carrying.In order to discuss collectively these elements, we would like to invite you for:

Preparatory Meeting

Thursday 21 April, 10am – 2pm CCOO de CatalunyaVia Laietana 16 (Metro Pl. Jaume I) Floor 4, Room 43Agenda:− Presentation and discussion of the European conference project− Share of experiences on local/sectorial realities− How to go beyond a “conference” and associate local resistances against austerity

If you are planning to attend the preparatory meeting, please contact sebastian@altersummit.eu

* Transform, PlanB and Diem25 initiatives, trade unions networks

Source: A conference on social and labour rights for the 21st century – Alter Summit

Progressive Philanthropy’ Needs to Spur System Change

Below post is a reproduction by CommonsTransition.org, original text appeared on David Bollier’s official blog. While the keynote calls all the ‘progressive philanthropists’ of the world to unite for a system change, there is too little signs of understanding or insights in the speech of these organized progressive funders, who are they and what their objectives are, and more importantly for what reason this industry would pour millions of funding into post-corporate and post-market alternatives; while it would be devastating for the real source of their existence which is largest capitalist corporations and their representative state-civil society apparatus. Without a proper class analysis, it seems like such a key note call needs to be reversed upside down. A quick scan of EDGE Funder Alliance structure and the titles of their previous conferences, from 2011 on, one can see that the main theme has been the system change, under banner of ‘the next system’, and ‘new economy’. So who follows who, who frames the other is not really obvious.

On April 19, I delivered a short opening keynote talk at the EDGE Funders Alliance conference in Berkeley, California, on the challenges facing progressive philanthropy in fostering system change. My remarks were based on a longer essay that I wrote for EDGE Funders, “A Just Transition and Progressive Philanthropy,” which is re-published below.

The weak reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis….the ineffectuality of climate change negotiations over the course of twenty-one years….the social polarization and stark wealth and income inequality of our time. Each represents a deep structural problem that the neoliberal market/state seeks to ignore or only minimally address. As more Americans come to see that the state is often complicit in these problems, and only a reluctant, ineffectual advocate for change, there is a growing realization that seeking change within the system of electoral politics, Washington policy and the “free market” can only yield only piecemeal results, if that. There is a growing belief that “the system is rigged.” People have come to understand that “free trade” treaties, extractivist development, austerity politics and the global finance system chiefly serve an economic elite, not the general good. As cultural critic Douglas Rushkoff has put it, “I’ve given up on fixing the economy. The economy is not broken. It’s simply unjust.”

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Grève Social to change Europe – Transnational Social Strike Platform

The Independent Union for Precarious and Autonomous workers (CLAP – Camere del Lavoro Autunomo e Precario) part of the Transnational Social Strike Platform will go to Paris to participate to the general strike against the Loi Travail called for the 28th April.

When the general strike against Loi Travail the 31st March became a permanent occupation of Place de la République, something new has happened in Europe, and not only in Paris. A real event of great importance for three main reasons.

Firstly, the forms of social strike, already prevalent in the anti-CPE struggles in spring 2006, met the forms of Puerta del Sol and the Spanish 15M (2011): the resistance, not only of young people against labour precarization, is combined with the constituent research of new democracy. Secondly, the rejection of austerity policies, so relevant in the southern countries, finally spilled over in France. Thirdly, this was a totally unexpected social response after the terrorist attacks and the imposition of the state of emergency, since last November. 

From Paris, and from all France, we receive some unequivocal messages: to defend workers’ rights it is also necessary to rethink the forms of political decision; no European state is immune from austerity measures and neoliberal management of the crisis; fighting the war inside and outside the continental borders means extending the rights and regaining democracy. 

 Are the struggles of recent weeks and European movements able to answer to these French challenges? At least we need to try to live up to what is happening. It is not the first time we go to France to ‘take notes’: it happened in the 90s, when we went to support the winning fight against the ‘minimum entry wage’ (1994), the transport workers fight (1995), and the fight of unemployed (1997), and again in the spring of 2006. Thus, we go again on Thursday April 28th, during the French general strike, not to better understand a “national” issue, but at the contrary to experience the European movement of struggles, the discuss the transnational conquest of the strike, and the insistence for a metropolitan democracy. 

The same questions that we have posed last October in Poznan, in the first Transnational Social Strike Meeting, and then in the organization of the 1st March. These French struggles and the #GlobalDebout launched on the 15th May, are an extraordinary new opportunity to continue to experiment together. 

CLAP for the Transnational Social Strike

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.transnational-strike.info

See on Scoop.itNetworked Labour

Working in the Gig Economy Is Both Desirable and Detestable

Independent contractors and temp-agency workers see things very differently.

