In this article Paul Bowman draws a line between revolutionary class analysis and universalist utopianism and goes on to explore the history of different ideas of class and the elusive revolutionary subject. After exploring the intersecting lines of class and identity, he poses the challenge that we as libertarian communists face as we strive to create “cultural and organisational forms of class power [that] do not unconsciously recreate the... hierarchies of identity and exclusion” that are the hallmark of the present society.
Against universalism, against utopianism
The term class divides people into two camps. One which seems to uphold its validity with an almost cult-like intensity, and a much larger camp that is at best undecided, but mostly turned off entirely by it – and especially so by the apparently religious fervour of the small minority in the first camp.
An essay in which the author claims that “technology is the most highly perfected Materialized Ideology”; “it was not by chance that the Stalinists supported the French nuclear power program that required, for its security and operation, a powerful and centralized power, the political form of power that they have always admired”.
Technology vs. Civilization – Bertrand Louart
1. The Genesis of Technology
“Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame,
A mechanized automaton.”
From Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem (1813)
Life within and against work: affective labor, feminist critique, and post-Fordist politics - Kathi Weeks
Kathi Weeks examines immaterial and affective labour from a feminist perspective, drawing on the work of both Arlie Hochschild and C.W. Mills.
Feminist theorists have long been interested in immaterial and affective labor, even if the terms themselves are a more recent invention. Their early explorations of immaterial laboring practices and relations were part and parcel of the struggle to expand the category of labor to include more of its gendered forms.
A short history of the refusal of work as a revolutionary strategy.
A strange delusion possesses the working classes of the nations where capitalist civilisation holds sway. This delusion drags in its train the individual and social woes which for two centuries have tortured sad humanity. This delusion is the love of work, the furious passion for work, pushed even to the exhaustion of the vital force of the individual and his progeny.'
Kathi Weeks discusses how even our concepts of leisure are defined in relation to work, and how we might escape work's domination of life.
The concept of a "jobless recovery" offers just one more example of the many ways that work is not working as a system of income allocation, pathway to individual achievement, or mode of social belonging. And yet, the only solution we are offered by political and corporate leaders is more business as usual: austerity and job creation; tighten our belts and put our noses to the grindstone.
Short piece on the hostility towards strikes and possibilities of a response away from traditional trade unions.
From the tube strikes to the postal strikes, to the upcoming round of public service cuts, and festering in every political blog’s foetid comments box and every wretched rancid letters page of the right-wing London free-sheets, a striking psycho-cultural phenomena emerges: negative solidarity.
libcom.org's brief introduction to work, what we think is wrong with it and what we, as workers, can do about it.
For the majority of us, most of our lives are dominated by work. Even when we are not actually at work, we are travelling to or from work, worrying about work, trying to recover from work in order to get back to work the next day, or just trying to forget about work.