Koledar dogodkov

David McNally – Primitive Accumulation, Migrant Workers and Social Reproduction in the Age of Austerity @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana
Apr 29 @ 18:00 – 20:00
David McNally - Primitive Accumulation, Migrant Workers and Social Reproduction in the Age of Austerity @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana

The Age of Austerity ushered in by the global crisis of 2008-9 centrally involves cheapening the reproduction of labour-power by means of reducing both private wages and the social wage administered by the state. These policies have decided class, gender, racial and generational dimensions. To properly elucidate these dimensions, however, requires that we also grasp ongoing primitive accumulation as a crucial ‘moment’ in the austerity agenda. To accomplish this means addressing the role of the reproduction of the global reserve army of labour, and of precarious migrant workers, in the restructuring of labour-power on a world scale.

In order to develop the theory of primitive accumulation in these directions, this paper returns to tensions in Marx’s account of the social reproduction of labour-power. Here I argue that not only does Marx’s conceptualization require a gender analysis, but that it also needs to be developed with respect to the problematic of labour migration. I show where Marx points to ways in which we might do this. The analysis presented underlines the decisive importance of an anti-racist defence of migrant workers for any effective working class politics in the Age of Austerity.

David McNally is Professor of Political Science at York University and a leading member of the New Socialist Group (www.newsocialist.org). He has written extensively on the critique of political economy. His publications include Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance and Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism. 

Prvotna akumulacija, migrantski delavci in družbena reprodukcija v dobi varčevanja

Doba varčevanja, ki jo je povzročila svetovna kriza iz let 2008–2009, v veliki meri temelji na pocenitvi reprodukcije delovne sile s pomočjo zniževanja tako zasebne mezde kakor družbene mezde, s katero upravlja država. Te politike so odločilno posegle v razredna, spolna, rasna in generacijska razmerja. Da bi jih lahko celovito osvetliti, pa moramo upoštevati tudi trenutno prvotno akumulacijo kot ključni »moment« varčevalne politike. Zato moramo analizirati vlogo, ki jo pri preoblikovanju delovne sile na svetovni ravni igrajo reprodukcija svetovne rezervne armade delovne sile in prekarni migrantski delavci.

Da bi lahko razvili teorijo prvotne akumulacije s tega gledišča, se bomo vrnili k napetosti v Marxovi obravnavi družbene reprodukcije delovne sile. Pokazali bomo, da Marxova konceptualizacija potrebuje ne samo analizo spolov, temveč jo je treba razviti tudi z vidika delavske migracije. Izpostavili bomo mesta, kjer nam to omogoča sam Marx. Predstavljena analiza bo poudarila ključnost antirasistične obrambe migrantskih delavcev za učinkovito politiko delavskega razreda v dobi varčevanja.

David McNally je profesor na kanadski Univerzi York in eden vodilnih članov kolektiva New Socialist (www.newsocialist.org). Ukvarja se s kritiko politične ekonomije. Med drugim je objavil knjigi Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance in Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism.

Lectures & Predavanja:
Global Crisis – Global Resistance
“Labour-Power and Social Reproduction: From Capital to the Current Crisis”

Panel discussion – Primitive Accumulation as a Factor in Fiscal Sustainability Policies @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana
Apr 30 @ 11:00 – 12:30
Panel discussion - Primitive Accumulation as a Factor in Fiscal Sustainability Policies @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana

The management and manipulation of crises is, according to David Harvey, one of the most important features of the so-called accumulation by dispossession, that is, the continuation and proliferation of accumulation practises that were grasped by Marx as ‘primitive’ or ‘original’. Debt crises, especially in the peripheral countries of the capitalist world-system, have been quite common since the 1980s (having even become endemic in the Latin American countries) and have as a rule been managed and controlled according to the recipes of the representatives of creditors, international financial institutions such as the IMF, and the governments of the core capitalist countries. The ‘fine art’ of dealing with the crises of the countries that have fallen into the debt trap has thus become an efficient instrument of the agents of capital in ‘rationalising’ subordinate peripheral economies as well as redistributing assets from the poor countries to the rich ones. The processes of what neoliberal economists call ‘confiscatory deflation’, which usually follow a crisis, are, for Harvey, nothing but practices of accumulation by dispossession.

The countries of the southern and eastern peripheries of the EU and the eurozone, such as Hungary, Romania, Greece and Portugal, have been the first to experience a severe debt crisis in the EU. They have been the first victims of harsh austerity measures and ‘structural adjustment’ policies imposed by the troika (IMF, ECB and the EC). This panel discussion will address the following question: Should the current ‘fiscal sustainability policies’ for managing and controlling the debt crisis in the peripheries of the EU and the eurozone – that is, policies that include draining public funds by means of high interest rates on sovereign bonds, programmes of privatisation of assets that have so far been public, etc. – be seen as practices of primitive accumulation, that is, of accumulation by dispossession?

Round table – Toward a European Left Strategy of Building a Socialist Alternative @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana
May 1 @ 18:00 – 20:00
Round table - Toward a European Left Strategy of Building a Socialist Alternative @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana

The European Union is often celebrated in the liberal commonsense discourse as a pacifistic project that finally brought peace, prosperity and brotherhood to modern Europe after centuries of wars between European nations or states. Furthermore, the EU is celebrated as a democratic project: immediately after the Second World War, at the very onset of European integration, the main ideological momentum of ‘democracy’ was antifascism; however, after the defeat of real socialism, the main ideological focus of the EU turned against ‘totalitarianism’ in an attempt to equate socialism with fascism.