As Uber reached a proposed settlement last week of up to $100 million in a pair of class-action cases, CEO Travis Kalanick highlighted the part of the deal that classified drivers of the app-enabled ride hailing service as independent contractors, not employees. 

 “Drivers value their independence—the freedom to push a button rather than punch a clock,” he asserted. 

 And then there’s David Weil, the head of the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, who has warned of an increasingly “fissured workplace” in which many a business is likely to “completely wash its hands of labor standards and say, ‘Not my employees, not my problem.’”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: fortune.com

Given that the Fortune is a publication to reflecting a capitalist class point of view, one wonders if some big capitalists are in betrayal to their ‘class in general’; by defending workers against the gig capitalists?  

See on Scoop.itNetworked Labour

‘Nuit Debout’ goes global: France’s youth-led movement urges worldwide protests on May 15

The French protest movement “Nuit Debout” (Up All Night) plans to go international, urging people around Europe and the world to take to the streets to protest austerity, among many other grievances, on May 15.

In the photo: A woman faces French anti riot policemen as they block the access to the Place de la Republique after protesters taking part in the Nuit Debout (Up All Night) movement in Paris, on May 1, 2016. 

The French protest movement “Nuit Debout” (Up All Night) plans to go international, urging people around Europe and the world to take to the streets to protest austerity, among many other grievances, on May 15.

The call for a “global day of action” was published on the movement’s social networks’ pages on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #GlobalDebout.

“We call on people’s movements across the world to mobilize for justice and real democracy on the weekend of May 15, 2016 for a #GLOBALDEBOUT,” the event’s descriptions states.

The aim of the global movement would be to arrange local “autonomous” protests linked by an issue that is urgent for the region, be it austerity, low wages or jobs. An international meeting with activists from around Europe was held at Paris’ Place de la Republique on Saturday, which called to share experience “in order to build a common struggle in Europe.” 

It’s only been a couple of months since the youth-led movement Nuit Debout started, but some of the protests have been turbulent: in April, more than 20 demonstrators were injured in Rennes, and police used tear gas to disperse the protests all over the country.

Thousands gathered all over France on April 9, and the movement drew comparison with the Occupy demonstrations in the US.

The protests have taken place in Paris, Marseille, Rouen, Rennes, Toulouse, and other cities.

The movement’s Facebook page has got over 50,000 “likes” in less than 10 days. Currently, the page has over 130,000 followers.

It all started on March 31, after some 400,000 people marched in several cities across France to protest the proposed labor reform that would make it easier for employers to fire workers. Since then it grew into wider anti-government protests, with demonstrators expressing their grievances over a wide range of issues.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.rt.com

See on Scoop.itAnother World Now!

Press Release – Nuit Debout Paris May 4th, 2016


Please share with your press contacts and help spread.

Programme of the meeting May 7th & 8th

PRESS RELEASE, Paris May 4th, 2016

NUIT DEBOUT INTERNATIONAL MEETING on May 7th & 8th in Paris, Place de la République, and #GLOBALDEBOUT mobilisations worldwide on May 15th, 2016.

Together, we are an immense force!

Let’s gather together on May 7th & 8th to rise up together on May 15th.

Since March 31st, the Nuit Debout movement has transformed public space into a place for exchange where everyone has a right to speak and take politics into their hands. After more than a month’s occupation, Nuit Debout has spread throughout France and abroad; in Spain, Germany, in England as well as the United States and Canada.

On May 7th & 8th, the international meeting of Nuit Debout will take place in Paris at the Place de la République. Activists and citizens from around the world will come to Paris to meet, debate, share their experiences and build shared perspectives and solutions. This meeting also aims at collectively preparing and launching a call to come out into the streets and occupy squares across the globe this May 15th, notably on the occasion of the Spanish 15M/Indignados’ anniversary.

The concerns expressed by the French meet those expressed by their neighbours. The labour law reform in France echoes numerous similar reforms carried out in other countries and which have lead to an in increase in precariousness, inequalities and misery. These shared problems are numerous and it is essential to add up energy and local initiatives in order to unite and put forward a global response.

The programme of this international meeting will allow participants to engage in the construction of an international convergence of struggles through debates, workshops, discussions and assemblies. These encounters will also help to strengthen ties between movements and individuals who struggle against increasingly precarious working and living conditions, against the destruction of our planet, against the logic of private interests in the detriment of public and general interests.

Another world is possible. Social movements, collectives and citizens are building it together, joining on May 7th & 8th in Paris, Place de la République, and will rise up around the world on May 15th.

On May 15th, our neighbourhoods, our towns, our villages, our squares and our streets will be occupied because politics is everyone’s responsibility!

