petej + class   588

If you position migrants as an opposing force to the working class, colluding with elites to push down wages, you’re not a socialist.
If you position migrants as an opposing force to the working class, colluding with elites to push down wages, you’re not a socialist.

You just like your racism with a side portion of renationalised utilities.
UK  EU  Brexit  LabourParty  freedomOfMovement  migration  class  borders  immigration 
7 days ago by petej
Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good - The New York Times
All of this has led to a curious new reality: Human contact is becoming a luxury good.

As more screens appear in the lives of the poor, screens are disappearing from the lives of the rich. The richer you are, the more you spend to be offscreen.

---

The wealthy can afford to opt out of having their data and their attention sold as a product. The poor and middle class don’t have the same kind of resources to make that happen.
care  automation  technology  inequality  wealth  luxury  class  education  schools  children  teaching  community  isolation  SiliconValley 
27 days ago by petej
An inevitable division: the politics and consequences of the Labour split | openDemocracy
As I’ve pointed out before most of the Blairite MPs became Labour MPs on the basis of a particular implicit understanding of what that role entailed. According to this understanding, the purpose of a Labour MP is to try to persuade the richest and most powerful individuals, groups and institutions to make minor concessions to the interests of the disadvantaged, while persuading the latter to accept that these minor concessions are the best that they can hope for. That job description might well entail some occasional grandstanding when corporate institutions are engaged in particularly egregious forms of behaviour (such as making loans to very poor people at clearly exorbitant rates), or when the political right is engaged in explicit displays of racism or misogyny. But it doesn’t entail any actual attempt to change the underlying distributions of power in British society; and in fact it does necessarily, and structurally, entail extreme hostility towards anybody who proposes to do that.
UK  politics  LabourParty  IndependentGroup  split  UmunnaChuka  Blairism  GapesMike  LabourFirst  Progress  class  capitalism  centrism  managerialism  anti-Semitism  Corbynism  Brexit  Labourism  coalition  Germany  FreeDemocraticParty  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
8 weeks ago by petej
Why Class Matters
Just to reiterate my main point: real utopias become viable when they span these two strategies, taming and eroding capitalism. That’s why it’s different from old-fashioned Bernsteinian evolutionary socialism. The role of the state in such a transformational project is to defend and expand the spaces in which alternatives are built from below, rather than for the state to provide, to be the central actor in the provision of needs.
class  Marxism  inequality  domination  power  exploitation  Marx  Weber  socialism  anti-capitalism  analyticalMarxism  Althusser  Poulantzas  AlbertMichael  markets  cooperative  utopias  interview  dctagged  dc:contributor=WrightErikOlins 
8 weeks ago by petej
The rise of the student worker | Red Pepper
The marketisation of universities and privatisation of the students’ social reproduction has broken the walls separating the university as an academically oriented space that is partially autonomous from the demands of capital. From setting foot on campus to taking a loan to finding place to live, students today cannot escape their forcible integration into international capital’s search for investment returns in an increasingly volatile market.
mai68  students  PCF  France  TheLeft  ToynbeePolly  demo2010  UK  grants  loans  work  labour  jobs  class  debt  interestRates  financialisation  marketisation 
january 2019 by petej
Brexit: Why Labour should stick to its conference strategy
Brexit is now a class struggle — between a hard right nationalist project and, on the other side, an alliance of liberal centrists, with working class socialists, Greens and the left-nationalists in Scotland and Wales. The Leave 2.0 campaign will be, in Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase, an “alliance of the elite and the mob”. The Remain campaign should be an alliance of the working class and progressive middle class and any business leaders with the guts to join it — ie excaclty the kind of formation that the left used in the mid-1930s to fight the far right.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  softBrexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  StarmerKeir  Remain  reform  class  nationalism  middleClass  workingClass  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
january 2019 by petej
Brexiters ache to dish out a severe spanking, whether we like it or not | Nick Cohen | Opinion | The Guardian
Thatcher protected her voters while hammering the manufacturing working class. Cameron, Clegg and Osborne turned benefit claimants into an enemy within and spun the fantastical tale that Labour’s generosity towards the poor was the true cause of the financial crisis. As it was with Thatcher and Cameron, so it will be with May. The referendum was yet another symptom of how the old overrule the young in the modern west.
UK  EU  Brexit  Thatcherism  Leave  suffering  hardship  nostalgia  KCaCO  class  dctagged  dc:creator=CohenNick 
january 2019 by petej
Brexit is a class betrayal. So why is Labour colluding in it? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
These things are part of a vast charge sheet not only against the modern Conservative party, but an alliance of old and new money that has set the basic terms of British politics for the past 40 years. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson were educated at the same exclusive school as the prime minister whose idiotic decision to hold a referendum gave them their opportunity. Nigel Farage and Arron Banks are archetypal examples of the kind of spivs who were given licence to do as they pleased in the 80s. For all their absurd bleating about “elites”, we all know what these people represent: the two faces of the modern English ruling class, who have long combined to be nothing but trouble.
UK  Brexit  Leave  ToryParty  deindustrialisation  austerity  referendum  misinformation  dishonesty  Thatcherism  opposition  LabourParty  withdrawalAgreement  noDeal  PeoplesVote  class  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
november 2018 by petej
Tommy Robinson and the far right’s new playbook | World news | The Guardian
The real challenge posed by the far right is its success at spreading anti-Muslim and xenophobic attitudes in society at large. The best defence is a political movement that has anti-racism at its core and seeks to give people greater democratic control over the way their society is organised and run. But this is about more than politics as a professional occupation: it involves all of us, and it is a matter of culture and institutions as much as elections or parliamentary debates. The leading far-right activists understand this, and the campaign around Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is just one symptom of a bigger problem – which must be challenged, locally and internationally, before it starts to do serious damage.
UK  politics  farRight  extremism  Islamophobia  RobinsonTommy  racism  xenophobia  EDL  contemptOfCourt  freedomOfSpeech  immigration  multiculturalism  BannonStephen  Breitbart  Internet  RebelMedia  FLA  DFLA  BNP  FrontNational  culture  9/11  warOnTerror  victimhood  media  publicity  authenticity  class  identity  austerity  exclusion  deindustrialisation  decline  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
october 2018 by petej
Nostalgia Mining | Amber A’Lee Frost
The real commonality among these films, though, is their affection for miners but not so much for workers. To put it another way, the films seem to like miners best when they’re playing a flugelhorn, marching in gay pride parades, or driving their creative children far away from the coalfields so they can dance ballet. Miners were always more than just miners, but it’s a lot harder to talk about the actual jobs they were fighting for. I don’t blame the filmmakers too much for falling short here; it’s hard to explain why preserving such difficult, dangerous, and unhealthy work was so politically strategic, but those jobs gave working-class Brits a hand on the lever of both the welfare state and the industrial policy of the United Kingdom. It’s not that there’s some overlooked romance in pickaxes and pit ponies; workers controlling mining meant that the workers who built the country might be able to run it too, and not in some symbolic, protesty, “whose streets? our streets!” kind of way. I mean really run the country. And they came so damn close.

