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Week 3 - Wednesday:

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kevin chamow

on 5 October 2015

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Transcript of Week 3 - Wednesday:

Week 4-5 - :
Marx --> Marx

So why haven't we seen the revolution Marx was talking about?
We have!
Paris Commune - 1871
Bolshevik revolution - 1917
Failed attempts in Europe (1915-1920)
Mongolian revolution - 1921
Tito's communist reistance to Nazism in Yugoslavia - 1945
Chinese revolution - 1949
Cuban revolution - 1959
South/Central American guerrilla movements in the 1980s
Naxalite/Maoist guerilla movement in India since 1967
The State is very malleable
Reforming their way to socialism
Independence movements
'National energies' propelled national bourgeoisies
Political interference by the 'West' - covert operations
Mossadegh in Iran - 1953
Allende in Chile - 1979
Noriega in Panama - 1989
From revolution --> leftist national politics - the 'pink tide' in Latin America (Chavistas, Castros, Morales, Lula and Roussef, etc.)
The US is kindof exceptional
When/where have we seen revolutionary murmers and movements?
Gramsci: Prison Notebooks
Who was Antonio Gramsci?
Key Ideas:
Hegemony: rule by consent (importance of culture)
Sociology is political science
Bureaucracy can become a caste
The law is an instrument for creating a certain type of citizen
Arrighi: 'Endless Accumulation of Money and Power'
Smith vs. Marx
Talking to governments
Interested in enrichment and empowerment of nations
Focused on competition in the marketplace
Saw money as a simple 'means of payment' (C-M-C1)
Talking to social classes (workers)
Interested in the enrichment and empowerment of capitalists vis-a-vis laborers
Focused on the technical change and class conflict in the workplace
Saw money as an 'end-in-itself' for capitalists (M-C-M1)
But how does wealth translate into political power
What's the relationship between capitalism, industrialism, and militarism?
Crisis and Creative destruction:
“as representative of the general form of wealth – that is, money – capital is the endless and limitless drive to go beyond its limiting barrier… Every limit appears as a barrier to be overcome.”
“In accord with this tendency, capital drives beyond national barriers and prejudices… as well as all traditional, confined, complacent, encrusted satisfactions of present needs, and reproductions of old ways of life. It is destructive towards all of this, and constantly revolutionizes it, tearing down all the barriers which hem in the development of the forces of production, the expansion of needs… and the exploitation and exchange of natural and mental forces.”
Two kinds of crisis:
Three forms of reorganization:
Overaccumulation crisis
Overproduction crisis

Centralization of capital (at firm level)
Formation of new surplus population/ new international division of labor
Emergence of new and larger centers of capital accumulation (at national level)

Financialization phase:
Zizek: On Ideology
Foucault on 'Subjugated Knowledges'
Against 'totalizing approaches' like Marxism and Psychoanalysis
Genealogy as the study of experiences which result in official/formal/scientific knowledges (experiences of madness, criminality, infantile sexuality, etc.) and how these knowledges 'subjugate' other, more localized/personalized knowledges
The problem of scientificity: how to dismantle hierarchies of knowledge?
What are the mechanisms of power? How should we conceptualize power?

Harvey's Contradictions/Tensions within Capital
Capital as Process and Thing
"is the definition of capital as a process, as a continuous flow of value through the various moments and across the various transitions from one material form to another. At one moment capital takes the form of money, at another it is a stock of means of production (including land and resources) or a mass of labourers walking through the factory gates. Within the factory, capital is involved in concrete laboring and the making of a commodity in which latent and as yet unrealized value (social labor) and surplus value are congealed. When the commodity is sold, then capital returns once again to its money form. In this continuous flow, both the process and the things are contingent upon each other."
Implications -->
Capital strategizes to lower turnover time -- empowers retailers and creditors
Production and Realisation
Success (for capital) in the production phase creates problems (of demand) in the market-place
“The workers are important for the market as buyers of commodities. But as sellers of their commodity – labor power – capitalist society has the tendency to restrict them to their minimum price. Further contradiction: the periods in which capitalist production exerts all its forces regularly show themselves in periods of overproduction; because the limit to the application of the productive powers is not simply the production of value, but also its realization. However, the sale of commodities, the realization of commodity capital, and thus of surplus value as well, is restricted not by the consumer needs of society in general, but by the consumer needs of a society in which the great majority are always poor and must always remain poor.”
Implications -->
Capital needs to expand markets (to increase labor pool and also aggregate demand) and rely on Bourgeois and debt-fueled consumption
Divisions of Labor
“the human capacity to disaggregate complex productive and reproductive activities into specific but simpler tasks that can be undertaken by different individuals on a temporary or permanent basis. The specialized work of the many individuals is reunited into a working whole by way of organized cooperation.”
Technical - Simplification, de-skilling, coordinated within production unit
Social - Specialization, development of expertise, Market-coordinated
Implications -->
Development of a class whose job it is to coordinate an ever-complexifying global division of labor and the risks inherent in interdependency
Worker alienation = loss of meaning --> revolt?
Need for a flexible, adaptable workforce as pace of tech. change has sped up
Full transcript