The Hotwire #21: March 7, 2018

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 14:36
The Hotwire #21: March 7, 2018


Lansing protests fascists—teachers’ strike grows & spreads—3 cheers for anarchy

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This episode we bring you two interviews. The first is an on-the-ground report from the days of anti-fascist action against Richard Spencer’s visit to Detroit and Lansing, with a plea for bail funds to help arrested anti-fascists. Next, we interview a West Virginian anarchist about what makes the teachers’ strike there so unique and important. We plug a call from the West Virginia IWW for how to support and spread the strike. Throughout the episode we make the case for an international, revolutionary movement that can do away with all forms of hierarchy and kyriarchy!

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Getting Rid of Work

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 14:29

From ediciones inéditos by Gilles Dauvé

What follows is a long essay by the French communization theorist, Gilles Dauvé. It is a long read, a read which varies in content and tone but a text which masterfully summarizes the communist critique of work. The original can be found here at Troploin. He also dutifully notes that without the abolition of work there can be no communist revolution or communism. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed translating it. ¡A la chingada con el trabajo!

Here you will find a lightly modified chapter 3 from the book “From Crisis to Communization” published in 2017 by Editions Entremonde.

False construction sites


In 1997, in the French department of Sarthe, some 20 workers were constructing a section of highway under the direction of an engineer employed by a large company, BTP. After two months the engineer was arrested: no one had ordered the work that was partially done, which with an initial financing, the false construction site manager had successfully hoodwinked both banks and public organizations. Between 1983 and 1996, Philippe Berre had been convicted 14 times for ordering false construction sites. In 2009, “The Beginning,” a film inspired by this whole adventure was released, displaying a population struck by unemployment which briefly found work and hope. Phillippe Berre was not motivated by personal gain, but rather by the need to do, to be of use, to reanimate a group of workers. In 2010, once again, he took on this role while helping those affected by Cyclone Xynthia.

We all know “rogue bosses.” Philippe Berre is a fictitious boss, an anti-hero for our times; at once a “manipulator of symbols,” an agile manager of human resources, at a crossroads between the automobile and the BTP (presented as the two principal employers within modern countries), wandering as a nomad on the highways, as mobile as the activities which he preyed upon, living on the ephemeral dreams that his dynamism created around him, an illustration of a fluidity without markers or attachments, where money flows but is not wasted, where success has no future, where one builds worthless things, where all appears as communication and virtuality. But is not a sense of reality which Philippe Berre is lacking, rather he lacks respect.

When a crook brings work, revenue, and thus some “meaning” to a community in perdition, even if it is a provisional and false meaning, this raises the question – what does production and work mean? The unemployed at Sarthe trusted Philippe Berre because he brought them some socializing, a role, a status, a sense of being recognized. What is useful? Useless? Fictitious? Real? What is profitable or not? Was this piece of highway more or less absurd than any “real” highway? What work is worthy of being qualified as “a waste”? Beyond the hard reality of work (it creates objects, creates profit and is generally onerous), what is the truth?

1. Rereading Marx: from Marx to Marxism

Marx has left us the most powerful synthesis of communism, one with the deepest theoretical breakthroughs and also the most acute contradictions. Capital and the The Critique of the Gotha Program notably, along with the Grundrisse, manuscripts from 1857-58, which have since renewed our approach towards capitalism and communism, and whose first publication in French almost coincided with May 1968. Though we have personally cited these pages more than a few times, we now find reason to bear a critique.1

Marx is particularly necessary to return to since his analysis of work places front and center the question of time.

1.1 The commodity and work

Capital does not begin with a definition of capitalism, but rather the way in which it “presents itself”: “an immense accumulation of commodities.” This point of departure relays a certain choice of perspective. If work is at the heart of the problem, why not begin with the the division of labor? While not writing a history book, why would Marx start with the encounter between private producers exchanging on the market and not with the meeting of the wage laborer and the capitalist? The first chapter of Capital considers work (not waged labor, but work, whatever kind it may be) as being both abstract and concrete: in other words, use-value and exchange-value are presented as arising with the dawn of humanity and within almost every society.

To naturalize work is to eternalize it.

workSoviet Work Propaganda: “Sleep at Work Helps the Enemies of the Working Class” (1931).

Section 1.4 will return to Marx and his definitions of work. That which Capital affirms, at any rate, is that work, in the past, before value (or value-less, as it would be under communism), work without a labor market, is both positive and necessary. Capital considers productive activity and work as one in the same.

Here Marx announces an essential trait which Marxism would embody: the worker ceases to be proletarian (= a wage laborer exploited by a boss) when everyone becomes a proletarian, since bosses would have been replaced by a community of laborers. The solution to this social problem would be to generalize labor. But which kind? Waged labor? Marx reasons as though the answer were self-evident: as soon as we all join in on a community working without capitalists, the question of the wage-laborer will be resolved. The overcoming of capitalism will not consist of the abolishment of the Capital-labor relation but rather to rescue work from Capital.

1.2 Working in a world without money

For Marx it is the arrival of use-value on the market (a “natural” product of labor) which gives use-value its character as an exchange-value. When Marx talks about labor time, it is squarely about production, but at that point value only has a potential existence, before finding its reality on the market. It would be as though value is not born of production, but, after the productive moment, it comes to impose itself on labor as a constraint, which would thus need to be liberated from the worker. In reading Marx, as long as there is no sale/purchase, labor time acts as a neutral given, which capitalism in its own way takes advantage of, and which communism would also use but in a totally different way.

The filigree-legible communism in Capital looks like a world without money based on communitarian labor. However, work is more than the meeting of cooperative humans within a workshop making objects. To work is to count the time, to economize, which implies that we quantify the socially-necessary labor time to produce this or that: exactly what Marx rightly calls value.

Marx’s distrust of any utopian description for a post-revolutionary future is well-known. Thus it is even more meaningful that one of the rare appearances on this subject seems to propose labor vouchers for the “lower phase” of communism (Critique of the Gotha Program, 1875), because, such as he makes them out to be, what are these labor vouchers but value without money?

1.3 The Map

“Let us now picture to ourselves, by way of change, a community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in which the labour power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labour power of the community (…) The total product of our community is a social product. One portion serves as fresh means of production and remains social. But another portion is consumed by the members as means of subsistence (…) We will assume, but merely for the sake of a parallel with the production of commodities, that the share of each individual producer in the means of subsistence is determined by his labour time. Labour time would, in that case, play a double part. Its apportionment in accordance with a definite social plan maintains the proper proportion between the different kinds of work to be done and the various wants of the community. On the other hand, it also serves as a measure of the portion of the common labour borne by each individual, and of his share in the part of the total product destined for individual consumption. The social relations of the individual producers, with regard both to their labour and to its products, are in this case perfectly simple and intelligible,with regard not only to production but also to distribution.” (Capital, Vol. 1, Chp. 1, iv)

If Marx assumes a regulation of production by labor time “to put this state of affairs in parallel with commodity production,” it is because the opposite supposition for him is almost unthinkable. His perspective lies in replacing the separation between producers, great and small, with a production-commune, and replacing capitalist disorder with planification done by all.

Further, politically the State will no longer be a State when everyone will take on its functions: shared by everyone, political power will lose its oppressive character; sowrites Engels: “Insofar as the anarchy of social production disappears, the political authority of the State goes to sleep. Men, finally masters of their own way of life in society, thereby become masters of nature, masters of themselves, and thus are free.”2

Such as Marx sketches it out, communism is marked by transparency and self-understanding: men become at last conscious of whom they are. Associated producers are naturally assumed to be the best people to know the socially-necessary labor time of what they produce.

1.4 Which definition of work?

In 1845, Marx defined it as such:

“ ‘Labor’ is the living base of private property, as it is the only source of private property. Private property is nothing more than materialized labor. If you would want to deal it a lethal blow, we would need to attack private property not only as an objective state; we must also attack it as an activity, as labor. To speak of free, human, social labor, of labor without private property, is one of the greatest misunderstandings that exist. ‘Labor’ is by nature an enslaved activity, inhumane, antisocial, determined by private property and created by private property. Consequently, the abolition of private property only becomes a reality if we conceive of it as the abolition of ‘labor’; an abolition which naturally is only possible when done by labor itself, which is a way of saying the by the material activity of society and not just the substitution of one category for another.”3

In 1846, in The German Ideology speaks of “the division of labor” : This is what is impossible without a community. (…) Up until now, all revolutions have left intact this mode of activity; what changed was only the distribution of this activity, a new apportionment of labor between persons. On the other hand, communist revolution, standing up against this traditional mode of activity, gets rid of labor and abolishes the domination of all classes by abolishing classes themselves; this revolution being the work of the class who, within society, no longer has any ranking as a class and is no longer recognized as such: from then on out, communist revolution marks the dissolution of all classes, of all nationalities, etc. at the very heart of present society.”4

Communist theory does not equate man with homo faber, nor as a “maker of tools,” as Benjamin Franklin thought of man.

On the other hand, in 1867, work is defined as “the existential and indispensable condition of man, the mediator of organic exchanges between nature and man.”5

From a radical position that was unacceptable at the time (and remains so to this day), Marx was moving toward a definition of work that is practically applicable to any society.

Let’s quote then The Critique of the Gotha Program (1875): “At a higher phase of communist society, when enslaved subordination of individuals to the division of labor would have been disappeared, and with it, the opposition between the intellectual and the manual labor; when work will not only be a means to live, but will become the primary vital need; when along with the manifold development of individuals, the productive forces will have been so developed and when all sources of collective wealth abundantly overflow – and only then (…) society will be able to write on its banners: From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs!.6

1.5 Measuring by time (re-reading the Grundrisse)

According to Capital, “In all social states, the time necessary to produce the means of consumption have interested mankind, albeit unequally, in accordance with their diverse degrees of civilization.”7

The 1857-58 manuscripts (Grundrisse) have an exceptionally visionary force. What they express does not however contradict Capital as much on labor as on labor time, two themes which complement each other.

“The real economy, savings, consists of economizing labor time (as well as reducing the costs of production). But, inseparable from the development of the productive forces, this economy is in no way a renunciation of joy. Growth in strength and in the means of production condition the faculties which render the individual apt to enjoy their existence, an aptitude which goes hand in hand with productive power. The economy of labor time means the augmentation of free time for the full blossoming of the individual (…)” (For the Grundrisse we use the edition by Maximilien Rubel, Œuvres, Gallimard, II, 1968. p. 310)

“(…) it is clear that immediate labor time cannot always be abstractly opposed to free time, as is the case in the bourgeois economic system. Work cannot become a game, as Fourier wants, whom had the great merit of having proclaimed the ultimate goal of transcendence, in a superior form, not of distribution but of production.” (p. 311)

That life, particularly a productive one, “demands practical manipulation and free movement,” (p. 311) and implies effort, is self-evident and it is useful to recall that against the myth of a liberating automation; but it does not follow that we must then reason with the opposition of work/play, categories which themselves are historical and open to critique. Across the same pages, Marx prolongs his critique of political economy.

Of course not everything is play. But just because one has to exert effort does not mean that what you are doing must be work. And it is not necessarily less enjoyable to cook as it is to eat. And what about the dishes? It only becomes a chore through the routine of household chores (which are still 80% done by housewives) performed under the dual constraint of time saving and the pressure of family life. The reappropriation of our living conditions, and along with it its upheaval, involves other relations such as man/woman, parents/children, adults/children, which implies another kind of living situation, another kind of education, etc.

The perspective set forth in the Grundrisse is as profound as it is ambiguous:

“Adopting labor time as the standard for wealth, is to found this wealth on poverty; it is reduction of all time to labor time and to degrade the individual to the exclusive role of being a worker, an instrument of work.” (p. 308)

“Capital is contradiction in action: it tends to reduce to a minimum labor time, all the while making it the sole source and measure of wealth.” (p. 306)

“The reduction of socially-necessary labor time, and not solely diminished in favor of surplus labor, will allow us to free up the blossoming of the individual. In fact, thanks to free time and the means opened up to all, the reduction of labor time to the minimum socially-necessary will favor the artistic, scientific, etc. development of everyone.” (p. 306)

“True wealth being the full productive power of all individuals, the yardstick employed will not be labor time, but rather the time available.” (p. 308)

By definition, available time being not employed (or at least not yet ), and thus representing but a potentiality, is then impossible to measure: there thus seems to be a rupture with value and capitalism. But does this available time become the totality of time, or is it added to an ever-present labor time, which is essential albeit reduced to a few hours a day?