The notion of the EU as an anti-totalitarian organisation reveals the purpose of contemporary European integration. In its opposition to both fascism and socialism, it betrays its liberal, more precisely, neoliberal bias spearheaded mainly against any kind of socialist or even Keynesian reforms. Mechanisms of preventing socialist ‘totalitarianism’ are constituent parts of the EU treaties (such as the Maastricht Treaty, the Lisbon Treaty), projects (the single currency project and the common market), pacts (such as the Growth and Stability Pact, the Six Pack) and the institutional framework notorious for its democratic deficit.

The crisis exposed the antisocialist and therefore antisocial bias of this kind of ‘union’. The common market policies are disabling the member states to compete in the common market in any other way than by suppressing the working classes. The single currency outsourced the monetary policies of the member states to the European Central Bank, which is not willing to play the role of lender in last resort whose main goal is to lower inflation, and thus pushes the member states into the cold hands of private financial markets. Its treaties and pacts are imposing a ‘straightjacket’ on member states. They are imposing fiscal rules on the one hand, while on the other they don’t provide fiscal transfers to guarantee convergence between the member states. And last but not least, the technocratic and authoritarian character of supranational institutions, which don’t even correspond to bourgeois democratic standards, are disabling the people and progressive forces to even slightly change these mechanisms. The dictatorship of the capitalist élites is perfected in this institutional framework.

The results of this kind of integration are of course no less than devastating. In the Union that pushed its member states into ruthless competition the wages of its working classes are being suppressed, its welfare state decomposed and once sacred social rights denied. Furthermore, the Union’s periphery, which was unable to catch up with far more advanced industrial production of the core, experienced drastic erosion of the productive base and finally fell into a debt trap. The expected miracle of the free market policies turned into a nightmare. States are diverging rather than converging, the tensions between the core and periphery are escalating, and the working classes are thrown into brutal exploitation and misery. The only profiteer in this story is – naturally – the European bourgeoisie.

Therefore, the EU is no less than a project of European capitalist élites aimed at imposing neoliberalism masked as ‘European integration’. To us, the anticapitalist left, this poses the following riddle: if the bias of the really existing European integration is neoliberal, how can we respond? Is it possible to change the institutional framework to function in favour of the working classes? Is a ‘good euro’ possible and if so, under which circumstances? And if it is impossible, how risky would it be to exit the euro zone and the EU? And finally: is a socialist Europe possible?

Študijski seminar – Sovjetska zveza in njeni kritiki @ ZSSS, Ljubljana
Feb 10 @ 17:00 – 19:00
Študijski seminar - Sovjetska zveza in njeni kritiki @ ZSSS, Ljubljana

Nosilca in izvajalca: Sašo Furlan in Tibor Rutar
Prijave in informacije: tibor.rutar@gmail.com
Termin: vsak ponedeljek 17.00 -19.00 (od 18. novembra naprej)
Lokacija: Knjižnica Mirovnega inštituta (Metelkova 6)

Na prvem, uvodnem srečanju bo predaval dr. Lev Centrih.

Na bralnem seminarju se bomo posvetili teoretski refleksiji enega najbolj razvpitih poskusov izgradnje kapitalizmu alternativnega družbeno-ekonomskega sistema v 20. stoletju – realno obstoječega socializma v Sovjetski zvezi. Te tematike se ne lotevamo le iz gole zgodovinske radovednosti, saj menimo, da nam ustrezna refleksija tega projekta lahko marsikaj pove tudi o sami naravi sodobnega kapitalizma ter o možnostih in pogojih njegove odprave. Dejstvo, da je nemara najbolj megalomanski poskus izgradnje socializma v zgodovini človeštva klavrno spodletel in za seboj pustil nič več kot restavracijo kapitalizma, kaže na neizmerno trdoživost, vztrajnost in dinamičnost družbeno-ekonomskega sistema, v katerem živimo. Hkrati pa priča o tem, da je izgradnja socialistične družbe, ki bi trajno nadomestila kapitalizem, vse prej kakor lahka naloga. Ustrezna analiza vzrokov za neuspeh preteklih poskusov izgradnje socializma je zato nujen predpogoj uspešnosti vsakršne socialistične prakse, ki danes ponovno poskuša odpraviti kapitalizem.

Seminar ne bo osredotočen na empirične študije zgodovinskega razvoja Sovjetske zveze, temveč na teoretske tekste marksističnih avtorjev, ki tako ali drugače poskušajo artikulirati bistvene strukturne poteze ter tendence in zakone, ki so določali in regulirali družbeno-ekonomski sistem v Sovjetski zvezi. Podrobneje bomo obravnavali tri marksistične teorije o družbeno-ekonomskem sistemu v Sovjetski zvezi: teorijo »degenerirane delavske države«, ki jo je postavil Lev Trocki in kasneje preciziral Ernest Mandel; teorijo »državnega kapitalizma«, ki sta jo razvila Raja Dunajevska in C. L. R. James; in teorijo »spodbijane reprodukcije« (contested reproduction), ki jo je na podlagi spisov Jevgenija Preobraženskega razvil Michael Lebowitz. Pri kritičnem soočenju omenjenih teorij ne bomo mogli obiti temeljnih tekstov samega Marxa, saj se vse te teorije posredno ali neposredno naslanjajo na njegovo teorijo vrednosti. Ravno pravilno razumevanje Marxove teorije vrednosti je namreč odločilni kriterij za presojanje o ustreznosti marksističnih teorij strukturnih potez družbeno-ekonomskega sistema v Sovjetski zvezi.

Edini pogoj za udeležbo je prebrana literatura. Ob prvem obisku prosimo, da mentorjema sporočite svoj e-naslov, ki bo dodan na seznam prejemnikov literature, ki jo boste obiskovalci seminarja prejemali sproti v e-formatu.


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