updates on 19th june ‘beyond resistance’ summer school

28 05 2010

The Commune’s June 19th summer school ‘Beyond Resistance’ is now just three weeks away, and we are finalising details for the day’s workshops. Below appear the blurbs for three of the planned sessions, as well as a timetable for the whole event.

The event takes place from 11am-6pm on Sat 19th June at 96-100 Clifton St, London EC2. All welcome. Download double-sided A5 leaflet or A3 posterClick here to buy ticket – pay £5 if waged or £3 for concessions, and click here for map of venue. More details shortly.

Alienation and the critique of everyday life

As capitalism’s crisis deepens, so does its attacks on every aspect of our lives. This session will ask what Marxist critiques of everyday life and of alienation mean in the context of the current crises. How useful are they? How do our personal struggles relate to collective political action? Can our own alienation be turned into a weapon?

discussion introduced by Sean Bonney (The Commune)

How migrant workers fight back

Migrant workers are one of the most brutally exploited sections of the working class. Imperialist exploitation of the developing world and the globalisation of neo-liberalism have impulsed large movements of migrants to the main centres of capitalism in search of employment. Here in the UK these migrants are subject to low-paid and casual working conditions and intimidation by police and the borders régime.

What chance do migrant workers have of fighting back against multinationals? What good are the established trade unions to casual and migrant workers? What do campaigns like the struggle against UBS bank tell us about how to build solidarity?

discussion introduced by Alberto Durango (Latin American Workers’ Association)

The changed composition of the working class

The concept of class composition has its origins in the debates and interventions of Italian Communist dissidents in the late 1960s. They faced the demise and political integration of the Communist Party and the emergence of a ‘new generation of workers’ in a new industrial set-up. The desire to understand the new conditions of social production and political struggle urged groups like Quaderni Rossi to re-read Marx against the party orthodoxy and to engage in detailed ‘workers inquiries’ within the new factory regime.

Class composition corresponds materially and conceptually with the composition of capital: the productive relation between living and dead labour. It puts into question the ‘bourgeois’ notion of ‘class consciousness’ as an external element, which has to be induced into workers’ struggle, and the notion of working class as a monolithic category. Analysing the changes in modern exploitation the ‘Operaists’ emphasised the intrinsic relation-ship between capitalist development – technological changes, extension of global division of labour, new product cycles, new migration regimes – and class struggle. The form of exploitation determines the form of collective struggle.

The working class is constantly ‘re-composed’ and is the main driving force of these changes. Class composition is expression of a political desire: where does a new ‘class subject’ emerge whose struggles can generalise wider class struggle; a ‘class subject’ which due to its central position within social production is able to both express social power and possibility of a fundamental social change?

discussion introduced by a communist refuse worker (Prol Position/Wildcat) and Sheila Cohen (author, Ramparts of Resistance)

Full agenda:

10:00-11:00: Registration

11:00-11:30: Welcome plenary

11:30-13:00: Session 1

- The capitalist crisis

- The changed shape of the working class

- Alienation and the critique of everyday life

13:00-14:00: Lunch

14:00-15:30: Session 2

- How migrant workers fight back

- Socialist feminist attitudes to organisation

- Tenants’ struggles and community organising

15:30-15:45: Break

15:45-17:15 Session 3

- Imperialism and the national question

- Struggles over education

- The democratic state and capital

17:15-18:00: Closing plenary

- Where next for communists?

More details shortly.

We are keen to ensure that people with childcare responsibilities are fully able to attend the event. The venue for the day has no officially licensed creche space, and we are looking at alternative possibilities. Please do get in touch with us at uncaptiveminds@gmail.com as soon as possible so we can discuss arrangements.

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6 responses

2 06 2010
Childcare on June 19th

Note update/changes to childcare arrangements

8 06 2010
Kojo

I think the timetable is shit. You’ve got all the theoretical communist bullshit lumped in the first session then all the non-communist activisty stuff in the second session and then a good variation on the third session.

This is crap and bollocks, why not mix it up for the first and second session rather than segregating and ghettoising topics?

8 06 2010
c0mmunard

“crap and bollocks”?! My. How about trying that again, but in a more constructive manner?

I’m sure we can always do with constructive criticisms, but that really isn’t it!

8 06 2010
Kojo

Attempt 2:

I think this timetable could be improved, is there are reason why the socialist feminist, community organising and migrant workers event are placed at the same time slot?

I’m sure many people would like to at least attend two of these and it may help to switch this with the theoretical topics in the first session?

Hope you consider my proposal and act upon it.

8 06 2010
c0mmunard

better, thanks. I don’t know of any specific reason. I will ask at the meeting tonight. remember people put effort into these things…

8 06 2010
Kojo

Apologies for any offence caused in the first attempt, that Kojo can be an intolerant idiot at times.




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