Marx posed the question of the accounting of time (crucial in understanding labor), but could not resolve this problem because he treated time as a given, not as a category also open to critique.

1.6 Communism and labor time (the councilist project)

In 1930, Dutch council communists of the GIC [Group of International Communists] had the enormous merit of having concretely posed the question of communism based on the question of value, but had done so, in our opinion, based on a bad premise.8

In 1966, the principal editor of the project, Jan Appel (1890-1985) summed up this premise: workers’ councils will make of “the hourly unit of average labor time [the] measure of production time and of all the needs and services at once found within production and distribution.”9

The error here is in wanting to place Marxian theory of value at the service of the management of communism. The notion of socially-average labor time, and further its whole calculus, are not useful instruments at the same level as a wheelbarrow or a milling machine: they are the substance of capitalism and their use is inseparable from their function which they demand. A society cannot be organized on the direct calculus of average labor time without sooner or later a general equivalence materializing, giving birth to some variant of money. Everyone knows that despite some of its friendly aspects, barter is based on an implicit accounting, an exchange of invisible money (nobody swaps a motorcycle in running condition for some random swimsuit). For as long as a product has a double existence, one as a determined object and another as an exchange value serving as a base for comparison and exchange, we will have not left behind the world of the commodity-society and capitalism. A direct accounting of labor time will create an invisible general equivalency: it will bring about measured products just like commodities, though they will not circulate like commodities, and there will be workers that will consume based on their work without receiving a wage. One would soon see the re-emergence of the classic forms of capitalism whose foundations never disappeared, since only a market where businesses clash is able to sanction this calculus of production time.

It is obvious that there is nothing intrinsically in common between a head of lettuce and a skirt, except the quantity of primary materials and energy necessary to obtain one or the other. But is within commodity exchange, and further within capitalism, which find the need to synthesize all the components of production so as to reduce lettuce and skirts as commensurable: the necessary labor time.

That which escaped the G.I.C. was that the evaluation of resources (both human and otherwise) necessary for all activity take on different meanings depending on the society. Sewing clothes and planting salad greens do not require the same effort or the same material elements, and communism will take this into account: but it will not need to start from abstraction (even calculated directly without money) of comparable energy expenditure contained in these two activities. Communism will count and compare quantities and any eventual losses and waste will be much lower than those imposed by the calculus of a kind of universal production time.

“The theory of measuring goods or forecasting investments [in communism] by the amount of work done is incorrect. (…) This not a question regarding a quarrel of method but a fundamental problem which concerns the very nature of communism. The measurement of work remains economist. This sort of measurement desires the end of the law of value but does not see all that it implies. (…) The mistake is not in continuing to take into account need, sacrifice or production in the new society. The mistake is in packaging all this and to stick on it a label that reads “labor time” in an effort to reduce labor time and to globally oppose it to free time.”10

No matter the goal of this calculus or its method, a society founded on labor time supposes that work remains distinct from non-work, and thus separated from the rest of all activities: if not then how or why would you measure it?

On the other hand, if Marx implicitly kept the firm as a value-chain led by the collective worker, the G.I.C. puts it explicitly at the center as an economic unit. The partisans of this project did not ignore that certain firms, and certain workers within such firms, would inevitably be more productive than others: they foresaw a way of a way of correcting this inequality with a complex weighing method. We have rarely gone so far in a program that preserves the foundations of capitalism while placing them under the complete control of workers.

Bordiga was a bit off when he saw here an “entrepreneurial socialism,” but his councilist error arose from an essential preoccupation which he misunderstood: the desire for the emancipation of workers is a task set aside for the workers themselves. As Jan Appel noted, the real reason behind this plan was not so much a question of technics but rather of politics: to make it so that every worker participates in their management.

The G.I.C.’s plan owns a lot to the era after the crisis of 1929 where capitalism was seen as on the way towards concentration, nationalization and planification: this was an opinion shared by different people such as Otto Rühle, Bruno Rizzi, the Trostkyist dissidents Burhnham and Schactman, the councilists, Socialism or Barbarism, Karl Kosch in 1950 and even held by non-Marxists like A. Berle, G. Means and Schumpeter (Bordiga was one of rare few who did not share in this opinion.)11

Russia served as a counter-model: it was necessary to avoid repeating what happened after October 1917. The calculation of labor time would allow them to maintain control over firms and of the economy. The accounting of labor time is at once a condition and a guarantor of real and efficacious worker management: no one could know better than workers’ collectives how much time was exactly necessary to produce this or that and to thus determine the contribution of each within the common effort.

With their desire to present communism as a superior mode of production and to provide supporting figures that “this could work,” the Dutch comrades left behind a critique of work (let us remember that 1930 was the most favorable time to bring the question of work into the light… ).

If we raise the project of the G.I.C. along side our commentary of the Grundrisse in the last paragraph, we see that the councilists are faithful to Marx, as well (unbeknown to them) as faithful to the Grundrisse, which they could have not have known of in the 1930s: communism for them was collective administration made possible by the experienced gained through a phase of transition, which would finally serve as a school for rational management.

1.7 Does value abolish itself?

This question may surprise. Nonetheless, if the Grundrisse has had such a grand influence the past 40 years, it is because its reading allows for diverse interpretations and among those interpretations includes the notion of a capitalism forced to overcome itself.

In 1857-58, anticipating the future of capitalism, and commenting on the first automated machines by Charles Babbage, forerunner of the computer, Marx wrote:

“(…) immediate work ceases to be as such the base for production; since on one hand work is transformed from an activity under surveillance and management, and on the other hand, the product [of work] ceases to be the result of isolated and direct work: it is the combination of social activity which appears as such as the producer.” (p. 308)

“While in its immediate form, labor ceases to be the grand source of wealth, labor time will cease to be, and should cease to be, the measure of labor, just as exchange-value will cease to be the measure of use-value. The surplus-labor of masses of humans will cease to be the condition of development of general wealth. (…) From then, production founded on exchange-value will collapse (…).” (p. 306)

In other terms, from this moment on it will be impossible to identify what the individual worker brings into the creation of wealth, value (by which we mean the regulation of production and the redistribution of goods by the measure of socially-necessary labor time) would become incompatible with the expansion of production and absurd within capitalism itself.

Let’s think about what Marx thought around the same time:

“At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of a society enter into contradiction with the existing productive relations. (…) So then opens up an era of social revolution.” (Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, 1859).

Although this preface later affirms that it is the proletariat which forms the principal of the productive forces, Marx did not share in the confidence of historical “progress” common to his time: for him capitalist development leads to communism. In the same way that merchant power had shattered the feudal framework and replaced it with aristocratic domination, he saw that economic socialization, the concentration of the masses of workers would prove incompatible with private property and bourgeois management of society. Suffice to say that proletarian revolution was conceived in much the same way as the model for bourgeois democratic revolution.

Marx cannot be reduced to this position, but it there is enough within his work to justify such a program, since capitalism ends up negating itself:

“In the same way that the bourgeois economic system develops bit by bit, likewise, so the ultimate result of this system gradually develops its own negation.” (Grundrisse, p. 311)

Many theorists (their names are legion) then applied themselves in the demonstration of how the “law of value” tends towards its own abolition (the word law demonstrates the transformation of critique into a science, that is to say it became a knowledge independent of proletarian practice).

Said in another way, capitalism will set into motion change at a revolutionary scale…but without revolution. For the social question resolves itself if there is a threshold where the wage laborer finds themselves obsolete, socially-average labor time becomes an inadequate measure and the inoperative regulator of a very socialized production will not last long before tearing apart wage laborers like a seam sown too tight.

1.8 Marxist Marx

To underline what separates communist Marx from his non-revolutionary posterity, many, us included, have tried to make it so that Marx would be the best critic of Marxism.12 The intention is laudable but the argument is flawed.

How does Marx conclude Capital?

“The transformation of scattered private property, arising from individual labor, into capitalist private property is, naturally, a process, incomparably more protracted, violent, and difficult, than the transformation of capitalistic private property, already practically resting on socialised production, into socialised property. In the former case, we had the expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers; in the latter, we have the expropriation of a few usurpers by the mass of the people”.13

Is capitalism already a “collective mode of production”? Since the end of the 19th c., the socialist movement has exploited these lines (and others in the same way) to explain why a capitalism organized into firms ever more globally-interdependent would sooner or later escape both private property and the anarchy of production: it would therefore be enough to replaces bourgeois bosses with worker representatives and socialism would come along on its own, without revolution, its arrival being a quasi-natural phenomenon.

It is not unreasonable for Marxists to seek in Marx a theory of capitalist socialization that would ultimately prevent capitalism from perpetuating itself. Here’s a good definition of “Marxism”: the replacement of proletarian action for gradual evolution, or with a beneficial catastrophe, which in both cases would appear to be comparable to the process of mutation among natural species. At the end of the 19th c. the manuscripts for Capital Vol. 2 and 3, published after the death of Marx, were read as the theory of the inexorable contradiction between bourgeois private property and the huge growth in the productive forces which even trusts and cartels would be unable to control.

100 years later, the 1857-58 manuscripts now available were interpreted as theorizing [Capital’s] unparalleled and yet irresistible structural limit. It is the very sources and forms of contemporary wealth which would call for a supersession [of Capital] which we need only put into effect. Toni Negri would not be the last to read into these lines of the Grundrisse that value (the regulation of production by labor-time and by finding the minimum production cost) has already ceased to govern contemporary society: it would thus only be a question of realizing this and to draw its consequences so that society radically changes. The world now resting on a collective intelligence, if this general intellect were to become aware of itself, would lead to us liberating ourselves. Briefly, in 1900 as in the 21st c., the production forces are presented as evading the control of those who control them and further, evading the logic of valorization and of wage laborers. With a difference only in size: the historical subject is no longer labor, definitely not the worker, but rather it is all of us, since the lecturer, just as the mingong, contributes to the world’s wealth.

Such an interpretation is partial and biased but can claim the letter and the spirit of Marxian works.

We need not oppose a young Marx to an old Marx, since these contradictions traverse and animate his texts from 1840 until the end of his life.14

Marx led a continuous and discontinuous project, from his first unpublished texts to his manuscripts written late in age(which are not yet all published). From the moment he showed his intuitions in the Grundrisse, he was in preparation for a grand voyage never fulfilled, Capital, a title revealing its priority: to go into the depths of capitalism to thus understand its possible overthrow. The means became the end: to comprehend that which was historically novel in the proletariat he sunk 20 years of study into capitalism. Moreover, in the later volumes of Capital foreseen by Marx – economic theories, the world market, classes, the State – none were to be devoted to the proletariat. Communism was thought of as coming from capitalism.

Undoubtedly, it is thanks to Marx that we can critique him and one of the most illuminating commentaries of him was that by Bordiga, writing more than a half century later, that we must read the ensemble of the Marxian oeuvre as a “description of characters in a communist society.” But today, on pain of behaving like an heir, we must see what dominated Marx. His dazzling intuitions, still in manuscript form, mix the supersession of the economy with the project of a communitarian economy. Marx is more a critic of value (the commodity, money) than of work (time, productivity). If Marxist thought allowed for the communist revival of the mir to be accorded a minor place compared to the industrialization of the world, it is because capitalist progress was accompanied by a worker’s movement that Marx saw as the true mainspring.

To understand Marx is also to distinguish Marx from Marxism without denying the link between the two. If not we run the risk of rewriting a Marx set to everyone’s taste or to the latest fashion.

1.9 Marxism


With such a subject so vast and abundantly documented, we will confine ourselves here to Engels and Lafargue.

That which Marx sketched out, Engels systematized, often stripping Marx of his profound ambiguities. For Engels, the passage from the ape to the human being was brought about by labor and language.15 Work, which “started with the making of tools,” is described as natural, useful and conscious, its birth accompanied by language. Like Marx, but more straightforward, Engels identified productive activity and work.

The dominant interpretation of The Right To Be Lazy (a text largely distributed since its first edition in 1880, from social-democract to anarchist milieus) finds within it a program that results from taking what is good in capitalism (production in abundance) and removing what is bad (exploitation of the producer). Paul Lafargue, this “redeemer of humanity,” explains that by dividing productive tasks among all instead of concentrating them in the hands of a few, thus forcing others to employment, socialism would reduce the the work day to 3 hours thanks to the to suppression of useless production. Coincidentally, it is also a 3-hour workday which Keynes in 1930 promised would come to pass by the end of the 20th c.16

Aristotle remains famous for his justification for slavery due to the need to produce food and useful objects so that a privileged minority could indulge in much more noble tasks: the Greek philosopher added that there would be no more slaves “if weaver’s looms weaved all by themselves” : it was Lafargue who proclaimed this day had come. Social-democrats and Stalinists had little trouble in “recuperating” The Right To Be Lazy: for them socialism was an extension of industrial development oriented until now for the benefit of the bourgeoisie, an extension supposedly done in the interests of the masses.

