Radical media, politics and culture.

Theses for Discussion
Loren Goldner


The current crisis, on a world scale, began ca. 1970, as the postwar boom—reconstruction from the destruction of the 1914- 1945 period—exhausted itself, first in the US, and then shortly thereafter in Europe and Japan. Since that time, capitalism has struggled to “recompose” itself, through a grinding down of social reproduction, most importantly of the total working class wage bill (“V”) and aspects of constant capital (“C”),both fixed capital and infrastructure. It has done this by debt pyramiding, outsourcing of production around the world, technological innovation (in telecommunications, transportation and technology-intensive production), all having the same goal of transferring “V” and “C” to “S” (surplus value), while enforcing an overall NON-REPRODUCTION of labor power.

From Inoperativeness to Action: On Giorgio Agamben’s Anarchism
Lorenzo Fabbri

The recent publication by Stanford University Press of Giorgio Agamben’s What Is an Apparatus and Other Essays constitutes a very welcome occasion. The essays included in What Is an Apparatus? offer a very accessible pan over Agamben’s latest findings and give the readers an outline of the move from sovereignty to governmentality performed by Agamben in his 2007 The Kingdom and The Glory. Homo Sacer II.2, as well as providing some hints on the vectors that the announced Homo Sacer epilogue on forms-of-life will pursue. Yet, the importance of this book reaches well beyond Agamben scholarship: it provides also an opportunity to reflect on the status and on the mutation of critical theory today, as French can no longer claim any hegemony over it and as its most vital centers are now located across the Alps, beyond the Rhine, and on the other side of the Atlantic rather than in Rue d’Ulm or Saint-Denis. I will say something about the future of “theory” at the end of my essay. For now, I would like to start by briefly surveying what was left under-explored in Leland de la Durantaye’s recent and impressive introduction to Agamben, not to belittle his enterprise but only to sketch a complementary reading protocol. While de la Durantaye dismisses Agamben’s anarchic overtones, my intention is to show that anarchism lies at the heart of his philosophical project.

Occupied Warehouse on Capitol Hill in Seattle
by Anonymous

Friday, December 2nd at 6pm, 70 people gathered at Seattle Central Community College and marched through Capitol Hill behind a banner that read "You Can't Evict An Idea, Occupy Everything". This demonstration was called for on the news that Seattle Central Community College and the state were filing an emergency ban on Occupy Seattle's encampment at the college.

The march ended at a warehouse on Union and 10th Avenue East, and the doors were opened to the excited crowd and flyers were handed out. Once inside, occupiers immediately began cleaning up the space, stringing lights, hauling in furniture, food and supplies and unfurling banners. As of 8pm, the cop cars that were parked across the street surveilling had left. There are plans for a dj later tonight, and an assembly to decide further what this occupation will look like. We invite you to help us hold this location indefinitely!

Making Worlds: An OWS Forum on the Commons
February 16-18, 2012

An Invitation

The Occupy movement is entering a new phase, one in which many of us feel the need of combining a renewed engagement with direct actions and mobilizations with a deep reflection on the strategic objectives of our movement. In order to fulfill this need, the organizing committee of Making Worlds* is inviting all the Occupy supporters and sympathizers as well as other organizations to participate in this Forum on the politics of the commons. In particular, we are interested in understanding how groups and communities working on housing, health care, education, food, water, energy, information, communication and knowledge resources can develop a vision of these resources as commons, that is, as an alternative form of social organization to the state and corporate capitalism. Making Worlds has the ambitious goal of articulating a strategic vision from and for the movement as well as specific political initiatives aiming at its realization.

Wikileaks Publishes "Spy Files," Revealing Vast Surveillance Industry

On Thursday, December 1st, 2011 WikiLeaks began publishing The Spy
Files, thousands of pages and other materials exposing the global mass
surveillance industry.


Mass interception of entire populations is not only a reality, it is a
secret new industry spanning 25 countries.

Some Critical Notes on the Occupy Movement's Recent Attempt at a General Strike in Oakland, California

My personal experience of the Nov. 2nd, 2011 attempted general strike in Oakland was a blast. The event was beautiful and exhilarating -- even the colors in the sky were perfect! More importantly, as the first attempt at a general strike in a U.S. city in sixty-six years, I hope Nov. 2nd in Oakland can stir a long-suffering and silent wage-earning class in the United States to see the collective power we can have when we use a mass-scale workplace walkout as a political weapon against the owners of America. This is a gift to our future from the Occupy movement as a whole, and in particular a tribute to the outward-directed and working class focus of Occupy Oakland. Today in the Occupy movement, Oakland leads the way.