Press contact: intnuitdebout@riseup.net

Sara (+33)07 61 67 58 10 – French, English, Italian, Russian, Albanian
Elisa (+33)06 73 76 47 73 – French, Italian, English
Natascia (+39) 392 3582891 – Italian, English
Marion (+33)06 15 25 46 55 – French, Spanish

International call
Programme meeting May 7th & 8th
@GlobalDebout HT #GlobalDebout
Facebook Event 7-8 May
Facebook Event 15 May
List of towns Debout

All the May Day LiveStreams of the world, unite! | International Labour Media Network



Below is a message and call from comrade Steve Zeltzer:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The ILWU Local 10 initiated May Day 2016 starting at their San Francisco union hall will be streamed live. There will also be a march to the San Francisco Harry Bridges Plaza next to the Ferry Building. Speakers from unions and actor/activist Danny Glover will also speak. If you can also stream your May Day events we can put an embed code on your channel to mirror it so we can have international May Day on line. If you cannot stream it but video tape the rallies and speakers we can put it together for May Day 2016 around the world.

In Solidarity,

Steve Zeltzer

International Labor Media Channel
Pacifica KPFA WorkWeek Radio

Watch the SF 2016 Mayday rally and march live at: http://ilmlivestream.com
Date: May 1, 2016
Time zone: 11-2pm PST

Embed Code For SF May Day Broadcast for your website

Theses on a Unionism Beyond Capitalism


By Eric Forman 

Read it on ROAR

— 0 —

At the dawn of industrial capitalism, the protagonists of the workers’ movement saw in the ineluctable conflict between labor and capital a contradiction that would burst the integuments of class society asunder. Communism would enter the historical stage through the breach.

— 1 —

Instead, a “negative dialectic” emerged, in which the contradictions of capitalism are sublimated and deferred into political mediation at the workplace and at the societal level through the institutions of trade unions and political parties, or submerged in bloody repression.

— 2 —

Fascism, social democracy, state socialism, and corporate liberalism were political responses to the economic contradictions inherent in the capitalist mode of production in the first half of the twentieth century. They were granted political currency by the credible threat of communist revolution. All of these systems were ultimately unable to resolve the contradictions of capitalism and instead displaced them into repression and inter-imperialist war.

— 3 —

The victory of the Allied powers in World War II was the victory of corporate liberalism and social democracy in the advanced capitalist core, and the victory of state socialism in large swaths of the periphery.

— 4 —

In the period following World War II in the advanced capitalist core, labor unions developed into a pillar of a “social compromise” that granted “middle class” prosperity to a large proportion of the working class, and stability to the organizational form of the labor union assured by the capitalist state.

— 5 —

The terms of the social compromise vary by country, but the contours of the agreement are always the same: labor peace and continued production in return for loyalty to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie at the level of production in the form of acknowledgement of “management prerogative” in the production process, and acquiescence to the foreign policy dictates of transnational capital.

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International Meeting for #GlobalDebout Program


May 7th-8th – Paris, Place de la République

This meeting is intended for activists and citizens all over the world. Please fill out this document to inform us of your expectations and needs

FRIDAY NIGHT Greeting the international participants, presentation of the week-end’s program,

SATURDAY MORNING: International popular assembly

1/ Presentation of the week-end’s program, brief explanation of NuitDebout’s history
2/ Presentations by international militants to share their experiences and initiatives, open reactions from the Assembly

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: International solidarity and organization of #‎GlobalDebout (15th of May)

1/ Four workshops to debate initiatives, techniques and tools used in social movements tackling international questions. Particularly given the current environmental context, migration issues, a neo-capitalist economy, Tafta/TTIP, European treaties

1st group: « Resisting » Social Movements (ex: targeted actions, strikes, demonstrations, social media campaigns) This session will discus actions and tactics used by social movements, such as strikes, direct action, demonstrations, social media campaigns

2nd group: Alternative social movements (ex.: ZADs, squats, autonomous zones). This session will discuss models and how to build resilience, such as zadists, squatters, autonomous zones

3rd group: Effective social movements (ex.: popular initiatives, law proposals, citizen platforms, participatory democracy…)

4th group: Towards a transnational social movement? (e.g.: communication & social media as tools to expand our movements; the effects movements have on each other, as with 15M and Nuit Debout)

2/ Workshops: how can we think and organize the #GlobalDebout day on May 15th?
Strategy meetings to organize the decentralized mobilizations of May 15th: tactics, communication, content and action.