My fixer says he worries that a recently invigorated love for the miners might have something to do with the fact that they’re no longer a threat to power, and I can’t say I don’t share his concerns. It’s true that there was plenty of vocal support for the miners during the strike, but the difference between mercy and solidarity has become ever-blurrier amid the disastrous global decline of the labor movement. Mercy is for Christians, and solidarity is for socialists. It’s not that the two categories are mutually exclusive (and a little mercy certainly makes the world more bearable), but one is hardly a substitute for the other. Mercy dictates support for the miners because they were wickedly and ruthlessly felled; solidarity dictates support for the miners because the union makes us strong.
UK  mining  miners  coal  MinersStrike  NUM  tradeUnions  history  RedHills  Durham  nostalgia  preservation  ScargillArthur  Stalin  class  film  solidarity 
october 2018 by petej
Mis-sold, expensive and overhyped: why our universities are a con | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
For two decades, Westminster has used universities as its magic answer for social mobility. Ministers did so with the connivance of highly paid vice-chancellors, and in the process they have trashed much of what was good about British higher education. What should be sites for speculative inquiry and critical thinking have instead turned into businesses that speculate on property deals, criticise academics who aren’t publishing in the right journals – and fail spectacularly to engage with the serious social and economic problems that confront the UK right now. As for the graduates, they largely wind up taking the same place in the queue as their parents – only this time with an expensive certificate detailing their newfound expertise.
education  higherEducation  universities  expansion  fees  tuitionFees  pay  wages  salaries  marketisation  debt  class  socialMobility  UK  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
september 2018 by petej
Manifesto of the Groupe d’Information sur les prisons (1971) - Viewpoint Magazine
None of us is sure to escape prison. Today less than ever. Police control [quadrillage] over day-to-day life is tightening: in city streets and roads; over foreigners and young people; it is once more an offense to express opinions; anti-drug measures increase arbitrarily. We are kept under “close observation.“ They tell us that the system of justice is overwhelmed. We can see that. But what if it is the police that have overwhelmed it? They tell us that prisons are over-populated. But what if it was the population that was being over-imprisoned?
May1968  mai68  prison  politics  class  FoucaultMichel 
august 2018 by petej
Yes, the national media is a privileged racket which defends the status quo
The claim that anyone can rise to the top if they work hard enough reflects an ideology forced down our throats for a generation or more: that those at the top are the most talented, brightest, hardest working; those at the bottom are lazy, feckless and stupid. It is a convenient means to rationalise and justify inequality.
UK  media  journalism  privilege  elitism  trust  distrust  TrumpDonald  class  change  democracy  dctagged  dc:creator=JonesOwen 
august 2018 by petej
Airtime for Hitler « LRB blog
Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, may truly believe in her own and the corporation’s impartiality, for which she has said she ‘would die in a ditch’. Yet believing in it without interrogating its institutional biases – having signed up to the values and practices of an employer as big as the BBC because your background, education and milieu is already a good fit with those values – isn’t remotely impartial. If the BBC really wanted to listen to and understand working-class people, both white and non-white, it would do better to employ more of them.
BBC  class  whiteWorkingClass  BNP  GriffinNick  BeackonDerek  TowerHamlets  farRight  race  bias  dctagged  dc:creator=HanleyLynsey 
august 2018 by petej
Now is the Time for Worker Power in the Tech Industry | Novara Media
For many tech workers, the idea of joining a trade union seems ridiculous – unions are often thought of as a relic of an older time, irrelevant to the meritocracy that is the tech industry.
The class composition of the industry.

