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The Making of the Global Working Class


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The Making of the Global Working Class

  1. 1. Making of Global Working Class? Transnational networks of radical labour research and (h)activism - the dots in Collective Worker’s Global Brain
  2. 2. Capitalist restructuring > neoliberal globalisation > proletarianisation > organic crisis TNCs IMF World Bank OECD UN agc. GATS WTO EU US ... world market informationalisation transnationalisation urbanisation privatization deregulation liberalisation free trade zones flexibilisation subcontracting financialisation expanding proletariat crisis of unions end of class comprimise ( deg. social rights) environmental degradation new enclosure / global apartheid crisis of representation Objective conditions of transnational working class formation Global Organic Crisis
  3. 3. Transnationalisation of capitalism Mass labour and societal control- surveillance (socialisation), increasing volume of transnational exchange between societies, rising alternative economies (both capitalist and non-capitalist) > popular uprisings > radicalisation and converging transnational solidarity Subjective conditions for transnational working class formation Capitalist-state restructuring, technological development, changes in the capitalist mode of production and societies, expanding and deepening commodification Transnationalsiation of production & informationalisation, new international labour division, TCC, race to the bottom, fiercing intra- class struggle, transnationalisation of the state, convergence of crises into organic crisis of global capitalism
  4. 4. Informationalisation of capitalism • nano-technology, micro-chips, Internet, satellites, GSPR, cell technologies and computer programming technology as the material base of world market: • financial (stock exchanges, banks, private investment and insurance firms, large funds), military and energy networks, transnational reorganization of production-commodity chains and int. trade (paving way to the rise of Collective Worker at global scale) all built on ITC infrastructure • Silicon Valley / Californian ideology (Rand) + neoliberalism: GATS, Web 2.0, bubble, the second enclosure, meta-data storage and analysis leading to massive surveillance capacity for certain capital fractions • Network society, informational or cognitive capitalism, bio- politics: objectification of entire living labor -intellectuality, affect, creativity- in to the machine
  5. 5. Class wars going global • Increasingly authoritarian and fascist tendency since 9/11, under the pressure of fierce global intra-class struggle and converging crises and made the class war and its wide spread destruction visible in every domain. Warren Buffet: “there is a class war going on and it is my class the one winning…” • Global class war has a complex configuration in terms of geographies, social structures and agency. Innovative theoretical innovations came about to understand this complexity • New Imperialism, Empire, Global Capitalism debate, Global Political Economy, Cul. Pol. Eco., governmentality, TCC, transnational state, (transnational and systemic rivalries, fa-bourgeoisie, internal bourgeoisie), BRICS, state capitalism, cognitive capitalism,…
  6. 6. Organic Crisis of global (transnational, informational, bio- cognitive): corrective war, fascism, or global emancipation?  Restructuring process brought about many crises since the late 60s. Finally 2007 systemic, or with reference to Gramsci (Gill) organic crisis of global capitalism has occurred  Neoliberal-capitalist state stacked in a deep legitimacy crisis. The restructuring was increasing the risk of accessibility to livelihoods. After the crisis the risk climbed up to the highest level, for billions of people and ecosystem.  While this situation increased the chance for wide spread social emancipation, it also brought about war and fascism threat (revival of far right, neo-nazizm -Greece, Ukraine most visible).
  7. 7. Expansion of proletariat and the return of labor class  Crisis of trade unions and increasing number of unemployed/landless proletariat  Mass urbanisation and proletarianisation of the periphery  The crises worsen the lives of great majority of working classes.  Large segments of well paid white collar, high educated service and knowledge workers, as well as the self-employed increasingly become proletariat
  8. 8. Re-emergence of labour internationalism • Google search for: • ‘World working class’ 289.000, ‘global labor’ 242.000, ‘global working class’ 150.000, ‘transnational working class’ 43.700 • Research or debates on global sociology, global labour history, global political economy, • Material base • TNCs and transnational production networks, • Immigration – immigrant networks, • Convergence spaces like social forums built (utilizing development funding and funding from progressive governments) • cheaper transportation and communication expanded networking space • to speak for the Global North, fractional divisions among theoretical/academic and political/activist camps of Marxism(s) and Anarchism(s) become milder • Radicalisation and marginalisation in the campus and the city
  9. 9. Radicalisation and mass interaction between labour research, advocacy and justice activism - Tradítional political (socialist, communist, anarchist..) activism networks: youth camps and int. communication channels as isolated networks - ‘Development solidarity’ based labour activism - unions – NGO sector – labour research networks (TIE - transnational information exchange) network, Clean Clothes Camapign, WIEGO, SOMO,..) - Linked to academia: CLS, GWC project - In the periphery like Sacom, China Labour Bulletin, Tarem, sigtur - In the centre: labor notes, labournets, labourstart, global labour strategies, war on want, - Campaigns like anti-sweatshop, asian floor-wage, basic income… - Similar networks working on other ‘issues’ like environment, women, youth, gender, trade, tax, social rights (most of the time varierty of actors): our world in not for sale, seattle to brussels, attac,
