Radical media, politics and culture.


jim submits:

"Will We Lose the 8-Hour Day?

Congress Considers 80-Hour Weeks While Labor Department Guts Overtime

Jon Bekken, May 2003 Industrial Worker

The Bush administration proposed new regulations March 27 that would deny
overtime pay protections to millions of U.S. workers. The proposed rules
would enable employers to reclassify many workers as managers,
administrative or professional employees ­- categories exempted from FLSA
protections including the requirement to pay time and a half for work
after 40 hours.

Emergency Mass Action submits:
This is cut-n-pasted from the belly of the beast (Bloomberg Financial News), but we have been unable to find more on this story anywhere.

Iraqi Worker Protests May Further Delay Revival of Oil Output

By James Cordahi

Basra, Iraq, May 9 (Bloomberg) -- Major Mark Tilley, de facto chief executive of Iraq's South Refineries Co., is facing a rebellion. Workers at the Basra refinery, the country's second- largest, are demanding elections to choose their managers and the royal engineer from the British Army is having none of it.

hydrarchist writes "This interview was published in 1983, the year following publication of the book of the same name.

Farewell to the Proletariat

Andre Gorz

Q: In 1958, in your book The Traitor you said the ultimate objective for any intellectual was to join the Communist Party, and now you've issued your Farewell to the Proletariat. So who changed, you, the Communist Party or the proletariat?

Andre Gorz: Everything's changed: the structure of the economy, society, the working class, the means of production and therefore the future. And it's no surprise that the labor movement, formed by the historical past, is weakened rather than radicalized by this crisis. If we are searching for a noncapitalist outcome to this crisis, and even more crucially what potential it holds for the construction of a different kind of society, the labor movement, with its parties and its unions, has little to offer. Obviously nothing can happen without it, but it is no longer the inner sanctum for the elaboration of postcapitalist ideas, practice and values.

What follows is one chapter from the collection Revolutionary Writing. For more info on the book, please click here, and for a 55-page sample of the entire book as a .pdf (115K), please click here

Capital Moves

John Holloway


Capital moves.

This statement is so obvious that there seems no point in writing it down, much less making it the title of an article. And yet...

Annonymous Comrade writes:

"The Tribe of Moles"

Sergio Bologna (1977)

This article is a provisional attempt to trace the internal development of the autonomous class movement in Italy, which led to the explosive confrontation around the University occupations in Spring 1977. Such an analysis is only meaningful if it allows us to uncover the new class composition underlying these struggles, and to indicate the first elements of a programme to advance and further generalise the movement.

lazosubverto writes:

"The Art of Flight: An Interview"

Yann Moulier-Boutang with Stany Grelet

Part One: Exodus

Grelet: Since the introduction of your work De l'esclavage au salariat in 1998,
you have presented your central idea that, in the history of capitalism, the control of
the flight of workers would be the power of the constitution of the salaried worker.

hydrarchist writes "The following review was translated by Arianna Bove for the Generation Online reading list. The article was originally published in the Italian communist daily newspaper, Il Manifesto.

Bodies imprisoned by law

F. Barchiesi.

Il Manifesto 12/01/03

The general significance of such a complex work, "From slavery to wage
labour" (manifestolibri, pp. 717, 49 Euro) by Yann Moulier Boutang, finally
translated in Italian, can be grasped from the subtitle to the original
edition: economic history of the bridled proletariat [the original is: De
esclavage au salariat. Economie historique du salariat bridé, PUF (Actuel
Marx/Confrontations), novembre 1998., tr.]. The expression economic history
is the appropriate one for the author?s epistemological project. From this
perspective the aim of the book is precisely to trace the outline of a
total rethinking of Marxian political economy (or, in the author"s words,
to "bring politics" back to Marxian economics), starting from the normative
and institutional forms through which the "wage labour" relation was
constituted, in a process lasting centuries that largely predates the
origin of capitalism itself. Moulier Boutang accomplishes the task via an
impressive series of excursus that combines a research of yet unequalled
breadth of temporal periods and diversity of case studies with an
exceptional command of the terms of the theoretical debate. The genesis of
the capitalist labour relation is analysed by means of an enquiry that runs
from the XIVth century to the first half of the XXth century with rigour
and coherence of exposition. It takes into consideration extremely
diversified contexts such as the formation of the wage labour market in
Western Europe, slavery in the Americas, the mining and plantation
economies in Brazil, the contracted migrations of the coolies, up until the
birth of South African apartheid. In the course of this trajectory, Moulier
Boutang establishes several conceptual points of reference that mark
innovative and often surprising results. In this sense, the work rightly
deserves to be described as "monumental".

