Outwardly, the sequence of events at Goldsmiths may be read as a demoralizing series of defeats, by which SMT continues to erode worker security irrespective of organized opposition, made all the more disheartening by mass resignations—with many citing toxic working conditions under current management as the reason for their voluntary departure. The stakes of the struggle are also revealed just here with two potential outcomes: 1) For SMT to realize their restructure, erecting a more violent institution while flagrantly working to impair future oppositions by reducing the workforce and targeting trade unionists for redundancy; or 2) For the dispute and boycott of Goldsmiths to mark not simply the unmatched extent of one local pushback but the mere beginnings of a protracted labor campaign to be sustained against the university in its current form—and perhaps against worker-governability by the managerialism that now characterizes higher education. It may only be possible to see the struggle defined by the defeat of one side in the presumption that its ends are within sight.
The Hilllbillys is hardly a children’s book. The illustrations are raw, and it is a bleak story that carries pessimistic despondency rare to see from movement documents in the era. Harless and Cutler offer a deeply frustrated parable of exploitation and environmental destruction in the Appalachian region.
In all capitalist countries, organizing work means dividing workers: exploring ever new “labor reserves,” just as one begins production on a new mining deposit, wearing down and laminating its dense cores. The organization of labor never stabilizes, even in periods where technology remains constant. Workers resist a mode of exploitation which seeks, limitlessly, to intensify work and make labor-power more lucrative and capitalism strives to detect and deepen weak points within worker resistance.
On one level, the liquidation of revolutionary Palestinian memory and thought can be contested by recounting history through a materialist method. And on a more urgent level, we should ask what insights the Palestinian Left tradition can offer in strategizing for the liberation of Palestine and developing a robust internationalist, anti-imperialist movement in the present moment.
One obvious lesson of Steve Wright’s new book is not to confuse political possibility with media saturation and ceaseless engagement. At the same time, it is instructive to revisit a popular tradition in which distrust of mainstream media and enjoyment of its popular subversion took a radically progressive form.
On this basis, one practice of blockading—of geographically isolated assertions of land-based sovereignty by remote nations—connects directly with another, the chokepoint protests of organizers in cities and distribution centers. This conveys the agency of Indigenous land defenders directly to urban locales, and drafts new possibilities for settler and working-class solidarity with anti-colonial struggle—a solidarity that again traverses the infrastructure it would obstruct, in a demonstration appropriate to the scale of global capitalism.
For Nunes, it is vital to embrace an ecological vision of the so-called Organisationsfrage, starting from the irreducible subjective pluralism present within a given environment. This vision thus involves thinking, in ecosystemic terms, the space within which the various subjects strive to transform the world, with the awareness that one is an integral part of the milieu in which one is immersed.
The entirety of the US governing class; every analyst, think-tanker, and DC official likely to appear in major American media; almost every US news network: all perpetuated an imperial fantasy and, thereby, the events now unfolding. Professed shock at the Taliban takeover requires the mystification of both the daily reality of war in Afghanistan and the complicity of the shocked.
During Israel’s brutal eleven-day assault on Gaza – itself only an escalation of its daily devastation of Palestinian life – I turned to the writings of the Palestinian novelist and militant Ghassan Kanafani.
The following is an excerpt from Rodrigo Nunes’ new book, Neither Vertical Nor Horizontal: A Theory of Political Organisation, out now with Verso. Part balance sheet of the struggles of the last decade, part diagnosis of the left’s traumas and melancholias in the last forty years, part attempt to develop a theory of organization that avoids sterile oppositions between ‘horizontalism’… Read more →