  10. 10. 1. established networks and international community of ‘interlockers’ who bridge labour, radical knowledge, and social justice struggles 2. Decreasing state and corporate funding, increasing un-employment, and flexibility brought about marginalisation and precarity for ‘professional activists’ and activist researchers
  11. 11. convergence with free information /knowledge, culture and economy (sharing, solidarity, gift) communities Designers, Artists (digital artists): working for NGOs fincancing independant and collective projects – Euro MayDay, processed world.. Citizen Journalism and media activism: Indymedia, Wikileaks… Software programmers, network (system) developers and administrators: FLOSS projects, GNU/Linux, Free Software Foundation,, Net-time Wikipedia, Pirate Bay Alternative farming, collaborative production – sharing economy communities: deGrowth, now-topia, global willages
  12. 12. 1. Becoming knowledge proletariat in the global north marginalisation and radical politicisation: 2. Political manifestation of FLOSS movement, Hackers’ Ethic, Telekommunist manifesto, 3. Anonymous, LulzSec, Wikileaks, Pirate Bay, Red Hack
  13. 13. Spaces of Convergence Social Forums (WSF-regional and national) Joint Social Conference: Alter-Summit: Firenze 10+10: LabourTech, LaborComm 2011: North Africa, 15M, Occupy, Gezi (trans. Assemblies) Hub Meetings, Blockupy, Agora 99 Free Culture, DeGrowth, Oekanox Chaos Computer Club, piratebay, wikileaks, TOR, EFF…), hacktivism: anonymous, lulzsec digital artivists,…)
  14. 14. New international labour communication and organising • Creative and interlocking projets: Unionbook, New Unionism Network, Labour and Globalisation Network, Networked Labour • Collaborative action and mobilisation: Oakland, MayFirst, #14N, student strikes, • Linking factory and public space, service occupations, Spain, Italy, Greece… • Global Solidarity conferences , global unionism debate • Union Solidarity International, MOOCs..
  15. 15. Global Justice and Solidarity Movement Struggle against neoliberal offensive against the public services/ creating alternatives popular democratic institutions and solidarity economy transnational water movement Solidarity experience of unions, ngos and communities in the water struggle Experiences with premature networking amongst forces before the crisis – moment of war of maneuver (working class in itself)
  16. 16. From Chipas, Seattle, Cochabamba, Porto Alegre, Genoa to Pirate Bay, Wikileaks, Anonymous, Greece, Tunisa, Tahrir, 15M, Occupy, Blockupy, Gezi...  Starting in Chipas (Zapatista), Seattle (against MAI) and in Cochabamba (against TNCs) we have observed that the counter-hegemonic movements entered in a new era.  Since then social movement were learning and building layers of networks , existing ones strengthened and spread, there has been are concrete results in divers fields against neoliberalism.  Within this context national (i.e. water) struggles got connected within a transnational space and became a global movement in which trade unions, informal labour organisations, communities, social movements took place.
  17. 17. watershed for dispossessed, workers, unemployed and landless  Question is: in what way the access to drinking water will be improved and expanded?  It has been experienced long enough to see clearly that the capitalist state does not and will not have any motivation to answer this critical question  With its welfare, developmentalist or neoliberal forms capitalist state institutions and strategies work with a logic that excludes majority interest
  18. 18. solidarity, resistance, and building alternatives  It is observed that left political groups, trade unions, other forms of labour organizations, lower segments of urban middle classes, landless peasants, environmentalists, women groups, etc. came together to resist (in Bolivia, Italy, Turkey, Mexico..) neoliberalism  Labour, especially informal labour and unemployed has played important actor resisting privatisation  Within several years the movement moves from local to global level and from resistance to alternative norm and institution building
  19. 19. cracking the state and capital, reclaiming the commons  Reaction to the offensive [of a transnational historic bloc] towards the state has given important results  Water movement has developed successful case for public water and a strong discourse against the PPPs  Private property in the means of production and natural resources started to be examined more consciously by wider society  Idea and sense of common/public property is promoted successfully and direct participation of agency of water movement to water delivery is put in practice
  20. 20. innovative, constructive, and p2p networked struggle against war and facism, for rights, democracy and transition is necessary  It is necessary to harmonize struggles against the global offensive of state-capital partnerships towards labour, social rights and the poor  Reconstruction of public sphere and organisation of informal labour needs to be innovatively combined, some social movements would play key role  The struggle needs to organised in a way that it addresses the core institutions of capitalism as private property, competition, profit, etc.  It is important to be innovative, constructive and solution focused and striving to keep middle classes at the progressive side
  21. 21. Buttom-up and networked transnational solidarity  Obstacles before transnational solidarity  interest and identity differentiation, nationalism, divide and rule, wars, military occupations and civil interventions, co-optation, sectarial- hierarchical left and trade union politics, • Actively working on overcoming the obstacles
  22. 22. Resistance Alternative culture, norm, idea, and institutions Joining alternatives Local National Regional International Transnational Global Complex Equation of Transnational Solidarity Labor, social movements, unions, progressive parties, governments, alternative- communities (hackers, makers, State Culture Economics Ethics Governing Polity Policy Politics Complex matrix of transnational solidarity (forging war of movement)