January 20, 2012
The Great Recession and the Failure of Capitalism, Paul Mattick,Professor of Philosophy, Adelphi University, New York, Part of the 2011 Ethics Awareness Week from the Center For the Study of Ethics.
November 23, 2009
AN OCCUPATION IS A VORTEX, NOT A PROTEST
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A little less conversation, a little more action…
EVERY TIME a building has been occupied at UCSC, the administration has responded by moaning publicly (and into every @ucsc.edu mailbox) about the monetary costs of alleged damages, as if by beating this drum to insist we focus only on what is important to them – property – rather than the present and future of our lives or any other issues that are at stake here. We’ll admit it, we felt a cruel pleasure as the cables screamed and cried when they were parted from the conference room tables; the tables begged for mercy as we broke their legs, jumping up and down on them with malicious glee; and we could only chortle as the filing cabinets complained loudly that we had not had a 4-hour long democratic process before strapping them across doorways. We imagine that the same bureaucrats who normally use the building, and who piously denounce our acts of collective negation must feel a similar thrill as they ransack our futures.
Seriously, they should be glad we didn’t burn the fucker down.
For around 60 hours we seized control of the driver’s seat of UCSC, the main economic power and site of social reproduction in the local metropole. In the aftermath, heading towards another seven-day unit of capitalist commodity-time, we feel the deadening of our existence especially sharply in contrast to the fullness of hours spent behind barricades, fighting for our right to our own destinies. It’s clear that the momentum we are part of has grown by leaps and bounds and as the crisis ramifies, we are forming new bonds and new complicities. Young people confronting an absent future are finding each other, recognizing ourselves in others as far away as Greece and Vienna, as near as the streets of LA. We are getting a taste of the power we want and it feels amazing.
There are a number of aspects of the Kerr Hall event that we as participants would like to illuminate.
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Dear friends and colleagues,
We write from Paris, a city where protests, demonstrations, and yes, even building occupations are frequent occurrences; a city whose traditions of creative, robust forms of political expression we admire and one whose
inhabitants regularly manifest what seems to us a healthy dose of self-respect in objecting publicly and forcefully to demeaning and unjust conditions. Having breathed this atmosphere for many months now, we view recent events at the New School in a different light from that reflected in communications we have so far received.
Granted we are far away. And undoubtedly we miss many nuances. Nevertheless, having carefully read all the documents sent to us (student manifestoes, presidential memos, and communiqués from deans, provosts, trustees and individual professors), we can see no justification for the Administration”s resort to police force against the occupiers of 65 Fifth Avenue. Furthermore, we are against proposals to condemn both sides. On the contrary, we urge the faculty to condemn the administration”s action forthwith and to support the right of the demonstrators to their protest, regardless of our agreement or disagreement with their views and goals.
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April 12, 2009
April 10, 2009
Considered in Its Economic, Political,
Psychological, Sexual, and Especially Intellectual Aspects,
With a Modest Proposal for Doing Away With It
by members of the Situationist International and students of Strasbourg University
To make shame more shameful still
by making it public
It is pretty safe to say that the student is the most universally despised creature in France, apart from the policeman and the priest. But the reasons for which heT1 is despised are often false reasons reflecting the dominant ideology, whereas the reasons for which he is justifiably despised from a revolutionary standpoint remain repressed and unavowed. The partisans of false opposition are aware of these faults — faults which they themselves share — but they invert their actual contempt into a patronizing admiration. The impotent leftist intellectuals (from Les Temps Modernes to L’Express) go into raptures over the supposed “rise of the students,” and the declining bureaucratic organizations (from the “Communist” Party to the UNEF [National Student Union]) jealously contend for his “moral and material support.” We will show the reasons for this concern with the student and how they are rooted in the dominant reality of overdeveloped capitalism. We are going to use this pamphlet to denounce them one by one: the suppression of alienation necessarily follows the same path as alienation. . . .
April 10, 2009
Political theory was a tireless enterprise that attempted to resuscitate the departed. Pathetic and senile, it was murdered with disproportionate brutality. Following a meandering, obscure homily typical of the ilk, political theorists huddled around its grave plot, observing its passing by refusing to acknowledge it.
These disciples have graduated from trivial clerics to trivial ghost hunters; whereas before their activity was just quaintly irrelevant, it is now also paranormal. Incidentally, they still survive by feeding both on their own and on the corpses of long-ago theorists whose bones have not yet been picked clean of substance.
The perpetrator of the murder-death-kill was the [occup@tion]. Political theory as a compartmentalized discipline of sophism was found splayed outside immediately following the seizure of the building, which manifested the adamantine mutualism of theory and practice, theory and action. A small note in gentle writing was discovered at the crime scene: “Abolish the university, the swaggering and monopolistic atomizer of learning.” It is unclear if it was written by the victim or the assassin.
An analysis and call for action
by New School Schwarz und Rot
“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency…” – Walter Benjamin
Recently there has been a lot of talk connecting the specific conditions at the New School with the general conditions of society-at-large. You may have heard the material and intellectual concerns of students couched in a radical critique of capitalism, injustice and hierarchical power. On the surface, this may seem abstract and out of touch with the everyday life of students at the university. It may appear as an attempt to shoehorn unrelated “activism” into an otherwise simple administrative matter. However, when we delve below the surface appearance of everyday life, it becomes clear that a generalized critique of society based on the twin logics of capitalist accumulation and hierarchical domination has everything to do with our struggle to redefine our school. The following is an attempt to communicate this relation between the general and particular and to reach out to those students who may feel distanced from last semester’s occupation.