According to The Right To Be Lazy, work would hardly be work at all. A century later with automation, the myth of a post-industrial society, and more recently, the illusion of a new digital age, has lead some to believe that the 3-hour day announced by Lafargue did not seem so bad at all: work and leisure, manufacturing and creation would become one. Finally reconciling the homo faber with the homo ludens and thus work would cease to be work.

In 2009, Taillander published a collection of writings by Lafargue titled Laziness and Revolution. In the past the association of these two words would make for a provocative title, even an anarchist or situationist one. (“Ne travaillez jamais”). By the start of the 21st c., redemption by machines is passé, but paradoxically, the omnipotence of work allows a certain “criticism of work” to enter into social morays.17

But what do we generally have against work? Above all, we see it is a constraint, an alienation, an impoverisher of both the worker and of nature.18

It’s certainly all of those things, but such a critique does not engage with wage-laborers themselves (purchase-sale of human activity), nor work as separation (to make one’s living by producing to later consume thanks to the money gained).

2. Work and value

We will only deal here with societies where the constitutive features of work exist, knowing that they have only been fully developed in the last few centuries.

Every social analysis which implicates a definition of what is specific to human beings, for as long as this definition is explicit, at its bare minimum says: the human contributes in the production of their nature, which they are the co-creator of. The human does not model itself at will, but further becomes evolved by changing what surrounds them. In producing their material living conditions, human beings do more than this: to produce means to act in society, to speak, to travel … human beings produce themselves and take their activity along with the activity of other human beings as an object: the human is a subject and has a history. The human sets themselves apart from themselves (and can even become alien to themselves). This implies a choice, this implies freedom (and its eventual loss).

This objectification contains the possibility of work.

2.1 Whomever speaks of work speaks of classes

So that this potentiality becomes realized, there needs to be a surplus and this surplus would need to be more than a simple reserve (of food, notably): a useful surplus is necessary to liberate a member of society from the obligation of producing for themselves, thus allowing this member to produce for other members. Work is a form of human activity taken when work creates a surplus which escapes it. Work is a relation between necessary work and surplus labor : there is a separation between the expenditure of energy necessary to maintain the worker, and the expenditure of energy beyond this maintenance, which creates a surplus. Workers only exist for as long as a non-worker is making them labor for their benefit. Work, an activity whose product recurs to others, implies (and maintains) the division of groups within a society with opposed interests. Society is divided among workers and non-workers, where non-workers are reaping the production of workers. The worker may maintain some control of their means of production and organize them themselves, but the result of his labor does not belong to them. Work is a class relation.

2.2 Work reduces all activity to a single substance

Human activity begins to the take the form of work when humanity, over thousands of years and in places which we will never know, arrives at certain practices, few in number at the beginning, which have ceased to be lived and received in such a way that each can have and produce what they specifically need, e.g. flour or fabric. From that moment on, that flour or fabric had begun to exist, above all, by and for their capacity to be able to be exchanged one for the other, and have been treated ever since in light of what they have in common: being both different results but comparable within the same practice known as work, now susceptible to be reduced to a universal and quantifiable given, the humanly necessary average amount of effort needed to make that flour or fabric. From then on these two objects have been produced for what they have in common, this substance known as value.

Then came a decisive change, the passage of the exchange of one commodity for another (flour/fabric), looking to satisfy two needs that meet, an exchange aiming to obtain not a particular useful object, flour or fabric, but the money destined to buy any kind of object, or to be saved or invested.

Crystallized labor, money gave value a material form.

Money is not the result of practical necessity, for example to facilitate barter or as a convenient means of exchanging a sack of flour for a length of fabric so that those in this barter don’t “lose anything.” Credit and debt precede money and as a proof we have the masses of ancient peasants who were in debt before the invention of money.

Whatever their origins, work and money have become inseparable. Even under their immaterial forms of credit card chips and lines of credit, they materialize the way in which activities and human being relate to each other, and lastly how classes relate to each other.

If value reveals and manifests exchange, its source lies within work and money serves to link up that which the division of labor separates.

As the history of the longue durée Fernand Braudel said one day: “The misfortune is that the market exists and then you do not get to see what goes on underneath.”

2.3 Wage laborers make of work a commodity

With wage laborers, work is not just activity done for money: it also an activity which is bought and sold.

With the generalized sale-purchase of labor power, for the first time in history, social classes distinctly distinguish themselves from their respective place (bourgeois or proletariat) occupied by each within production. The relation between necessary work and surplus labor structures the world. No society can survive without productive activity, but modern society is the first to live under the domination of (waged) work.

This crucial fact is doubly obscured. First, there’s the general tendency of making everyone need a wage and thus “everyone works,” even the CEO, blurring the opposition between the worker and the non-worker. Then, there’s two or three thousand proletarians without work or some who are semi-proletarianized who stand outside the class of wage laborers which they nonetheless form a part of.

This generalization of a class of wage laborers creates a completely novel situation, even for those condemned to total or partial unemployment. The slave, the serf and the sharecropper shared the historical perspective that they need only get rid of the domination of the master, the lord of the landowner to be able to work freely. Today, the computer assembler or the palm oil wage laborer can only free themselves by putting an end to their own existence as a bearer of labor power, this commodity which potentially contains all other commodities. Only commodified work can get rid of work. The program is no longer one of liberating work, but to liberate ourselves from work. Work is that which transforms activity into salable labor power and which only recognizes the whole of human capacities as labor power.

2.4 Work as separated activity

Work is the form taken by the production of the material conditions necessary for life when that productive activity has become detached from the rest of activities, in varying degrees and forms. The modern-day workforce cuts up their time between work, homelife, school, hobbies, vacations, etc. and the space between places to earn money, live, shop, be entertained and so on.

The space-time of non-work is not a capitalist creation: it has coexisted with the space-time of work ever since the appearance of work. The capitalist novelty lies in pushing this separation to the extreme, accentuating the split between that which is productive and non-productive of value.

2.5 Work is productivity and accounting

Organized into a series of competitive firms, where each is a value-chain in search of optimal growth, capitalism logically tends to increase surplus labor at the expense of necessary labor. Work brings along with it productivity and normalization, with a permanent search for ever more efficient methods of diminishing the cost of renewing manufacturing processes: the famous “development of productive forces.” Work and value – one cannot go without the other – implying production for production’s sake – for the accumulation of value – and with it “productivism” and planned obsolescence.

Today we constantly measure things against each other, compare and exchange them according to the average labor-time they require or are supposed to require, which also leads us to evaluate acts and people.

The augmentation in productivity (the growth of surplus labor which creates new value in relation to the necessary labor compared to the simple reproduction of labor power) is essential to all which we have recounted here. If the search for productivity is an irresistible force, with such destructive effects for humanity and nature, it is because the race for ever more profitability is the engine of capitalism; this race is its power and also the cause of its crises. So as to become more profitable than their competitors, each firm is led by an intensification of work, a development of mechanization and the growth of capital invested in equipment, tools, robots, etc., increasing its mass of value and ending up suffering diminishing returns.

2.6 Work is the reduction of everything to its minimum time If human societies have over the last few centuries moved towards the evermore precise and rigorous measure of time, it is so that they may economize it so that production time may be reduced. The obsession with “winning” time and the fear of “losing” it are integral to capitalism. To work is to struggle against time.

On the contrary, human beings for whom the frantic search for productivity is not an imperative, have no need to measure everything by the seconds and minutes as they produce.

The best way to render energy-use in the most productive way possible is to measure it by time so as to shorten it. For this reason the separation between work and the rest of life is essential to the accounting of time which finds itself at the core of value: one cannot measure a moment and the effort expended in that moment unless that segment of time is detached from all others.

We know how much to pay for a housekeeper: we cannot know the “worth” of what a housewife does in their own home. Even if the two accomplished the same tasks between 9AM and noon, those 180 minutes do not have the same meaning for the employee who came to perform a three-hour task and for the housewife who is busy at home performing various tasks.

Even the “by piece” wage of a single worker alone at his machine will be calculated according to the number of seconds need to make each piece.

Indeed, one cannot really reduce labor time, because labor time, by its socially-average definition, is not calculable for each task or for each object. A worker’s wage at their machine will be the price of a work whose value cannot be calculated, the specific contribution of this worker to all the value created in the firm. Money really is crystallized labor, only existing as an instrument within the circulation of goods under the condition that these commodities also set in motion other commodities and not by the calculation of the quantity of labor each carries within it. A specific loaf of bread and a teapot can be comparable in weight and not by the energy expenditure need to produce either of them. Whatever Taylor may have believed, no scientific method will ever quantify the new value added by a specific work task within a workshop or an office.

“Rational madness,” Taylorism is none the less consistent with the necessities of Capital.19 As soon as a computer mousepad plant begins to use equipment which requires the worker to produce more but at the same wage, management ignores the precise resulting increase of value, meanwhile it knows exactly how much it will pay the worker, how many mousepads the worker is supposed to make within a given time and how much they will sell each mousepad for. What is important here is that the introduction of new equipment forces the worker to be more productive. All the bourgeois knows, and which they count, are the prices, first the wages and the profits and although economists speak of value and creation of value, they openly consider “value” to be a metaphysical speculation.

The capitalist struggle against time bears the effect of a planned permanent obsolescence of commodities. Another consequence is the obsession with saving time in everyday life. These two phenomena have accelerated in the last twenty and thirty years, giving rise to a denunciation of speed and “the dictatorship of immediacy”; we see eulogies to slowness, slow food…reactions with little impact because they do not ascend to recover labor time.

30 years ago, a study by Barbara Garson showed how computers are transforming the office of the future into the factory of the past.20 The wage worker charged with taking airline ticket reservations by phone sees their work cut up into four mandatory phrases, timed and monitored. “To control everything, that’s the goal of the system,” declared one employee. It’s not simply that “the system” knows everything done at each moment but that for this end “the system” decomposes each gesture to such a degree that the work becomes more and more incomprehensible for those who do it (at the very moment where the operation of our daily objects become infinitely more mysterious to us than the motor in the fridge).

In 1966 when an MIT researcher came up with the ELIZA program, an automated therapist who responded without human intervention to medical questions, this expert system found widespread approval, many considering it already a human therapist “as an information processor and decision-taker.”If this shortening of human skills was possible, it was because knowledge and social relations have already previously been reduced to mechanics, to the quantifiable.

Computerization is not the cause: a machine does not create a social relation. Capitalism privileges the result (the product) over the process, the (measurable) object over relations and privileges the decomposable and quantifiable tasks over the continuity of the ensemble. But why bother to reduce the cost of labor which remains a small part of the cost of production? According to official statistics, around 1980, in the metal industry, direct work accounted for 10% of total costs. 30 years later, a pair of Nike Air Pegasus would sell for $70 in the United States, which includes a $3 wage for Asian workers, $16 for raw materials and $16 for design and advertising which adds up to $35. In summary, $3 in labor, a production cost of $35 for a sale price of $70.21

This is so because the game is not played from an accounting point of view. It is about controlling the direct workers who, unlike executives, advertisers and machines, are likely to resist or strike. “That’s why,” concluded B. Garson,” any large mass of workers that can be automated will be. Automated does not necessarily mean that robots will replace them, but that their work is organized so as to become controllable at all times. At least in theory, because it is always the one who execute the work that will be best able to control the work. As the old worker at Renault said: “Your boss pays you for your work, not for the way you do the work.” At the beginning of the 20th century, counters were installed on typewriters to check the number of keystrokes: some typists responded by leaving wider spaces, by not hitting the space bar one time, but two, three, four, even five times.

2.7 The society of king-labor

Our order of presentation is not chronological: we did not go back to the origin of work, knowing that in real history these elements related to work did not take on the same importance at the same time. It has taken millenia before there was an exchange of equivalents, that is to say, an exchange based on the more or less rigorous estimates of necessary labor time and that “the law of value” would come and equalize private work. Moreover, “money,” as the means to count in terms of value and production and to circulate goods according to an exchange of equivalents indeed precedes currency as we know it: there were not instruments specifically reserved for the function of money (which also did not have other uses, whether everyday or ritualistic). The arrival of coinage is late (7th. Century B.C.).