hydrarchist writes "Here's another interesting piece on organising in the sex industry, once again its from Issue 59 of Organise pubnlished by the Anarchist Federation.

Not in my backyard

This article sets out some of the main problems faced by sex workers in their
relationship with the State, and concludes with a brief interview with Jenn
Clamen of the International Union of Sex Workers.

You’re self-employed, running a legal
small business on a tight budget and
want to advertise your services. For
most, a card in the local shop window
or phone box might be just the ticket.
But not if you’re a sex worker, it

Clamp down

Though prostitution is legal, soliciting
on the streets isn’t. Until the Criminal
Justice & Police Act came into force in
2001, the prostitute’s tactic of
advertising sex by putting cards in
phone boxes was legal too - not
anymore. It’s estimated that 13m
cards are distributed across Britain
each year and in 2001 BT removed
150,000 from phone boxes in central
London alone - though it didn’t stop
schoolboys swapping cards in
playgrounds when the Pokemon craze
died down! Apart from the waste of
money, carding is now attracting
severe penalties as the police and local
councils clamp down.The police pose
as clients and get the addresses of
people selling sex. They are visited,
warned, often the landlord is informed.
With most landlords afraid of being
charged with abetting prostitution,
such a warning usually ends in
eviction. The woman (and it usually is
a woman, sometimes with children) is
moved on again and again. Their
livelihoods are lost as it takes time to
re-build your client base. Immigration
officials often accompany police, and
women working illegally are issued a
deportation order and dumped at the
nearest airport. Sometimes the only
way they can raise the airfare is to
head back into town and go back on
the streets. If they have been
trafficked (smuggled into the country)
they may still owe the traffickers their
fare and be in immediate danger here
and in their home countries. Cards at
flats are confiscated and the card boys,
if caught, face heavy fines, up to
£1,000, or 28 days in jail.

Anonymous Comrade writes "

Struggle against Value in a Swedish Hamburger Restaurant

[Marcel, member of Kämpa Tillsammans/Sweden]][1]

This text has two goals. The first is to try to create an interest in the daily ongoing class struggle that is waged everyday in every workplace. I will try to show that something as completely unglamorous and ordinary as working at a restaurant, or rather the small hidden struggles that are waged against wage labour there, is part of the communist movement. [2] The other goal is to show that theoretical notions like capital, communism, use value and exchange value are not something abstract and academic, but rather something concrete that influence our lives and which we in turn influence.

Making hamburgers

My last job was at a privately owned hamburger restaurant. Although the restaurant didn't belong to any multinational company like McDonalds or Burgerking, it was quite big and was open every day in the week, only being closed between 7 and 10 in the morning. Most of the people who worked there were teenagers or people like me in their twenties, mainly girls. The majority had another job or went to school at while they were working at the restaurant. People came and went all the time. They didn't cope with the work conditions or they thought that the wage was too lousy. The majority of the staff were employed illegally and you had to work more than a year to get an ordinary contract and an ordinary wage. Before that, you were an apprentice with a much lower wage. Being an apprentice also meant that the boss could give you the sack whenever he felt like it. Most of the people who worked there chose not to work at the restaurant for more than a couple of months. We were all constantly looking for other jobs or other ways to get money.

Daybreak! writes:

"The Death of Independent Family Farms"

by Peligro

The family farm has been a sustaining myth in America. It's been seen as proof that if someone was willing to work then they’d be able to have a little land to live on, at least enough to take care of themselves and their family. As if we needed more proof that the American Dream has become little more than a twisted corpse, a story politicians tell us to put our dreams to sleep, we need look no further then the situation of the family farm in the Midwest today.


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