Late last summer, before the schools in Russia reopened, a remarkable beer ad about post-Soviet space aired on Russian TV. Thirty seconds of feel-good Russian classic rock: an active bass and a prominent slide guitar wafted around a voice, always-already middle-aged, slightly flat after working a night shift. Four measure whole notes by the band: the staggered vocal names the brand. Krasny Vostok. Where the sun rises / the east is red. A new day is dawning / over our land. // How can you resist. Cause' this land is not made of history's pages; it's not made through borders or territorial stages. Our land is made up of people and people are what make our land.
Public space as translation process I will discuss here the idea of public space in relation to the concept of so-called cultural translation. This concept has been deployed recently (at the end of the eighties and in the nineties) within the postmodern - and especially postcolonial - reflexion to solve some of its most challenging problems, like the problem of universality in culture, or the problem of emancipation in the social and political space which we consider to be historically - to use Ernesto Laclau' term - beyond the emancipation.
Amid the resurgence of anti-capitalist movements across the globe, the centenary of Lenin's What is to be Done? in 2002 has largely gone unnoticed. Leninism has fallen on hard times - and rightly so. It leaves a bitter taste of a revolution which heroic struggle turned into a nightmare. The indifference to Leninism is understandable. What, however, is disturbing is the contemporary disinterest in the revolutionary project. What does anti-capitalism in its contemporary form of anti-globalization mean if it is not a practical critique of capitalism and what does it wish to achieve if its anti-capitalism fails to espouse the revolutionary project of human emancipation?
Aufheben's review and critique of The beginning of history: Value struggles and global capital by Massimo De Angelis, Pluto Press, London, 2007.
In the last decade the concept of the commons has increasingly become the basis of anticapitalist thinking in the antiglobalization (or, as some now have it, "the global justice") movement. It has been politically useful both as an alternative model of social organization against the onslaught of "there is no alternative" neoliberal thinking and as a link between diverse struggles ranging from those of agricultural workers demanding land, to environmentalists calling for a reduction of the emission of "hot house gases" into the atmosphere, to writers, artists, musicians and software designers rejecting the totalitarian regime of intellectual property rights. But, like any concept in a class society, it can have many and often antagonistic uses. Our paper will show that there is a use of the concept of the commons that can be functional to capitalist accumulation and it offers an explanation as to why this capitalist use developed, especially since the early 1990s. The conclusion of this paper will assess the political problem that this capitalist use of "the commons" (both strategically and ideologically) poses for the anticapitalist movement.
This paper builds on the author's previous theoretical work on the role of processes such as enclosures, market discipline and governance. It discusses the middle class in terms of a stratified field of subjectivity within the planetary wage hierarchy produced by these processes. It discusses the thesis that the middle class, qua middle class, will never be able to contribute to bring about a fundamental change in the capitalist system of livelihood reproduction. The production in common centered on middle class values—however historically and culturally specific they are—is always production in common within the system. Our common action as middle class action, whether as consumers, workers, or citizens, reproduces the system of value and value hierarchy that is the benchmark, the referent point for our cooperation. The paper then discusses some of the implications of the conundrum faced by those who seek alternatives: there will be no “beginning of history” without the middle class, nor there will be one with the middle class.
Changes within the energy sector are speeding up dramatically. A combination of ecological, political, economic and financial factors are converging to ensure that energy production and consumption are set to become central to global political, economic and financial dynamics.
This is chapter 7 of my 2007 book The Beginning of History. Its title is Enclosures and Disciplinary Integration and it discusses capitalist crises as “disequilibrium” crises or “social stability” crises. It might be useful to provide a general framework to understand the current crisis in terms of the latter. It also maps out crises as mechanisms for capitalist reproduction and discusses the role of shifting capitalist governance to deal with these crises as well as the possible cracks in this governance
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