Posts Tagged ‘finance’

http://www.kosmoprolet.org/node/70

Translation of the editorial of Kosmoprolet #3

All over the world, events are keeping up with the pace of a crisis, the end of which was just recently cheerfully proclaimed by people who thought ludicrous amounts of sovereign debt to be the recipe for an economic miracle. By racking up debt to their ears, governments worldwide were able to contain the so-called financial crisis; but then, the rating agencies presented them a bill that they promptly passed on to wage workers. The whole maneuver did not lead to recovery but to an even more menacing state budget crisis, the handling of which through uncompromising austerity measures has aroused anger. Resistance is mounting. We are at the threshold of a social crisis. Those who feel the effects of the governments’ austerity programs in their everyday life are starting to realize ever more clearly that these are not temporarily painful, yet necessary sacrifices. They are becoming aware of the fact that the drastic cuts will not only last for years or even decades, but that their own future is becoming ever bleaker. We are probably at the start of a new era: Ever since society was brought back down to the earth of cold hard economic facts, the culturalist carnival of differences has come to an end. Society’s colorful superstructure has scaled off to reveal, in Orthodox Marxist terms, the drab, universal base. And the crisis has achieved what activists striving to link struggles have been incapable of for decades: millions have taken to the streets simultaneously with the same purpose. All they’re left with is an ever more precarious survival under the reigning conditions. For them, it’s all or nothing.

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http://www.zcommunications.org/feminism-finance-and-the-future-of-occupy-an-interview-with-silvia-federici-by-max-haiven

Occupations and the Struggle over Reproduction

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. (more…)