Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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20210111aviksaha

350,000 farmers have lost their lives in the last 20 years. They've committed suicide, primarily because of debt. Where does this debt come from? There are completely uncontrolled, unregulated input costs - which promise great outputs. And then the farmer borrows money to invest in his farm, he produces whatever crop he does and realizes he's not able to cover his costs, and his debt is chasing him. So finally, he finds a rope and hangs himself. This has been the condition of the farmers of India for 20 years.

Lawyer and farmer activist Avik Saha on the corporatization and monopolization of the Indian agricultural sector under the government's (illegal) proposed ordinances, Modi's use of Hindu majoritarianism to divide the working class and consolidate political power, and the bleak future facing India's farmers.

 


Oct 27 2020
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Last week I presented a primitive diagram of recent history from the advent of modern class consciousness in the 19th Century, to today, dividing mass phenomena redounding from class consciousness into 3 waves: the first, the classical revolutionary communist events; the second, the parallel phenomena of reforming classical revolutionary communism in the East while fragmented identities including labor sought social and economic reforms in the West; and third, the emergent process we find ourselves engaged in at the current moment.

I’ll remind you that the three waves explanation is a taxonomy of convenience, that no one will agree that there are three waves, or that they contain the phenomena I have crammed into them; that I have trimmed historical conceptual clusters with Occam’s Razor and smashed them with Bozo’s Mallet to form of them an object susceptible to a certain brutish examination; and that quantum physicists do this to subatomic particles all the time, and everybody thinks they’re super-geniuses.

We left off with a description of our global economic system as fatally entrenched in past destructive modes of domination – domination of resources, economies, means of production, populations, and the environment. Let’s pick up there.

We know that we have to stop killing the Earth, and from the Pope to a sixteen-year-old Scandinavian girl, along with armies of scientists, economists, and community activists, all agree that unless capitalism is radically transformed or destroyed, a mass extinction, already in progress (along with massive changes in the climate that will certainly disrupt our food supply), and the inability of many millions to remain in their home locales, will change our lives for the worse, forever, and possibly extinguish them.

But we can’t ignore the threat that our side might pursue a wrong way of changing capitalism into something new. Right now cyber-capitalism is content to spy on us in order to target us with ads to manipulate and profit from our behavior and thinking. If the Stasi or the KGB had had these tools, they might have used them on the people to ferret out deviant thinking, and ultimately exterminate whoever they deemed incorrigible.

We can’t allow the desire for wealth accumulation to dictate our existences anymore. We can no longer allow it to pervert our... read more

Oct 21 2020
Oct 20 2020
Oct 19 2020
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

So, I wanna talk about 3rd generation class consciousness. I feel like the 1st generation harnessed a lot of unrest coming out of the 18th century. When that generalized but violent irritation with royalty, aristocracy, and capitalism met class analysis, you had rebellions all over Europe by the middle of the 19th century, the kindling that ignited the Decembrists and finally Lenin and Trotsky.

I would include Mao, Tito, Ho Chi Minh, the Communist Party in Kerala – and add to it the anti- colonialist reds in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. So, this is to say that we have still with us a lot of 1st generation attempts to address class inequality, albeit their primary instigators are no longer.

I’m lumping a lot into this 1st wave category. The three waves explanation is a taxonomy of convenience. No one will agree that there are three waves, or that they contain the phenomena I have crammed into them, but that’s fine. I have trimmed historical and conceptual clusters with Occam’s Razor and smashed them with Bozo’s Mallet to make of them an object capable of a certain brutish examination. But that’s okay. Quantum physicists do this to subatomic particles all the time, and everybody thinks they’re, like, super-geniuses.

The socialism in Western and Northern Europe has been hybridized with capitalism to various degrees, and with various degrees of success. In many ways it has led to improved lives for its working and middle classes, but its successes have diluted the urge for economic equality, and that dilution has allowed those societies to participate in contemporary global capitalism by claiming a lion’s share of the resources supposed to be held in common by the countries of the world, and those of the former colonies, who in turn suffer in attempting to appease the global market and finance, because that’s where the money is. In general, this hybrid socialism also allows abuses of various populations according to the interests of capital.

The 2nd wave of class consciousness was very much a product of the two World Wars, with growing workers’ power at the fore in capitalist countries. Unions, collectives, experiments with worker ownership were reactions to the underclasses’ refusal be among those made to live in desperation, especially when it had become so clear how much starvation... read more

Oct 15 2020