I heard the historian Peter Linebaugh speak at the Struggles in Common discussions in Dublin yesterday and it triggered some thoughts on one of the key talking points of austerity, the need to make sure everyone works harder. Its a point you hear again and again on talk radio and which is made in internet debates whenever talk of cutting public services comes up. Even those working in public services often feel the need to agree that there is too much 'dead wood'. Yet at the same time increased automation means that there is less need for labour that there used to be. What is happening here?
It used to be that revolutionary organisations had a monopoly on revolutionary knowledge. That was one of the reasons people joined and worked with them. But now anyone who can use google can access vastly higher quality information on revolutions than I could in 1980's Dublin by going to SWP meetings or buying left papers.
These photos are from the Action on X protest outside the Gender Equality Conference held in Dublin Castle as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency. Action on X is one of a number of pro-choice organisations in Ireland campaiging in advance of anticipated legislation in line with the X-case.
Back in April thousands took part in the anti home tax march on the EU Finance ministers march in Dublin castle. The slideshow here are my better images from that demonstration and you will also find a link to the Facebook all that was fit to publish album. A lot of work by the march organisers went into organising the iconic red card images you can see here, I suspect they will get a lit if reuse in years to come.
First off, I should mention my A Brief History of Anarchism article I posted to celebrate May Day. This was a write-up of a talk I gave at Housemans bookshop to mark the publication of volume 2 of An Anarchist FAQ. It was a well attended event and the speech seemed to have went down well. They may have me back for something to do with Proudhon.
Originally from the Seattle Free Press:
“Where’s my mother? Where’s my mother?” cried Rana Ahmed as she rushed through Enam Medical College and Hospital.
When we have a disagreement with some as part of our political organising what are we trying to acheive? Thats probably a question that it worth asking yourself whenever things start to get a bit heated. In everyday life arguments are often really about quite problematic and aimed at asserting dominance, punishment & even humilation. It's easiest to recognise those element in the darker parts of the web, comments on youtube videos for instance. But when we have a strong disagreement as organisers we often fall into that pattern of behaviour, the point of the discussion becomes to 'win' and as things turn nasty to humilate the other side. Which is probably going to be the worst outcome you could have if what you actually want to do is build an ongoing relationship.
First off, sorry for the large gap since the last Proudhon update. I’ve been busy on numerous things, not least my new Kropotkin anthology Direct Action Against Capital. The best that can be said is that the Proudhon blog suffered equally along with replying to emails and writing articles. No excuse, other than I’m just human with a lot of responsibilities and things to do. However, I plan to be a bit more focused this year and I am starting with Proudhon.
Before continuing my critique of “Freedom and Democracy: Marxism, Anarchism and the Problem of Human Nature” by SWPer Paul Blackledge, I should note I’ve posted a (longish) review of a reprinted biography of Lucy Parsons. This book is a terrible due to it being completely unreliable on anarchism. On issues I know a bit about (like anarchism!), I can state that it is not only wrong but also misleading so I would take anything it claims with a large pinch of salt.
Selma James, the activist and political writer, spoke in Ireland during the week. She has been active since the time of the Spanish revolution in a number of countries and across many struggles but is possibly best known for the International Wages for Housework Campaign and her writings around gender, class and racism. I got to her 'Defending Caring and Welfare in Careless Times' meeting for the School for Social Justice in UCD where I tweeted notes to the WSM Twitter feed. The video of her talk (but not the more controversial Q&A session) has also been uploaded as has her entire talk 'How Can Women Defeat Austerity?' at CERSA, NUI Maynooth.
Picture: Theresa O'Keefe, used with permission