SATURDAY EVENING: Music, food & fun

SUNDAY : Debates and discussions relating to international themes

1/ Thematic assemblies and workshops organized by international and local groups and commissions of Paris Nuit Debout.
Themes suggested so far: shale gas, nuclear energy and the environment; wars, migrant crises and the European Union; austerity, poverty and the debt; Tafta; labor laws and labor market; neo-capitalism

2/ General assembly presenting Saturday’s conclusions

3/ Closing action (surprise !)




We call on peoples movements across the world to mobilise for justice and real democracy on the 15 of May, 2016 for a #GLOBALDEBOUT. We invite you to come to Paris for an International Gathering of movements at Place de la Republic on May 7 and 8.

Today #46mars (April 15) is just two weeks after one million people mobilized in Paris and the movement Nuit Debout continues to grow. In numerous French and foreign cities, #Nuitdebout (Night on our Feet) is a light in the dark, it gives testimony to our hopes, dreams and common rebellions. Those who have taken the squares in the past and those who are taking them NOW: we know something is happening.

The struggle for a better world is Global and without boarders, let’s construct together a global spring of resistance! Join to us on May 7th and 8th in Paris at Place de Republique to debate, to share our experiences and to begin to construct together common solutions. There we will strategise and prepare for an International day of Action on MAY 15th (#76mars). On this date we will occupy, mobilise and take direct action together across the world.

Nuit Debout’s first aim is to create a space for the ‘convergence of stuggles’. We hope this convergence will go beyond France and spread worldwide. There exist numerous links between social movements in all four corners of the world; from unemployment to the imposition of the financial markets, from the destruction of the environment to war and unacceptable inequality.

In repsonse to a system based on competition and individualism, we answer with the solidarity, participatory democracy and collective action. Our differences are not a source of divisions, but rather our strength, as we complement each other struggles. We are neither listened nor represented by the current economic system.

Together we retake public space and politics because politics is a matter of all of us. Now is not the moment retreat, but to come together for change.

We are the 99 % and we are here to reject the financial and poltical rule of the 1 % and their world. We are here to take back our cities, our places of work and our lives.

On May 7th and 8th, let’s come together to Paris to the square of the Republic!

On the day of May 15 we will rise up together for a global day of action.

#NuitDebout everywhere! #GlobalDebout!

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Globally Networked Union Education and Labour Studies: The Past, Present and Future

Jeffery Taylor⇑
Athabasca University, Canada


The literature on globally networked learning environments (GNLEs) has predominantly focused on research or classroom partnerships in higher education that usually involve traditional students enrolled in traditional degree programmes. However, the driving motivation behind GNLEs – learning in partnership across institutional and national boundaries to address issues of globalization – also has significant relevance for global labour education. To what extent, then, are labour educators taking advantage of such partnered learning environments to learn with and from each other across national boundaries? In order to explore this issue, this article provides a historical overview of e-learning initiatives in labour education to identify the challenges labour educators may need to address in order to facilitate such partnered learning environments.

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Contextualizing Organized Labour in Expansion and Crisis


by Kim Moody

University of Hertfordshire k.moody@herts.ac.uk


While, as Marx argued, periods of expanded accumulation present the best conditions for increasing working-class living standards, the expansion that began in 1982 was based in large part on the rapid fall in the value of labour-power in the US. This recovery and rapid rise in the rate of surplus-value in the US was enabled by the collapse of union-resistance beginning in 1979 and the strategic choices made by union-leaders across the economy from that time on. The expansion was sustained in the 1980s by dramatic work-reorganisation, enabled by the embrace of labour-management cooperation-schemes by much of the trade-union leadership, and the restructuring of several major industries that undermined the industry-wide bargaining on which rising postwar incomes had been based. Productivity, boosted by lean production-methods, would continue to outstrip real wages up until the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008 and resume again in the wake of a weak recovery in the US. The rapid geographic expansion of capital after 1990 provided new investment-possibilities, as did the explosion of fijinancial instruments. What stands out, however, is that rising productivity, far from providing the basis for increases in working-class income, had become coupled with flat or declining real wages and a fall in the value of labour-power as the necessary condition to sustain almost any level of growth in the real economy. The link between productivity and wage-increases, central to Keynesian and institutional collective-bargaining theory, had been broken and Marx’s idea of the most favourable conditions stood on its head. The breaking of this link had, in the fijinal analysis, been an outcome of class-struggle in which capital had the upper hand. All of this underlines the failed strategies and practices of most of the trade-union leadership in the US since 1979. New approaches to the workplace and broader forms of mobilisation will be needed. Signs of worker-resistance to the latest neoliberal clampdowns in Latin America, Europe, China, and even the US, however, may point to a renewed era of intensifijied class-struggle.

Keywords: crisis, profijit-rate, recession, surplus-value, union, resistance

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