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All Worked Up and Nowhere to Go | Amber A’Lee Frost
It’s true that many traditional labor unions are backward or weak; some will need an overhaul. After a notoriously failed strike effort, the Communications Workers of America cleaned house, replaced an incompetent leadership, assessed their failure, and regrouped. (It led to a successful strike against Verizon in 2016, one that yielded 1,300 new jobs and a 10.5 percent raise over four years.) Other unions, like the aforementioned Machinists, must be gutted entirely, their membership reorganized into new institutions. Mostly, though, we need to start organizing the unorganized (i.e., most workers) and focus heavily on strategic points of employment. As much as it would flatter my ego to believe otherwise, I am not at a particularly strategic point; I’m an adjunct professor at a private university, and even when we all strike, it’s only a problem for our little university microcosm.

But take heart, fellow atomized and expendable neoliberal subjects: there is a place for us in the coming wars! The microcosms still need to be organized (every bit helps), and established unions can be refreshed and steered toward radical ends. Nevertheless, I regret to inform you that much of this endeavor will be quite dull. Organizing is not usually as invigorating as rallying; it’s mostly meetings, planning, phone calls, emails, spreadsheets—you know, women’s work. There are a lot of tedious administrative tasks that go into forming and maintaining a union, and the work is rarely as romantic or cinematic as a bunch of taxi drivers locking down JFK. But those moments do happen. They’re sustaining, and they compound one another. Only labor can make it happen. Only workers can shut down production. Only workers can close the ports. Only workers can take capital hostage and make the whole world stand still.
politics  activism  WomensStrike  FisherMark  EtVC  TrumpDonald  travel  ban  airport  NewYork  taxis  NYTWA  strike  Uber  tradeUnions 
july 2017 by petej
The Political Economy of David Bowie - Political Economy Research Centre
"I wonder if what we find most alluring about Bowie today is his apparent lack of debt, in the constrictive, guilty sense of an obligation to honour one’s past promises. The contemporary financialisation of everyday life involves a fixing of individuals in certain life trajectories. Whatever we do, we have to stick to the path that guarantees a steady, predictable income, as calculated by past creditors. The past devours the future. Digital technology and social media assists with this, helping to fix our identities in place and render them transparent to credit-raters. In that sense, the cliched claim that we love Bowie because we’re all now engaged in self-invention seems to me the opposite of the truth: we mourn him because, short of another war or a truly destructive financial crisis, the idea of such freedom now seems impossible to envisage ever again."
BowieDavid  music  art  economy  UK  inequality  welfare  financialisation  capitalism  Piketty  WorldWarII  modernism  FisherMark  identity  authenticity  invention  creativity  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
august 2016 by petej
Commonplaces: Capitalist Realism Renewed
"I’d suggest we’re now really seeing the emergent crisis of a fragmented class presented with (a) a political system with no serious accountability to the people it governs, (b) a service-led economy where employers can only retain profits by increasing regimentation, regulation, work-discipline, wage-gutting and margin-boosting, (c) an ever-more-distant but also universally visible ruling class. This conjuncture ought to be political dynamite, but save a few flashes here and there, the powder’s not really been lit. In this, the attraction of ‘neo-anarchism’ becomes clear: it offers a promise of action against everything, as well as a freedom to act now. Despite its limitations, the allure of this political form should be understood."
FisherMark  anarchism  politics  capitalistRealism  media  anti-capitalism  class  postFordism  secession  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
november 2012 by petej

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