In this decade, especially in the last five years, European social movements have developed increasingly on the issue of flexibilization of labor. These movements are clearly a response to neo-liberalization and the reduction of welfare and the so–called “social rights” acquired, after intense struggle, by citizens of the industrialized countries during the 20th century (Hobsbawn, Piven and Cloward). In Italy in particular, several new laws and tax measures passed over this period have transformed the workplace both qualitatively and quantitatively, particularly through the proliferation of temp-agencies and new types of short-term contracts. While a number of books and research have focused on how these shifts have impacted the workforce in general (Tiddi, Zanini, Chaincrew, Accornero), a gendered approach is uncommon and underdeveloped (Allegrini 2005). By bringing gender into the analysis of precarity, I intend to address its multiple dimensions, especially the aspects of precarity that impact everyday life and social reproduction. This approach stems from previous traditions of feminist research and aims to avoid any reductionist equation of precariousness as simply a dreadful condition of labor *1. By analyzing the emerging discourses in the new precarity movement, I intend to provide here some useful insights, eventhough any analysis of such a recently born movement can not provide but a specific depiction of concrete cases. My analysis is centered around the ideas of gender and generations, as two important dimensions defining the emerging movement.
Что такое социальная революция? Естественно-необходимый процесс, порождаемый «объективными», независимыми от воли отдельных людей «законами истории»? Стихийный выплеск бунтарских инстинктов масс, не желающих жить «постарому»? Плод сознательных усилий и действий людей, творящих новый мир по принципам свободы и красоты? И какова роль орга-низованных революционеров в деле ее подготовки и осуществления? Должны и могут ли они стремиться стать большинством или им достаточно оставаться «сознательным меньшинством», которое довольствуется тем, что успешно «убеждает» колеблющееся, нестойкое, идейнонейтральное большинство трудящихся, народа?
The discourse on precarization that has emerged in the past decade, primarily in Europe, rests on an extremely complex understanding of social insecurity and its productivity. The various strands of this discourse have been brought together again and again in the context of the European precarious movement organized under EuroMayDay.1 This transnational movement, in existence since the early 2000s, thematizes precarious working and living conditions as the starting point for political struggles and seeks possibilities for political action in neoliberal conditions. What is unusual about this social movement is not only the way in which under its auspices new forms of political struggles are tested and new perspectives on precarization developed; rather—and this is striking in relation to other social movements—it is how it has queered the seemingly disparate fields of the cultural and the political again and again. In the past decade, conversations concerning both the (partly subversive) knowledge of the precarious, and a search for commons (in order to constitute the political), has conspicuously taken place more often in art institutions than in social, political, or even academic contexts.
In the wake of the organised left and the demise of working class self-identity, communisation offers a paradoxical means of superseding capitalism in the here and now whilst abandoning orthodox theories of revolution. John Cunningham reports from the picket line of the ‘human strike' As we apprehend it, the process of instituting communism can only take the form of a collection of acts of communisation, of making common such-and-such space, such-and-such-machine, such-and-such-knowledge. - The Invisible Committee, Call, 200
L'Insurrection qui vient est un essai politique publié en 2007 et rédigé par un « Comité Invisible.
Many if not most of the open spaces - commons, woods, greens - of any size that remain today in South London, or London as a whole, exist because they were preserved from development by collective action. Whether by rioting, tearing down fences & re-opening up enclosed land, or by legal agitation, much of the commons & parks that make life in the Smoke just about bearable wouldn’t be there if they hadn’t been actively defended.
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.
‘To speak of the autonomy of migration’, Papadopoulos, Stephenson and Tsianos write, ‘is to understand migration as a social movement in the literal sense of the words, not as a mere response to economic and social malaise.They go on: ‘The autonomy of migration approach does not, of course, consider migration in isolation from social, cultural and economic structures. The opposite is true: migration is understood as a creative force within these structures’ (2008: 202). To engage with the autonomy of migration thus requires a ‘different sensibility’, a different gaze, I would say. It means looking at migratory movements and conflicts in terms that prioritize the subjective practices, the desires, the expectations, and the behaviours of migrants themselves. This does not imply a romanticization of migration, since the ambivalence of these subjective practices and behaviours is always kept in mind. New dispositifs of domination and exploitation are forged within migration considered as a social movement, as well as new practices of liberty and equality. The autonomy of migration approach in this regard needs to be understood as a distinct perspective from which to view the ‘politics of mobility’ – one that emphasizes the subjective stakes within the struggles and clashes that materially constitute the field of such a politics. It shows, to employ the terms proposed by Vicki Squire in the introduction to this book, how the ‘politics of control’ itself is compelled to come to terms with a ‘politics of migration’ that structurally exceeds its (re)bordering practices. Indeed, it allows for an analysis of the production of irregularity not as a unilateral process of exclusion and domination managed by state and law, but as a tense and conflict-driven process, in which subjective movements and struggles of migration are an active and fundamental factor.
Aufheben's review and critique of The beginning of history: Value struggles and global capital by Massimo De Angelis, Pluto Press, London, 2007.
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?