In the world in which we live, each of the aspects which we have conveniently distinguished in the exposition are the conditions for all the others. For example, to force humans to “make a living” via the wage, it was necessary to deprive them of autonomous means of existence (§2.1). Further, measuring work supposes that it is separated from all other activities (§2.4). It is only modern capitalism which has fully developed the constitutive elements of work.

Despite the fact that only a minority of the world’s population receive a wage and that even smaller minority benefits from a good labor contract (with fixed & duly paid wages, labor rights, social security contributions and union dues), the wage-employment nonetheless dominates.

Capitalist forms determine pre-capitalist forms. A 9 year old Turkish girl shepherding her parent’s herd of goats contributes to the family’s income. Meanwhile, one of her brothers lives by working odd jobs in a neighboring city, and the eldest brother works in a factory in Germany, where in 10 years maybe the young Turkish girl may work as a cleaning lady. This family is integrated into the global reproduction of the Capital/labor relation. The global market brings in more and more people into its logic, a minority of Earthlings today live on a purely “economy of subsistence” and work and money penetrate into the heart of slums.

It all depends on the point of view. For a sociologist or an anthropologist the activity of the young girl remains “entrenched” in precapitalist relations and he would describe how her kinship ties are saturated with archaisms, since, for example, her family has destined her to an arranged marriage. The anthropologist is not wrong. But for those who want to understand the nature of work, the method consists in finding what is in common between the young Turkish girl and a worker of Maruti Suzuki, or with a Bolivian bank employee (which is not to say that the three would have the same impact on the course of history).

The dominant social relation (wage labor) is not the sole one, but it determines all the others, including any sort of benevolent activity (which is labor indirectly remunerated), as well as including slavery (forced unpaid labor with absolute boss control over the worker, estimated at between 20 and 30million worldwide). And while we may read that the informal economy makes up 40% (made up of mostly women) of the so-called active world population, this statistic utilizes a category produced by the existence of wage-laborers which distinctly classifies that which does not enter its strict framework (labor contract) of work.22

Let us not confuse work with employment. The undeniable fact that there are and will be fewer hires than the unemployed in the world does not prevent productive work from remaining the center of the world today. What is called “social security” refers to the place of work: the money paid (or not) to the student, the unemployed, the sick, to families, to the elderly, the disabled is granted to categories that either cannot, cannot yet or cannot any longer work. Although public opinion denounces king-money (and more subtle theoreticians denounce the domination of value), it would be more accurate to say that we live under the reign of work, that is to say, wage labor.23

3. Neither work nor economy

§2 sought out to identify six characteristics which altogether constitute work: necessary work/surplus-labor and class divisions; value; commidification; separation; productivity and accounting; and time. Our ambition was not to construct a theoretical machine which would cease to function as soon as you remove one piece, as though, missing three of these six components, work would only partially continue to exist: only abstraction requires the separation into categories that which in reality is nested.

To comprehend the possible link between capitalism and a revolution which would abolish work, instead of taking these six elements separately, let’s consider them next as a whole.

3.1 Production is not economy

“Production” is often assimilated into artisanal or industrial fabrication of objects. It would seem to be more apropos to consider, as Alain Testart, does that there is production “whenever the means of work are applied to raw material to turn it into a consumable product in a form in which it was not before.”24 Hunter, harvester and fisher, unlike predators, make use of weapons and knowledge. By producing, the human also produces instruments and means of production, for example a bow for hunting. With agriculture, the human modifies nature with the intentional sowing of nutritional plants: from hunter-gather, the human becomes a “producer.”

But production is not synonymous with economy.


The difficulty lies in understanding that the production of the material conditions for existence has become a reality we call economy, progressively more autonomous from the rest of life, to the point where in the modern era it is a distinct sphere, with a separation between the time-space consecrated to making a living (work) and all other activities.

There is no “economic history,” because economy is a historical fact that has not reigned at all times and everywhere. For example, the noting of “per capita income” or “of households” only has any meaning when there exists individual persons or nuclear households.25

Malthus attributed the possible crisis of capitalism to a growth of population that goes over the growth of resources, particularly food. Ecologists explain history by the capacity or the incapacity for societies to adjust to the environment to their needs. Rejuvenated by its taking into account of natural resources and the need to renew these resources, economic thought is nonetheless economic: it’s number one problem is the creation of a balance between means and ends. It’s a morality based on accounting.

Gregory Clark wrote in a well-documented book: “during the Malthusian era economic laws governing human society are the same as those governing all animal societies.”26 The driving thread within history would be the evolution of the relationship between available resources and the population, whether human or animal: the same reasoning was applied to the residents Charleville-Mézières, as the deer of the nearby Ardennes [forests].

Nonetheless, far from being an apologist for progress, Gregory Clark argues, with backing figures, that hunter-gathers spent between 4 and 5 hours a day gathering food; that in 1800 the average Earthling did not live better than those who lived 100,000 years before Christ; that in Asia the conditions were even worse, and that the so-called primitive “produced” more calories per hour of “work” than the civilized did in England. These facts are sobering, but what these figures show is a desire to reduce everything to measurability, as if the Amazonian and the Yorkshire laborer lived the same social relationship, separated only by different degrees on a scape of production and consumption.

The dominant mental schema has changed little since [Henri de] Saint-Simon’s time: “the production of useful things is the sole reasonable, and positive goal that political societies can propose for themselves.” The ideal would then be a society where “all men work. This obligation is imposed on all to constantly give their personal efforts toward a useful direction for society.” (L’Industrie, 1811-1812). For Saint-Simon, the merchant or farmer are as much “producers” as the worker or the industrialist (For him socialism would mean the suppression of the merchant and to meld the worker and the industrialist into one figure).

Under economic thought, society relies on the production and the allotment of resources. The socialist economist also brings into the fold the criterion of utility and of justice; the ecological economist brings the obligation of harmony with nature; but it is still a question of administrating a surplus: the relation between necessary labor and surplus labor become thought of as self-evident: it is a matter of producing something to eat, somewhere to live, somewhere to heal oneself…then finally arrive to the spice of life. Utility before what is pleasant. Soup before the concert. We must first be ants to then become a cicada.

To retain the relationship between necessary labor and surplus-labor is to retain work itself.

The fundamental mistake is to make everything about meeting the need to satisfy basic needs. Without food, I die: this self-evident statement only makes sense if it is connected to the fact that human existence is social. I don’t eat first so I can then be in society. Hunger is always lived and treated in function to the conditions imposed upon by human beings (whether they’re in Alaska or Tahiti) and their social organization. Hunger does not further intervene: both play at the same time: the cold is not more the cause of social life of the Inuit than the tropical humidity is the cause of the Tahitians. No vital necessity takes precedence over social links: between the two there is a simultaneity. The same is true under capitalism. Likewise in revolution. Similarly in communism. Except that production will no longer play the same role.

It is not a question of how do human beings produce themselves?; nor, what do they produce? (whether education software or assault weapons) But rather: what place do they take within the production of human life.

According to a widespread idea in the radical milieu, the objective will not be to “produce just to produce,” but rather to create the minimum abundance necessary without which human emancipation will not be possible.

Alfred Rosemer wrote in 1923: “Communism supposes and demands abundance because the distribution of products should be simple and easy.”27

The real motive of this imperative for production is to not allow overconsumption: Rosmer prioritizes abundance because he sees in it the necessary condition for a just distribution.

Inversely, others make of a frugal moderation the condition of a free and solidarity-based community. In The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin (1974), on the planet Anarres owes much of its rather libertarian28way of life to its harsh climates, which lends itself to favor mutual aid and also makes accumulation difficult.

Whether one prefers abundance or a soberness in production, in both visions, the priority is economic. This what we must criticize.

3.2 Communism as an activity

A frequent criticism of capitalism is that it fabricates goods without taking care of real needs, and then goes on to sell its wares on the market: the satisfaction of needs is but a side consequence. This conception then leads some to do the opposite: to start off based on needs, but this time based on supposed real needs which are decided upon collectively; a conception which desires to satisfy these needs through adequate production and equitable distribution, without the mediation of the market, thanks to a communitarian, democratic and self-organized organization.


This ignores that needs also make up an economic category.

Let’s observe that needs are almost always defined in the negative: to not die of hunger, of cold or of sickness; to not be forced to sleep in the rain, etc. When we speak of needs, we speak of a lack.

It is self-evident that human beings have basic necessities, such as to eat and to sleep, just as it is imperative to match these with existing resources. That which is untrue is the idea that human life consists of, above all, satisfying these needs. The only way we satisfy these needs, or fail in doing so, is by way of social interrelations. It is only under exceptional circumstances that we eat just so that we will not die. For human beings, to eat will always be more than just eating. Generally, we eat in the company of others, chosen or not, or we choose to eat alone, or we are forced to eat alone, which is also itself a social situation. Often we follow a diet, either dietary or not.29 Sometimes we have to skip a meal so as to not eat or drink too much. The same is true of all our other vital activities. As Marx wrote in The German Ideology, meeting vital needs also creates new needs, and “this production of new needs is the first historical fact.”

Contrary to a common error, the “materialist conception of history” does not say that “the economy” leads the world. This is often the way that the first part of The German Ideology is read, although Marx intended something else altogether. Firstly, social relations depend on how we produce our material conditions for life and not what our ideas are of the world. Secondly, we produced these material conditions in relation with other human beings, and in class societies, we create them through class relations. The “materialist conception” does not make “the economy” the motor of human evolution, but it can explain how the current domination of the economy over our world is a historical phenomena; a phenomena that was unknown in pre-history and one which was less important in Athens 500b.c. than in Athens 2015; and it is a phenomena which will disappear with communism.

Without developing what is said within From Crisis to Communization, let us say here that our problem lies not in inventing a new society which will put in parallel our needs and resources (as the economists may want), or transform artificial and extravagant needs into reasonable needs so as to attain a sufficient frugality (as the ecologists may want). It is rather a matter of understanding what our basic needs truly are. The first human need, wrote Marx, is the need for the other. We would say: the need to feed ourselves is indissoluble from the need of the other, and the two are satisfied (or not) at the same time. We must eat, that much is self-evident, and social relations do not fill empty stomachs, but we eat within those social relations.

All of this is verified during revolutionary periods: “without reserves,” the proletarian having neither money or food, or arms (at first), find their only strength is their acting with other proletarians.

Admittedly, at first the pressure of circumstances (internal conflicts, armed struggle, shortages…) will sometimes lead the insurgents to share and distribute as justly as possible (in both sense of the word), so, whether it they like it or not, they must ration. But the revolution would be damned if it proved incapable of distinguishing a social emergency from the rest of its fundamental “program,” it would be damned if it were to allow social emergency to determine its base.

We will not ask ourselves: “How many roof tiles are necessary for that house?” but rather: “how many could it house?” Starting from there, we will then figure out how many x tiles are necessary by how many y squared meters for the roof: to suppress accounting does not mean we will renounce the use of measurements.

The communizing motor of action will not be the search for the best or the most equal way of distributing goods, but rather the human relations and activities found therein: within communization, activity is more important than its productive result because this result depends on an activity and of ties that could and would strengthen bonds among the insurgents. That which stirs the proletarian to act is not the need to eat, it is the need to create among other proletarians a social relation, which among other things will also feed them.

The need to create food, to cultivate carrots for example, will be satisfied by way of social relations which, among other activities, will cultivate beans, which will not mean that each minute or hour of horticulture will be lived as a kind of a joy without cloudy skies.

bureaucratsA still from the Situationist film “Can Dialectics Break Bricks?” by the French director René Viénet (1973).

Counter-revolution will of course exploit our inevitable disarray and local shortages. The revolution will not respond by bringing back to life an even-more productive industry, nor will it do away with bourgeois armies by creating an even stronger army. “Realism” is to be found where you least expect it. It is the bureaucrats whom of course will try to pass themselves as “practical,” explaining that after insurrectionary spontaneism must follow productive organization, which solely could resolve the most vital and urgent problems. Through means of some large and small transformations, the ideology of “common sense” (a hammer or computer are neutral, they will tell us, and that they’re neither capitalist nor communist) will promote a concern for efficiency which, despite a shift in discourse, will contain all the traits of productivity. However, work and productivity are linked. Work normalizes things. Keeping track of time during production demands that we separate it from the rest of the day, thus we detach it from life by distinctly calling it work. Revolution cannot make time-saving one of its priorities.

