Live Working or Die Fighting – Interview with Paul Mason

Haymarket author and BBC Newsnight’s Economics Editor Paul Mason appeared Friday morning, September 24, on Democracy Now! (http://www.democracynow.org/).

Mason on Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global

The Census Bureau latest report shows that the numbers of Americans living in poverty and without health insurance have skyrocketed. 43.6 million people-about one in seven-lived below the poverty level of $22,000 for a family of four in 2009, pushing the national poverty rate to a fifteen-year high of 14.3 percent. We speak with British journalist Paul Mason about his new book, Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global.

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/24/paul_mason_on__live_working

Mason is the author of:

Live Working or Die Fighting
How the Working Class Went Global
Paul Mason
Haymarket Books
Published: 07/01/2010
978-1-60846-070-0 | $17.00 | Trade Paper
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Live-Working-or-Die-Fighting

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Doing: in-Against-and-Beyond Labour – Holloway

Peter Waterman sez: This is the first theoretical paper I have come across that attempts to reconceptualise labour in the light of 21st C capitalism and the new social movements. In so far as it draws (critically) on Marxist theory at its most abstract level, it makes for heavy reading. It invites popularization. And it provokes responses. Political-economists of the world, respond! Preferably on ReinventingLabour. Now read on…

Continue reading

A New Type of Political Organization? – Rosenfield and Fanelli


A New Type of Political Organization?

The Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly

Herman Rosenfeld and Carlo Fanelli

Socialist Project E-Bulletin No. 400, August 6, 2010

At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Left around the world is undergoing reformation. As the Great Recession has vividly demonstrated, more than three decades of neoliberal capitalism have eroded many of the significant gains won in the immediate decades following World War II. From wage and benefit concessions to reductions in social services, in an openly anti-union political climate, it is now being demanded that the working class pay for a crisis which it did not create. With the impasse of the anti-globalization and other new social movements that burst onto the scene in the early 2000s, coupled with the inability of many historically progressive unions, trapped in erstwhile social democratic parties, to mobilize their membership base, the Left is in a period of experimentation. Continue reading

Russian Workers’ Movement in 2009 – Clement

IV Online magazine : IV424 – May 2010

Russia

The workers’ and trade-union movement in 2009: consolidation and dispersion

Carine Clément

At the beginning of 2009 Russian workers took the crisis in a rather passive way, even though in May-July we witnessed a surge of activity, initially in the form of an explosion of street actions and other forms of protest that were fairly uncontrolled and not envisaged by the legislation on the resolution of work-related conflicts. Subsequently, we saw a slow but persistent growth in the number of industrial disputes, with many more meetings being held. The increase in tensions was expressed outside the public space, including by individual acts (hunger strikes, sit-down strikes and even, sometimes, suicides). Continue reading

Once More Around the Bloc – Canadian Dimension

Canadian Dimension editorial Sept/Oct 2010 | July 27th 2010

Once more around the Bloc

tactics, democracy, and mass politics

Our democratic freedoms hang by a narrow thread, and a police state is always near at hand — that is one of the lessons of the G20 debacle that unfolded in Toronto on June 26 and 27. The federal government spent a billion dollars on security and deployed 19,500 police on the streets of downtown Toronto. Activist groups were infiltrated, and organizers were targeted for preemptive arrest. Despite the overwhelming police presence, a small number of smashed windows and burning police cars shown on constant loop by TV news were enough to persuade much of the population that police violence and the arbitrary arrest of more than 1000 people were justified. Continue reading

US Social Forum a Mechanism for Change – Becker

U.S. Social Forum a Mechanism for Change

Written by Marc Becker
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
http://upsidedownworld.org/main/international-archives-60/2571-us-social-forum-a-mechanism-for-change

Fifteen thousand social movement activists descended on Detroit during the fourth week of June for the second United States Social Forum (USSF) to discuss and debate proposals for how to build a better world. The slogan for the forum added “Another Detroit is happening” to the previous USSF slogan “Another US is necessary” and the standard World Social Forum (WSF) insistence that “Another world is possible.” Continue reading

Organizing for Defeat – Green

from Labour/ Le Travail no. 62, Fall 2008

Organizing for Defeat: The Relevance and Utility of the Trade Union as a Legitimate Question

Brian Green


The continuity of struggle is easy: the workers need only themselves and the boss in front of them. But the continuity of organization is a rare and complex thing: as soon as it becomes institutionalized it becomes used by capitalism….
Mario Tronti, Lenin in England
THE DECLINE AND RETREAT of the North American labour movement in the past two decades has been a matter of extensive commentary and scholarly and political debate.1 While these discussions have contributed immensely to our understanding of economic restructuring and strategic imperatives for the labour movement’s continued political viability, much of the literature is limited to either a “counting of the dead” or a focus exclusively on the aggressive strategy of capital in the post-Keynesian era. Surprisingly little has been said about unions themselves and the relationship between their organizational consolidation as partners of a once ascendant Keynesian class compromise and their subsequent paralysis in the face of the collapse of that compromise. This paper will attempt to initiate such a discussion by tackling these questions: how did the historical development of the trade union form render it particularly vulnerable to the ravages of capitalist restructuring? And what, then, might this suggest about the future viability of the union as we know it? Continue reading