Salvage Perspectives #5: Contractions

by the Editors We have said that there has not for decades been so good a moment to be a fascist. We have said that this is an epoch of unprecedented social sadism, that it is too late to ‘save’ the world, particularly in the face of climate catastrophe, and that we struggle instead because even rubble is worth fighting over. We have said we need a strategy for ruination. This we still hold. However, it would be a dereliction not to register the scale of recent shifts, the opening of possibilities. For a long time, if politics was

read more

Platform Capitalism and the Value Form

Matthew Cole According to the speculations of techno-futurologists, left and right, the machines are here to liberate us. Most of the discourse is dominated by the neoliberal right such as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and Andrew Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England. Their arguments, avoiding questions of exploitation, are naturally popular with the establishment. McAfee’s best-selling book The Second Machine Age has been lauded by leaders at the World Economic Forum.

Matthew Cole

Matt Cole is a PhD candidate at Leeds University Business School, researching the labour process and politics of service work. He is the coordinator of the IIPPE Political Economy of Work Group and an affiliate member of the Autonomy Institute. He has written for the Independent, Vice, and Novara Media. He tweets at @NoFutureFuture

Symposium on David Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism

Since the 1991 publication of The Wages of Whiteness, David Roediger’s work has fundamentally changed the shape of scholarship on race and racism in the US. In his latest book, Class, Race and Marxism, Roediger tackles the relationship between race and class in contemporary society, and questions many of the common assumptions of the Marxist left. Below are a series of critical commentaries on the book by Satnam Virdee, Alana Lentin and Charles Post. Solidarity, Race and Class by Alana Lentin Comments on Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism by Charles Post Race, Class and Roediger’s Open Marxism by Satnam Virdee

Solidarity, Race and Class: On David Roediger

by Alana Lentin At the launch of David Roediger’s collection, Race, Class and Marxism it was invigorating to see so many people crowd into the un-air-conditioned space on a hot Friday evening to hear four brilliant thinkers talk about race. And so it was dispiriting that during Q&A a number of audience members suggested that an over-emphasis on ‘identitarianism’ is diluting the power of the left at a critical juncture in US politics. The picture they painted of a left fragmented by an over-wrought concern with positionality to the detriment of an emphasis on ‘materiality’ was gently and graciously

read more

Comments on Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism

by Charles Post Over the past three decades, David Roediger’s work has fundamentally reshaped the study of race and racism, both in the US and internationally. Starting with his path breaking collection of essays, The Wages of Whiteness[1], Roediger (and his collaborator Elizabeth Esch) have illustrated how both capitalist and wage workers have participated in the creation of race and utilized the myth of intrinsic and unchangeable differences amongst humans to defend and advance their social positions in capitalist societies. Roediger has described both how fluid the social fiction of race is, plotting shifting “racial boundaries” across time; and

read more

Race, Class and Roediger’s Open Marxism

by Satnam Virdee The early 1990s was a desperately inhospitable moment for critical thought and political practice. The antisystemic cycle of protest comprising worker struggles and movements against racism and sexism had drawn to a close: comprehensively defeated through a combination of state repression and partial incorporation. And accompanying this collapse of the social movements was a crisis in socialism, particularly Marxism. In the immediate wake of these developments, Stuart Hall noted the curious emergence of the Post-Marxist intellectual – someone who had supposedly settled their accounts with the tradition and moved on but who continued to utilise Marxist

read more

The Meaning of Macron

Selim Nadi ‘I’m a Maoist … a good political programme is one that works.’— Emmanuel Macron The 2017 French presidential elections were historical in many ways. The first crucial aspect is, of course, the fact that the Front National made it to the second round — eliminating the right-wing party (Les Républicains) and the Socialist Party (PS). Secondly, a very young, new president was elected: Emmanuel Macron.

Selim Nadi

Selim Nadi is a French PhD candidate in history and a member of the editorial boards of the French journals “Période” and “Contretemps”. He is also a member of the Parti des Indigènes de la République, a French anti-racist organisation.

Monster Terrorist F(l)ag

By Elia El Khazen In early October, the Egyptian regime arrested fifty-seven people on charges of “debauchery,” ‘inciting sexual deviancy’ and ‘joining an outlawed group’ as part of a continuing security crackdown on Egypt’s LGBTQ community, which now includes ten to fifteen years in jail for those charged as homosexuals. The raising of a rainbow flag during a concert for Lebanese band, Mashrou’ Leila – whose lead singer is openly gay – the preceding week in Cairo triggered a media frenzy that prompted the arrests. The local media supported these arrests by publishing numerous articles and interviews inciting hatred

read more