The division of labor will neither be overcome by a simple permanent sharing of duties. A varied form of work remains work. Working cooperatively is also work: collective work is also work. Working two hours a day is also work. The replacement of private producers with communitarian production, or the systematic re-distribution of tasks, only makes communist sense if the products are not compared – and thus incomparable – among each other (nor the activities which have produced them) by way of some calculus (implicit or not) of the real or supposed average labor time to make them. Because if we count, if social life revolves around this measure, whatever the mode of association, sooner or later value will reappear, even in a community with the most fraternal intentions.30

This text started with a fictitious boss who offered illusory employment. In the so-called real world, many of our contemporaries “make a living” by making up marketing campaigns, which others print, then are deposited into mailboxes, which then are recovered at the dump to make into recycled paper, on which will be printed new prospectus, while experts are hired to analyze it all and intellectuals are hired to deplore them. The surrealists asked themselves if we suffered either too little or too much from reality… At any rate, the “absurdity” of work will never be enough to do away with it. We will need nothing less than a revolution. We do not ignore that “there is something ridiculous in talking about revolution”: “But the whole rest of it is even more ridiculous, since it is that which exists, along with the various forms its accepted.”31

G.D. Note from EDICIONES INÉDITOS: if you'd like to reproduce this text as a zine (whether print or digital), or to re-publish it please drop us a line so that we could discuss a collaboration beforehand. E-mail:

1A curious destiny was set for these reading notes commonly called the Grundrisse which were only published in Moscow in German during the maelstrom that was World War II. There were almost unknown until their second edition in German in 1953, the text was not available in French until 1967-68, and it was even later when they were published in other European languages (English in 1973).

2Engels, Anti-Dühring, 1873, Section 3, Chp. 2

3Notes sur F. List,Œuvres, Gallimard, III, 1982, pp. 1418-1451.

4Ibid., pp. 1111 et 1123.

5Capital, Vol. I, Œuvres, Gallimard, I, 1963, p.570.

6Ibid., p. 1420

7Ibid., p. 605.

8 Groupe des Communistes Internationalistes de Hollande (GICH), Principes fondamentaux de la production et de la distribution communistes :

9Short biography of J. Appel (in French) :

10OJTR,Un Monde sans argent : le communisme, Chap. V, Ed. du Sandre, 2013.

11In 1932, Berle and Means were among the first to theorize a capitalism of managers in Property and control within the large enterprise. Bruno Rizzi (1901-1977) publie en 1939 La bureaucratisation du monde. Pour un compte-rendu par Pierre Souyri de la réédition du livre chez Champ Libre en 1976 : Sur la critique de la thèse d’un capitalisme « bureaucratique » ou « d’Etat » par Bordiga, voir entre autres : La Doctrine du diable au corps, 1951 : Et ses Thèses sur la Russie, 1952 :

12Maximilien Rubel, Marx critique du marxisme (1974 et 1983), Entremonde, 2011 :

13Œuvres, I, Gallimard, p. 1240.

14“Let’s not idealize the 1840 years as proof of an authentic communism which was then abandoned. The Principals of Communism by Engels in 1847 prefigure that which would become the socialist program a few decades later: “(…) to concentrate more and more within the hands of the State all of Capital, agriculture and industry, transportation and exchanges. (…) These measures (…) will become ever more centralized along with the growth of the productive forces thanks to the work of the proletariat. Finally, when the whole of Capital, production and exchanges are concentrated in the hands of the State, private property would also fall, money would become superfluous (…).” A good history book on this time period:Alain Maillard, La Communauté des Égaux. Le communisme néo-babouviste dans la France des années 1840, Kimé, 1999.

15Le Rôle du travail du travail dans la transformation du singe en homme, 1876 :

16Perspectives économique pour nos petits-enfants :

17In their Manifest contre le travail (1999), Krisis describes work as no longer necessary under capitalism, which on the one hand becomes less and less necessary and that the little work it retains is completely devoid of meaning.

18Bob Black sums up the dominant perception to found in radical milieus: “My definition of work is forced labor, obligatory production. These two parameters are essential. (…) Work violates freedom.” (Abolition of work, 1985)

19B. Doray, Le Taylorisme, une folie rationnelle ?, Dunod, 1981.

20The Electronic Sweatshop. How Computers are Transforming the Office of the Future into the Factory of the Past, Penguin, 1988.

21D. Cohen, Trois leçons sur la société post-industrielle, Seuil, 2006.

22B. Lautier, L’Economie informelle dans le tiers-monde, Repères, 2004.

23G.D., La boulangère & le théoricien (sur la théorie de la forme-valeur), 2014 :

24Avant l’histoire, Gallimard, 2012.

25This is not stopped Thomas Piketty from measuring the relationship between the return on capital (from patrimonial wealth ) and the rate of growth of the last 2,000 years as though these realities had similar worth in ancient Rome as they do in contemporary New York.

26A Farewell to Alms. A Brief Economic History of the World, Princeton UP, 2007.

27L’Humanité, 3 février 1923, cité dans Ch. Gras, Alfred Rosmer (1877-1964) et le mouvement révolutionnaire international, Maspéro, 1971.

28Translator’s note: here ‘libertarian’ is closer to ‘anarchist’ than those who, in the English-speaking world, have taken on this term as a way to align with small gov’t and free-market capitalism.

29Translator’s note: in French the word for “diet” is “régime” which can mean either a diet taken on for health reasons (‘dietary’) or just a diet that we follow on custom (‘or not’).

30To learn more on what would make a communist revolution, see chapter 5 (« L’Insurrection créatrice ») of this book, which this is an excerpt of : De la Crise à la communisation, Entremonde, 2017.

31Internationale Situationniste, n°6, 1961 :

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Tags: communizationcommunismworktranslationcategory: Essays
Categories: News

Icelandic anarchist Haukur Hilmarsson killed fighting Erdogan’s fascist invasion

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 14:14

From The Free

Haukur Hilmarsson was 32 years old. He was assassinated by the Turkish forces invading Syria in Efrín . He was part of the Revolutionary Union for Internationalist Solidarity. This group was founded by Greek anarchists in 2015 and is one of the militias of the International Liberation Brigade that helps Yekîneyên Parastinê Gel (Unidades de Defensa Popular, YPG) in its struggle against Arab imperialism, Turkish and Islamic fundamentalism. The Volunteer has died in the population of Hamshalak and is the third internationalist to have fallen in Efrîn’s defense after a Breton and a Galician NO PASARÁN Icelander Reportedly Killed In Action In Afrin Words by @pauldfontaine /……. March 7, 2018

Icelandic activist Haukur Hilmarsson was reportedly killed in combat in Afrin, Syria. He was 32 years old.

According to a post from the International Freedom Battalion (IFB), a group of international fighters working alongside the YPG in Syria, this was his second tour of combat in the region.

After first being deported from Iraq after trying to enter Rojava, he returned shortly thereafter and distinguished himself in Raqqa, where he rose to the rank of commander. After helping rout the Islamic State he later joined the fighting against encroaching Turkish forces in northern Syria. It was in Afrin, a Syrian city that has seen heavy casualties lately, where he ultimately fell in combat.

“In death we say he has become immortal,” IFB writes of him. “For we will never forget his struggle, his name, and his example – and we shall never give up his fight.”

Worst of all, members of his own family are at a loss to know exactly what became of him. His mother, Eva Hauksdóttir, posted a brief note on her personal site, saying that no one had contacted them about Haukur. She says that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in touch with law enforcement and authorities in Turkey, but she is asking that if anyone has any definitive information about Haukur that they contact

“An all-out resistance to the entire establishment of border control is needed for the preservation of refugees lives. On these points there can be no negotiation. No room for opportunism. This is our ideology in a nutshell.”

Haukur, who took the nom de guerre Sahin Hosseini in the IFB, has been a well-known activist in Iceland for many years. He was dedicated to human rights, and first gained national attention in 2008 when he and another man attempted to block the deportation of then-asylum seeker Paul Ramses Odour by standing in the way of an airplane carrying Ramses that was trying to leave Iceland. Paul was grateful for this act, later telling reporters that the two men “saved my life”. Paul is today an Icelandic citizen.

Haukur was also active in the 2008-2009 protests against the government, gaining attention in the symbolic act of climbing onto the roof of parliament and hoisting the flag of the Bónus supermarket chain on the building’s flagpole. Protesters on the scene were so enamored with the act that they aided him in evading arrest.An earlier photo of Haukur

He was also a prominent member of No Borders – Iceland, continuously fighting for the rights of asylum seekers in Iceland, and has even written for Grapevine (see articles below) on a number of occasions. He was utterly uncompromising on this subject, writing the following in 2015:

“Borders ensure neither peace nor security. Rather, they tamper free movement, business, survival and happiness. They are man-made, and their maintenance requires the relentless effort of heavily funded institutions. The pushbacks and deportations of refugees are intentional and carefully meditated acts of oppression. An all-out resistance to the entire establishment of border control is needed for the preservation of refugees lives. On these points there can be no negotiation. No room for opportunism. This is our ideology in a nutshell.”

Haukur was an activist and journalist, below are links to some of his articles. Borderline: Empathy & Insanity In The Asylum Process

by 2 years ago

“They’re my friends! Let me speak to them!” he shouted as the door closed shut. Four days into his hunger…

Especially The Nice Ones


It comes and goes, the rage against The Machine. Every so often it boils over, causing an uproar of surprise…



Tags: SyriaturkeyYPGobituaryDeathEfrincategory: International
Categories: News

From Paris to our friends scattered across the world

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 13:29


This post is also available in:
Français (French) Deutsch (German)

«We could therefore do this: Instead of commemorating may 1968, we could
try organising a beautiful month of may 2018.»

From this country where we search for our breath, breathing an air that
is everyday becoming more rare, where we feel evermore alien to it’s
reality ; from this country could only rise among our ranks this
sensation of deterioration, eating us from inside by means of emptiness,
by means of imposture and deception. As second best we wrote, talked,
the adventure was one of literature, the commitment platonic. The
revolution was tomorrow, the possible revolution, how many of us still
believed in her?

  • Pierre Peuchmaurd, More alive than ever (1968)

The embers shines under the ashes of Macron’s anesthesia. His government
knows that. This is why this government avoids all trials of criticism. This is why he attacks only the weak or the ones who declare themselves defeated before the battle even starts. It is the « no-battle strategy » : a war where the victory consists in avoiding all the decisive battlefields.

There is no support for the government’s manœuvres outside of the governmental spheres themselves, notably it’s media. What we do witness is a massive indifference , disaffection, lassitude as well as a demoralisation. Demoralisation accentuated by the owners of the public spaces day after day.

Nevertheless since the abrupt end of the movement against the « loi travail » , there are also a number of diffuse energies, a set of imperceptible desertions that discretely draw their path. There is a large inflammable element in suspension, element that only awaits a chance to reform ; a chance that wouldn’t be a mechanical repetition of the outmoded tactic of the « cortège de tête ». Moreover, in spite of the wise communication, lavish in wrong-footing, surprise factors, and false pretenses the first effects of the politics that are actually carried out are being felt. These concrete modifications of life create discontentments that don’t fade away, let alone all the genius communication in the world. Everyone isn’t on the edge of a nervous breakdown, but the general burnout isn’t far. So why not break all this down before being ourselves broken down ? Rather than waiting for the government to give us a chance, that he will never give, to stop the deadly train in which he urges us to jump, why not create the occasion for ourselves ? Why not decide of our own chances ? And after all if the list of reasons to engage in revolution are all there why not agree on dates to concentrate forces ?

Apparently some wish to commemorate may 1968. We honestly do not care much for may 1968. We did better. Our graffiti’s of spring 2016, downgrade the ones of may 1968, to the « can do better » category, in quantity as much as quality. Between « le monde ou rien » and « il est interdit d’interdire », no need to argue. There is a world between what is incisive and what is laborious. Our riots are undoubtedly better organised, better equipped, and have no need for trotskyste or maoiste public order services, no need for endless general assemblies, no need for leaders. All was carried out in fluidity, multiplicity, intelligence of the situation. The thing is that since we are still here, there is no one to commemorate us. Agreed, we didn’t block the whole country. The occupations weren’t scaled to the situation. The unions completely fucked up on the general strike side of things. Also agreed we weren’t millions like in 68. Also we are facing a massive perspective problem : before one could build upon the existing world, now on the one hand the world is completely fucked on the other what functions is so horrible that there isn’t much else to do other than sending it to the scrapyard. In other words before one had to re-appropriate what was there, now we also have to break things down and repair them. Let alone the fact that we are ourselves in a pity state. Taking all this in consideration we have a lot of work requiring a lot of imagination, a lot of sensibility and a fair share of disposition to metamorphosis.