Prosecution Explains Jury Tampering Charge
Benjamin Weiser

Julian P. Heicklen, a 79-year-old retired chemistry professor, has often stood on a plaza outside the United States Courthouse in Manhattan, holding a “Jury Info” sign and handing out brochures that advocate jury nullification, the controversial view that if jurors disagree with a law, they may ignore their oaths to follow it and may acquit a defendant who violated it.

Then, last year, federal prosecutors had Mr. Heicklen indicted, charging that his activity violated the law against jury tampering. Lawyers assisting him have sought dismissal of the case on First Amendment grounds.

But now prosecutors are offering their first detailed explanation for why they charged Mr. Heicklen, arguing in a brief that his “advocacy of jury nullification, directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without Constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”

Occupy Wall Street's Anarchist Roots
David Graeber

The 'Occupy' movement is one of several in American history to be based
on anarchist principles. The 'Occupy' movement is 'a genuine attempt to create the institutions of a new society in the shell of the old.

London, UK - Almost every time I'm interviewed by a mainstream
journalist about Occupy Wall Street I get some variation of the same

"How are you going to get anywhere if you refuse to create a leadership
structure or make a practical list of demands? And what's with all this
anarchist nonsense - the consensus, the sparkly fingers? Don't you
realise all this radical language is going to alienate people? You're
never going to be able to reach regular, mainstream Americans with this
sort of thing!"

If one were compiling a scrapbook of worst advice ever given, this sort
of thing might well merit an honourable place. After all, since the
financial crash of 2007, there have been dozens of attempts to kick-off
a national movement against the depredations of the United States'
financial elites taking the approach such journalists recommended. All
failed. It was only on August 2, when a small group of anarchists and
other anti-authoritarians showed up at a meeting called by one such
group and effectively wooed everyone away from the planned march and
rally to create a genuine democratic assembly, on basically anarchist
principles, that the stage was set for a movement that Americans from
Portland to Tuscaloosa were willing to embrace.

Global Rebellion: The Coming Chaos?
William L. Robinson

As the crisis of global capitalism spirals out of control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and unable to proposal viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy movement in the United States, and the water cannons brandished by the militarised police in Chile against students and workers, states and ruling classes are unable are to hold back the tide of worldwide popular rebellion and must resort to ever more generalised repression.

Simply put, the immense structural inequalities of the global political economy can no longer be contained through consensual mechanisms of social control. The ruling classes have lost legitimacy; we are witnessing a breakdown of ruling-class hegemony on a world scale.

Feminism, Finance and the Future of #Occupy
An Interview with Silvia Federici by Max Haiven

Silvia Federici is a veteran activist and writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised in Italy, Federici has taught in Italy, Nigeria, and the United States, where she has been involved in many movements, including feminist, education, and anti-death penalty struggles. Her influential 2004 book Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation, built on decades of research and activism, offers an account of the relationship between the European witch trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the rise of capitalism. Federici's work is rooted in a feminist and Marxist tradition that stresses the centrality of people's struggle against exploitation as the driving force of historical and global change.

With other members of the Wages for Housework campaign, like Selma James and Mariarosa Dalla Costa, and with feminist authors like Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Federici has been instrumental in developing the idea of “reproduction” as a key way to understand global and local power relations. Reproduction, in this sense, doesn’t only mean how humans reproduce biologically, it is a broad concept that encompasses how we care for one another, how we reproduce our physical bodies depending on our access to food and shelter, how culture and ideology are reproduced, how communities are built and rebuilt, and how resistance and struggle can be sustained and expanded. In the contest of a capitalist society reproduction also refers to the process by which “labor power” (i.e. our capacity to work, and the labor force in general), is reproduced, both on a day to day basis and inter-generationally. It was one of the main contributions of the theorists of the Wages For Housework Movement to Marxist feminist theory to have redefined reproductive work in this manner. In this interview, an extended version of which will appear in a forthcoming issue of Politics and Culture, Federici reflects on the #Occupy movements, their precedents and their potentials.

Max Haiven: We hear a lot of talk about the originality of Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupations. But people have been pointing out that this movement isn't unprecedented and it has been building in various ways for a long time. What do you see as the feminist roots of the Occupations, both in New York and more broadly?

Silvia Federici: This movement appears spontaneous but its spontaneity is quite organized, as it can be seen from the languages and practices it has adopted and the maturity it has shown in response to the brutal attacks by the authorities and the police. It reflects a new way of doing politics that has grown out of the crisis of the anti-globalization and antiwar movements of the last decade, one that emerges from the confluence between the feminist movement and the movement for the commons. By “movement for the commons” I refer to the struggles to create and defend anti-capitalist spaces and communities of solidarity and autonomy. For years now people have expressed the need for a politics that is not just antagonistic, and does not separate the personal from the political, but instead places the creation of more cooperative and egalitarian forms of reproducing human, social and economic relationships at the center of political work.


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