Why is this? If we take a structural approach to the tech industry, we see that the workforce is effectively bifurcated in such a way as to contain potential challenges from below. Those with high leverage over production – say, senior software engineers who know how the systems work – are paid exceedingly well, often partly in stock, and given lavish perks. This is especially true in Silicon Valley, where a frothy startup investment environment forces tech companies of all sizes to offer lavish benefits in order to compete for ‘talent’. Correspondingly, workers with the most leverage over production are convinced they are not actually workers, and that their interests align with their company instead of their class. This amounts to a strategic isolation of the few employees with the most power to disrupt production, who are then showered with material benefits to dissuade them from ever exercising that power.
technology  work  labour  employment  class  tradeUnions  activism  informationTechnology  SiliconValley  power 
july 2018 by petej
ROAR Magazine: The Long Shadow of May ’68
After 2011, it became clear that in today’s globalized and financialized world, class struggle is alive and well—even if its forms have changed in a number of important ways as a result of the transformations of capitalism and work over the past four decades. Contemporary class struggles still fundamentally revolve against the opposition between those who own capital and those who have to sell their labor power in order to survive, but they no longer take place exclusively at the point of production (they arguably never did, but this was nevertheless long the privileged site of struggle for the dominant Marxist and anarcho-syndicalist traditions). Today’s struggles also crucially unfold in the relationship between debtors and creditors; between tenants and landlords; between taxpayers and state financiers. The field of action, in short, has become significantly greater and much more complex to navigate.
May1968  students  strikes  DeGaulle  industrialism  post-industrialism  socialMovements  Thatcherism  MitterrandFrancois  identityPolitics  technocracy  technology  financialisation  Blairism  ThirdWay  9/11  warOnTerror  crisis  LehmanBrothers  austerity  ArabSpring  class  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=RoosJerome 
june 2018 by petej
Make junk food expensive, and children will go hungry | Phil McDuff | Opinion | The Guardian
We shy away from policies that would address these broader structural issues because we have become more terrified of the negative outcomes of government interference in markets than of the negative outcomes of government inaction. We run scared from policies that would increase wages and leisure time, because “the economy” might suffer – as if it were an angry volcano god to be placated with human sacrifice. We have “reformed” the welfare state into tatters because we think it’s more important that absolutely nobody gets a penny more than they “deserve” than it is to ensure that everyone has the capacity to eat and live well. And while the Tories are all over the idea that reducing tax will leave people with more money in their pocket, they often seem blind to the fact that for people with low incomes their rent and bills eat up a much bigger proportion of their wages than tax.

What’s left for policymakers? Mucking about on the edges, pilot schemes and programmes to nudge or price people into healthier choices. None are going to work unless we alter the structure of society and make these choices accessible. It’s time to stop trying to fix the symptoms of an unhealthy society – and start treating the causes.
food  poverty  health  fastFood  obesity  marketing  prices  class  OliverJamie  SturgeonNicola  UK  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=McDuffPhil 
may 2018 by petej
The Poverty of Luxury Communism
For Keynes, a former British civil servant who once remarked that “the class war will find [him] on the side of the educated bourgeoisie”7, the purpose of state intervention is to halt capitalism’s decline, meanwhile securing some level of social stability.
socialDemocracy  climateChange  noBorders  state  nationalisation  Keynesianism  Corbynism  abundance  growth  capitalism  Novara  Jacobin  intervention  post-capitalism  BastaniAaron  VirnoPaolo  class  politics 
may 2018 by petej
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