There are four things to be remembered from the may 68 experience :
1. The so called vandals all-ready existed.
2. There are no successes without blocking the country.
3. Taking things on the angle of destruction of the earth, loss of meaning of everything, zombification of people, aberration of the social order, triumph of technocracy, growing sadness, capitalism made a point of realising with method all that was said of it in may 68.
4. Considering that in 68 by organising abundance the power was granted a rioting response, he then thought that by organising shortages he would maybe gain peace. Not so sure about the peace aspect, but we sure know something of shortage, as we are undoubtedly easing into it.

All in all we do not care for may 68 as much as we couldn’t care less for Cohn-Bendit being friends with Macron and Debord in the nationale library. But most of all it is not a good enough reason not to give ourselves a rendez-vous in the coming month of may. We won’t let Macron unfold his deadly plans peacefully for ten years. We won’t let our faces be trampled on while reciting lines of Molière. We wish to tear to pieces the disaster.

We could therefore do this : instead of commemorating may 68, try to organise a beautiful month of may.

Slowly making the pressure rise around the protest of the railway workers & co on the 22nd of march (what would be a strategy that outdates the police headquarters as it itself outdated the « cortège de tête » ? Why not organise on that night a large discussion open to all on what could be done in may?).

Establishing links with those who wish to act as much as they witness the fact that the powerfull « union headquarters » aren’t anymore an « adequate struggling tool », to remain polite.

Between the 22nd of march and the 31st of that month carry out actions that make it clear to the government that evictions=fight, be it for the ZAD or migrants or occupied spaces.

In April remain present, alert, but most of all prepare a truly revolutionary 1st of may in Paris. The two last ones where quite something, in spite of the growing ferocity of the police tactics. Moreover being sure that considering the date there will be a bunch of Italians, Greeks, Americans, English, Belgians, Germans that are somewhat tripping on may 68 or what happened in France theses past years. Obviously we will have to think of explicitly inviting them and making them feel they are more than welcome.

As for the following times, all is to be built , occupations, blockades, strikes, start-ups to be whipped off the map, nights of elaboration, wild demo’s like the ones we do not dare to carryout anymore, announced demo’s, a vast messing-up of the yuppified city center of Paris. We won’t be missing targets or opportunities in may 2018. For all that to happen we should from this day start encountering all the available forces from all horizons.

In short push our advantage(what the hell you are celebrating may 68 and rioting should be illegitimate, occupation illegal, a fainting power unimaginable, revolution impossible and happiness banished??!!)

Push our advantage to the breaking point. See you in a minute, round the corner, for a private chat !

Nothing has ended, all is starting

Tags: Francemay dayParis1968category: Actions
Categories: News

TFN #3: Nazi Tears and Donuts

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:38


This week, we look at Dick Sphincter’s failed event at Michigan State University and talk with his Nazi security team, the Turd Wankers Party. Then, we go over to Hamilton, Ontario where a crew of ninjas wrecked a bunch of yuppie businesses on one of the most gentrified strips of the city, leading to a strange friendship between the far-right white nationalists and the yuppies of the area.

To donate to the bailfund of those arrested in Michigan, go here: To donate to the Tower’s renovation fund, go here:

Download HD * SD * Translate * Subtitles

TFN 3: Nazi Tears and Donuts from sub.Media on Vimeo.

Tags: the fucking newssubmediavideocategory: Projects
Categories: News

The Unquiet Dead Chapter 3 – AudioZine

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:33

From Resonance: An Anarchist Audio Distro

The Unquiet Dead: Anarchism, Fascism, and Mythology – Chapter 3 the Spanish revolutionists and their betrayal – By Anonymous – MP3ReadPrint ArchiveTorrent YouTube

Chapter three of this multipart series discusses Spain before the war; the rise of the fascist; anarchist resistance; the betrayal of the revolution and its consequences.

The full text is available at; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.

Helen Graham tells us of post-war Spain:

“The defeated cast no reflection. No public space was theirs. …The Republican dead could never be publicly mourned. The defeated were obliged to be complicit in this denial. Women concealed the violent deaths of husbands and fathers from their children in order to protect them physically and psychologically. In villages all over Spain, many kept secret lists of the dead. Sisters mentally mapped the location of their murdered brothers, but never spoke of these things. The silent knowledge of unquiet graves necessarily produced a devastating schism between public and private memory in Spain. It was a schism that would outlive even the Franco regime itself”

I write here in solidarity with these unquiet dead.

“People fight fascism to the extent to which they understand their own lives and freedom to be threatened by it. In the case of its immediate victims, the need for struggle is clear—which in no way diminishes the valor of their resistance. For those whose politics tell them that a threat to the freedom of any is a threat to the freedom of all, fighting fascism and its allies is a permanent necessity.”


Tags: cntDurrutiFAIFrancofascismUnquiet Deadaudiozinecategory: Projects
Categories: News

Crossword Puzzle #42: Anarcho-Pacifism

Anarchist News - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:33

This weeks crossword puzzle is on Anarcho-Pacifism.

Download it here:


From LBC about the book:

For those anarchistnews fans who miss Worker's acerbic and insightful bon mots on modern-day anarchy and anarchists, here is a fix (however temporary) for you.

Fifty crossword puzzles of occasionally ludicrous difficulty (there are scattered puff questions throughout also, for those of you, like me, who are terrible at these kind of games) are featured for your education and amusement. is the most popular, utilized, and non-sectarian news source pertaining to anarchists in North America. Its open commenting system continues to be one of the few spaces in which anarchists, nationally and internationally, converse about topics of the day, challenge each other, and critically engage with a wide variety of issues and events.

Worker retired from running the site after eleven years... Since then they have reflected on their time in the daily trenches of running the site, and this book is the result. These crossword puzzles speak to the years of comment threads, the ridiculousness and wonderfulness of the anarchist space in North America, and finally the absurdity of working with cantankerous, stubborn, and self-righteous people by way of essay or manifesto.

These puzzles should probably be done by a reading group or a group of friends. They are supposed to make you think, laugh, and perhaps smack your head. A more perfect metaphor for North American anarchism cannot be found.


[ Here are the solutions! Don’t peek!: ]

Tags: beautiful crossmess parzelthis sitepdfPacifismcategory: Projects
Categories: News

Trump in full campaign mode at Pennsylvania rally

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 07:43

Trump in full campaign mode at Pennsylvania rally | 10 March 2018 | President Trump was in full campaign mode on Saturday at a rally for Republican congressional hopeful Rick Saccone, returning to the bombastic, unrestrained candidate from 2016. For more than an hour, President Trump railed against the media and skewered his Democratic opponents while endorsing Saccone -- a Pennsylvania state Representative facing a tough race in the House special election...Trump also used the rally to unveil his own 2020 campaign slogan: "Keep America Great."

Categories: News

Islamists in E. Ghouta plan to stage false flag chemical attack - Damascus

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 07:17

Islamists in E. Ghouta plan to stage false flag chemical attack - Damascus | 11 March 2018 | Syria's deputy foreign minister says militants plan a chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta on Sunday, will highlight the female victims and then pin the blame on Damascus. "We have received information that militants plan to stage an attack between the districts of Mesraba and Beit Sawa...The performance is thought to be scheduled for March 11," Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, told journalists in Damascus. Earlier this week, the White Helmets, a self-proclaimed civil defense group, accused the Syrian government of staging a chlorine attack that affected 30 residents of Eastern Ghouta, a militant-held suburb of Damascus wrecked by intense fighting in the past month. The government, which [accurately] regards the White Helmets as a foreign-funded terrorist propaganda organization, has rejected these claims.

Categories: News

How to Reduce Poverty and Inequality Through State Government Taxes

Truth Out - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 05:00

 Scott Olson / Getty Images)Illinois demonstrators rally in support of a tax on Chicago financial exchanges and other progressive taxes on November 2, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

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New progressive taxes are needed at the state level to generate much-needed revenue for anti-poverty programs while also curbing the excessive power the wealthiest 1 percent currently hold over our political system. Case in point: the new federal tax law that will lower taxes on the wealthy, despite majority support among US taxpayers for substantial taxes on the rich. And while opponents will no doubt argue the contrary, a joint Stanford University-Treasury Department report shows that high taxes do not drive millionaires to move across state lines.

Here is a menu of some of the most promising options.

Taxes on High-Income Earners

In 2016, tax increases on the wealthy passed in both states where they were on the ballot. In California, voters extended the nation's highest top tax rate (13.3 percent) on those making more than $1 million per year, delivering an estimated $4 billion to $9 billion in annual revenue for human needs. Maine voters also passed a 3 percent surtax on income over $200,000.

In 2018, at least two states are expected to bring tax increases on the wealthy before voters. A Massachusetts ballot initiative would create a 4 percent tax on incomes that exceed $1 million, with revenue estimated at $2 billion annually dedicated to public education and transportation.

In Maine, activists are working to place a proposal on the ballot to fund access to in-home care through a payroll tax increase of 1.9% from employees and employers on salaries and wages over $127,000 a year. This would partially close the federal loophole that allows the wealthy to avoid paying Social Security payroll taxes on the bulk of their income.

State Estate Taxation

The estate tax is a levy on large fortunes when they are transferred from one generation to the next, with exemption thresholds that shield middle and working class families. Before the Bush tax cuts passed in 2001, every state in the nation collected revenue from the state estate tax credit, which sent the first 16 percent of federal estate tax revenue to the states. Congress phased out this tax credit gradually until fully repealing it in 2005. Re-instating a steeply progressive state estate tax in states that lost their state estate tax could generate significant revenue while reducing the concentration of wealth in intergenerational wealth dynasties.

In 2006, Washington state voters supported their state estate tax by a nearly 2-to-1 margin because the revenue raised directly funded education in the state (an education opportunity trust fund). A state estate tax campaign has the power to fund critically important public initiatives like debt-free higher education and universal long-term care while halting the rising wealth at the very top.

The California College for All coalition is pushing a ballot initiative to levy a progressive tax on California estates and fund free public higher education, restoring the state's leadership role on accessible college. The estate tax would generate an estimated $4 billion a year and provide aid to 2.6 million California residents.

Tax on Companies With Extreme Gaps Between CEO and Worker Pay

In 2016, the city of Portland, Oregon, adopted the world's first tax penalty on corporations with extreme gaps between their CEO and worker pay. The city's current business license tax is 2.2 percent of adjusted net income. The surtax will be 10 percent of the business tax liability for companies with a CEO-worker pay ratio of more than 100-to-1 and 25 percent for companies with a ratio of more than 250-to-1. More than 500 corporations that do business in the city, including mega-firms like Wells Fargo and Walmart, will be subject to the surtax.

Lawmakers in at least five US states and in the US Congress have introduced legislation similar to the Portland tax, and that number will likely rise when US corporations begin publicly disclosing the ratio between their CEO and median worker pay through their proxy statements in 2018. A Rhode Island bill would give preferential treatment in state contracting to corporations that pay their CEOs no more than 25 times their median worker pay.

These efforts build on the living wage movement by using the power of the public purse to pull down the top end of the pay scale and send a message that everyone in a workplace contributes value (not just the CEO). 

High-End Real Estate Taxes to Fund Affordable Housing and Other Priorities

In 2016, San Francisco voters approved a tax on high-end real estate transactions that contribute to gentrification. The tax raises additional revenue from commercial and residential real estate transfers over $5 million. Funds have been used to provide free tuition and stipends to San Francisco residents at the city's community college.

Affordable housing coalitions in Boston, New York City, Cincinnati, and other major cities are exploring implementing high-end real estate transfer taxes to off-set the huge disruption that wealthy investors have caused in local housing markets. Many favor using funds to create a fund for the creation and preservation of permanently affordable housing and homeownership. 

Carried Interest Tax

States with significant financial sectors can take action to make up for Washington's failure to close the "carried interest" loophole, which allows private equity and hedge fund managers to reduce their tax bills by claiming a large share of their earnings as "capital gains" instead of ordinary income. This has allowed many of the wealthiest Americans to pay lower rates than firefighters and teachers.

Legislation to close the carried interest loophole has been introduced in New YorkNew JerseyMassachusettsConnecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Illinois. Campaigns to introduce bills are underway in several more, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo backed this effort in his 2018 State of the State speech.

Financial Transaction Tax

The notion of placing a small tax on trades of stocks, derivatives, and other financial instruments has gained increased attention at the national level in recent years, but Congress has failed to take action. Such taxes are designed to discourage short-term financial speculation while raising significant revenue for urgent human needs.

