Radical media, politics and culture.


"For a New Europe: University Struggles Against Austerity"
Edu-Factory Collective

The common statement from the recent Paris meeting, now in English,
French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Turkish and Korean.

We, the student and precarious workers of Europe, Tunisia, Japan, the
US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina, met in Paris over the
weekend of the 11th-13th of February, 2011 to discuss and organize a
common network based on our common struggles.

"Sharing the Pain: The Emotional Politics of Austerity"
Jeremy Gilbert

“Keep Calm and Carry On” was the fashionably arch, post-ironic catchphrase for Phase One of the Financial Crisis. Its popularity as a motif first on posters and then on every conceivable kind of merchandise peaked during the period following the critical moment in September 2008 when Lehman Brother collapsed and the entire international banking system teetered on the edge of an abyss.

Technically, this was a piece of nostalgic kitsch. The design came from an obscure home office poster prepared in 1939 for use if the Nazis had invaded the UK. Given such an eventuality, ground combat in the coastal regions would have placed considerable physical and emotional demands on the the rest of the country, and the poster was designed to steady the national nerves should those trying circumstances arise. Thankfully, they never did, and the poster was not distributed during the war, but was rediscovered and reproduced for its comedy value only in 2000, becoming a popular ironic decoration in many workplaces during the early years of the twenty-first century. It’s a powerful image: on the one hand, a clichéd yet outmoded expression of ‘traditional’ English stoicism, on the other hand an example of emotional exhortation by the state, whose almost Orwellian tones render it both anachronistic and vaguely sinister.

The peculiarity of such a slogan in today’s unstoical world - where we are all supposed to value ‘emotional literacy’ over reticence and calm resolve - and its apparent naiveté in the face of the perpetual crisis of late capitalism, are certainly enough to raise a smile in anyone. But it’s hardly hilarious enough for that to explain its extraordinary popularity. To understand the latter, I suggest, we have to consider the ways in which this slogan - ‘keep calm and carry on’ - condenses and expresses perfectly the parameters and constituent elements of the whole affective regime through which emotional responses to the crisis of neoliberalism are being organised by powerful forces today.

Ben Ali Trembles! From Blogs to Trade Unions Bureaus, the Tunisian Revolt Explodes
Fulvio Massarelli

Dictator Ben Ali trembled! And he is still trembling if is it true that he parked a jet plane close to the presidential residence of Chartage, which should be ready for an evacuation plan. The revolt stretches its lenght, spreads itself through all the cities and bears down on the regime after 23 years from its institution. Even in Tunisia, as well as on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, the struggling education sector is the one which is starting a process of refusal and social conflict,emerging from the crisis as social vanguard and convergence point for the many workers' struggles that have been coming one after the other - as fragmented as radical and brave - for decades now.

After december 17th when Mohamed Bouazizi, a graduate and unemployed man, set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid in protest against the seizure of his grocery stand, Tunisia mobilized and the revolt started off. First localized in the Sidi Bouzid zone, it later did spread to all the productive hubs of the Maghrebi country, and then reached even the most peripherals towns and zones, in a weaving of solidarity and struggle that sees side by side upper-school and university students, upper-school professors, workers, unemployed, lawyers and rank-and-file trade unions' activists, unwilling to yield to the extremely violent repression carried out by the regime.

End of the Recession? Who’s Kidding Whom? Immanuel Wallerstein

The media are telling us that the economic “crisis” is over, and that the world-economy is once more back to its normal mode of growth and profit. On December 30, Le Monde summed up this mood in one of its usual brilliant headlines: “The United States wants to believe in an economic upturn.” Exactly, they “want to believe” it, and not only people in the United States. But is it so?

The Student Loan Debt Abolition Movement in the U.S. George Caffentzis

Debt has had a crushing impact on the lives of those who must take student loans to finance their university education in the US. For tuition fees that have been so notoriously high in private universities now are rising in public universities so quickly they are far out-pacing inflation. Student loan debt in the US has been much higher than in Europe (with the exception of Sweden), though recent developments there would indicate that this gap may soon no longer exist (Usher).

Bowles-Simpson: The Unequal Marriage of Reaganomics and RubinomicsPeople's Pension Eric Laursen

The Bowles-Simpson plan isn't a fair and equitable way to reduce the long-term federal deficit, whatever its co-authors might claim. In fact, it's the biggest proposed experiment in supply-side economics since early Reagan.

IMF Considers Replacing the Dollar as Key CurrencyTelepolis

Introduction of a World Currency Could Follow Attacks on the Dollar Ralf Streck


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