The Illinois state legislature is considering a bill that would place fees of $1-$2 per contract on Chicago's commodities and financial exchanges, with revenue estimated at $10 billion to $12 billion per year. 

Capital Gain Tax

A capital gains tax is a levy on income from investments rather than wages. In the 42 states (including the District of Columbia) that impose capital gains taxes, rates range from 3.1 percent in Pennsylvania to 13.3 percent in California. States without a capital gains tax should implement one and states that have one should increase the rate to at least 10 percent.

Raising or introducing such taxes would mostly impact the wealthy, since the top 1 percent owns half of the nation's financial wealth and the bottom 50 percent only own 0.5 percent of financial wealth. State capital gains taxes help ensure fairness between those who work paycheck to paycheck and those who pocket dividends. 

Luxury Taxes

A luxury tax is a duty levied on luxury goods, such as high-end automobiles and expensive yachts. Both Connecticut and New Jersey, for example, have luxury car taxes. In Connecticut, the sales tax rate jumps from 6.35 percent to 7.75 percent on vehicles costing more than $50,000. In New Jersey, a tax penalizes both luxury cars and gas guzzlers by imposing a 0.4 percent surcharge on vehicles that have price tags above $45,000 or get less than 19 miles per gallon. 

State Payroll Tax on High Incomes

Federal payroll taxes for Social Security have a huge loophole for the wealthy in the form of a cap on the amount of income subject to the tax. It's currently $128,400 and is adjusted annually for inflation. This means a multi-millionaire and someone earning $128,400 per year pay the same amount in Social Security payroll taxes -- not the same rate, the same amount. States can close this loophole by imposing a state level payroll tax on income above the federal cap. (See Maine proposal, detailed above.)

Printable PDF version of this article. 

Categories: News

This Is History Now: Is the "American Dream" Over for Black Boys?

Truth Out - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 05:00

The educational system is failing Black boys, and no Marvel superhero is coming to fix the problem. The answer lies in offering appropriately trained teachers and equitable educational options instead of limiting opportunities and possibilities for students of color.

 pathdoc / Shutterstock; Edited: JR / TO)(Photo: pathdoc / Shutterstock; Edited: JR / TO)

As a parent of three children, including one son, I have witnessed Black boys start to lose interest in their studies in elementary school. 

Years ago, I walked down the hall of my neighborhood Chicago public school, and outside one classroom sat a little boy on the floor. He had been kicked out of the classroom by his teacher and relegated to a space on the floor in the hallway. I don't know how long he sat there, but I do know time spent in the hallway was time away from learning.

Author Jawanza Kunjufu in his book, Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys refers to the "fourth grade failure syndrome," when Black boys begin to lose interest in school. Unfortunately, this may also be a time that schools, teachers and administrators also lose interest in Black boys. Forty percent of Black boys in urban public schools drop out of high school. Boys who drop out of school are more likely to enter the school-to-prison pipeline by becoming involved in criminal activity or simply being outside of supervised, structured environments that can help to shield them from crime and danger. 

The recent video showing young Black elementary school students in Atlanta exuberantly dancing on tables after hearing they would be guests at a showing of the movie Black Panther is both an amusing distraction and a reminder of how we have failed Black boys in school and beyond. 

The Marvel comics film has earned more than $500 million at the box office to date, and its predominantly Black cast centers on a good-versus-evil battle of a villain whose rage is fueled by the pain of his childhood, against the Black Panther, who wants the best for his people. 

Placed in Wakanda, a fictional African country emerging from its seclusion, it is a metaphor for young Black children -- particularly males -- to symbolically emerge from the sidelines to claim their rightful place in the US. But contrary to the success of the fictional King T'Challa and his brilliant nemesis Killmonger, who graduated from MIT at the age of 19, children remain in the shadows of educational systems that are failing Black boys in particular. 

Since 1968, the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has collected mandatory data from all public schools on civil rights indicators related to access and barriers to educational opportunity from early childhood through high school. 

Data on disparities in discipline, access to high-level math and science courses, and availability of experienced teachers in the classroom has remained intractable. For example, Black students are twice as likely to be expelled without educational services than white children. Moreover, Black children are also twice as likely as white students to be disciplined by law enforcement. 

To be sure, barriers to educational equity for Black boys is not the sole purview of public schools. Private institutions can also be complicit. 

recent piece in the Grio tells the story of Josh Crayton, a senior at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio, who was expelled five months before graduation for allegedly "raising his voice" at his white English teacher. 

Since adolescence is known to be a developmental period where youth are prone to make mistakes, it is particularly important that teachers are in tune and skilled at teaching Black boys in urban communities. 

Regrettably, the route to prosperity via education is not played on a level field. For many Black boys growing up in urban and impoverished neighborhoods, an equitable and quality education is elusive. 

Factors such as teacher preparation, large teaching loads in understaffed schools with lower economic resources and teacher expectations about the ability of their students to succeed can contribute to sub-optimal outcomes for Black boys. 

Similar circumstances may also contribute to the fact that Black boys are more likely to be placed in special education classes, and less likely to be classified as "gifted." Black boys are also more likely to be punished harsher than other students for the same rule infractions.

One answer is to hire more Black teachers because students of color do better when taught by teachers of color. The US teacher workforce is 80 percent white, so additional solutions are needed. White teachers must be intentional about learning cultural competency skills that enable them to adjust their unconscious bias to see their students clearly.

But they need not to just see Black boys; they can actively immerse themselves in the communities where they work so that they understand the contexts of the lives of children, families and communities.

White women are the largest demographic of the teaching workforce, and authors Moore, Michael and Penick-Parks in their 2017 book The Guide for White Women who Teach Black Boys are explicit in their guidance for teachers by stripping away the illusion that the race of teachers and students doesn't matter. This book teaches white educators to foster learning environments that help Black boys thrive in school, change school culture so that Black boys can be their authentic selves and recognize their unconscious biases to truly connect with Black boys.

Far too often, when it comes to Black boys and men, the answer to societal woes is to invest more in the criminal legal system than educational equity. Recent University of California-Los Angeles protests were directed toward Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for proudly taking credit for a brand new multimillion dollar Police Training Academy while simultaneously closing high schools in Black neighborhoods. This is another example of Black boys facing discrimination and ongoing disadvantage. 

As a nurse, I have also seen the devastating impact on the physical and psychological well-being of Black boys and men when this society does not value who they are or what they have to contribute to this world.

To combat the real-life inadequacies we give to Black boys, we must offer appropriately prepared teachers and equitable educational options for students, rather than limiting the opportunities and possibilities for students of color. 

This is real, and no Marvel superhero, no matter how popular, is going to change the landscape for us. We have to care. We have to act.

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Categories: News

Progressives Fight Democratic Establishment to Join Bernie Sanders in Senate

Truth Out - Sun, 03/11/2018 - 05:00

Progressive candidates are challenging establishment Democrats and incumbent Republicans in Senate races across the country, but they face an uphill battle with little or no help from the Democratic Party, even in states easily won by Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential primaries.

 Drew Angerer / Getty Images)Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks about health care on Capitol Hill, June 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

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The Democratic Party is currently facing a surge of progressive opposition in primaries, even in regions of the country where Democrats have not been competitive in recent years.

Dozens of progressive candidates are running for local, statewide and congressional races, with several candidates out-raising establishment opponents. But the progressive surge is most evident in Senate races, where the high levels of grassroots progressive engagement are unprecedented. Thirty-four Senate seats are up for election this year, with 26 currently held by Democrats who are already the minority. This shifts the political strategy in favor of preserving Senate seats up for re-election rather than attempting to seize the Senate majority, though that still remains a possibility.

In interviews with Truthout, 15 Senate candidates running across the country discussed a wide variety of issues progressives are facing in their campaigns. Their challenges range from the amount of money and resources Senate campaigns require and the exhaustive petition process to make the ballot, to the unlikely prospect that a blue wave will wash over the United States Senate this year.

Two candidates currently running for the Democratic Senate nomination in Utah this year are Mitchell Vice, a progressive running on issues like Medicare for All, and Jenny Wilson, an establishment candidate who is a Democratic National Committee (DNC) member and currently serves on the state party's executive committee. According to Vice, Wilson has used her role in party leadership to solidify her position as the nominee and intimidate other candidates into dropping out of the race last year.

"Jenny Wilson is really in charge of the party," said Vice, who explained that Utah Democratic Party leaders mainly focus on Salt Lake County because the populous there enables them to win the state convention. Wilson’s father, Ted Wilson, served three terms as mayor of Salt Lake City. Vice argues this structure permits the Utah Democratic Party to ignore the rest of the state while undermining progressive candidates by supporting establishment Democrats in primaries and deterring progressives from running. He pointed to Misty Snow, the progressive 2016 Utah Senate candidate for the Democratic Party, as an example, claiming she was abandoned by party leaders once she won the nomination.

The Utah Democratic Party has noted its focus in 2018 will be more on local and state elections than putting resources into federal races. In his own case, Vice noted that he and other candidates have been pressured to drop out to pave the way for Wilson to be the unopposed nominee.

“I have supported the party through my role as a Democratic elected official and role as DNC member, yet those matters do not have any direct role with the upcoming US Senate nomination,” Wilson told Truthout.

Wilson forwarded Truthout a January 2018 email that she sent to Utah Democratic Party leadership to suspend her participation in the State Executive Committee until after the primary, though she formally announced her campaign in July 2017. 

“The other three initial challengers -- James Singer, Danny Drew and Robert Comstock -- all self-selected out early and have endorsed me," Wilson said. "I don't know all reasons, but I assume they endorsed me because they believe I am a stronger candidate and am better prepared to serve in the Senate. I'm happy to face Mitchell Vice at convention and/or in a primary.”

"We need a vehicle to get in, and that vehicle is the Democratic Party, but before that happens we need to take the wheel," Vice told Truthout. "But right now, we're in the backseat of the station wagon trying to crawl over three rows of seats."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Senate Democrats' campaign arm, formally endorsed and is funding Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race to fill the seat that will be vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Rep. Sinema is a member of the Blue Dog Caucus, a coalition of conservative Democrats receiving substantial support from the DSCC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

"When you combine the problem of campaign financing with the fact that Arizona Republican voters far exceed Democratic voters, and the historical failures of most Democratic Arizona campaigns for the last 20 years, I think the cost-benefit analysis prevents progressive-minded individuals from running," said Sandy Russell, the campaign manager for Arizona US Senate candidate Chris Russell.

Justice Democrats, an organization founded in 2017 by former Bernie Sanders staffers to help progressives run against establishment Democrats and Republicans, endorsed candidate Deedra Abboud.

"Four Arizona US Senate candidates have promised to collectively spend $12 to $15 million on this one race, as if they can buy Arizona voters, which is intimidating to many progressives," Abboud told Truthout. "People are the real power, and people should always be more important than money."

In Nevada, the DSCC also endorsed Rep. Jacky Rosen in the Democratic primary, the winner of which will challenge Republican Sen. Dean Heller in his re-election race.

"For decades, politics in Nevada have been tightly controlled by Harry Reid and his machine. This cycle is no different," said attorney Jesse Sbaih, who is challenging Rosen. "As a result, it's very difficult to raise money and get media coverage to spread our progressive message."

Democrats in Texas are gearing up to oppose Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in his re-election bid this year in hopes that his unpopularity and changing state demographics can make the race competitive. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) was announced as the Democratic nominee in the March 2018 primary. Rep. O'Rourke also received fundraising help from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer before the March 6 primary. The Texas Democratic Party push backed against Sema Hernandez, a Bernie Sanders-inspired progressive activist challenging O'Rourke for the nomination.

"When I arrived to Texas Democratic Party headquarters in December 2017, I was asked if I was sure I wanted to run because there was already two other people in the race," she said.

When Hernandez paid in cash the $5,000 fee to be put on the ballot for the Democratic primary, she said that the Democratic Party official who accepted the fee jokingly asked if it was drug money. The Texas Democratic Party did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Rep. O'Rourke is the only primary candidate who has refused to participate in a scheduled debate with Hernandez and a third primary challenger, Edward Kimbrough. Despite only fundraising less than $10,000 in her race, Hernandez received 23.7 percent of the vote.

Ten incumbent Democrats have yet to face primary or third-party challengers. "When someone wants to take on the establishment, they are going to be met with overwhelming adversity," said Tykiem Booker, who dropped out of the Senate race as the only primary challenger to Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware). "My struggle was trying to convince the masses that they should take a chance on someone new, instead of someone who has been in office for decades and is not up to date on the new generations."

The majority of progressive primary candidates for US Senate who are finding success in developing bases of support are challenging moderate Democrats who have sided with Trump and Republicans on several issues.

The most competitive Democratic primary in a US Senate race this year is likely Sen. Dianne Feinstein's re-election bid in California. Feinstein's decision to run for re-election has incited challenges from state Sen. Kevin de León to Justice Democrat Alison Hartson and Berniecrat David Hildebrand.

Hartson told Truthout the reason she threw her hat in the ring was to challenge the corporate Democrats as represented by Dianne Feinstein. But the hurdles challengers face are many.

"Speaking from a perspective of running in California, the main obstacles are the sheer amount of money pitted against progressive candidates and the undemocratic endorsement process," Hildebrand told Truthout. 

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has shifted toward the center politically, inspiring progressives to call for a primary challenge from the left. McCaskill has clashed with Bernie Sanders supporters in her votes for several Trump nominees and in her denigrating of popular progressive policies like Medicare for All.

"Claire McCaskill is not fighting hard enough to salvage our economy, society or future," said Angelica Earl, a former Obamacare marketplace employee who is running against McCaskill in the Democratic primary. "While I understand the mindset of incremental change and support the progressive push from the ground up, I do not understand why the buck stops there."

One of Maine's Senate seats is held by Sen. Angus King, who managed to win election to the Senate as an independent in 2012, but unlike his independent colleague Bernie Sanders, Sen. King has tended to side with Republicans on a variety of issues, though he caucuses with Democrats.

"Running against an incumbent backed by big money is the right way to challenge dated institutions in this historic time of populism around progressive campaigns," said Zak Ringelstein, the Democratic Party challenger to Senator King's re-election this year.

Other Senate candidates are running against incumbent Democrats to hold them accountable to the people they serve, rather than allowing them to receive a free pass for re-election in states that trend in favor of Democrats.

Ann Marie Adams is challenging Sen. Chris Murphy in Connecticut's Democratic primary this year as one of only five Black women running for the US Senate in 2018.

"There's nothing personal against Murphy. I just don't think he was doing a good job representing all of us in Connecticut," Adams told Truthout. She cited a need for diversity in representation and the encouragement of a new wave of women running for office as her inspiration for running.

Progressive organizations backing candidates across the country have yet to endorse many candidates for Senate, though the progressive surge inspired by Bernie Sanders' historic 2016 presidential campaign is still building momentum. As Sanders often noted during his campaign, "Change happens from the bottom up." The  organization Sanders founded to help progressives get elected, Our Revolution, has not endorsed a 2018 Senate candidate yet, and the Justice Democrats only endorsed three so far. Meanwhile, the organization founded by former Sanders staffers to elect progressives, Brand New Congress, has only endorsed Senate candidate Paula Jean Swearengin, who is challenging West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate.

"A big obstacle to challenging all incumbents is that 'conventional wisdom' that just doesn't apply anymore," Swearengin told Truthout, going on to say that elected officials should have to work to be elected rather than expect to win unopposed. "Primaries should be considered a check-up on the health of a party. This is an opportunity for ideas to be voiced and for our membership to be well-represented."

Bernie Sanders easily won West Virginia's primary during his presidential campaign, but in that state and several others, elected officials have ignored a progressive-majority base within their own parties. This abandonment has provoked several primary challenges from the left.

"Sanders took 64 percent of the caucus last year, and the establishment chose to represent the 20 percent," said Dustin Peyer, who is running against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. "Some establishment Democrats are very against the idea of having a progressive run against Heitkamp."

Several establishment Democrats have treated the threat of primary challengers on the left to incumbent Democrats as a nuisance, pushing some candidates to go so far as to run on a third-party ticket.

"I spent two years on three of the DFL [Democratic-Farmer-Labor] state party committees, party affairs, platform, and outreach and inclusion," said Paula Overby, who is running against Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) this year as a Green Party candidate.

Sanders won Minnesota during the 2016 primaries by more than 20 percent.

"It is not possible to reform a process that is so institutionalized," Overby said. "My current campaign focuses on changing the rules, elevating minor parties to major party status, creating easier ballot access for progressive candidates and, most importantly, providing the public with a legitimate perception of choice."

Though many progressives are running against Democrat incumbents or establishment Democrats in open Senate races, some progressives are stepping in where the Democratic Party won't bother to spend resources to compete.

"The reason that the Democratic Party has given up on Mississippi is financial," said Jensen Bohren, a progressive who is currently the only Democrat running to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Roger Wicker in Mississippi. Wicker already has more than $4 million in cash on hand for his campaign.

"One of the first questions the Democratic Party of Mississippi asked me when I first emailed them in January of 2016 was, 'Are you able to raise funds to compete in the election. We would expect this race to cost at least be $3 million just to compete, " Bohren said.

Categories: News

Yes, Exxon Is Accusing Local Governments of Misleading Investors on Climate Change

deSmog - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 14:25
ExxonKnew projections on buildings in San Francisco

In January, ExxonMobil filed a legal petition seeking to depose more than a dozen city and county government officials in California, claiming that the municipal officials are defrauding investors by not fully disclosing the risks posed by climate change.

You read that right. Exxon is legally challenging cities and counties for not talking up the risks of climate change enough to the investors who purchase municipal bonds for those localities. Has Exxon had a change of heart and now become concerned about transparency and the impacts of climate change?

Let's take a closer look.Tags: exxonsea level riseclimate changeExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)#ExxonKnew

Categories: News

Trump pardons former Navy sailor imprisoned for taking photos on nuclear submarine, White House says

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 08:43

Trump pardons former Navy sailor imprisoned for taking photos on nuclear submarine, White House says | 09 March 2018 | Kristian Saucier, the former U.S. Navy sailor who served a year behind bars for taking photos of classified areas in a nuclear submarine, has been pardoned, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday. Saucier recently received a letter from the Department of Justice saying it was taking a new look at his request for a pardon. Although he was released from jail last year, he remained under house arrest. President Trump had denounced the government's handling of Saucier's case, calling it a political move and saying it contrasted with the velvet-gloved response to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mismanagement of classified information through a private server.

Categories: News

NRA sues Florida to block part of new gun law

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 08:32

NRA sues Florida to block part of new gun law | 09 March 2018 | The National Rifle Association is suing the state of Florida after Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law Friday, the first gun control legislation enacted in the state after the Parkland school massacre on February 14. The NRA suit focuses on the part of the law that raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Florida, says the age minimum section of the new law violates the second and 14th amendments of the US Constitution.

Categories: News

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs gun bill

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 08:28

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs gun bill | 09 March 2018 | Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law Friday, the first gun control legislation enacted in the state after the Parkland school massacre on February 14. The law, known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, tightens gun control in several ways but also allows some teachers to be armed. One provision of the law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18.

Categories: News

Pittsburgh: Alt-Weekly Whitewashes White Power Tattoo Artist

It's Goin Down - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 08:16

The post Pittsburgh: Alt-Weekly Whitewashes White Power Tattoo Artist appeared first on It's Going Down.

On March 7th, the Pittsburgh City Paper ran a cover story featuring Lettia Suchevich, a local fascist and tattoo artist.

“Women Ink” profiles 16 women who are challenging the male-dominated tattoo art scene in Pittsburgh. It could ostensibly be a pretty cool article… if it weren’t for the fact the author knowingly and deliberately dedicated a significant portion of the piece to a fucking Nazi.

City Paper is a free, widely-available publication that often caters to the anti-capitalist politics of the subcultures it draws its content from. After anti-fascists contacted the paper’s staff to demand an explanation, they did the right thing and removed the article from their website. This morning they even published a “sorry yinz, we goofed” statement, which admirably details more than the editor’s own failure to identify a prominent fascist symbol and individual.

The City Paper statement outlines how writer Kat Rutt doctored photos to remove a swastika tattoo, but did not conceal less-overt symbols like the Celtic cross. In “Women Ink,” Rutt presents Suchevich and her tattoo shop Painted Lady Tattoo Parlor (please feel free to leave a review on the Facebook page) as if they symbolize women’s empowerment. Suchevich’s inclusion in the piece cannot be written off as an innocent oversight, especially when even a quick glance at personal Facebook page reveals her involvement with the fascist movement.

Rutt remains unapologetic, as demonstrated in CP‘s statement:

“My article, “Women Ink”, published by Pittsburgh City Paper, is about women in the tattoo business. I did not talk to any of the subjects about their personal politics. The story is about women’s success in a historically male-dominated industry. […] I stand behind this article 100 percent, went to great lengths to put it out in the world, and am forever grateful to all the women who shared their stories with me.”

This is Nazi sympathy. Rutt hides behind white feminist discourse to justify her deliberate glorification of a Nazi, using one form of oppression, patriarchy, to legitimize another.

This is the same sentiment that the Democrats mobilized in their latest attempt to siphon  widespread anger into the pacified, dead-end political channels offered by capitalist democracy. If fascists act as oppression’s right hand in the streets, then white liberals like Kat Rutt act as the left hand.

We, the Filler collective, hope that CP will take further action to undo the harm they caused in printing the March 7th issue; that CP will prove to the city that they will not let their paper be an advertising service for fascists, nor a platform for nazi-sympathizers. City Paper, it’s time to recall the March 7th issue. Get that Nazi shit off our streets.

We’re already throwing your papers in the trash anyway.

For more info on the tattoo shop, go here. Please contact the Filler Collective if you have any intel, articles, etc that you want to submit.
Categories: News

Kite Line: State Women Against Women of Color

It's Goin Down - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 08:05

The post Kite Line: State Women Against Women of Color appeared first on It's Going Down.

Kite Line is a long-running anti-prison radio show and podcast from Bloomington, Indiana.

Listen and Download Here

This week, we share a conversation we had with Andrea Ritchie, an attorney and activist whose work focuses on police violence against the queer community and women of color. She speaks about current political conditions, and the concepts in her most recent book, Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color.

Ritchie walks us through some of the different ways that women of color are disproportionately attacked and criminalized by police. She speaks of police violence against mothers and pregnant women, and shares the stories of some specific women who have been harmed by the police. Finally, Ritchie talks to us about some of the positive organizing she is seeing in respect to issues of police violence against black women and women of color.

Categories: News

International Women’s Day: Solidarity From Olympia to Afrin

It's Goin Down - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 07:58

The post International Women’s Day: Solidarity From Olympia to Afrin appeared first on It's Going Down.

The following report from Demand Utopia details a solidarity rally with ongoing resistance in Afrin against brutal attacks by the Turkish State.

In honor of International Women’s Day and the ongoing struggle against sexism, patriarchy and oppression around the world, members of Demand Utopia, IWW and other comrades gathered in downtown Olympia, Washington to spread a message of solidarity with the Women’s Revolution in Afrin Canton and the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava) and their heroic resistance to the recent Turkish invasion.

We were not dissuaded by the rain and the wind, and successfully kept our banners flying for two hours and passed out hundreds of informational pamphlets about the revolution and the Turkish invasion to townspeople at rush hour.

International Women’s day, since its inception has honored socialist and revolutionary women around the world in their struggles against patriarchy and the ruling class. We wanted to honor these radical roots and commemorate the many martyrs in this struggle.

We are committed to supporting Afrin and the Rojava revolution, and will be participating in the upcoming March 24th Defend Afrin Day of Action called for by the North American Kurdish Alliance.

We invite comrades across North America and Social Ecologists all throughout the Solar System to join us in raising funds for the defense of the revolution and educating the people in your town that yes, another world is still possible, and we can begin building it right where we are, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city until everyone is free. The hour may seem dark for Afrin. But giving up is not an option.

Biji Rojava, Biji Afrin!

Demand Utopia!

Categories: News

7 Years on, Sailors Exposed to Fukushima Radiation Seek Their Day in Court

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Sat, 03/10/2018 - 07:56

7 Years on, Sailors Exposed to Fukushima Radiation Seek Their Day in Court --Special investigation: US military personnel are sick and dying, and want the nuclear plant's designers and owners to take responsibility. | 09 March 2018 | ...There are currently 99 operating civilian nuclear reactors in the United States, and 22 of those are General Electric Mark 1 boiling-water reactors--the make and model identical to the three that melted down and exploded at Fukushima Daiichi. Based on a 1955 design, all but four of the US reactors have now been online for more than 40 years. All of them have the same too-small primary containment vessel, the same questionable alloys, the same bolted-on lid, the same safety systems, and (with one exception) the same vent "upgrade" that failed to prevent the tragic failures at the Japanese nuclear plant. Large US cities, such as Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, are all closer to BWRs than Tokyo is to Fukushima Daiichi.

Categories: News